Wednesday, October 10, 2007

South Africa - I Like What I See


Fresh off my prediction last week, fans have been asking me what to expect this weekend. Firstly, I'm no Jimmy the Greek. (Maybe a little Oracle of Delphi.) Visions just come to me, usually with a touch of help from quality wine. Mostly though, I just pay attention and call 'em like I see 'em. That said, I'm happy to report what I see. (Inspired by the pages of Esquire.) Great things are coming out of South Africa. A land full of physical beauty, exotic wonderment and very tasty wine. To experience my vision just try a bottle of Kumkani Pinotage 2004.

I've shared the wisdom of South Africa's Pinotage before, and I don't want readers to think it is the only varietal they grow. In fact, I'm here to argue that South African wines and wine producers will soon be making much more noise in these parts of the world. (Start planning your 2010 tour of Stellenbosch now.) Still, for those that have not yet experienced the beauty of South Africa I suggest starting with Kumkani Pinotage 2004.

Upon pouring the first glass, aromas of summer berries and exotic spice greet the nose. On the pallet the wine shows focused ripe berry, creamy spice and vanilla flavors. Make sure to enjoy the long silky finish before biting into a nice piece of steak, pizza or wild game.

Less than a prediction and more a statement of fact, I see many things of beauty coming from South Africa, one of which is Kumkani Pinotage 2004.

Friday, October 05, 2007

True - Opus One & USC good not great


I've made some crazy bets in my life but this one,... well I think I've out done myself. A couple beers into happy hour I found myself stuck talking to an arrogant USC fan. (Perhaps I should have stay more refined with a glass of wine.) Tired of hearing how great USC has been over the years, my beer soaked brain couldn't stop my mouth as I prophesied a Saturday loss befalling the blessed Trojans.

It wasn't all crazy talk, knowing that two fifths of the starting O-line was injured the week prior and knowing how lackadaisical the team's attitude seems to be regarding pac-10 play, I think I have a shot. But seriously, I was overcome by a voice not mine. (Maybe it is a prophetic sign). Mostly it was just a way to get the Tommy Trojan wannabee to put up or shut up. Which he did. On the line for me twenty bucks. (I think he wanted to feel generous) On the line for him slightly more. Forgoing the points, wanting to make him pay and more over wanting something to enjoy the upset, I felt my payout deserves to be a bottle of Opus One.

Constantly marketed as one of Napa's top Bordeaux-style wines, Opus One brings together the great wine-making tradition and innovations of the Robert Mondavi and Ch√Ęteau Mouton Rothschild families. Thanks to the hype Opus One remain a hard to find wine.

I'll will be interesting to sample this wine. I'm guessing it will be good, velvety, expressive but much like the #1 team I'm betting against, overrated. Before I get the chance to judge for myself I'll need a little help from the boys in California wine country. I can't wait for the wine know as Opus One to kiss my lips,...fingers crossed