Shoot, Shag, Marry

Tastings that I host are rarely the intellectual, note taking, dickie-bow wearing sessions for which the wine industry became dubiously famous.   Despite my most earnest attempts to bore people with tales of clonal selection I always find myself ending up in some animated characterization of the wine – an unconscious reaction to the glazing over of people’s eyes.  Monday night was no different.

Taking a back seat at this particular tasting, the host made the somewhat erroneous decision to ask me what the wines reminded me of.  The three reds in question were a South African line up I know intimately; the Cederberg Merlot/Shiraz 09, Cederberg Shiraz 09 and the Cederberg V Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 08.  The wines are so different in style and character that I couldn’t help but liken them to women.  The merlot/shiraz with its delicately perfumed red plum fruit, soft tannins and juicy acidity is friendly and easy to enjoy the company of, a friend you can sit round in your PJ’s exchanging idle gossip with.  The Shiraz is a wonderfully structured powerhouse of complex spice, meaty richness and muscled beauty.  She had to be Jolie’s portrayal of the all action heroine Lara Croft. The V Generations is achingly elegant; the silken tannins and beguiling perfume that lingers long after the wine has gone recalls the effortless and understated beauty of Audrey Hepburn.

The gentleman to my left immediately got into the spirit of things and proceeded to play  ‘shoot, shag, marry’ with the wines.  Merlot/Shiraz was lovely but the simplest of the 3 and though he could enjoy her company for a night wasn’t sure he’d want a conversation the next morning over the breakfast table = shoot.  The Shiraz, well he was definitely up for a memorable night of fun with her, but possibly too strong willed for a long term relationship = shag.  The V Generations?  Well who wouldn’t want to marry Audrey.


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