On a cold day in the middle of winter, I couldn't think of a better way to spend an otherwise drab Tuesday evening. The evening highlighted five wines from the three properties of Charles Back: Goats Do Roam, Spice Route and Fairview.
|Table is set for a great night|
I was excited to try the wines and to meet the recognized winemaker. I was also looking forward to listening to that South African accent! South Africa looks like such a picturesque place to visit. Located on the trading route with the East, the region has been colonized by many throughout history. Ships would stop in South Africa to replenish supplies which often included fortified wines. With the influence of the Dutch, English and French, it is rich with history, culture and of course, wine. The wines are often a good value but sadly, overlooked by many. I should feature more of them on the blog. One thing that was very apparent throughout the evening was that South Africans have both pride and passion when it comes to their wines.
|Charles Back and|
|Goats are awesome|
Other funny wine labels that are a bit close to their French counterparts:
Bord Doe (as in Bordeaux)
Goat Door (like in Cote d'Or Burgundy)
Goat-Roti (similar to the famous Rhone appellation of Cote Rotie)
Ok, I can see how the French would be a bit perturbed but really, I think it's playful and ultimately a sign of flattery to these classic regions. I love the hommage to the Godfather with ...wait for it...The Goatfather. Classic!
The food and wine pairings for the evening. Prepare to salivate...
|Goats do Roam|
I just love the label. This wine is a no-fuss sipper. A blend of Vigonier, Roussane and Grenache Blanc. Good value.
|Togarashi Crusted Rare Tun|
|Spice Route |
|Crisp Tempura Calamari|
"Darling is increasingly regarded as a prime Sauvignon Blanc growing area in the Western Cape. Spice Route’s vineyards on the rolling hills outside this sleepy town are less than 8km from the Atlantic Ocean and its cooling breezes are instantly apparent if one visits the site." - www.spiceroutewines.co.za
|Viet Lamb Chop|
Made with classic Rhone varietals which include Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre. Lots of ripe juicy fruit. A hint of spice with smooth tannins. A good burger wine.
|Kobe Beef Burger|
What is Pinotage?
This is a grape that is unique to South Africa. It's a cross (having two different parent varietals) between the warmer-climate Cinsault grape and the cooler-climate Pinot Noir. I sometimes find this grape variety to be a hit or miss. The Fairview was enjoyable. With ripe black fruit, spice and hints of coffee (I'd like a slim mocha frap please!), it paired well with the Kobe Beef burger.
|Spice Route Shiraz|
Note to self, clean up my phone once in a while.
The food paring was Peking Duck.
2009 Spice Route Shiraz $24.95
This was my favourite red of the night. It had such enjoyable fruit, spice and above all, good acidity that helped tie everything together into a well balanced wine.
Check out the WineAlign community!
It's a wonderful resource for wines available at the LCBO, right at your fingertips.