Monthly Archives: January 2012

A special romantic occasion calls for a special vintage wine

Planning a special occasion for Valentine’s Day? Why not make the night even more special with fantastic older vintages wines.

The Bergkelder Vinoteque stock, mature and sell some of South Africa’s best wines and it probably the best time now to order special vintage wines for Valentine’s Day.

One of the recommended older vintage wines,  is the amazing Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 .

Tasting notes

Dark ruby colour with hints of cigar box,  ripe cherries and mint on the nose. On the   Palate – Cherry sweetness comes to the fore but is balanced by tannins, with oak an vanilla on the aftertaste.

Buy this wine on our website


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Kick off the month of love with a rosé tasting at Die Bergkelder

A varied and interesting selection of dry, off-dry and fruity rosé wines will be offered for tasting at Die Bergkelder in Stellenbosch on Thursday, February 2, presented by red-wine maker Justin Corrans. The line-up of wines includes the latest vintages from Le Bonheur, (made from Pinot Noir), Durbanville Hills (Merlot), Nederburg (Cabernet Sauvignon), Two Oceans (Shiraz), as well as rosés sold under the Flat Roof Manor, Hill&Dale, Theuniskraal and Graça labels.

A light supper will be served after the tasting.

One lucky guest will take home a selection of six of the wines tasted in a sales-slip lucky draw.

Die Bergkelder tastings take place on the first Thursday of every month and feature a selection of premium wines, brandies and whiskies. Whatever you buy on the evening will be available to you at a 10% discount, so think about stocking up on Valentine’s Day gifts too!

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Time: 17h30 for 18h00
Venue: Die Bergkelder, Stellenbosch
Cost: R60 per person and includes the wine tasting and light supper.
Booking: Places are limited so booking is essential. Contact Melanie on 021 809 8025 to reserve your seat.

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Red wine in a glass – What should it look like?

Much is talked about the nose or bouquet of a wine and, of course, its taste. However, the appearance of the wine is just as important in the process of wine tasting, particularly as it begins the whole procedure.

Red Wine UK recently published an interesting article on this topic.

The way a red wine looks in the glass prejudices our other senses and our brain begins to assess whether the wine will be enjoyable or a disappointment in the same way our first glance at the presentation of a meal in a restaurant may make us salivate in anticipation or wrinkle our nose in disgust.

So how do you go about examining the appearance of a red wine?

Firstly, make sure you have a proper red wine glass. You need a large glass with a bulbous bowl and a long stem. The glass should be clear and thin so the appearance of the wine is not tainted by colour or distortion. Fill the glass only about a quarter full so you can tip the glass horizontally with the wine settling in the curve of the bowl rather than spilling over the edge.

Secondly, make sure you have the correct light. Traditionalists and romantics will argue that red wine should be examined in candlelight. However, in these days of electricity a good spotlight against a white background tends to work better.

The key features to look at are the clarity of the wine, the density of the colour, the colour of the wine’s rim and its viscosity. These features will give you an early indication of the wine’s quality, age, grape, geographical origins and alcohol content. Experts will be able to interpret more than a beginner or amateur taster but do not be intimidated – examining the appearance of a red wine is all part of the fun and enjoyment of wine tasting and even a beginner will be able to detect something.

The best way of looking at a red wine’s appearance is to tilt the wine glass away from you so it is almost horizontal and look at the wine against a white background. This allows you to get a good view of both the middle of the wine and the edges.

The first feature to look at is the clarity of the red wine. The wine should be clear and transparent rather than cloudy or slightly fizzy which indicates a bad wine.

Once the red wine has passed the clarity test, look at the density of the colour, which should be bright rather than flat. Younger wines tend to be more vivid in colour whilst red wines which have been aged tend to be a bit paler and have a slight brick brown hue, although if a wine is too brown it may have been aged for too long. More intense, darker reds suggest thick-skinned grape varieties such as syrah/shiraz. The darker colour can also mean the wine is from a hotter climate. Better quality wines tend to have a glossier colour and a more subtle change in shade towards the rim.

Next, take a look at the rim of the red wine, or the meniscus. If the intensity of colour continues to the rim it indicates a good quality wine. The meniscus of younger wines can be slightly watery or have a slight purplish-blue hue. If the rim is too watery then it is probably not a quality wine. The indication of a wine’s aging is visible first of all at the rim so older wines may have a slight brown colour at the edge.

Finally, give the red wine a good swirl so the liquid clings to the sides of the glass. Then watch how it trickles back down into the main body of the wine. These trickles are known as “legs” and help to show the alcohol level of the wine. The more viscous the wine and the more noticeable the legs, the higher the alcohol content is likely to be.

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