We had a bottle of Bales’ Choice ‘The White Stuff’ 2006 from Laithwaites with a game of Twilight Struggle. It was OK. It tasted like a blended white wine, nothing exciting, nothing unpleasant, nothing memorable. It was 50% Chenin Blanc with 35% Chardonnay and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. It came from South Africa. In South Africa I’m sure it would be a really good, well priced, locally produced wine.
It’s bright and fresh with good acidity and a mix of cheery melon and chopped fruit.
Here in England that seems a long way for a wine to come to be ‘pleasant enough’. We can get those wines from the Loire Valley, a Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France would do the same job without a 5,500 mile trip. There’s no good reason for people in South Africa to drink VdP when they can buy perfectly pleasant wines grown and produced locally. The Loire isn’t exactly local, but at only 500 miles away it’s close enough.