Booze

Five stellar South African wines

Wine drinkers typically skew into two categories: those who love the taste of dirt, and those who are all about big fruit flavors. Put another way, the first group consists of peeps who worship at the altar of everything old world, including wines from across the pond (read: Europe), usually in a style focused on expressing the unique terroir and classic characteristics associated with a given grape variety; vintners tend to make wine "in the vineyard," letting the weather dictate matters and basically doing as little as possible to tamper with the results that nature intended. Conversely, fans of new-world bottles crave the pronounced, juicy ripeness generally found in wines that hail from the decidedly warmer climes of regions like California and Australia.

But what if there was a place that turned out delicious, value-priced juice that featured the best of both wine-world styles -- and in so doing, positioned itself to win the hearts of wine lovers of every stripe? Say hello to the fantastic wines of South Africa.

See also: - Three incredibly cool wine concepts to try in 2012- Three of the biggest wine-marketing WTFs! - Four luscious white wines to savor now

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Kendra Anderson