One little guy – 90 top rated wines – one night
For a guy who loves wine, especially red wine, this was like dangling 90 delicious donuts in front of Homer Simpson. Only one top rated red wine from each of 90 estates was on show including some that I’d been platzing to taste but hadn’t gotten round to visiting the estate yet. Wines like Vilafonté Series M and Waterford Estate Jem Red are all well over a grand a bottle so to be able to wrap my taste buds around 90 wines in this league for the price of the ticket was a no brainer. With a hall pass from my wife, who is extremely allergic to sulphites and can’t drink wine without erupting like a three year old with a head cold, I hailed an Uber and headed off to fantasy world.
There’s no way I can describe all 90 wines – you’ll get about as bored reading about it as I was inebriated after doing my level best to sip lightly and spit, but some of those wines were too delicious to waste, so I took one for readers of this blog, and swallowed hard. And I swallowed a lot.
There was a list as long as my arm of the top of the top wineries with flagship wines on display, plus some estates that I discovered for the first time at the show.
One of my best surprises of the evening was that the winemakers and owners of some of the estates were there, and although the encounters were very brief and I’m sure none of them remember the little guy with the wine blog, for me it was one of the highlights of the show to meet these folk and hear them talk about their wines. I met David Finlayson wines at Edgebaston vineyard, Erika Obermeyer Wines, Daniel de Waal from Super Single Vineyards, Gerald from Holden Manz Wine Estate and a random very tall guy who I just had to take a picture with. Amazing how friendly people get after 90 tasters of wine.
In the end I got to taste almost all of the 90 wines. I ran out of time and missed the last of the red blends, but they’re all on the evening’s list so I know who they are and where to find them. Wines that stood out for me were these ones:
The KWV The Mentors Perold 2018
Flagstone Wines One Velvet
Bellingham Wines Small Barrel SMV 2018
The Flagship Petit Verdot 2015
Boekenhoutskloof Winery Stellenbosch Cab Sav 2019
Le Riche Wines Reserve Cab Sav 2018
Hartenberg Wine Estate Gravel Hill 2016
Hermanuspietersfontein Wines Swartskaap 2015
I tried to find Caroline to get a pic, but she was lost among the reds.
If the organizers get to read this post, the crystal wine glass included with my ticket price wasn’t branded with the show logo, it was just a plain ol’ glass that’s mingling anonymously with my other glasses, so if you’ve got a spare, I’ll swop you!
Great event for serious wine lovers. Make sure you get there when the gates open because there’s literally just enough time in the 4 hours the show is open to get to all the tables and stagger back to your ride home.