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August 19, 2005

After a recent olive oil course, were we had to 'nose' the oils as you will do with wine and recognize faults like oxidation and rancidity I realized again how interlinked the world of food and wine is. When you have a cold you cannot taste your food and certainly not wine and all it's aromas.

Lesson no 1 then, learn to smell again. I always tell my students to sniff and smell everything they come into contact with. The smell of the earth after a bout of rain (Pinot Noir) the smell off an apple (riesling), guava( South African Chenin) and many more everyday smells occur in wine.

So if you want to taste wine the best place to start is your kitchen. If you don't venture it there it's time to start! Then learn how to identify these flavors in your wine. Think and sniff deeply, you will recognize it and will bring the two together eventually.

Start with single varieties with prominent flavours like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Shiraz.

Draw up a flavour profile as recommended in wine books (Jancis Robinson's-How to taste wine) and off you go. Remember that everyone's sense of smell is unique and don't worry if you don't smell what the experts smell you will eventually start to smell a wine according to it's flavour profile and be able to name the variety, now wouldn't that be exciting!

Wine recommendation off the week-Knife's Edge Pinot Noir from Wellington South Africa. Never thought that a hot climate area could produce such a fine Pinot Noir, well done Graham Knox and team. Beware this is a big wine so decanting is recommended.

Restaurant functions- If you find yourselves in Johannesburg during August and September you can look forward to the following events;
  • Cellar Rats Spring Festival held in Magaliesburg every year takes place Sunday 28 August. Child friendly and lots of wine to taste. Drivers go in for free.
  • Robert Broom Restaurant in Krugersdorp is hosting Rijk Melck from Muratie Monday 29 August. Booking essential. Call +27 83 272 8533
  • The annual Cape Wine Makers Guild Pre-Auction tasting takes place at the Nedbank atrium in Sandton, best wines in SA don't miss out. Bookings through computicket.
  • Meerendal is hosting a spit braai with their elegant wines at Makro Centurion on 8 September. Bookings essential. Call +27 82 809 3454
  • Post House will be doing their delectable ink black wines and amazing Chenin Blanc in Krugerdorp (venue to be confirmed) with winemaker Nick Gerber 21 September. call +27 82 809 3454
  • The International Wine club will meet Saturday 17 September to taste New World icons in Randburg limited space call+27 82 809 3454

PS Fresh olive oil should smell like freshly cut grass.

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Maud, welcome to the world of blogging.
    Little mistakes and misunderstandings are a vital part.
    They get reaction. Thanks for the plug on Knife's Edge. Read the back label (no Bruce Jack).
    Have a look at and www,technorati/stormhoek.
    I'll link with your blog next week.
    Graham Knox


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