By anyone’s standards I’ve been off my form of late. It seems a life time ago since I visited a new farm or since I was making 5 tastings a week. It almost feels as if I’ve regressed to my infancy days. I seem to have lost the plot completely!
The fact that I’d left the Mother City for a while was naturally the first cause for my starvation… Jeez, have we got it good here! The availability and affordability is just incredible!!!! Additionally, I’ve been swamped with work and had thought it was a good idea to stay away from the beguiling temptress.
The few times I’ve allowed myself to indulge, I’ve been on beer and whiskey…There was that one night that ended with some cane :)… Yeah, what can I say, for old time’s sake?
My interactions with wine have been far and in between: there were the 6 bottles of off-dry rose, a Chard blend and a Chenin (I think) we split among the bridal party once everyone else had gone home :D. I didn’t as much as stop to check the bouquet or read the label to see the countries of origin; drunk it straight out of the bottle. Next was a posh 6 course dinner pairing at Sarova Stanley in Nairobi, which I must say was stunning. At the start I took verbatim notes; scoring the wines and the pairing as well. By the end I was lost in the conversation of promised future lunches that were never kept.
And the result of my hiatus? My tasting is no longer as shrewd as I had painstakingly built it up to be. My palate has relapsed to being too susceptible to acidity and being over-bombarded with tannins; failing to notice the exceptional nuances :(. That’s what happens when you don’t practice frequently enough.
Tonight, however, I put my foot down and succumb to seduction most sweet! I raided my fridge to locate a specimen to take me out of the dark ages. I had hoped too it would go well with my spicy chicken and mash. I ignored the Sauvignon Blanc, thinking it would lack in body to complement the meal, and rather settled for a wooded Chardonnay from Amani in Stellenbosch.
The wine offered quince and lime fruit, with toast and earthy aromatics from the oaking and slight bottle age. I genuinely enjoyed it. The pairing itself wasn’t too terrible either. The fruit pushed through to the front, opening up to a crisp middle palate and at the end the tangy spice revitalising again. I had missed this.
It is fair to say that it wasn’t all gone. Like a bike, I just need to get back on more often. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks when I shall, with a renewed gusto, get back to my tasting routine as I attempt to perfect the art.