Contemplating what to serve for a ‘feast from the sea’ dinner party? Or what to sip while enjoying a seafood smorgasbord out? It can be mind-boggling pinpointing one bottling that will enhance your seafood of choice, while at the same time running the gamut of options available at the table. Here we offer a few of our favorite seafood and wine pairings for inspiration, identifying wines that not only enhance the select dish, but also work wonders with a medley.Beyond Sauvignon Blanc. From the Constantia region of South Africa, Beyond is an ideal sipper with oysters from sea to sea. Crafted by Sauvignon specialist Buitenverwachting, Beyond is approachable yet refined, offering melon, gooseberry and herbal notes. Plus, it’s a tremendous value, saving you dollars to splurge arrays of oysters.
Spicy Tuna Roll - Bring on the heat, serve up the Chenin! Ease the spiciness from wasabi and sriracha with Raats Original Chenin Blanc. Crafted without the use of any oak in order to preserve the wine’s “original” character, Raats is packed with vibrant stone fruit flavors and subtle notes of ginger and orange blossom that are fitting for Japanese cuisine. The wine’s tangy minerality adds a pleasing element to often bland rice.
Lobster - The dense yet delicate meatiness of steamed lobster with drawn butter begs for an opulent white wine that is well-rounded. Glenelly Grand Vin Chardonnay is our go-to as it has complex aromas of marmalade and melon, with hints of toasted almond and vanilla from soft oak aging. Its minerality cuts through the meat and dipping butter, while its creamy texture doesn’t wash away the subtle taste of ocean water, but dances nicely together on the palate.
Today, and every 14th of July, France celebrates its liberty. Known as Bastille Day, this national holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris on July 14, 1789, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. Although we (Americans) recently celebrated our day of independence, we’re continuing the festivities and embracing the French's holiday with open arms. This marks Cape Classics first Bastille Day representing wines from France, and in honor we are taking part by enjoying a few of France’s finest wines. Join us in celebrating the country famous for its rich culture of wine, cuisine, literature, history, and art. Here’s to you France, à votre santé!
Domaine Vincent Carême Le Clos Vouvray - This Chenin Blanc offers alluring aromatics with hints of apricot and truffles that lead to a luxurious, well structured, full palate. Notes of honeysuckle and cream round out the endless, lingering finish.
Clos du Gaimont Vouvray La Monaco Demi-Sec - Aromas of ripe peach, apricot and acacia lead to a medium sweet palate that is rich and concentrated, achieving a brilliant balance between sweetness and acidity. Serve this Chenin Blanc chilled and enjoy with seafood and grilled meat.
Domaine Grosbois Chinon 'La Cuisine de ma mère' - La Cuisine de ma mère, which translates to “my mother’s kitchen,” is the perfect complement to any dinner table. Fresh and approachable, this food-friendly, everyday wine embodies the soul of Chinon. Ripe flavors of violet, dark berries and chestnut with hints of earth merge together in this Cabernet Franc.
June of 2014 saw the introduction Le Roi des Pierres wines by Cape Classics. From the Loire Valley region of France, the brand is currently comprised of two varietals produced in the commune of Sancerre, a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir-based Rosé. Translated as “King of Stones” the name Le Roi des Pierres pays homage to the Loire Valley's royal history and unique terroir.
From the 10th century onwards, kings and queens have called the Loire Valley home. The brand name also ties in silex’s designation as “the king of all stones.” There are three soil types found in Sancerre, terres blanches, caillottes, and silex - Le Roi des Pierre’s Sancerre is crafted from silex, the rarest of the three, representing only 15% of the soil. Silex is composed of flint over a clay and limestone base and has proven to produce distinctive wines with an extraordinary ability to age. Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre Rosé, 100% Pinot Noir, stems from chalky, clay soils, a combination of terres blanches and caillottes terroir.
Le Roi des Pierres Sancerre Rosé - Showcasing a lovely salmon color, this rosé displays intense notes of red berries, yellow peach and plum. The palate offers an exquisite balance of red fruits and a very elegant thread of minerality on the finish, making this wine a fresh and versatile match for an array of seasonal selections.
Clos du Gaimont is a parcel of the esteemed Clos de Nouys vineyard, situated on a plot of premium land in the heart of Vouvray. Winemaker François Chainier purchased Clos du Gaimont’s vineyards in 1997 and has become a pioneer in sustainable farming, being the first to employ green practices in the area. Vineyards are maintained according to a sustainable agriculture philosophy, keeping the overall ecosystem in mind. The Chenin Blanc grapes are hand harvested with great care taken from vine to cellar.
Welcome the long anticipated warmer temperatures with the 2013 DMZ Cabernet Rosé, fresh from the vineyards and the perfect complement for your spring and summer soirees! Crafted by the legendary DeMorgenzon estate, this Cabernet is a versatile food wine with the elegance to pair with “typical” rosé fare and the body and structure to stand up to heartier dishes, making it a true crowd pleaser. DMZ Cabernet Rosé displays alluring aromas and juicy flavors of pomegranate, watermelon and strawberries, accented with delicate floral and spice hints.
One of South Africa’s premier wine farms, the beautiful Bayten estate (aka Buitenverwachting) is nestled on the base of the magnificent Constantiaberg mountain, just south of Cape Town and a few short miles from False Bay. Breezes sweeping in from False Bay, make it one of South Africa’s coolest winegrowing areas, renowned for elegant white wines that possess an intense minerality.
Constantia is one of the few wine-growing areas in South Africa which does not need to rely on irrigation, thanks to significant winter rainfall. Bayten’s vineyards are planted on a variety of ancient decomposed granite soils and farmed embracing a variety of holistic farming practices. From racy Sauvignon Blancs to elegant Meursault-like Chardonnays, cellar master Hermann Kirschbaum and winemaker Brad Paton continue to craft stunning wines that deliver on the promise to exhilarate the senses.
Fun fact: Bayten was part of the original Constantia estate founded in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape.
With the first breath of spring air, our mouths are watering for a fresh salad and racy glass of Sauvignon Blanc. (It's been a long winter!) Although a year-round grape, Sauvignon Blanc's distinctive herbaceous character is often aligned with tastes of the spring and summer seasons. From vegetable to grass flavors, mineral to citrus notes, Sauvignon Blanc offers a wine tasting adventure. The following bottlings bear the heart of Sauvignon Blanc, each with its own personality based on terroir and the winemakers' hands.
Beyond Sauvignon Blanc - This crisp, fresh bottling is crafted in the Coastal Region of South Africa by Sauvignon specialist, Buitenverwachting. Flavors of tropical fruit, melon, ripe gooseberry and green pepper are supported by herbal notes and a mineral edge. Beyond offers a tremendous value, consistently earning “Best Buy” accolades.
Paul Buisse Touraine Sauvignon - Floral aromatics lead to a racy yet delicate palate that is fruit forward with a bright acidity and a seamless finish. Ideal for appetizers, this crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc from the AOC Touraine is the perfect wine to open your palate, serving as a great match for soft cheeses, specifically goat cheese which is a specialty of the Loire, France region.
Indaba Sauvignon Blanc - A crowd pleaser, this easy drinking Sauvignon Blanc from the Western Cape of South Africa displays appealing citrus and tropical fruit aromas that lead to an invigorating palate of pineapple, lemon-lime, mango and green fig. Herbal undertones shine through on the mineral-tinged finish, making this an good match for shellfish and summertime salads.
DMZ Sauvignon Blanc - DMZ is DeMorgenzon’s value label, where the objective is to produce classic, elegant, well-balanced wines which over-deliver in terms of quality for price. This Western Cape bottling offers upfront aromatics of passion fruit and citrus following through to a rich palate that yields ripe fruit flavors with a nettle edge. A brisk acidity and stony minerality give natural freshness and length.
Bayten Sauvignon Blanc - This praised Sauvignon Blanc from Constantia, South Africa displays classic aromas and flavors of green fig, gooseberry and lime. A fuller body with pepper and herbal notes are supported by elegant hints of mineral and chalk. The most recent vintage, 2013, received 90 points from Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits magazines.
Did you know? Sauvignon Blanc means "Wild White". Indigenous to France, Sauvignon Blanc derives its name from the words sauvage, for “wild,” and blanc, for “white”.Tweet
Tim Varan is owner and franchisor of Tim's Wine Market, a nationally known and respected leader in the wine retail business with seven stores operating across Florida. With 20 years of experience in the industry, Tim tastes over 4000 wines per year to select bottlings worthy of placement. We sat down to gain insight on the Florida market and running a successful wine shop.
Q: What’s the biggest difference between wine trends at Tim’s Wine Market 10 years ago and those today?
Tim: Ten years ago consumer demand was still driven by critical reviews by only a handful of publications. Now social media has a far greater influence on consumer tastes. Not so much from bloggers, but apps that allow other drinkers to share their opinions. Also, smart phone cameras allow friends to share their favorite discoveries instantly, which can create sudden bursts of sales on unusual wines or categories.
Q: Describe the Florida wine scene.
Tim: Because wine is available in so many retail outlets, customers are more demanding when they seek out independent wine shops. They generally want labels they don't find in big box locations and are willing to experiment. At the same time Florida consumers are very California-centric, so it takes a little more work to get new customers to try imported wines, particularly above $15 a bottle.
Q: What makes Tim’s Wine Market unique?
Tim: Selection, service and value. We take the time to talk to every customer, get to know their preferences -often when they can't describe them- and then help them pick wines that are right for their needs, budget and taste. We do not use any critical press in the store so it helps us establish our own credibility with customers because we put our money where our mouth is. If we pick wines they do not like, they will not be back. At the same time it frees us from having to carry the same old brands as everyone else. Our regular customers know they are going to get a good bottle of wine from us, for less than they expect to pay.
Q: Where is your favorite spot for a glass of wine?
Tim: Sitting at my dining room table on Sunday night with my wife and kids. That is the night I cook a big meal than and pull something old out of the cellar.
Q: Please offer a piece of insight to someone interested in opening a retail wine shop.
Tim: Do not use critical press to sell wine. Establish yourself as an expert and show you have the best interests of your customers at heart when you help them make selections. It takes little longer to build a base of customers but they are more loyal and willing to trust you, which lets you sell more interesting wines.
Tim's Wine Market carries bottlings from Cape Classics' estates including Indaba, Excelsior Wine Estate, Raats Family Wines and more. For further information please visit: Tim's Wine MarketTweet
In 1989, Paul Buisse purchased over 173 acres of vineyards in an area recognized as one of the best for winegrowing in the Touraine appellation of the Loire Valley. The vineyard's south-southwest exposure and clay limestone soils translate to beautiful, fruit forward wines. Upon his retirement in 2010, Paul Buisse sold the company to his friend, Pierre Chainier, whose family has a long history of working in wine and trade dating back to 1749. Since, the Chainier family have become pioneers in sustainable farming, being the first to employ green practices in the region. Vineyards are maintained according to a sustainable agriculture philosophy with the overall ecosystem in mind. The vision of the Chainiers is to bring knowledge, experience, and a passion for winemaking to the industry, as they embrace the Loire Valley and its unique soils.
Paul Buisse Touraine 2012 is now available in the U.S. Ideal for appetizers, this crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine to open your palate, serving as a great match for soft cheeses, specifically goat cheese which is a specialty of the Loire region, summertime salads, shellfish and seafood.