ACHOLA ROSARIO FINDS OUT ‘IN VINO VERITAS‘ AFTER THE WINE TASTING SESSION
By Achola Rosario, Contributing Editor at www.ATCNews.org
(Posted 02nd April 2021)
It is a terrible thing to let someone’s hard work go to waste and I am sure such are the sentiments of ‘vignerons’, currently looking at their lovingly crafted wines being usurped by generic plonk not fit to cook with. Add a general geographic lockdown to the lack of accessibility to a decent vintage, and you have the makings of “Miseria” on a pretty grand scale. But fear not gentle squires and maidens, help is on the way.
Tucked into a cul-de-sac in Girigi’s diplomatic district is a large white house with a large green garden that sells a portfolio of wines you will not find anywhere else, featuring over 80 hand-picked brands, ready for delivery right to your door. Because being locked down does not mean lowering one’s standards. Throw in a comprehensive education about fine wines and how they taste, in your home and in front of your friends, and you have the recipe for becoming the top host/hostess in the area. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want bragging rights in their life, especially when life is darn hard!
Luckily the price of such a seemingly luxurious endeavor will cost you no more than $20-$60 a pop, for a wine tasting in your home that delivers 3 bottles of choice tipple for 4 people at $15 per person. Or if you have that many friends, you can invite up to 12 people for the tasting and have a posh poser’s party at $13 each. Yes, the number of bottles does increase… But the point is, this delivery of quality quaff comes complete with knowledgeable Sommelier and two polished assistants, who take you through the “rigeurs” of tasting wine like a pro, helping you identify those tantalizing endnote perfumes and accurately answering musings on the difference between Champagne and Prosecco. And no, you do not spit the wine out; you are allowed to swallow… all of it even.
My own adventure with Silas Ndung’u the Sommelier at Wine Life in Gigiri revealed that I didn’t know even a tenth of what I thought I knew about wines and the entire viticulture behind it. I dream of being a ‘vigneron’ myself when I retire in the fast approaching future, so my interest in this was purely a fact-finding mission. My palate took over as soon as the Montresor Prosecco was served in a perfect flute, bringing bubbles up at close range to tickle my nose. I tasted honey as soon as the cool liquid trickled down my throat, a surprise because I have been used to the high acidity of young supermarket brands. With upper notes of apple and honeysuckle, this was definitely one to be sampled in the garden, as a prelude to lunch, so the bubbles lighten the mood and get the ladies giggling. The Kamusha Sauvignon Blanc by Tinashe Nyamudoka, a Zimbabwean sommelier who has received rave reviews and a global 4-star rating, was a smooth refreshing offering that had a papaya end-note. The enjoyment was new for me as I never drink white wine, preferring the deceptive security of a full-bodied Red.
Terms I had taken for granted in the description of wine were duly corrected and I got to understand the reason for stating the vintage. The vintage is the bottle age. According to an online dictionary for wine terminology (link below), all quality wines need to be aged in the bottle before being opened. For some wines, this could be a few years. Other wines (for example the First Growths from Bordeaux) in select vintages require 30 years or more to become mature. This is the reason why they are more expensive the older they are. Also, the term “Classic” is not so good, as it generally refers to wine that is less alcoholic, less ripe and more sharp. “Complex” however is a good thing, because it means the wine has many layers of scents and fragrances, such as the Painted Wolves Pinotage 2018 and the Copper Pot Pinot Noir we tasted at Wine Life. I also found out that there is no shame in liking sweet wine, not the ones with added sugar, no. Naturally sweet quality wines do exist and are created using a rare fungus called Noble Rot or Botrytis.
Most people call them dessert wines but they are actually not, and as such we need to unlearn what we know about food and wine. Wine Life have created Corporate Wine Pairing dinners, where they come and cater for you and your guests in your home or location of your choice and take you their range of wines and what food they pair with. These dinners cost a maximum of $60 per person (max. 12 people) and can be custom designed according to your preferred theme such as by country, region or grape variety, or you can throw the book out and go on a taste experience like no other by alerting Bo and Yoeal of Wine Life that you want to try anything new. You will find that what you thought you knew was nothing at all, such as: drink sweet wine with salty food, and hold the glass by the stem not by the bowl. You will warm your glass up and change the flavor of your carefully constructed and chilled to perfection elixir of lockdown youth.
Sweet Bordeaux wines can be served with spicy Asian cuisine, or other, lightly spiced foods, as sweet and spicy often makes for a perfect pairing. Also known as Sauternes, they are best enjoyed with salty cheese, spicy food and of course the best pairing of all, Foie Gras. While Sauternes are considered dessert wines, due to their high levels of sugar and alcohol, more often than not, they do not pair well with dessert. Sauternes and other sweet wines need to be sweeter than what you are eating. Sauternes and oysters on the half shell is a great wine and food pairing and can be served with seafood dishes, especially shellfish, lobster, crab. `
To Book a Wine Tasting or Wine Pairing session in your home/COVID compliant location:
Bo: +254 790 209 403
Bookings and deliveries strictly between 12pm and 5pm
Mention The FOMO Travel Show for a surprise gift.
For wine delivery straight to your door:
+254 110 145 841
To watch The FOMO Travel Show EP64 WINE LIFE @ HOME: