Wining And Dining In Europe

I have not stopped blogging. I am on holiday, and the plan was to write about my wine experiences as I tour mainly Paris, Reims, ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch as it’s colloquially called) and Amsterdam. What I got totally wrong in my theory was that much as I will be on holiday, I would NOT have time to gather my thoughts and share my experiences with you.

 

I am having a wonderful time, evidence in not making time to write. Every blog post I have written starts with “If you try a different wines, you are bound to figure out which wines you like.” for a reason. I have made it my mission to explore and taste wines I don’t know. I am tasting beers I don’t know and while I am a lager person who does not like Ale, that’s what i am trying as craft beer exploits flavours best in ales and not lagers.
The world of wine is almost endless and staying in your comfort zone and avoiding trying something new is fine, but why settle? I have spent ‘over the normal South African odds’ on wines this holiday, some worth it and some with the wine being good, but not worth the price point. As I sit here and write, I have baby potatoes roasting in the oven with some blue cheese, sliced red onions and garlic all wrapped up in aluminium foil. I did dress it with some salt and pepper and olive oil. 

 

This, together with chicken wings that were oven baked, seasoned with fresh rosemary, olive oil, garlic and lime juice and a coleslaw as well as lettuce salad will be the pairing for the wine of choice tonight. It’s a Bordeaux wine, and the wine consultant at the local “wijn huys” recommended this Pomerol when I asked for a French Bordeaux wine. Something different in that when I have Bordeaux blends back home in South Africa, they are not from the region and the single varietal grapes are local, albeit originally from France.

Woolworths Ken Forrester Viognier 2015 Reserve Collection

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! It is 9 degrees Celsius in Joburg as I write! The days are getting colder, and the mornings and evenings are crisp. Comfort food is naturally what you start thinking of when it is time to cook supper, so if that entails casseroles, a curry and the likes, why on earth would I bring a white wine to the party? Well, if you spot this Woolworths Ken Forrester Viognier 2015, don’t let the price tag of R69-95 be the reason you put your nose in the air and pass it by, like it is beneath you.

I think this Reserve Collection is only available in Woolworths

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Lanzerac, Wine Tasting South African Style

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! I have shared my tasting experience of the Lanzerac Cabernet Sauvignon, but I had never been to the wine farm. Zelda had invited us to come through, after an introduction by a common friend. A vineyard with quality wines, which takes the experience factor of their offering seriously!  This was not an opportunity to be missed. Lanzerac wine estate has a lot to offer, and I have always understood it to be not your “run of the mill” estate, whether it be for experiencing their wine tasting, restaurant, spa or hotel. My visit was focused on the wine tasting, as I had now had the teaser of the offering of the Stellenbosch wine farm, “against the foothills of the Botmaskop in the Jonkershoek Valley”.

The Lanzerac wine estate has a lot to offer

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Red Wine, Plaisir De Merle Grand Plaisir 2008

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! This wine estate is one I first visited with my brother and his family, a couple of years ago, and it was poetic in that the first time I tried one of their wines, we were together, and had to chuckle at how one of our friends seemed very eager to tell us the name of the wine estate, with the French accent in play. I still bumble my pronunciation, but Malose that night had the words just roll off his tongue. You can imagine when Chomba was in Pick n’ Pay, and she sent me a WhatsApp picture asking if she should buy this bottle of the Grand Plaisir 2008, my answer was an enthusiastic YES, given the price point, the age of the wine and the wine estate that was established in 1693 on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains between Paarl and Franschoek.

A decanter need not be a convoluted shape IMO, simply allow for enough surface area for aerating

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Wine With Friends, Not Whine With Friends

Happy Freedom Day! For those of you that are readers of the blog, Wine With Friends, and are not South African, the significance of today is that on the 27th April 1994, for the first time in the history of South Africa, Black people could vote in the national elections! That’s a long time of oppression for Black people considering that since 1652 this country, (at the bottom of Africa) has been infiltrated and influenced primarily by the “pioneers”, (as they were referred to when you study history)  from Europe. It is at this point that I will contain myself, as this blog is about wine with friends, not whine with friends.

If you use your imagination, you can see the South African flag amongst the flowers

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Red Wine, Diemersfontein Pinotage 2015

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! Diemersfontein prides itself on being the original coffee Pinotage since 2001. It is a beautiful wine and country estate, with views of the Du Toitskloof and Bain’s Kloof mountain ranges.  A 45 minute drive from Cape Town, we have been to the estate a few times, as well as some of the neighbouring Wellington wine farms, as Chomba and I had to fulfil our desire to experience the chocolate and coffee Pinotage offerings of the wines of the region. It is therefore quite surprising that I have yet to blog about a Pinotage wine, when it is such a favourite in the household.

Diemersfonetin Pinotage 2015 Uncorked

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Red Wine, Raka Quinary 2013

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! Every time I see a bottle of Raka Quinary I think of Tiro, a friend of mine, who introduced me to the wine as one of his favourites. I did not know where the wine farm was situated. Checking online, it makes the region an accidental follow, in the neighbourhood of the wine of last week, the Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc. The farm is situated in the valley of the Kleinrivier mountains, the southernmost mountain range in South Africa.

It’s not quite a mermaid, more half man and half beast

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White Wine, Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2015

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! My brother and his wife left me a couple of bottles of wine from the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate after their last visit. I have been meaning to visit this wine estate in Walker Bay, Hermanus, for the last decade. The Benguela Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2015, was released in April 2016 and the wine bottle, with white label, completed by the ‘premium gold foil embossed design’ looks quite elegant and appealing to the eye.

The power of ambiance, to be served very cold

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