From fizzy celebratory toasts to flavoursome meal pairings, it’s only right that we honour the accompaniment to so many of our cherished rituals. After rigorous testing (tough job), WH editors and wine experts bring you the best wines of 2023.
The Best Wines Of 2023 For Summer Feels
La Vierge Jezebelle Chardonnay
Funky and fresh, it’ll trick your friends into thinking you hand-selected it after acing the vino course at Le Cordon Bleu. Hell, it might even convert ‘I-don’t-like-white-wine’-ers.
Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses
Not since college have booze bottles doubled as décor – until this. Wine today, vase tomorrow, it’s the ideal hostess gift or centrepiece for a gathering with friends and family.
Hidden Valley Wines Hidden Treasure
Doesn’t matter who you are or what season it is, this never-not-cool bottle, containing hints of delicious candy floss, is a damn classic.
Lubanzi Rosé Bubbles NV
A highly gluggable cherry berry explosion that pairs well with that raise you busted your ass for. Chug away, you superstar.
Yes, the goddess Chenin Blanc comes in this sexy hue. You: in a cozzie, new sunnies, and sipping a glass of this till further notice.
Best Canapé Pairing
FAT bastard The Golden Reserve
Summer red? Sure! This cabernet sauvignon / merlot blend has flavours of dark berry fruit and plum that pair well with canapés.
Best For Christmas Leftovers
Botanica Mary Delany Pinot Noir
This cherry and strawberry Pinot is the yin to your salty leftover turkey and stuffing yang. Because opposites do, in fact, attract. A hot take, and you’ll probs agree.
Best For Summer Braais
Leopard’s Leap Pinotage
Mostly due to its super-delish hints of pomegranate and raspberry sherbet. Sipped from a Solo cup, it’s summer sun in a glass.
Best For New Year’s Eve
Villa Esposto Muscat D’Alexandrie
This is quite literally liquid dessert and guaranteed to help you end the year (or any night) on a good note. Expect honey, fruity dessert wine goodness.
READ MORE: Mindful Drinking: How More And More People Are Becoming ‘Sober Curious’
The Best Wines Of 2023 For General Excellence
Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir
When you need a solid hug substitute, this goes-with-everything Pinot Noir tastes like ripe plums, roasted spices and calling your mom.
Spier 5.5% Chenin Blanc
Oh hey, it’s the answer to having super fun times and still waking up before noon. It tastes like tropical fruit, sunshine, and festivity sans hangover, of course.
Reyneke Organic Sauvignon Blanc
When that one friend who shops only at Wellness Warehouse swings by, pour them this. It’s a Sauvy B babe that’s just complex enough to leave you intrigued.
Buffelsfontein Wyntjie Steen 2022
This fruity sip that looks like the Tin Man but tastes sweet like Dorothy won’t spill in your backpack. It’s perfect for picnics or B.Y.O.B braais with friends and family.
Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc
Pour a glass before a date, another on pasta night and a couple more when you want to escape to a beachside villa without leaving your couch. This is a classic for a reason.
Best Under R65
Alvi’s Drift Signature Chenin Blanc
Alvi’s Drift is that friend you know you can call up anytime and they’ll be there to make the day that much sweeter – always reliable, always incredible, never disappointing.
Best Under R130
Babylon’s Peak The Wedge Wines Grenache 2018
She’s low budget, but honestly, her blackberry and mocha notes demand a Lake Como boat ride and diamonds.
Best Find It Anywhere
Haute Cabrière Pierre Jourdan Tranquille
Whether you’re on a grocery run or being snobby in a local wine shop, you can always grab this vibrant classic.
Van Loveren Four Cousins Skinny Red Wine Box
What, your vegan wine doesn’t come in a bag-in-a-box? It’s time to become a papsak princess. Extra points for lower alc and kJs.
READ MORE: 13 Simple Mocktails To Make This Year
The Best Wines Of 2023 For Situational Drinks
Best For Roomie Skinder Sessions
Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé 2022
Nothing beats popping a beautiful bottle with your girls. And because shit-talking requires much fizzy, pinot-based fuel, this is an ideal third wheel for laughter-filled catch-ups.
Best For Getting In Your Feels
Hillcrest Estate Malbec
Christmas spices and dense dark berries will leave you wistful for holidays past. Best paired with a bubble bath followed by your fave comfort romcom.
Best For That Time Of The Month
Hartenberg Merlot Malbec
Science says red wine actually helps alleviate cramps. So pour yourself a glass, grab that hot water bottle and cheers the scientists who figured that one out.
Best For Girls’ Night
Da Luca Prosecco DOC
It’s high time to retire the “white or red?” table debate. They’re both flat. Grab this affordable bubbly instead and celebrate the women and mashed potatoes before ye.
Best For Office Parties
De Grendel Merlot
Small talk with your colleagues on a Thursday night? Enter this Merlot that’s still not as heavy as that awks convo with Sally from accounts you’ll never forget.
Best For Series Binges
The easy-drinking sipper you need while knee-deep in the drama of The Wife or Blood & Water. Enjoy with your fave salty snack (we like this local recipe).
Best For Sunday Scaries
Constantia Uitsig Natura Vista 2019
This full-bodied white blend is school night safe and has flavours of sweet melon and soft lime. Basically, it’s like doing yoga but yummier.
Best For A Veggie Braai With Family
Aaldering Estate Pinotage 2020
The raspberry, cherry and earthy flavours will pair perfectly with the smoky char of whatever delish veggie treat you’re braaing. No ribs or chops necessary.
Best For A Celebratory Splurge
Ken Forrester Dirty Little Secret Three
Want to splurge for a momentous occasion? The cellar exclusive wine will age beautifully for at least 10 years. This natural beauty makes a great wedding gift.
Kelleigh is the Managing Editor of Women’s Health. When she’s not convincing her colleagues to try the latest TikTok trends, you can find her planning a holiday that never leaves the group chat, binge-reading or eating her way through Cape Town. More