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Sipping through South Africa

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  • CNN.com's Jarrett Bellini is traveling in South Africa
  • Readers chose his destination and can share their travel suggestions
  • Bellini will provide updates from South Africa on CNN.com and CNN.com Live
By Jarrett Bellini
CNN
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Editor's note: We asked readers to weigh in on CNN.com Live producer Jarrett Bellini's vacation destination, and you chose South Africa. Check back for updates on his trip.

CNN.com's Jarrett Bellini tours vineyards outside Cape Town, South Africa.

CNN.com's Jarrett Bellini tours vineyards outside Cape Town, South Africa.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNN) -- I'm not a wine drinker.

Before today's excursion, in fact, I could only tell you that on the face of the planet there existed three types of wine: red, white and Carlo Rossi. The reds are good with meat. The whites go with fish. And, according to what I learned from my dad, Carlo Rossi goes with a glass of ice.

So, exploring South Africa's wine country, just a short drive from Cape Town, seemed like a perfect educational way for me to spend my day. I mean, it was that or go to a museum.

Our guide, Jack, was amazingly knowledgeable about the subject, but without being a pretentious jerk. Really, as far as he is concerned, the best wine in the world is whatever wine you enjoy. I didn't ask, but was curious if that applied to Boone's Farm?

Throughout the day, we hit four wineries, tasting 23 bottles in all. I know because I kept hash marks on my hand. I'm pretty classy.

Now, despite the outstanding info we received from our guide as we sipped and swirled and spat, I can't say that I'm any better at understanding the finer points of wine than I was this morning when I woke up. However, I did manage to get a solid buzz. And that should be worth something.

Even without the wine, a visit to South Africa's vineyards is a great addition to a traveler's to-do list. It's not far from the city and the scenery is beautiful. If you need an added incentive, there are even a few cheese farms in the area where you can really crank the whole experience up to 11.

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I personally thanked one of the goats for his contribution. He didn't seem to care. He also didn't seem physically capable of producing anything that might actually turn into cheese. But I thanked him anyway.

What can I say? I'm not a wine drinker.

All About WineSouth Africa

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