I went to South Africa about 2 years ago on a press junket and fell in love with the place. A stunning landscape, wonderful food, and amazing potential as a wine region left me with the desire to return. In particular, though, I was struck by the value for money that many of its wines offered, and the diversity of styles and grape varieties that seem to be grown successfully in its varied climates.
If you’re like me, traveling there without someone else footing the bill is prohibitively expensive, not to mention time consuming. But you needn’t trek all the way around the globe to get a taste of South African wine.
In a little more than a week, a group of South African wine importers is putting on two public wine tasting events, one in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco. I’m a bit of a broken record about these public tasting events, but let me say one more time what an opportunity they represent to learn a lot about a wine region, discover new wines to buy, and just generally educate your palate.
This particular event will showcase more than 100 wines from about 50 producers from South Africa, most of whose wines are readily available, or easy enough to find with a little effort on your part. The wines will be accompanied by food from Radio Africa and Kitchen, and apparently the tasting venue will also showcase African art.
Celebrate South Africa Wine Tasting: Los Angeles
Monday May 3rd, 7 PM to 11 PM
Vinoteque on Melrose
7469 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Celebrate South Africa Wine Tasting: San Francisco
Thursday, May 6th, 6 PM to 10 PM
The Box SF
1069 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tickets for both events are $30, and should be purchased in advance online. You can find links to the ticketing web site as well as more information on the online press release for the event.
My usual tips for such public tastings apply: get a good night’s sleep; go with food in your stomach; wear dark clothes to avoid wine stains; drink lots of water; and if you want to learn something and enjoy yourself, SPIT !