As human beings we were not made to drink slowly. All this gentle restrained slurping and bird-like sipping of liquid is not what the Big Guy had in mind when he put us on earth. No. We were meant to get down on all fours next to the stream or lake and quench that thirst pretty damn quick before a sabre-tooth lion takes you from behind – as it were – or some prick from another tribe deploys his stone axe on that skull for dragging his hairy, shrieking woman to your cave.
Sure we’ve moved on since then, sort of. But now and again one still has the urge to snap back your head, open up the gullet and pour some cold refreshing liquid down your throat as quickly as possible without any pouting or eensie-weensie sips.
Beer has for long been my juice of choice for greedy glugging, but since learning to drink Vaaljapie wine with some vineyard workers way back when, the juice of the fermented grape can also be thrown down with wanton abandon. And enjoyable it is too, especially as it gives you just the right kind of kick when required.
The Portuguese Vinho Verdes are my preferred rapido drinking items. Ice cold, slightly petillant and lined with a fresh and fruity zip, the Verdes are great chugging wines. (I don’t care much for the term “quaff” which sounds like a sex act involving hair-oil and duck-like sounds.)
But if there ever was a South African wine made to hurl down the hatch, it must surely be the Miss Lucy white blend which was unleashed last year by Abrie Bruwer of Springfield Estate in Robertson. What a vibrant, lusty bottle of wine is she not.
Abrie, who Danie de Wet calls the Salvador Dali of the wine industry due to his creative flair, happens to be a keen and skilled fisherman when he is not making wine or hanging out in his pad on the coast of northern France. The Miss Lucy, thus, must be one of Abrie’s dreams come true – a wine with a fish on the label, an elegant critterish addition to the renowned Springfield range.
So, Miss Lucy is fishermen parlance for the Red Stumpnose, a pretty fish that resides on the rocky banks off the Cape’s southern Coast. Miss Lucy is also a very delicious marine animal to eat, hence its position on the SASSI Red List of no-go species.
The wine bearing her name, a combined effort of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Grigio, is not the kind of drop to get members of the industry’s natural, New Age white blend sect foaming in their goatees. For that, Miss Lucy is too conservative: it is not oxidised, the juice runs crystal clear, it has no organic boogers floating around and the stuff actually tastes of wine.
But a white blend it is, and a deliciously drinkable one at that. Actually, the first bottle of Miss Lucy went down without touching sides, so it was only on the second that things slowed down enough to allow for a thought or three.
Noticeable to the max is the tangy presence of the kind of Sauvignon Blanc for which Springfield is known. This fresh and perky zing pretty much carries the wine, which is not to say the Semillon and Pinot Grigio are excluded from the action. The former gives the wine a lovely soft and lingering mouthfeel, while the Pinot Grigio amps-up the fruit structure with dabs of kumquat, green fig and gooseberry.
Its riveting drinkability is the main feature, however. Well-chilled, and accompanied with oysters and braaiied fish, Miss Lucy reminds one of the joys of drinking wine. In my case I paid it the ultimate respect by glugging her with a soup made from the heads of seven Red Stumpnose, one onion and two fresh tomatoes rounded off with a bit of fresh parsley and shaved lemon peel.
Abrie and Dali would have approved. Not to mention the caveman.
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