“Grate Night” (the fusion of grapes & a date.)

I’m not sure when (or if) I will ever stop associating wine tasting with Covid. Our little tasting party was after all, the last cancellation on our 2020 calendar before we officially fell into the “Upside-down.” This was the final social event my husband and I argued about.. he was sure this whole Corona issue would blow over, I was hoarding zinc lozenges and nervously taking note of the empty spaces developing on the shelves at Walmart.

Ah yes, memories.. 🥴

So it was with a pent up amount of excitement that we had our first 2021 wine tasting last night; just me and my guy..date-night style. We had agreed to both buy a Shiraz/Syrah, to keep it under $20 and to learn something about our wine and the region.

I’ll just cut to the chase.. My poor hubby’s selection from Santa Barbara was awful. His cork was ‘suspect looking’ and there was sediment all along one side of the bottle. (I’m all for a full bodied wine, but I don’t want to have to chew on it…so ew.) It also had a non-pleasant sharpness to it; the aroma almost biting my nose when I dared to sink it into the glass for a whiff. “If your wine needs a muzzle” I told my dejected better half, “You may want to go back and get a refund.”

Not to be snooty (and it was just plain dumb luck) but we both agreed that my wine was FANTASTIC. It was a 2018, velvety smooth Seaward Shiraz produced by the Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch South Africa; quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth.

You can go there for the day and order a picnic basket made ahead or stay at their resort. They sell local art, lead tours, have a restaurant and a spa. The most remarkable aspect of this gorgeous vineyard is their obvious respect for the land, both a commitment to the future and a longstanding family tradition. Obviously their wine is great too!

I of course immediately started fantasizing about a 2022 bucket-list trip..

Hubby quickly extinguished that “fire” with the lousy wine remaining in his bottle..😂

Oh well, it was fun to dream and we both enjoyed our first little wine tasting “event.” This Shiraz is excellent and paired beautifully with a vegetarian lasagna- I highly recommend BOTH! Next month we are comparing Cabernets..

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