I have been MIA from blogging for a bit because I spent the last two weeks in South Africa (with a couple days at the end in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls). Amazing! From scenery to culture…to food and wine (and some beer). I was already expecting an amazing trip but it got even better on the first flight (of 8 over the course of the vacation) with the wine. As many of us are used to paying for anything other than maybe water on flights (apparently some airlines charge for soda now), it was nice to have the hope of freedom when preparing for a long flight. So as the flight attendant came around and asked what I’d like, there were various selections, all from South Africa (darn!) and I opted for one of the reds, a Merlot. I don’t normally lean towards that grape, but why not, it’s free! So, out came the bottle. Oh, and before she moved on, she threw another one out there. Most people were handed several bottles of wine on round 1. Go South African Airways. The Merlot was from Stormhoek. WOW, that did not taste like a Merlot. Unreal. I wish I had scribbled some notes down but it just had some unique characteristics. Their website doesn’t have a ton of info on where we could attempt to find this stuff here. Darn!
All alcoholic beverages had messages on the container, which of course are for safety reasons (took pics of most of them). But this one is the best, and for good reason. It was on this bottle of Merlot.
Yes! Because it tastes SO GOOD!
Another wine sampled just labeled what the trip and the country brought/bring — JOY. It was a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Amazing, amazing. 14.5% alcohol — few SA wines go low on alcohol content. The winery works with a social upliftment project in a local town to improve the lives of residents (see label below). Can’t find any information on the web about the vintner. If you happen to come across something, please let me know!
As the flights progressed, you find out you also get free wine on domestic flights…ahh. So nice. So, while going from safari to Cape Town, it was mid-day and I opted for a white and received a Chenin Blanc, Flutterby. Nice and crisp, fruity.
Other mid-day flights brought the perfect time to sample some Chardonnay, Liberty Chardonnay to be precise. It was a traditional Chard, oaked, buttery. Tough to track down the exact site for this one, too.
These guys also make a fun sparkling wine. It has a screw top, which makes it easy to open on the plane!
On my last flight, back to the US, I had an amazing blend from Spier 1692. It was Classic Red with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Amazing all around.
Great way to taste a wide variety of local wine while not on the ground. Love what South Africa has to offer!