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Wine Blog

Brilliant: South African wine, part one.

Where does one begin?

Perhaps… ‘Brilliant.’

Yes, that is a word I have heard numerous times this weekend come out of the attractively accented South African mouths.  It is also precisely the word I would use to describe my experience with their wines I have sampled.

So often these distinctive wines are poo-pooed by wine snobs.  They are written off as simple, weird, and smelling of burnt rubber.  Do a few fit this model?  Sure.  No generalization creates itself overnight.  No world class wine region creates itself overnight either.  South Africa has seen its ups and downs over the past 350 years, but it is beginning to find its voice once again—post-Apartheid—and they are presenting the world with sensational wines and equally remarkable price points.

This weekend marks the 19TH Annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs, put on by our Denver store’s sister store in the Springs: Coaltrain Wine & Spirits.  This year, they are featuring the “Wines of South Africa.” The event began last night with a Grand Tasting of all wines around the world that come into the state of Colorado at the Broadmoor Hotel.  Today have been more serious wine seminars.

I will attempt to highlight bits and pieces of this weekend in a few separate blogs, so as to make it a bit easier to digest.


About mistralwine1982

Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to Colorado in 2005 in order to get closer to the mountains and rock climb. When it occurred to me that I would never make money with that hobby, I went to grad school. I received a masters in English and American Literature from New York University in May of 2009. I have since then opted not to pursue a PhD, for studying and writing about wine is far more fascinating (well, perhaps not moreso than Virginia Woolf, but still… for the long haul?). My favorite wines come from the old world, especially the Rhone, Burgundy, Rioja, Piedmont, and Tuscany. I am also smitten with roses, Italian hard-to-pronounce white varietals, and dessert wines from around the world. By day I run a wine shop. By nite, I sip and tell. It’s rough… but someone must do this.


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