Drinking In South Africa

A few days ago, my friends and I had brunch and I was feeling so ill that I couldn’t manage decent conversation. A very rare thing for the chatty me.

At one point, I felt like throwing up, so I asked my friend, Martina to send me home. I said, I think I’ve caught a bug. And she teased –

Alcoholism is not a bug.

LOL! Yes, I was undecided if I was feeling hungover or feeling sick from a bug. You see, we drink SO much in South Africa. Not excessively like we drop dead every day. But enough to say I could possibly drink more wine each day than water.

Wine is one of the best things about South Africa. It’s so good, abundant and very affordable. While I enjoyed the sauvignon blancs in New Zealand, I arrived in Johannesburg to discover its heavy production of a variety I love but rarely find – the chenin blancs. They are made by almost every large label here and I was so thrilled!

The cost for an average decent bottle of drinking wine is about R40 to R60 (~SGD6.60 to SGD10) and even our most favourite premium bottle of chenin blanc is only R120 (SGD20). That makes shopping for wine so easy here. We just grab whatever that appeals to our eye. Gosh, it’s so different from buying wine in Singapore where choosing even ONE bottle of wine is such a big affair.

It’s not just the whites that are good. The reds and rosés are pretty darn great too. It’s really not unusual to have friends come over, supposedly for coffee after dinner, to find them asking if they can have a glass of wine instead. And then finishing an entire bottle between a couple of us before the night is over.

The main wine regions of South Africa are in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia. When visiting South Africa, a trip to the wineries for a wine tasting experience is a must! See my experience in the wine country here.

So, that day I threw up several times and was still sick two days later. When Martina texted me and asked, How are you feeling now? Was it just a hangover? I felt weirdly relieved to text back – No. It was a bug. I’m still ill.

My parents think it’s the alcohol, and gave me one big lecture on drinking too much in South Africa. Hee!

P/S. Just one more day for a chance to win two bottles of 100% Pure Argan Oil here. If you haven’t done so, go to my earlier post here and leave a comment for a chance to win. Extra good news – in celebration of International Women’s Day, My Life Store is selling each bottle of this oil for a special price of SGD38 (45% discount!!). Offer valid while stocks last or till 11 March 2012.


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