There is something surreal about having a child turn 21 years old. It is something I am still getting used to. When I go out to dinner with my daughter or we are having wine at home I constantly forget to ask her if she wants an “adult” beverage. She does not yet like much alcohol and that (sadly) includes wine. However, her best friend is on the road to becoming a wine connoisseur.
My daughter’s best friend attends Northwestern University. Earlier this year she studied abroad in South Africa for a semester. She came by earlier in the summer to give me a bottle of wine she bought especially for me while in South Africa. Because my daughter was in Shenzen, China this summer participating in an internship with a Chinese law firm, we decided to wait and open the wine once my daughter returned so we could all enjoy it together.
Solms Delta celebrates what it means to be South African. The food, the people, the music, and, of course, the wine. By telling the stories of where they come from and sharing ownership and profits equally with their workers, they bring a sense of pride, belonging, and ownership to those who have, for generations, called their historic farm home.
Solms-Delta is known as one of the South Africa’s most progressive wine estates for empowering its previously disadvantaged worker and resident communities through facilitating the sharing of land and equity in the business with them, helping them live with purpose and dignity and working towards restoring some of the injustices of the past. To learn more about this wonderful winery, the work it does in the community, and all the great events they offer to make your visit extra special, please visit the Solms Delta web site.
‘Hiervandaan’ (meaning ‘from this place’) is a word with special significance in the colonial history of the Cape. It was used by early European settlers to define their new identity: ‘Ons is hiervandaan, ons is Afrikaners.’ (‘We are from this place, we are Africans.’)
2014 Solms Delta ‘Hiervandaan’ Red Western Cape South Africa ($14): 86% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 4% Syrah; medium- ruby; medium aromas of fresh picked red fruits including strawberries, cherries, pomegranate, and cranberries, white tea, sweet baking spices, dried violets, and pepper; a feminine wine, expressively fruit forward, medium- in style and body, balanced medium acidity and tannins, highly approachable, elegant, Pinot Noir like in body and flavors; an enjoyable wine.
The Food: I spent several days trying to decide what to make for this special dinner. I do not know anything about South African cuisine, which I understand is quite varied. Knowing the grapes of the wine but not knowing how the wine would taste, I could not shake wanting to make a Mediterranean dish with lamb.
My Choice: After much deliberation I finally decided to make Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Italian farro and roasted baby carrots. It’s a bit of a blend of north Africa meets Italy but it was a really delicious meal.
The Results: I really had no idea how the wine was going to taste. In fact, due to the Rhone Valley blend I expected it to be heavier on the palate. In fact, the wine was light and feminine, allowing the meal to take center stage with the lovely wine as an accompaniment. Because our North Texas summer has been considerably cooler and wetter than normal, the four of us enjoyed this wonderful dinner al fresco. We had a wonderful guest, great conversation, delicious food, and lovely wine, what could possibly be better?! No matter how good any wine is, it always tasted better when shared, especially with those we love.
My Song Selection:
Get your own bottle of Solms Delta wine and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!