Archive for March, 2012
It’s a great way to entertain guests, while appreciating wine and the company. To get started, here’s what to do…
You’ll want to determine what varieties of wines to taste, as well as how many. You have a variety of options to choose from in determining what types of wines to pick. You can go from white to red to dessert, pick wines that come from the same grapes but originate from different parts of the world, or taste wines that only come from one region.
Remember, it’s a tasting party, so each person will only need to consume about 60ml of each type of wine. A good rule of thumb is to buy one bottle for every ten people.
Once you’ve decided on your varieties, determine the order. You should generally serve your wines from white to red, light to full-bodied, sweet to dry, or young to old. A good place to start with your first wine tasting party would be to choose several white wines, several red wines, and one or two sparkling wines.
Before setting up for your wine tasting party, make sure your wine varieties will be served at the proper temperatures. A good rule of thumb to follow is to remove your whites from and place your reds in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before the tasting begins.
Each guest will need to have a wine glass, preferably one with a large bowl for swirling and sniffing. Glasses used for wine tasting are very important. Provide everyone with a disposable cup to use if they choose not to swallow their wine. Also provide one larger container for guests to pour their unused wine between varieties. You should also provide a pitcher of water for guests to rinse out their glasses between wines.
Prepare wine tasting score cards that list each wine, a short description of the wines, as well as a list of characteristics to rate each wine with. Finally, you’ll want to have bread, salt-free crackers, and water available for cleansing the palate between wines.
Once your guests arrive, place the wines out in the order they’ll be tasted and pour 60 to 90ml into each glass. Ask your guests to hold the wine up and discuss the color and depth of each wine. Next, swirl the wine in the glass to release the aromas, bring the glass to your nose, breathe deeply, and describe the strengths and varieties of smells. Now you can taste the wine, but hold it in your mouth and try to feel the flavors. Swallow the wine and think about its finish, or aftertaste.
It’s a very different party, so go on and enjoy!
Pinotage grapes are a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes. Professor A.I. Peroldt was the first to come up with the combination of grapes to create this wine in 1922. People did not favour the new wine at the time, so it wasn’t until 30 years later that it started being cultivated in earnest. Interestingly, people took a liking to it the second time around.
Since 1952, other countries have decided to start planting Pinotage grapes. Zimbabwe and New Zealand have the largest wineries for this type of wine besides South Africa. California and Canada also have a good number of vineyards.
Kumkani’s traditional South African pinotage is a perfect example. It’s a medium to full bodied wine, with a deep red colour. Has a ripe berry fruit on nose with a well balanced fruit layered pallet. Well integrated French oak aromas add vanilla and spice and pairing excellent with meat dishes.
So go on and appreciate a truly remarkable traditional wine.
Bredie is an old Cape name for a dish of stewed fatty mutton and vegetables. Try this traditional 18th century South African recipe for a taste of the Cape.
- 2 tablespoons (25 ml) Stork margarine
- 1,5 kg stewing lamb or mutton, cubed
- 1 3/5 cups (400 ml) water
- 500 g potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) white sugar
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 packet Spaghetti Bolognaise
- 1 cup (250 ml) red wine
- 410g tin chopped tomatoes
- In a large saucepan heat the margarine
- Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes or until transparent
- Add the meat and brown quickly on all sides
- Add the Spaghetti Bolognaise, 400 ml water and wine
- Simmer covered for 1½-2 hours, or until the meat is tender
- Add the potatoes, tomatoes and sugar, cook for a further 45 minutes
- Serve with cooked rice
Recommended Wine: The well balanced and spicy Kumkani Shiraz will be the perfect wine with this meal.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind that will help ensure your wine has the very best chance for long-term survival and optimal aging.
Keep it Cool
Optimal wine storage is right around 12°C, excessive heat will wreak havoc on a bottle of wine. You also want to shoot for consistent temperatures, as dramatic temperature fluctuations will also negatively impact a stored bottle of wine.
Keep it Dark
If a wine is in direct light consistently, it will affect the flavor of the wine significantly, a result of premature aging. Typically, whites wines are the most sensitive to light degradation, but reds will also lose if they are subjected to excessive light.
Keep it Still
For whatever reason, the top of the refrigerator seems to be one of those places that people naturally tend to keep their wine. The constant vibration of the refrigerator or other major appliances in close proximity just agitates the wine and can keep the sediment from settling in a red wine. Constant or consistent vibration will wreck a wine.
Keep it Sideways
By intentionally storing a wine on its side, you will help keep the cork in constant contact with the wine. This will keep the cork moist, which should keep the cork from shrinking and allowing the enemy of wine, oxygen, to seep into the bottle. When oxygen comes into contact with wine the result is not good – the wine starts to oxidize and the aromas, flavors and color all begin to spoil.
Storing wine is easy; just remember to keep it cool, dark, still and sideways. This will ensure your wine is happy and safe for both the short and the long term.
The recommended wine is the Kumkani Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine would be great to enjoy now but could be enjoyed for up to 7 years from vintage.