Every year, December is welcomed in the most superb fashion – with the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival.This year, I have TWO sets of FOUR tickets to give away. Tickets for Saturday 3 December have already been SOLD OUT, so if you want to indulge in heavenly fizz this weekend, you want to get in on this action.
Or the more descriptive yet less catchy title: “The Best Wines To Pair With The Most Annoying Social Media Stereotypes“.
If you are even moderately active on any social media channel or platform, by definition, you will be engaging in a quasi-social manner with other humans. And we know that – as humans go – the spectrum ranges from amazing to annoying and everything inbetween. And as the world has gone mad for pairing wine with everything from moods to music, I present to you a useful guide to pairing everyone’s least favourite online stereotype with a wine to make it a bit more bearable.
As the last-minute-shopping madness and holiday-making-Gautengers descend on Cape Town, I thought it prudent to take a few minutes for scratching out a last little post for the year. As with most thing I love doing (reading and sleeping, mostly), writing here on a regular basis has taken a backseat to work, panic and the general anxiety that hits the modern (wo)man from around October every year. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions but this year, I am doing some rather impressive planning for 2016. Part of the plan is to triumphantly resurrect Incogvino next year with regular, magical content. Think unicorns. Think chocolate fountains. Think finding-a-parking-spot-right-across-your-destination-in-Cape-Town-CBD. That’s high-level mojo right there. We have plans for our SuperFANS, our member farms (there are new additions coming, so you better watch this space) and general magnificent, world-class, ground-breaking, earth-shattering content for this here blog. Am I building it up a little too much? Not at all. If even one iota of what’s rambling around in my head materialises, then I’m underselling it. In the meantime, have a happy, indulgent, moderately responsible and most importantly safe festive season. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Christmas cheers and wishes,
Marthélize & Andy
Frank the Tank provides the monthly wine tips that accompany Tank & Barrel shipments. Frank’s thoughts on wine intrigue, illuminate and interest readers and tie into the monthly offering in your Tank & Barrel delivery. In September, Tank & Barrel shipped Bloemendal wines – two distinct wines made from the same grapes in the same block – one being a straight dry Semillon and the other a Noble Late Harvest of the same grapes. This offering serves as a tangible demonstration on how winemakers can achieve variety through different techniques and styles. For more information about Tank & Barrel or to join and have two brilliantly interesting wines shipped to your door monthly, check out their Facebook page or website to sign up. Below are Frank’s thoughts on Botrytis – the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of fungus.
For such a pretty, beautifully hued and generally cheerful-looking wine, rosé in South Africa has had a really strained relationship with consumers over the past decade or so. I’m not pointing fingers or laying blame but I suspect we’d all agree that this is largely due to two reasons: sugar and volume. I sincerely mean no offense to any producer but sugary sweet pink wines and pink wines in big boxes have – in the minds of many – set the tone for rosé consumption in SA. OBVIOUSLY not exclusively, but it’s a connotation that has been pretty dominant. Pair that perception with the idea that rosé is for girls, and you’ve essentially shoved your average rosé consumer into a pretty tightly defined box. Today though, I say to you, rejoice! For rosé is riding its own little wave of revolution – and we are all better off for it.
I am not a fan of the traditional wine club format. I was duped into joining one ages ago – not a wine farm affiliated club, just a general wine-of-the-month type. It was horrific. I could put together a better selection than the ones I received by tossing glue-covered corks at a supermarket wine shelf and taking the first ones they stick to. It’s horrendous and nearly always “good idea, bad execution”. There are many reasons why this is the case, probably mostly because of badly sourced wines or budgetary constraints; if you want to offer people 6 or 12 wines of a certain quality, then there is a certain cost associated. And if you don’t happen to like the selection, you’ve just paid a bundle for a case or two you don’t care for. Thankfully, there are those among us who have wrestled with this problem on behalf everyone who has have suffered through the annoyance of being sold awful wine in bulk. Could it be that Tank & Barrel has managed the impossible? Have they created a cool wine club?
Established in 1918 as a winemaking co-operative, KWV is a famous and inextricable part of the local wine industry. The company today encompasses a multitude of award-winning wines and brandies. While the iconic Roodeberg may have been the first ‘flagship’ wine, in recent years The Mentors range has taken over that role. These wines strive to be a true expression of terroir, experimenting with different cultivars from different areas and creating a new standard of excellence and consistency.
I won’t lie. It’s been a rough month and a bit, kids. Exams for me, work has been brilliant but beyond crazy and the usual syndrome of all other priorities being more important than giving Incogvino some TLC.
Well, that ends this week. Not only have the wine-filled and -fueled thoughts been aplenty lately (with discussions, debates and devilishly brilliant days out being had) but if you’re an Incogvino SuperFAN, we’ll be enjoying the fruits of a farm’s labour again soon in the form of a delectable fan box. If you don’t know what the SuperFANS are, you should really check it out. Everyone is welcome to join – but you might be asked some really tough questions before you’re welcomed – like what’s your favourite wine (who even HAS the answer to that?!).
So stay tuned – we’re just warming up.
It’s often said that Cab is King in Stellenbosch, and that the area is generally considered “Cabernet Country”. I’ve heard winemakers and others in industry mumble the sentiment that if you can’t make a decent Cabernet Sauvignon in Stellenbosch, you have no business being a winemaker. Perhaps a harsh sentiment, but it rings true in many ways. South African wine is going in many different and exciting directions, but perhaps we must be wary of spreading ourselves too thin in a cultivar sense? Of course diversifying and experimenting is great in terms of new offerings and discovering what is possible (and equally, what is not) but there is also no sense in moving rapidly away from our strengths – of which Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely one. The annual Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report take a good look at what’s potting with local Cab, and this year continued the showcasing of the top specimens.
I first met David Clarke a few years ago when I traded him lessons on wine (he is a sommelier, after all) for Afrikaans lessons. He’d just moved to SA – married to an Afrikaans-speaking local and he wanted to improve his local lingo. Packed schedules eventually got the better of us both and we only really had a few lessons, but his incredibly knowledge and honest, down-to-earth love for wine stayed with me. Back to present day, David and his wife Jeannette have started Ex Animo Wine Co. and they’ve been bloody busy since. They had their first trade show in early March and it was packed to the rafters with some of the most exciting and enjoyable wines I’ve encountered in ages.