It is always a pleasure when I can write about wines that are not only tasty but are under $10.00 like these wines are, but as an extra bonus, these wines are from South African farmers who are working to make a difference in the world. Both the 2014 MAN Free Run Chenin Blanc and the 2014 Padstal Chardonnay are solid wines to welcome in springtime sipping.

The 2014 MAN Free Run Chenin Blanc ( or Steen as it is known in South Africa) is from old un-trellised bush vine grapes that are made into free-run juice.  The wine is complex, (acidity and sweetness play nice), and full bodied with strong tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, passion fruit and lemon-lime.

This is a great porch sipper, but will also shine with seafood dishes and Asian spicy cuisine. Enjoy this with Thai Green Currie

The MAN 2014 Padstal Chardonnay gets its name from the many Padstals or “farmstalls” found on roadsides in South Africa. This is to emphasize the harmonious and natural style of wine that has spent time in American oak as well as a half a year on the lees.

This lightly oaked MAN Chardonnay is refreshing and crisp.  It is well balanced, with citrus flavors, melon, with a small amount of pineapple and butterscotch. This is a medium bodied Chardonnay that will pair well with grilled grouper, lobster, and creamy chicken with mushrooms and pasta.

An appropriate film to complement these wines is District 9 which is a Science Fiction film released in 2009 from South Africa that tells the story of Aliens being herded into a slum in Johannesburg.

The alien population nicknamed "The Prawns," because of their strong resemblance to giant shrimp are initially welcomed but eventually are put in a refugee camp that is a militarized ghetto called District 9.  Over time, they are forcibly evicted but the head operative, Wikus van der Merwe is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new 'Prawn' friends.  Aside from being an entertaining Sci-Fi thriller with exceptional special effects, the film makes a strong statement about South Africa’s Apartheid past.