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I’m missing home!

I’m away at the moment. My daughter and I decided to come to Wales for the winter holidays, and visit my brother and his family for 3 weeks. We didn’t come here for the weather. I did however pack our suitcases thinking it would be summer in the northern hemisphere. I’m not totally naïve – I packed a jersey and jacket for us both. And a bikini and a few dresses and a sandals. Guess what’s going to get the most wear?! 27 degrees in Cape Town this winter weekend, 16 degrees warm in Wales. Anyway – it’s not about the weather!

The countryside is exceptionally beautiful – so lush and green! (of course Mama, says my child, its because it’s ALWAYS raining). I’ve been running and mountain biking and I’m blown away by the incredible beauty. And the weather is perfect for exercising. We’ve been drinking wine – mostly South African, as my Welsh family are hugely patriotic and supportive of SA! I went shopping for wine today. I love wine shopping in other countries…..I love seeing how SA wine is re-packaged / branded for the UK market. It saddens me a bit – I feel like the labels are being dumbed down for the international market. Why do we not have faith in the original wine labels? It’s odd. I’ve only been here a few days, so need to do some proper investigation to see what SA wines are being sold in this tiny town of Machlynleth. I’m then arranging a winetasting for the weekend, to assist my sister-in-law with her future purchase decisions. I’ll arrange another wine tasting the weekend after, to compare SA, New Zealand, Aus and Chilean wines for value for money. In between, I’ll continue to taste and drink as many wines as I can afford…..which isn’t a lot, despite the rand recovering marginally against the weaker pound!

I continue to remind  myself how grateful I am that I live in SA, working in the wine industry where I have access to SUPERB wines at prices so low, they might as well be free! Seriously – we have NO idea how good we have it! So drink up, and place another order 🙂

anne coris Anne bike

Mistakes happen……..

Mistakes in the winery happen. Not often – winemakers are a pedantic bunch and sticklers for record-keeping. They have to be. So it’s a rare thing when a ‘wrong blend’ happens. And even rarer when a TOP QUALITY barrel selection wine is blended with the wine estate’s normal range of wine. The result is a really good wine – but without a suitable label to fit into the well-established brand line.

There are a few options available: 1. Fire the winemaker. No-can-do, he’s the owner of the estate. 2. Create a new label – pointless, as this is a once-off and will only mess with the brand identity and confuse your regular clients. 3. Try drink it all, or flog it to family and friends. Always a marvelous idea, buying friends with wine. It stops working when your friends are drunk all the time and blaming you for their perpetual hangover. 4. Light bulb moment, send it to the Unlabelled Wine folk. Bingo, we have our answer!

And that’s the short version of what happened! So without further ado, we would like to introduce you to our latest, most truly delicious Sauvignon blanc-Sémillon blend, 2015. *drum rolls*

R40 per bottle. A steal, no doubt about it!

In case you’re wondering why a winemaker would blend Sauvignon and Sémillon together, the following succinct explanation may assist you: ‘Sauvignon blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle – if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.’

There you have it! Deliciousness in a bottle!

(Source: http://www.bbr.com/grape-bw-sauv-blanc-and-semillon)

Additional information from Winefolly (www.winefolly.com) gives a simple explanation of what to expect from Sauvignon and Sémillon, as separate cultivars:

SEMILLON

SUAV

My final bit of usefulness before I sign off: how to pronounce Sémillon: seh mee yohn (French)

Cheers!