Do you find it hard to understand wine? Do you stand in the wine aisle at the supermarket staring at hundreds of bottles not knowing what to choose? Do you get scared at a restaurant’s wine list and too embarrassed to ask the waiter? Well, first of all Relax and take a deep breath.

I’ve always been taught the following…WINE = FUN!

Don’t let anyone tell you what you should like or dislike. Wine is a personal drink for your palate and no-one else.

There is no rule book about wine and what you should be drinking and not drinking. Just because you might like one variety of wine and your best mate hates it; no-one is right or wrong and that’s why I love this marvelous drink.

Ever had a wine that was not to your taste? Well, don’t give up on it, try the same variety from a different country or different winemaker and I’m sure it will taste totally different.

Most importantly; the thing to remember is to have fun with wine. It brings friends and family together. It is a social drink; we drink it at weddings, funerals and parties. It was even pictured at the last supper!

With my mission to become a Master of Wine I’ve got a long way to go but, I love teaching and talking to people about wine so please contact me with any questions no matter how stupid you might think they are! I will also be giving you guys tips on what to look out for on wine bottles and what you might like to drink during the year. Check out my reviews and maybe try something new this weekend. You never know; that perfect wine could very well be the next bottle you open!

 

 

 

 

Wine For The Weekend…
Weather Station Pinot Grigio Western Cape – South Africa

Nothing gets me more excited at the moment then wine from South Africa and especially from the Western Cape. This wine region is fast becoming the number one place to produce wine in the world.

With areas like Stellenbosch, Cape Point, Swartland and Walker Bay there are so many different styles that there is a wine for everybody. Typical grape varieties found in this area are Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cape Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Shiraz.

These are just a few varieties as there are many, many more and most are used for blending in wine. What I love about South Africa is that being new world wines there are very few rules about what you can grow or blend. 100% of the grapes used must come from the named area of production and if a vintage is stated, 85% of the wine must come from that years harvest. So every year wine can be blended in different ways using a variety of grapes giving you something new to try. Refreshing easy drinking whites to robust full bodied reds the range is endless.

I’ve been lucky enough to try many wines from the Western Cape (It’s a hard job I know) and constancy is the key in making good wine. Always on the look out for producers I haven’t tried yet I came across ‘The Weather Station’ made by winemaker Leon Esterhuizen. With a Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology and with 13yrs experience in winemaking I knew I was in good hands. I had previously tasted some of his other wines a year or so back but never tried his Pinot Grigio. Now when you hear the words ‘Pinot Grigio’ you probably think Italy straight away, and you would be right. It’s an Italian grape variety with a nice refreshing style at a mid-price range. For me, Pinot Grigio is normally a safe bet when you don’t know what to drink. Its quite a geometric easy drinking wine, so when I found a south African using this variety I was very interested indeed. Would it taste different to an Italian style? Does growing the same grape variety in different counties make that much of a difference? The answer is…YES!

Taste Test….

Light in colour with aromas of green apple and pear, a light bodied easy drinking wine that pairs well with seafood, salads and chicken. Flavors of apple and a hint of stone fruit with a long finish. This Pinot Grigio can be drunk on a hot sunny day sitting in the garden with friends or family. This wine is made to drink now and not to lay down. I really think this wine will suit all palates so if you are looking for a wine to take to a dinner party this is the one for you. For the money I think is a very well made wine and is available from M&S.

 

 

 

W| By Paul Laurie                                             @Essexwineman

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