The Best Value Wines showcase a wide spectrum of wine styles available at R100 and under per 750ml bottle – the best wines entered into the annual Best Value Wines Awards competition.

Great care is taken to ensure that the better submissions are available to the public when the Best Value Wine Guide is published and that the prices quoted are correct – the price per bottle (including VAT) must be valid somewhere in South Africa, either from the producer, which must be open to the public (without having to make an appointment) or at a retail wine shop. The Best Value Wines cannot be held responsible for price increases that may take place subsequent to the publication of the guide.

All wines submitted for consideration by the judging panel had to be finished, in bottle (or box) and ready for sale – producers were not permitted to enter tank or barrel-samples.

The Best Value Awards

In this guide, Value Awards are presented for top-scoring wine on a Value scale which takes into account the quality of the wine in relation to the price it sells for. There are many other wines reviewed and rated in the guide which score as well or better on quality but cost more. The fact remains that all wines in the guide represent good value at or below the R100 price ceiling.

Singled out for special attention are those producers which not only field the Best Value wines in terms of their Value ratings across a range of categories, but in terms of their quality ratings as well. And it’s rewarding to see the list of producers which fulfilled the criteria.

Tasting procedures

All of the Value Awards judging is conducted blind (without sight of the labels) over a period of three days. Two panels of three judges each sought out those wines deemed of sufficiently high quality to be listed in this book.

The tastings are conducted class by class, driest to sweetest and at optimal temperatures for judging, depending on the category of the wine. All of the wines in a particular class are on the tasting bench at the same time, allowing the judges to back-taste and compare wines as they evolve in the glass.

Once the panellists had assessed the line-up of wines independently, star ratings were awarded on the basis of discussion – the attributes or flaws of each wines were debated in the process of reaching consensus. The tasting procedures and results are audited to ensure fairness and accuracy, and the Best Value competition results are withheld from all but the Best Value Wine Guide editorial team and contributors until publication.