05/17/06 – South Africa part 1

By Jesse on May 15, 2006


I hope you all had as lovely a weekend as I did.  Props to Leah for hosting an awesome party.  It definitely seemed like a good time was had by all who attended, even that really drunk young woman who unceremoniously tumbled into the huge pile of shoes that someone had the foresight to put behind her.  And congratulations to the Young Winos’ first documented case of de facto matchmaking!  Apparently once under the influence of a few glasses of vino, romance just might chance to blossom.  How exciting is that?  Best of luck to you two.  Who’s gonna be the Young Winos’ next celebrity hook-up?  I’m banking on Brett and Max.

This Tuesday evening we’re making our first departure from Europe since 2005, and our first port of call is the apartheid-ridden shell-of-a-country known as South Africa.  The history of wine production in the regions surrounding Cape Town dates back several centuries to the days of initial Dutch colonization.  South African wines were apparently favorites of both Otto von Bismarck and Napoleon, so we’ll see if any of you guys develop any imperialist tendencies over the next couple weeks.

We’ll start out with reds on Tuesday since we’ve done white three weeks straight now.  South Africa has three important red grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Pinotage.  Some Merlot is also grown, but it’s apparently not very good, so lets stick to those three.  You’ll recognize two of them, but Pinotage is one we haven’t tasted before.  It’s a genetic cross between Pinot Noir and the French blending grape Cinsaut, and it’s grown basically nowhere else in the world.  Apparently it has some prestige as a “cult” favorite of sorts, like Zinfandel in California.  You should be able to find South African bottles of Cabernet, Shiraz, and Pinotage in your local wine shop, and sometimes in supermarkets as well.

We’ll once again be meeting at Leah’s house in Santa Monica.  Here’s the addy: (deleted by administrator)

Just to spice things up, I would love for everyone to see if they can find something interesting — a fact, an article, an anecdote — about South African wine.  It’s not that I don’t think the wine itself will be fascinating enough… it’s just that I sometimes feel awkward around you guys before I’ve had a few, and I’d like to have something to break the ice.  Ok?  Great.  I appreciate it.

We’ll see you perverts on Tuesday at 9:00.