Wine So Serious?

IMG_1487What used to be a titillating weekend pastime with friends has now been reduced to a  dull, narcolepsy inducing, snobberific afternoon of swishing, swirling and spitting – SPITTING! I’m not sure about you but when I taste wine, unless it’s dreadful, I fully intend to swallow!  In fact, the whole thing has started to take itself just a little too seriously.  What I want to know is when in the hell did some wine snob decide that drinking wine with

friends be accompanied by pretentious conversation over correct stem wear, ‘good years’ and the best vintages to come out of Burgundy, Bordeaux or Bedrock for oenophiles sake?

Recently I have found myself ushered into an architecturally designed cellar

door and directed towards a  gleaming, chrome and polished oak bar.  Lavishly decorated with vintage bottles and industrial decore  I  watch myself in the mirror adorned splash back, cleavage exposed as I am forced to stand and lean forward onto the bar.  I am able to fully appreciate

my over forty reflection and crinkling decolletage, under harsh lighting, as the red wine stains my teeth.  I am served and eyeballed by an eighteen year old sommelier who is incredibly self assured with his hipster facial hair, gravity defying quiff and  slightly crooked RSA badge.  I am often overcome with manic eye ball rolling as I endure a lecture on the differences between the copper-gold or pale green-yellow of my (apparently not) white wine.

“ENOUGH”, I say, “I wish to enjoy my wine.  Let me be at one with my glass child!” 

If I’m honest.. I can’t remember the last time I swirled just one standard, legal measure of wine and said “Mmmm, full-bodied.  Hints of gooseberry and nutmeg on the nose,with just a slight whiff of unicorn testicle.  However I shall withhold my verdict until it hits my mid-palate”.  In fact I am 100% positive that this has never, ever happened. Borderline alcoholic?.. maybe.  Middle aged  business owner with a couple of kids and a busy life? Absolutely.  Isn’t that why they made wine?

Despite my recent lack of interest last week my girlfriend (The Slapper) and I decided to head out to Cape Jaffa Wines, just North of Robe, on The Limestone Coast. We’d heard about a new tasting experience they were doing – ‘Wine Flights’. Although excited about an afternoon in great company with good wine, I know the owners and I hate flying.   I didn’t really want to be seen ‘eyeballs a rolling’, as I huffed through yet another wine ‘education’.  I also didn’t want them to know just how uneducated about wine I am.  In fact I only know two things about wine.  One – I like it.  Two – I really like it.

As soon as we entered the cellar door my fears were allayed.  Our hostess Renae was delightful.  Funny and relaxed.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, she knew her stuff alright but her only concern was if we liked what we were tasting, which one was our favourite and would we like a top up?  The ‘Wine Flight’ part of the experience is just a way of tasting multiple wines at once – it gives you a greater understanding of the region or of the different varieties. The setting was relaxed, more akin to how I enjoy wine at home – long tables, comfortable chairs and laughter.

The platter we ordered was bountiful, the wines delicious, the dropping in of the gum-boot clad vintage staff who would stop and chat and share a glass refreshing.  There’s a grounded reality at Cape Jaffa Wines I haven’t seen before.  It feels like you are a part of something special, something that is connected to the earth and the best bit?  You don’t feel like an idiot, you feel like a customer.

The Slapper & My Recommendation:  Organise a driver,  you won’t be able to stop after the tastings.

Cape Jaffa Wines: Click here for details

This is an independent review, written purely for the joy of writing (and drinking wine) 🙂

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