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.
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”.
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 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.
It’s going to be another belter of a week as far as my day job is concerned. Still, I will blog and post the wine of the week on Wednesday. I took the opportunity for my weekly photo to segue into the wine that I will be sharing so I would be surprised if you guessed the wine estate. Then again, had you ever heard of Anwilka, a farm that produced last week’s wine of the week?
If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! Anwilka vineyards remains unknown to me as a wine farm and is situated on the south end of Stellenbosch. I discovered this bottle of Petit Frère while wine tasting at Klein Constantia wine farm in the autumn of 2015. On tasting the wine at the wine farm, it really did not appeal to either Chomba or myself. However, we did think that it could be better with time, so took a gamble buying one bottle, knowing that it would be put away for aging.
One of the joys of venturing away from wines you are familiar with, is you discover wine you like. Equally as important, is along the way, you will also start to know what wine you definitely don’t like. I blog to give you ideas as to wines that you might not have necessarily come across given South Africa has such a plethora of wines, wine types and wine styles. In six weeks of blogging, we have covered no less than 11 wines. I have blogged about white wine, red wine, a Rosé and in all that at least 14 varietals of grapes. Wine can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but the trick is simply to start… Find a couple of friends who are as curious as you and make it an event to taste and share notes. It also makes buying the wines safer in that you can avoid making expensive mistakes. Learning about wine takes deliberate practice. This week I am tasting the DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2015 vintage!
If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out what works for you. Wine tasting and food pairing though, is an art and science best left to the professionals. I have written before about the journey in food you will have if you join Franck and Pete at The Foodbarn in Noordhoek. When they invite winemakers to pull out their very special wines to share in the marathon of fine dining they have created, your tastebuds will experience a symphony of taste second to none. In January 2017, the guests of honour at La Table du Chef, or Chef’s Table as we have come to know it, were Chris and Andrea Mullineux, co-owners and winemaker at Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, a wine estate in the Swartland.
If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out what works for you. One part of me wants to do a dipstick and check how useful, you, the reader, are finding these blog posts. Another part of me says it’s too early, keep writing because with hundreds of wine types and styles out there in the world, I have not even scratched the surface with the four South African wines I have blogged about so far. We need more time. Then we can have a useful dipstick test, but feedback along the way is very welcome and useful. I already have a request from Iblis Bane, and I have committed to tasting a Cabernet Sauvignon. That won’t be today though, as I had already lined up the next couple of tastes. Today, I get to share with you the Steenberg Rosé 2016 vintage.