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Best South Africa Wine Tasting

Simonsig Wine Estate Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose paired with smoked salmon

Last month Kathy and I participated in an online tasting of five wines from Simonsig Wine Estate in South Africa. These were among our favorite wines we have had from South Africa. This was our first online tasting that utilized YouTube. We had only one little hitch, a browser quit but a relaunch solved the issue. It was interesting to taste the wines while listening and seeing the winemaker and owners discuss the wines and answer our questions. 

The line-up of wines included:
Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose
Chenin Blanc
Redhill Pinotage
Frans Malan Red Blend

Since the tasting was done during our lunch time on the East Coast, during the evening in South Africa, I decided to grill a turkey breast and pair it with the Pinotage. First however, was salmon paired with the sparkling wine. Alaska smoked salmon on club crackers was paired with Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose 2016. The color of the wine matched the color of the salmon. This was a flavorful combination that complimented and cleansed the palette. 

Our next course was a turkey breast with an African Peri Peri Spice Rub paired with 2015 Redhill Pinotage. The spices on the turkey matched the wine without overpowering it. The fruit of the wine added a nice dimension to the turkey. African Peri Peri Spice Rub is a mix of spices from South Africa. It is excellent to rub on meats and then grill.

As with prior online wine tastings, I heeded Eric Asimov’s challenge to use non-traditional wine descriptions. He challenged us at the Wine Bloggers Conference. Since then, I have written haiku’s to describe the wines. 

Redhill Pinotage paired with grilled turkey rubbed with Peri Peri Spice Rub


Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose 2016 Haiku:

Light salmon color
Center mousse, lively mouthfeel.
Citrus and apple.

2017 Chenin Blanc Haiku:

Fruity tropicals
Melon, guava, and grapefruit.
Nice aperitif. 

2015 Pinotage Haiku:

Dark ruby perfume.
Fruity burst with cloves, nutmeg.
Quaffable. Want more.

2015 Redhill Pinotage Haiku:

Pinotage Red Hill
Velvet feel meets spice and fruit.
Rocking chair on porch.

2015 Frans Malan Cape Blend Haiku:

Perfume, vanilla
Plays with plums and cedar wood.
Bold tannins calling.

During our tasting, our next door neighbor was having tree trimmers scale his 80-foot tree and trim it. He sat in a lounge chair and observed what at times seemed like aerobics. We took him a glass of the Red Hill Pinotage. He returned the empty glass and commented how much he enjoyed it. We did too.


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