Spice up your wine selection this festive season
16 December 2015
You can also listen to these podcasts directly from the Old Mutual App, which is available here.
Brad Brown: Welcome onto this edition of Old Mutual Live and as we head towards the back end of 2015, it’s crazy to believe that the year is just about done and dusted. Festive season approaching, a lot of people in the mind set of taking the rest of the year off already. We’re spending lots of time with friends, family and loved ones and what a great time of the year to enjoy this wonderful country that we live in and a couple of fabulous glasses of wine.
I thought we’d get someone back onto the podcast today who has been on a couple of times before. She knows wine backwards and knows exactly what goes with what and it’s a great pleasure to welcome Kirstin Ulbrich onto the podcast, Kirstin welcome, nice to catch up once again.
Kirstin Ulbrich: Yes, for the last time of 2015 Brad.
BB: Compliments of the season to you, it’s hard to believe that this year has just buzzed by the way it has, but I wanted to chat a little bit today about what are some of the trends and what’s hot for festive season in South Africa 2015.
Obviously people in northern hemisphere climates, it’s cold, it’s wintery, but summer in South Africa, this time of the year it’s magnificent and we do produce some magnificent wines as well and I want to find out what would you suggest are some of the must-drinks this festive season.
What to drink when relaxing over the festive season
KU: Well, for me the festive season always has kind of two parts. It has the celebration part and the eating too much and drinking too much with your family, but it also has that relaxation part, the part where you just get to sit on your patio and read your book and drink a glass of wine while you’re doing it.
I want to suggest to the listeners wines in both of those categories. I’m longing to go and do that, we’ll start with the sitting on your patio wines. For that I would definitely suggest the De Grendel Rose. I know that a lot of people are quite critical of Rose and they think it’s just red and white wine mixed together and all sorts of horrible things like that; but I can assure you that that is not the case.
The De Grendel Rose is one of my absolute favourites. It’s not a very sweet wine and I think that’s why it’s quite nice to just drink on its own while you’re sitting and watching the birdies fly around. It’s a Pinotage and a Cab Sav blend and there’s some fantastic tastes and notes of watermelon and strawberries. What makes it even better is that it’s got a low alcohol content. You can have an extra glass or two before really noticing the effect.
BB: It sounds fantastic, that’s definitely one I’m going to check out. Anything else from the ‘patio range’ so to speak?
KU: On the patio range, yes, so Stone Town Sauvignon Blanc at some of my Savvy Sister tastings, this one has really split out. It’s made by Spice Route and at R62 a bottle I think it’s absolutely perfect. It’s not going to bankrupt you if you need to drink an extra bottle or two. It’s perfect for the Sauvignon Blanc drinkers, I think they’re going to be quite surprised by this wine. It’s a really good quality wine and ja, as I say, R62 a bottle, I really think that should be in your patio portfolio.
BB: That’s fantastic value, definitely one I’m going to check out as well. Kirstin, what else have you got?
Bubble your way through Christmas and New Year
KU: So then we’re moving onto Christmas dinner, Christmas lunch time with the family, celebrating and of course Christmas and New Year is all about bubbles. Bubble, bubbles, bubbles and South Africa does some fantastic bubbles and I have three that I would like to suggest to people.
Starting with that store bought that we all know, that perfect go-to bubble is the Simonsig range. Simonsig are kind of known as the founding fathers of the MCC. They were the first ones to make MCC in the country and that Kaapse Vonkel is something that most people know, they recognise, everybody enjoys it. So if you’re looking for a really solid reliable wine, Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel is definitely the way to go.
Then we have L’Ormarins, it’s part of the Anthony Rupert portfolio and it’s really just, out of this world. They have both a pink one and a white one and I really suggest that people, I’m not going to say too much about it, they must just go and try it out for themselves.
BB: Fantastic and number three?
A winning reasonably priced bubbly
KU: Number three which at Savvy Sisters was an absolute winner, hands down, is the De Wetshof Pinot Noir Brut. That fact that it’s made from Pinot Noir is what makes it a little bit different. It’s a 2008 vintage and at R172.50 a bottle, it’s what you’re going to save for the toast, it’s not something that you’re going to be drinking by your pool. But the brioche notes, the creaminess, just the fruitiness that comes from taking a sip of that, the De Wetshof Pinot Noir Brut is just out of this world. Those are my three bubbles that I would suggest.
BB: Absolutely fantastic. As far as pairing goes, do we need to be really pedantic about it and say, if you’re having a braai, this is what you should be drinking. Or if you’re having a big sit down roast on Christmas Day, this is what you should be drinking or is it a case of finding what you love and enjoying it?
Pair what you love with your festive meal
KU: I would go with that Brad. I think the wine industry has kind of been led astray far too much by dictating to people what they should be drinking with which meals and really, all that matters is whether you like it or not. If this is your favourite wine and you want to drink a glass of it, go for it.
What’s fantastic about bubbles is that of course it goes with almost everything. You’re not going to go wrong by serving bubbly with your meal, if you are worried about that kind of thing. What I can suggest though for dessert, I thought that might be quite an interesting thing because Banters and all sorts of things, they might not be having dessert.
Although I hope that they put that aside for the day and just enjoy what’s out there. For those people who are kind of looking to limit their sugar intake, this would be an option because you can then leave out the dessert itself and just drink wine and so I have two suggestions there for you. First would be the Pierre Jourdan Ratafia, which is a fortified wine and it really, it’s something different.
Just pour yourself a little glass of that and enjoy it and then for the people who really want to treat themselves, the Vin de Constance by Klein Constantia. I’m sure all your ladies will know that the Vin de Constance was mentioned in 50 Shades of Grey and it was also featured at one of the queen’s dinners.
The Vin de Constance is just, you will get as much satisfaction out of a glass of Vin de Constance as you will from that slice of cheesecake or that Christmas pudding. All else kind of fades into oblivion when you have a glass of this in front of you, it’s just phenomenal and people really should treat themselves to a bottle.
BB: There you go, I think that’s fabulous advice heading into the festive season. Is there anything else you would like to leave us with Kristin or is that pretty much your picks for festive season 2015?
KU: That is my picks for the festive season 2015 and like I said earlier, if you like it, you should drink it and you should enjoy it.
BB: I think that advice we should all take to heart and that’s the way we should drink the wines we love. If you love it, drink it. It’s as simple as that –
KU: If you love it, drink it, let’s do that.
BB: It doesn’t get much more complicated, you don’t need to complicate things. Kirstin, thank you so much for your time once again, have yourself a wonderful festive season. I hope you do get to relax a little bit with friends and family and charge into 2016 all revved up and ready to go.
All the best with Savvy Sisters as well and we’ll pop the links to that in the show notes of where people can find out more about it and listen to the podcast when we did chat about what you’re up to and ja, I hope 2016 is all that you wish for.
KU: Thank you so much Brad and the same to you and we’ll see you next year.