Come (guess the) Wine With Us!

Noble Savage (he said):

It’s not always easy living in the Capital City. Capetonians think Gauteng is a single city where everyone kills each other (even though they have worse traffic and a higher murder rate), and the Pretoria-region is trying to steal their Parliament. Jozi-ites think we wear blue shirts on Saturdays while shouting at the TV and getting rat-assed drunk on Klippies and Coke. And the rest of the country think Pretoria is some mystical place where everyone drives locally built BMW’s while being absolute a-holes on the road. However you look at it, perceptions aren’t great. And that’s why it’s important to start showing the others that some of us do have some culture.

Enter “Come Wine With Us”.  Check out their website for the whole story Come Wine with Us Website. Long story short, CWWU is passionate about good food and good wine!  And they invited us to join their first event in Pretoria – a KWV Food and Wine evening at Blos Cafe!

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Regular readers might remember Zeppelin Bunker Bar, reviewed some time ago. Blos is the restaurant and event venue on top of Zeppelin. If you haven’t read the review yet (and I suggest you scroll down and do that), Blos allows you to forget that you’re in the city. Trees all around, and very little noise from cars and such.

The concept of the evening was not the normal. Instead of getting a glass of wine and some food, we had to take a guess as to which wine we just had. All the bottles were covered in a brown paper bag, and the waiters swore a blood oath not to divulge what we were tasting. The menu cards had a space to write down what was served, and prizes would be given at the end of the night for those who could tell what we were drinking.

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Now I really do like my wine. But when it comes to smelling the difference between cigar notes and tobacco notes, I’m pretty f-ing useless. So I started out feeling a little intimidated. Everyone was seated at long tables, which initially didn’t help my sense of intimidation (mild case of agoraphobia/claustrophobia). But as everyone thoroughly sampled the KWV Shiraz Rose, the vibe became much more relaxed – for myself as well.

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Our first course was a salmon carpaccio. This was paired with a mystery white. Almost immediately I realised I’m like a blind man at a nudist colony – I’m going to have to feel my around this. Mustering all my wine knowledge, I looked, swirled, smelled, and tasted, confident that the varietal would jump out and smack me in the face. And… Nothing! I was sure it could be a Sauvignon Blanc, but there were bits of Chenin smells. At least I was sure it wasn’t a Chardonnay. #blessed.

With my hand trembling, clutching the pen, I aimed for the card. I wrote down Sauvignon Blanc. Then immediately scratched it out, and replaced it with Chenin Blanc. Feeling confident of my choice, I sat back and enjoyed the rest of my wine. After a while, panic set in, and I scratched out Chenin. “I’ll make up my mind later”, I confidently whispered to myself, while wiping away a tear of uncertainty.

Time for mains – Beef Wellington with a mystery red.  (Disclaimer time: my standards for Beef Wellington are unrealistically high, because the Beef Wellington I make is f-king amazing).  In initially thought the pairing would be with a robust red, most likely a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The reality is that most younger wine drinkers don’t care for a heavy, serious wine.  So without even tasting the wine, my logic dictated that they would probably serve a Merlot.

So this was the exact moment that I decided that I will not conform to just writing down the varietal in the space provided. I will give full tasting notes on the back! Unfortunately I might have already been “merry” at this stage, so my tasting notes were, uhm, creative…

For dessert we had an apple crumble, served with a mini toffee apple. This was served with a mystery dessert wine. I didn’t even pretend to know what they served – when it comes to dessert wines and ports, I have no clue!

Then… the ‘awards’ ceremony!  It turns out the mystery what was a Chenin Blanc. And the red was a Merlot.  So between actualy knowing what a Sauvignon Blanck doesn’t taste like, and having sound logic when it comes to the mass market’s perference, I could have had 2/3!  Oh well, at least I won a bottle of KWV Petit Verdot for my creative tasting notes!  (And the dessert wine was a Noble Late Harvest, by the way….)

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This was truly one of the most fun outings we’ve had in a long time! The food was great, as was the wine. KWV again reminded all that they have been playing the game for a while, and they know what they’re doing when committing to a wine. What made it so more fun was the mystery wine angle. With all the guests seated at the long tables, the discussions on what wine it might be traversed the different groups’ imaginary borders, and many new acquaintances were made. We can’t wait for the next event!

P.S. My apologies for the horrible photos. I stupidly left my camera at home, and had to do with using my phone. Obviously, the light was not the best for cell shooting…

Boozy Foodie (she said):

Reading Noble Savage’s take on the evening, it once again reminded me what a fun and ‘different’ experience it was!

We’ve been to a couple of wine tastings and this was truely unique.  It is a very social and fun way of learning abour wine – so no, this isn’t for wine snobs only.  Although they will be kept happy as well 😉

And after this experience I actually realised that I don’t know as much about wine as I thought I did!!  LOL!  I got NONE of the wines right, yes – you read right – a big fat zero out of 3!  Because, doing a blind tasting, it sort of messes with your senses – including your tastebuds.

And me, being the geek that I am, I was immediately googling tasting notes and spending some quality time on KWV’s website to see exactly which wines and varietals and blends and and and….

We buddied up with the couple sharing the table with us (see – making friends and influencing people…. ;)), and it lead to a lot of VERY interactive and funNY discussions – that, believe it or not,  left me even more confused!  LOL!  You would think that by now I would know what’s the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin.  Eish….  As with Noble Savage – I should have just gone with my gut feeling and not overcomplicate things.  But then again, I am a Scorpio.  Always overcomplicating!  But that is a whole different story….

The food was amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed every course – but I must admit, the salmon carpaccio was my favourite!

What also added to this enjoyable and unique experience, was the fact that everyone at the tasting was ‘live Tweeting’ – so the majority of the posts on social media – of what was happening at that exact moment – was being displayed on a big screen for all to share.  Very ‘with it’!

And this is 100% what the aim of this evening was, to SHARE the love for good food and wine in a very social, entertaining and relaxed way – with great company and of course to spend some quality time with fellow-wine lovers.  Soooo much better than just standing at a table, listening to a wine rep doing their spiel, while sipping on samples and nodding in agreement.

A fabulous concept CWWU – thank you for inviting us!  So looking forward to the next one!

If you want any further proof of how enjoyable this experience was, check out the event photos posted on their Facebook page Come Wine With Use Facebook Page

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