I'm not a purist by any means, but I've hitherto subscribed to the theory that, as regards vino, "what's in the bottle is far more important than what's on the outside." Well, even an old Czar can learn new tricks. My lovely wife the Rock Star and I were browsing in a wine shop just the other day when we were absolutely intrigued by the label on a bottle of Sebeka (South Africa) wine: a running cheetah. My wife is the Empress of Cats and also the Queen of Shiraz, and since the label read "60% Shiraz, 40% Pinotage" (Pinotage is South Africa's signature red grape, created by crossing Pinot Noir with Hermitage, aka Cinsaut), we both decided there and then: We just had to try it!
The robe is a purple plush, almost dirty in color, just made for royalty. The nose is unmistakably white pepper and some berry fruit we couldn't quite name (Boysenberry?, offered my ever-helpful spouse). The taste confirmed those flavors, plus the distinct finish of Angostura bitters, giving this muscular wine all the concentrated power of an Argentine Malbec. Most definitely a superlative quaff, especially considering it retails under $10. If all South African wines were this good, I'd be Nelson Mandela's best friend, that's for sure. You can access their evocative website at www.sebekawines.com. Try it with salmon or pork tenderloin, and as always, remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!