It’s been years of promising, gathering contacts, sending emails, almost starting then failing to follow through… Breaks my heart when I think about it sometimes… Well, not really… either way, all was forgotten yesterday when we had our very first wine tasting group meeting!
The venue was my quaint, award-winning home turf, Hussar Grill in Rondebosch, which the lovely and newly promoted Manager (I doubt the ink’s dried yet) Thandie, had graciously availed for us.
I arrived 20 minutes late (having explained and excused myself well in advance) to find everyone sitting in “our” cozy corner, smiling uncontrollably. Each member had brought a differing bottle of white wine from the Olifants River Valley and Cederberg Region. I mean, what ambition to start with such an off the beaten track location? I’m rather impressed!
To the members themselves, I’d sum them up as a truly eclectic bunch: from the animated and great natured Prosper, hailing all the way from Swartland; to the determined boxing champion Martin, who’s the king of networking; to the overly generous and our unofficially dedicated chef Bjorn, who adds much-needed “colour” to our group; to the organised and precise Yvonne, our founding matriarch; and finally the incredibly silly, never take him serious yet talented Xolani; our certified Sommelier! Each of them are bustling with passion; however I’d love to see some more diversity!
Like any organisation or society; the first tasting was mostly spent working out the kinks, with more still to address, of course. But in essence our format shall be as follows:
1. We shall meet twice a month, on Tuesdays at Hussar Grill from about 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
2. Each participant shall bring a wine along with them in line with that weeks tasting theme, which they’ll have to talk a little about after we’ve tasted through them.
3. The next tasting theme shall be decided at the end of each tasting, to allow Thandie’s amazing team sufficient time to plan an exciting food pairing to match.
4. Tasting should run independent of any individual.
5. The purpose of the tasting is to grow our wine knowledge jointly. Any and all pretenses, prejudices, egos and snobbery shall not be entertained.
6. The tastings are limited only by our imagination.
7. I am rarely to be taken seriously.
Eventually getting to the wine tasting, it was incredible exciting to hear everyone’s descriptions of the same wines. With differing backgrounds, we often pick up varying characteristics in the wine which re-emphasize the need for increased diversity. Surprisingly so, our ratings of the wines were extraordinarily similar this time around! The wines showing the best though, were the Ceberberg Chenin Blanc 2012 and the Bukettraube 2013.
Oh, and did I mention they let me pick the name? hahaha. Red Bucket it is! (Took me a whole 8 seconds to think it up. Refer back to point 7!)
Cheers to you Thandie! I wish you nothing short of success and fulfillment in the new post!