I’ve tasted many unusual wines; wines from different countries, wines which were made with interesting styles and sensational wines which have given me bliss orgasms in my mouth. Hmmm... “so what’s the most unusual wine I’ve tasted,” I ask myself... Perhaps it’s the 1989 Chateau Ausone Saint Emilion I won just over a year and a half ago? Yeah, that’s totally unusual as its 25 years old and costs around R4 000 a bottle! Definitely not an everyday quaffer right? There’s only one problem, as I peer over my left shoulder and catch a glimpse of the dusty bottle we speak of, resting peacefully in my clay wine rack – It hasn’t been opened yet! So per definition of ‘tasted’: past tense of - try or test the flavour or quality of (something) by taking some into the mouth; I haven’t tasted the wine…
Back to the drawing board… As my cheek muscles pull a smirk, I recall the first time I made my own Shiraz. I acquired a winemaking kit and Shiraz grapes from Paarl in the Western Cape. The whole winemaking experience was extremely interesting and memorable, as my then 2 year old son, Adriano Gouveia, assisted in stomping the grapes with his feet. Adriano couldn’t pronounce his name but used to say ‘Nano Fire’ instead, hence I dubbed the wine ‘Nano Fire.’ Looking at this photo now reminds me how much the little guy has grown!
Measuring the sugar content of the must (mixture of grape skins and juice) with my Ballingmeter and ‘punching the cap’ (pushing the floating grape skins down) every day, was such an exciting learning experience.
“So why was the shiraz I made unusual” you ask? It’s not every day that I get to drink wine that I’ve made with my own bare feet and the memory of it gives me happy thoughts. I’d love to say it’s because it was the best damn wine I have ever tasted, but alas, it wasn’t! Don’t get me wrong, I was reasonably impressed with my first attempt, the wine was drinkable, although slightly in your face with a punch of tannins. The name ‘Nano Fire’ was quite fitting in retrospect J I should’ve let my masterpiece age a little longer before prematurely and proudly drinking it!