Wondering which wines to pair with the turkey – and all its trappings – at your Christmas table this year? Or looking for fresh varieties with which to treat friends at your annual Festive Season get-together?  Want to know what’s the wine or MCC of the moment, or which red to lay down for a couple of years? Then we’ve got the perfect event for you.

Join us at The Old Village on 30 November from 6 to 9 pm for The Constantia Village Annual Wine Tasting Evening, hosted in partnership with Pick n Pay Liquors. One of the most popular events on our calendar, fine wines will be available, paired with select nibbles and tasty bites from The Old Village restaurants.

Expand your wine horizons

The world is bigger than Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, according to wine merchant and aficionado, Roland Peens, with South African wine consumers increasingly keen to discover the myriad exciting wines on the ever-expanding market.

Our event, which is free to our customers, showcases the wine and food on offer at The Old Village, and it’s the perfect place to broaden your knowledge about what’s in this season, where and how it’s made and the expert winemakers behind it.

Wine trends this season

This season Rosé is coming into its own as the Premium Rosé category grows in popularity world-wide. Beautifully crafted bubblies and MCCs (especially Pinot Noir MCCs) are also occupying centre stage and what better way to welcome guests to your home than with a glass of chilled lightly sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé? Come and taste a selection of Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, which will match your turkey roast perfectly, or a smooth Merlot or Shiraz.

Well-stored vintage South African wines have become very sought-after with premium reds of between five to eight years old in high demand.

 

Wine tasting: the ins and outs

If you’re keen to approach our event with a curious mind, here’s a quick how-to on serious wine tasting.

Appearance: A wine’s appearance reveals a lot about it. It should look clear, bright and appealing. There shouldn’t be effervescence, although a few lazy bubbles around the edge of the wine or at the base of the glass is nothing to worry about.

Colour: Whites tend to deepen in colour with age, while reds generally get paler. With whites, the colour usually fades towards the rim of the glass. With reds, often the colour in the glass is darker than that on the rim. This is why serious tasters usually hold their glass at an angle when tasting, and white tablecloths and natural light are de rigueur for serious tasting sessions.

Legs or tears: A wine’s “legs” or “tears”, which form when you swirl the glass around and allow the wine to settle, indicate high sweetness or alcohol – not quality.

It’s all in the nose: Contrary to popular belief, we don’t taste with our mouths but with our nose. The smell of wine comes to us in two ways: firstly, by physically smelling the glass, and secondly, by what is called retro-olfaction. This is when we experience smell when the wine vapour in the mouth reaches the nasal cavity via the back of the mouth.

Sniff and swirl: Experts often sniff the glass before it’s filled with wine to check that it’s not dirty or smells of detergent. Once your glass is filled (usually about one-third full), give it a quick sniff then swirl it around. Then give it another sniff, making it long and deep. You will notice the difference in smell than before you swirled it.

What are you looking for? Cleanliness, intensity of character and the character itself.

The aroma wheel: Now take a sip, making sure you get a reasonable amount of wine in your mouth. As the mouth detects different tastes in different places, what you taste can be defined in the following way: you’ll taste sweetness first, followed by acidity, which we detect on the side of the tongue. The other tastes we can detect are bitterness and salt. Your palate will detect tannins, fruit intensity and character and body.

Spit or swallow? If you’re going to tasting scores of wines, you’ll become inebriated if you swallow them all. This is why spitting is perfectly acceptable!

It’s all about character: A huge array of flavour characters are found in grapes, ranging from raspberry to violets, green fruit to butterscotch and plum, apricot and lemon. Go figure!

Join us

Don’t miss this exciting event. To attend our popular Wine Tasting Evening at The Old Village on 30 November, simply pick up at invitation at the information kiosk (open during shopping centre hours) at the main centre before the event. Then, on the evening, swap your invitation for a tasting glass and enjoy the evening. We can accommodate 250 guests, and the invitation is on a first-come, first-served basis so don’t delay – get your invite today.

SOURCE: Teach yourself wine tasting by Godfrey Spence (Wine & Spirit Education Trust)

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