I have spent a good few weeks trying to think of what I should write about in our first wine blog and thought why not follow on from Noodle's Food Memories post. We all got in to wine in one way or another, for me it was being brought up with wine by my father. My dad is a pilot and has travelled the world several times over, both he and mum have always been into wine from as far back as I can remember with dad bringing back bottles from his travels. My first sip of wine, I am sure was the same as everyone; ‘Ewww, why would people drink that!’ On special occasions I would get a small thimble full to feel like a grown up lady at the table and slowly I became hooked and fascinated that you could make all these different wines from just grapes. For years the only thing I would drink was red wine, specifically Bordeaux style (a bit odd for a person just coming in to wine) My love for white wine only started when I became a Sommelier many years later.
To this day one of my favourites is Meerlust, Rubicon from South Africa, especially the 2003:
Intense aromas of black currant, tobacco, smokey grilled meats, all brought together with a wonderful mineral note. This wine is possibly one of the best vintages in my opinion with good tannin structure, lush and sexy dark fruit flavours yet still fantastically smooth already but could also be aged a while longer to really develop. (Meerlust is widely available in the UK from a few merchants at varying prices)
Meerlust is not only an amazing, well made and truly decadent wine, but one that is rooted deep into our family history and a wine that my father and I have enjoyed together for many years. One of the most recent memories is back to my brother’s 21st, before we all went away for the official party we had a small formal family dinner. Mum cooked up a storm. We got the fine china and silverware out and in true Robertson fashion opened up a few bottles of the 2003 to celebrate (the 2003 in no longer available and I think we have 3 bottles left). Food and wine is a big part of my family life, it brings us together in this busy world around one table to just enjoy each other’s company, technology not included. The whole Meerlust range are wines that I would buy, drink and enjoy for the rest of my life.
Another wine that holds a lot of memory for me is Tassenberg. Tassenberg is a simple inexpensive red wine from South Africa. While it is not in the calibre of Meerlust, it is a cooperative wine, which in a good week could be one of the top South African wines relabeled. I was presented a bottle on my 21st birthday by Nicolé in her speech with the line of ‘Stephanie is like a bottle of Tassies, enjoyable in small quantities but have too much and it’ll give you a headache.’ All said in jest of course. I mention this because if it wasn’t for Nicolé’s passion for wine inspiring me all the way through college I would not be where I am today. Cheers to my Noodle as we embark on this super exciting next chapter of our lives! I remember a few months after that birthday one of us was having a bad day so we cracked open the Tassies while sitting at my dad’s wee bar in the house, sipping away and laughing away the bad day. The wine its self is not a bad wine but nothing to write home about. It is one of those wines I will always remember with great fondness as it helped develop a wonderful friendship. (Tassies is available in the UK from St Marcus 020 8878 1898 £6.70)
As you have probably noticed both of these wines are South African, this is where I first developed my love for wine. Naturally as this we are originally from. These are just two of the many wines that I have fond memories of, but they do stick out the most in my mind, maybe I am feeling a bit nostalgic this evening. Next time we will touch on how to break into the wine world without panicking! Until next time – Happy Drinking!
What are some of your wine memories? We would love to hear them!
Love Pookie xx
Father and I enjoying a glass of wine in Napa Valley together - 2014
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain