Friday 19 March 2021

On the palate of a Zoom call

An experience to relish

Zooming into a meeting this evening after work, I got to participate in a virtual wine-tasting activity that was more fun than one could have anticipated. It so happens that with the pandemic, people have to think of more innovative ways to socialise and even meet strangers with common interests.

Capreo, a wine distributor for over 50 wine estates in South Africa had contacted me a month ago to invite me to the event on behalf of the Backsberg Wine Estate. We have visited Backsberg thrice and have always enjoyed the hospitality and professionalism of the people there, beyond which the wines are just well suited for our palates.

A participation we enjoyed

On the call, we had up to 13 participants, the moderator from Capreo, from Backsberg, the export manager and winemaker with his oenophile girlfriend and people joining from Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, the UK, and New Zealand. We were to receive by mail 6 bottles of the wines to be tasted, those did not arrive for some of us due to postal and Brexit-related issues.

Wine tasting notes from Backsberg except where indicated. 

Backsberg Chenin Blanc 2020

Backsberg John Martin Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Backsberg Pinotage Rosé 2019

Backsberg Pumphouse Shiraz 2018

Backsberg Klein Babylons Toren 2017 (Capreo notes)

Backsberg Family Reserve Red 2016

An order I had placed a month ago included Backsberg Pinotage Rosé 2019 which allowed me to participate in the discussion apart from other contributions to the general discussion about wine pairings, the wine estate, and the atmosphere at the estate.

Maybe soon in person

The session ran for almost two hours though because of load shedding issues in South Africa, Backsberg dropped off, just after all the wines had been talked about. Whilst for all of us, we would have preferred to be at the wine estate in the backdrop of the Simonsberg in Paarl, this as a second-best alternative was more than worthwhile.

I probably should have taken notes about the wines, which I did not, we would all be expected to put in an order for wines within the next week. With pleasure and the hope for a more involved experience very soon. Backsberg Cape Ruby 2017 the South African variety of port-like wine is one I would like much of, a visit is in view and the replenishment of my stock.

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