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Best wine discovery this year from a restaurant wine list

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Wine lists in restaurants can be a mixed bag. There are plenty of wine by the glass lists that tend to reflects the 'popular' mass market wines more often than the less represented but great value options from small vintners and unexpected locales.

We see a lot of Australian and California wines on wine by the glass lists, and sometimes, French. That's not to put down those areas, but the world abounds with other choices from wineries less well known but well deserving of greater recognition!

Our favorite wine discovery this year comes from South Africa. We were doing a large story on South African wines but hadn't come across many on wine by the glass lists, until we stumbled across what was to become a favorite new rosé this past summer at Union Bar & Grille in Boston's South End.

Mulderbosch's Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, the 'find' of the year, was placed on the list by a previous manager, says General Manager Greg Dickinson, himself a former sommelier at Boston's L'Espalier. "I love South African wines because they offer so much value. We offer a number of them on both the full wine list and the wines by the glass"

The wine comes from the coastal region, where Mulderbosch's Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are managed specifically for rosé production. Important in this style of rosé is early bottling to preserve the wine's inherent freshness, the winemaker says.

This rosé is a brighter pink and offers scents of blood-orange, cherry and black currant as well as sandalwood. Balancing the fruitiness of the wine is its acidity. Enjoy it with many dishes from seafood to a vegetable quiche or sushi. The 2012 vintage received accolades from Steven Tanzer (USA), Platter's SA Wines and Time Atkin Report (UK).

As a wine by the glass or by the bottle, it represents the value found today in many South African wines that deliver more than their price level might suggest. Try it -it may become your favorite!

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