The word ‘vibe’ is starting to bother me. It’s becoming a word that is used too much, and as such is now one of those words used only because the speaker does not have the requisite vocabulary to stop being repetitive, or is just following the crowd. Before, hopefully, sounding the death knell for this word (on this blog at least) please indulge me while I use it for the last time.
People like to relax and socialise in different ways. Some like to find the same bar stool at the same pub, plonk their arse on it drinking pint after pint until they become expert on everything; which is simply saying the opposite when anyone makes a point and defending that position until the fighting breaks out. They then go home shout at their families and pass out in the bathroom. That’s one vibe.
Others like to spend lots of money and time trying to make themselves look better only to attend ‘exclusive’ parties where there are generally better looking and better dressed people. This leads to a feeling of inadequacy which is generally quelled by snorting vast amounts of coke off the back of a toilet. That’s another vibe.
Then there was our vibe last night. Mida, Madi, Alex and myself went for something a little more elegant and considered, which consisted of intelligent people, excellent food, and fine wine. Superior to most ‘vibes’ I’m sure.
We gathered at Cape Town Girl’s abode and set about tasting the four wines Steenberg had kindly sent along, with some meats and cheeses I had brought with for the tasting. This was my first job as ‘Wine Advisor, Expert and Go-to-Guy-on-All-Things-Scrumptious’ (OK, title needs work) to Cape Town Girl, and I think it went swimmingly.
We started with the Steenberg Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009. The nose was very fresh showing gooseberries, flint, and touch of grassiness; the palate was taught with fresh, juicy acidity and the flintiness carried through. This wine is still a baby and I reckon – especially after having tasted a ‘98 Sauvignon Blanc from Steenberg recently – that it still has a good way to go. I’d squirrel this one away for awhile and buy something like the Man Vintners Sauvignon Blanc to quaff by the pool. We paired this wine with a simple rocket, spinach and baby tomato salad which was lathered with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some sea salt and black pepper. Fair, but it was crying out for some goat’s cheese.
The 2009 Semillon was pretty serious stuff. It started off very tight with a waxy lemony freshness, but opened to show more citrus fruit character in amongst a round waxy texture. By the end of the evening it was reminding me a little of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. It had that steely, gun smoke edge with green apple acidity. Obviously the lemon and orange peel side of things kept it well within Semillon territory. I quite liked pairing this one with some Coppa ham and salad. The textures worked together, weird but cute. My twitter tasting note:
The acidity and the tannins make this wine a bit of a challenge; only, I guess, if you’re like me and the challenge is to finish the bottle. A glass was plenty and it paired nicely with the spicy German sausage, Landana and rocket on sour dough toast.
The final wine of the evening was Steenberg’s red blend the Catharina 2006 made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Nebbiolo. Lots of tobacco, and lead pencil on the nose with the cedary oak being quite prominent. Dark fruits on the palate, with black current and stewed prunes being the most obvious for me. We paired these with a trio of cheeses: A brie that didn’t have the balls to match the wine; a mild Landana that although it had a stronger flavour suffered the same fate; the camembert paired best but I think the cheese was a little young. I’d bet that a blue-cheese or something similar would have been best.
A lovely evening and a success for Steenberg and all involved. The Semillon was my favourite wine and I might be buying a case or two to hide away for a few years.
I now promise to never use the word ‘vibe’ again. Except maybe the full word: Vibrations. And only when I’m singing a Beach Boys tune.
Please note: All photos were stolen shamelessly from Alex’s blog. I am sure this is some sort of blogging faux pas, but I didn’t have a camera and Alex’s filters make everything look so pretty.
One last thing:
This is how you tweet at a tasting:
Not like this:
Just so you know.