If you live in the Cape, you have been exposed to some of the best wines the world has to offer. If this time has taught us anything, it’s given us a reason to appreciate our surroundings that much more. And since we have no plans on traveling too far anytime soon, this is a great opportunity to brush up on your wine knowledge and take your new found education to the award-winning vines around the corner.
In our quest to understand vino better, we spoke to winemaker Salóme Buys-Vermeulen from Lozärn Wines. She armed us with five simple steps to understand flavours and notes.
1. Try to make a mindful association with what you are smelling and pinpoint them… lemons or the cherry tobacco your granddad smoked. In most instances they will be good memories. Your brain needs to get fit! So smell the actual key aromas, the naartjie peel, the vanilla pod or the piece of leather.
2. Familiarise yourself with the different groups of aromas that are best known in wine. For example earthy aromas. If you break them down even further; it could be a wet soil, wet forest floor or a mushroom kind of smell. What is meant with red fruit/red berry aromas? They consist of strawberries, raspberries and goji berries for example. The aroma wheel works well to help you group the aromas and then you can start filling in more aromas from your own experience.
3. Quality glassware makes wine so much more enjoyable. The glass itself should not be thick. The right shape of glass further more will enhance cultivar specific aromas as well. So invest in glassware.
4. Spend a little bit more on quality wine. Wines that have been made with great care will also express more cultivar specific aromas and be well balanced. This could make a meal and gathering around the table with friends that much more pleasurable.
5. Food – it’s the best companion to wine! By pairing wine and food you will start to experience even more aromas and different notes. A wine could be so much more enjoyable if the food you pair with it complements it even more!
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