SA Winery Visit #3 — Solms Delta

After the 2nd winery, we put the bikes away and took a long enough drive (as in too far to ride) to Solms Delta.

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Here we started with their Vastrap, a white which is a blend of Chenin Blanc and Semillon.  It was a dry white, nothing to write home about.  R50.

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Next we went to the Amalie, which is a blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache.  Smells like chard, has some oak flavors, but I would characterize it as a ‘light’ chard.  R110.

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Third one presented was the Lekkerwijn, which means ‘nice’ or ‘yummy’ wine.  It’s a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache Noir and Viognier and is a Rose.  It was sweet and not great.  R55.

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Reds, finally reds!!!  Langarm, pronounced Long-arm, a blend of four varietals — Pinotage, Touriga Nacional, Shiraz and Mourvedre.  The nose had tobacco and was sweet.  The taste was light and peppery.  R55.

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Next red was one I look for a lot and can be hard to find — sparkling Shiraz.  This one is their Cape Jazz Shiraz.  Subtle, fruity, per them. Light, refreshing, 9.9% alcohol.  Yes, oh yes.  I left with a bottle.  R580.

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We then hit a fortified wine, the Gemoedsrus, made with a Shiraz grape.  The style ‘An entirely new concept in port-style wine; Shiraz desiccated on the vine, then fortified with Shiraz grappa.’  18.5% alcohol, NICE and SMOOTH.  R150.

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Finally we sampled an experimental wine, Perry, a lightly sparkling pear fermented beverage, 6% ABV.  Crisp and refreshing.  The problem here is that you could not taste any alcohol so you could easily just be sitting outside enjoying this on a beautiful summer day and that bottle would be gone quickly…and you would be too…without realizing it.  R50.

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Three down, and since we had such a small group, our guide made sure we hit one more winery before the day was done!

 

Screw Top Art

I can get crafty on the side and the past few years have been having fun.  For awhile I was making cork wreaths.  I sent notes out to all those I know to save those precious things some throw away when they open their lovely adult beverage and also went around to restaurants to collect them.  I made one wreath for myself and then was given 3 enormous bags of corks from a restaurant and gifted and gifted wreaths after hours of labor.  Also make cork trivets after buying the frames.

But, there is more fun…screw top wreaths.  First, though screw tops are becoming more common, when you try to collect/gather them, they don’t come nearly as quickly as corks.  It took me a long to gather enough to make a wreath.  Then, when wreath making began, *($%^.   There is not nearly the surface area of a cork!  This was not as much fun as I thought.  After a couple hours, I decided putting cotton balls in the screwtops would give me more surface area.  After many months of (more) off and on labor hours, the screw top wreath is complete!  I did this tonight while enjoying some great South African wine after just booking a trip to South Africa…there will be many food and wine reports to come in a few months.  The wine I enjoyed was one of my favorites, the Wolftrap Red Blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Viognier.

 

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And, the original wreath I worked on a couple years ago…good old fashioned corks.

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Three weeks, three people, three new tastes

Good things come in threes, right?  So I’ve met some great people over the past few weeks and all of them have introduced me to some new drinks, all in different ‘categories’ — liquor, beer, wine.  Great way to keep the mind and palette active.   Wanted to share them so more people can learn about them (or nod and say — oh yeah, I’ve been loving that for ages, glad she’s finally caught on).

#1 — Gin & Tonic, the wonderful G&T, with cucumber vs. lime.  The important part about this concoction is that you MUST muddle the cukes to release the juice, you need good gin (everybody does have their favorite — mine is Bombay Sapphire but I will never turn down a host who provides Hendrick’s) and apparently if you don’t use Q tonic, why bother making it?  The things you learn.  There are apparently some measurements to this drink which could/would not be revealed…

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#2:  Westmalle Trappist  Ale Tripel.  It was the kickoff to college football.  Great Belgian beer to enjoy while sitting on the couch watching sports for many hours.  This stuff is potent — 9.5% alcohol!  It’s good to be watching football because you don’t want to drive for awhile and the food you eat while being sedentary for hours on end soaks up that percentage.  My friend served it in the appropriate glass to which you fill to the 33cl line.

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#3:  Bloem Red.  Amazing wine from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.  Since I’m headed there next year I want all the ‘amuse-bouche’ I can get.  It had a light-medium body with fruit and spice.  Was enjoying this over Labor Day weekend and it was served with just that perfect chill for a red that made it even better.  It’s a blend of about 65/35 Syrah/Mourvedre.

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May these inspire you for the weekend to come.