It is with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I announce that the wine column for Mother City News has moved to Joburg! The big smoke! While it might seem counterintuitive to write a wine column from the heart of Gauteng, fear not. I assure you the liquor stores here are just as well stocked as in the Western Cape, and so I will continue to taste lots of wine and work remotely even though there isn’t a vine in sight.
Over the last two years I seem to have vastly neglected one category of wine: rosé. I didn’t mean to leave it out, it just fell by the wayside. Especially as my recent Chenin Blanc obsession (in the last six months I have written two columns on Chenin Blanc alone) has taken over my wine list. But no more, this month I plan to give rosé the spotlight it deserves.
Rosé can be made from any variety of red grape. The characteristic pink colour is created by leaving the grapes in contact with the skins for anything from 2 to 20 hours. The grapes are then pressed and the skins discarded, leaving us with colours ranging from light onion skin to deep salmon.
By far my favourite cost-effective and delicious rosé is the Darling Cellars Reserve Pyjama Bush Rosé. However, a few other noteworthy rosé’s include the Van Loveren Daydream (a very light Chardonnay/ Pinot noir blend) and the Groote Post Limited Release Pinot Noir Rosé (fresh and crisp with hints of Turkish delight and watermelon). Recently I have also tried the Peter Falke Blanc de Noir. The Blanc de Noir – literally meaning light from dark – is made from Cabernet sauvignon grapes. The grapes are kept in minimum contact with the skins and the juice is immediately drained from the press. While the process is fascinating, I found the wine itself to be slightly underwhelming. Having so enjoyed the Peter Falke Sauvignon Blanc, I was expecting a well-rounded and medium bodied wine with flavours distinctive of a Cabernet sauvignon. Instead, I found it to be slightly sharp, although not unenjoyable. I do believe it would pair well with salads, particularly a pear, pecan nut and rocket or prosciutto, melon and mozzarella salad. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
I would also like to mention the Bon Courage Lady of the House Pinotage Rosé. This rosé is (obviously) made from Pinotage grapes and it has strong aromas of strawberries and slightly unripe nectarines. On the palate it is light, fresh and tastes like rose petals, or maybe rose Turkish delight? I can say for absolute certainty that it pairs beautifully with a plate of fresh berries and some almond nougat as an after-dinner treat.
In conclusion, let us raise a glass to good rosé and Cyril opening liquor stores on weekends post-haste.
Darling Cellar Pyjama Bush Rosé – R65 @ The Darling Wine Shop
Van Loveren Daydream – R74 @ Makro
Groote Post Limited Release Pinot Noir Rosé – R90 @ Groote Post Cellar
Peter Falke Blanc de Noir – R160 @ Peter Falke Cellar
Bon Courage Lady of the House Pinotage Rosé – R74,90 @ Spar Tops