Archive for October, 2010
South African wines have uniquely new world wine styles with great old world wine influences.
But what make South African wines so special?
She adds that most of the Cape winegrowing regions are influenced by one of the two mighty oceans (Atlantic and Indian) that meet at the southernmost tip of Africa.
Cooling sea breezes with a Mediterranean climate, distinctive and varied typography with diversed soils create the ideal conditions for wine with unique character and complexity.
She adds that Pinotage is a red wine that was created in South Africa and has become the signature red wine of this region.
The iconic South African wine brand Kumkani embraces and embodies the uniquely South African aspects. The Kumkani Pinotage is a classic example of a truly great South African red wine.
Click here to view Jancis Robinsons’s clip about South African wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz are probably the most popular red wine cultivars in the world. Although there is a lot of resemblance between these red wines the differences is evident.
Cabernet and Merlot originates from Bordeaux while Shiraz’s origins are from southeast France.
Cabernet wines are normally bold, tannic and with a strong taste.
Shiraz has a spicier nose and taste with a darker colour.
Getting the right combinations to ensure that these characteristics of the grapes balance and complement each other, are one of the many challenges winemakers face.
The Kumkani Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of great blended wine. The spicy undertones from the Shiraz and the complex yet soft tannin structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon is magnificently broad together to create a masterpiece.
South Africa plays host to another World Cup as the best sommeliers in the world gather in the Cape winelands for the finals.
The world’s best sommeliers will gather in South Africa this weekend when they take part in the WOSA 2010 Sommelier World Cup finals to be hosted by Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl.
The 12 finalists, representing various countries from around the world, will be hosted in South Africa for a week-long tour of the winelands, visiting some of the Cape’s most prestigious wineries.
The eight month long competition (which has held heats world-wide) will culminate with the final on the October 16th at the Grande Roche Hotel and Restaurant, where all sommeliers will be put through their paces by an esteemed panel of judges.
Iconic South African wine brand , Kumkani , congratulates all the finalists and we hope they enjoy their stay in our amazing country.
Our cellar door manager, Zoliswa Kafile, has been selected to attend the prestigious Burgundy Sommelier Exchange Programme in Beaune, France.
The programme is funded by the French government and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, and will be held from 10 to 24 October 2010 in one of the most renowned wine regions in the world.
A total of four candidates were selected to attend the programme after a rigorous selection process, and will learn about elements such as viticulture, wine tasting, and food and wine pairing.
South Africa has a rich wine tradition stretching back more than three and a half centuries. But it seems that in the past decade the wines have received the global recognition it deserves and more and more world citizens are treated to proudly South African wines.
In a recent column by in Wine Spectator magazine it is stated that “There’s something for everyone these days from South Africa. The Cape’s wines continue to improve, at both the top end and with its values. Diversity is on the upswing too, as grapes such as Cabernet Franc along with Rhône and Mediterranean varieties are being used by increasing numbers of the Cape’s winemakers.”
South Africa winemakers have the luxury of great soil, weather and diversified cultivars to make exceptional and interesting wines.
One such a wine is the Kumkani VVS white wine. This wine consists of Viognier, Verdelho and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. All the components were fermented separately before blending to make a really great and interesting white wine.
It is common knowledge that red wine is meant to be served at room temperature, but the problem with that rule is that it was established in the 19th century.
That was long before insulated walls, fitted carpets, double glazing and central heating. The living rooms of modern houses are often maintained at around 23 degrees, which in wine terms is just a little too hot.
Ideally most red wine should be served at a temperature between 15 and 19 degrees. If served too warm, reds can taste very “soupy” and lack in taste and aroma and South African room temperature, especially in the summer, can be much higher than 19 degrees.
So sometimes it can be a good idea to pop the bottle in the fridge for 10 minutes just before serving it.
Great South African red wines like the multi award-winning Kumkani Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon will best be served in the 15 to 20 degrees range.
For some people the indecisiveness when choosing the wine for an event is sometimes unbearable. Picking the right wine for any occasion is easier than you think. Just be logical and think a bit about the dynamics of the event and the people that will attend.
The first thing about selecting the wine is to relax and to realize that this is a live or death decision. The wine choosing process is supposed to be fun and part of the enjoyment of the event.
The second thing that you must take into account is the dynamics of the social event or when and how will the wine be enjoyed. Is it for a dinner and the wine will probably be discussed? Or is it a party or an informal gathering where the bottle will only be one of a few that will be opened by the guests? In the latter case it would we unwise to buy expensive, rare or unique wines.
Dinner with snobbish business partners (or your boss) will call for a different wine budget than a casual evening with friend or family.
What do you do when you are “Stuck in the middle”? This is where you can not decide which wine, because the guests are diverse or you do not know their wine preferences.
The trend is your friend so go for the most popular choices within your budget. In a South African context I will go for Cabernet Sauvignon (maybe Merlot) for red wine and Sauvignon Blanc for white wine.
Just remember to relax and make a decision because indecisiveness creates unnecessary stress.