The trick to attending a wine fundi’s party is to arrive early. Just as I did last week when attending a birthday soirée thrown by a vinous vixen. Her fridge was heaving with bottles of wine waiting for the 40-odd guests expected to arrive an hour later. But with these wino types you have to know that they are going to kick-off their party with some really good stuff. So it was music to my ears when she said: “Let’s crack a special bottle before the hordes arrive.”
One of the many Cape estates experiencing an endless summer of wine tourism success is Simonsig, and this is no surprise. The Stellenbosch farm has always been a wine tourism pioneer. In the 1970’s legendary patron Frans Malan played a lead role in engineering wine tourism in South Africa and as far back as I can remember Simonsig has always been known as a winery with open doors and a hospitable, welcoming atmosphere.
All palates are created equal, but some are created more equal than others. No matter, with a bit of training and discipline you too can taste wine like an aficionado, using your skill to contribute to sighted and unsighted wine guides, holding court at fancy dinner parties and be able to sweep a recently Wine Judging Academy babe from her feet.
But it takes a bit of hard work, so be warned: honing a palate is not for sissies or persons unwilling to experiment with the things they put in their mouths.