I’ve done something bad, something terrible, something which goes against every fibre of my being. It’s something that will shock you to your very core and leave you reeling from that shock for a very long time to come.
I shouldn’t speak of it but I can’t keep it inside any longer so here goes; I’ve just spent £7 on a bottle of wine. Yes, you heard me, seven whole pounds. It seems the queen of cheap plonk has been dethroned, but with very good reason because tonight is ‘date night’.
After 17 years of being together, 7 of those being married, the spark has become more of a dull, comfortable glow; it’s no longer the blinding glare of an arc welder more the wan glimmer of the moon as it slips behind a cloud. Okay so there’s nothing wrong with that, we still enjoy each other’s company and can still manage the drunkenly slurred “I love you” in between the snide comments and below-the-belt digs.
No, that’s not true, I don’t really mind being told that my dress looks really pretty but would hang better if I lost a few pounds or that, Tesco does a great range of hair dyes which are guaranteed to cover 100% grey – and, anyway, Tesco also do a good range of Grecian for Men.
Sorry, deviated there for a moment; so back to the point: my husband and I thought it would do us good to spend some “quality time” together and so I have picked up a bottle of Leopard’s Leap South African Shiraz for us to share on this special evening. Perhaps it will spark some enlightening conversation; maybe we will discuss the arts or politics, perhaps we will even discover the meaning of life. Who knows, but let’s find out.
This rather dark-looking red is produced from carefully chosen grapes from a select few vineyards in South Africa’s Cape Winelands, which, as the name suggests, are also the home of the beautiful, endangered Cape Mountain leopard.
On pouring, this wine looks particularly thick with a gorgeous bruised purpley-black hue. I can instantly detect a hint of oak but it’s not overpoweringly enough to put me off. I’m not a fan of strong oaky flavours but I think I can cope with this. Now for the tasting, and Christmas immediately springs to mind: cinnamon, cloves, a kind of mulled wine flavour – there’s a real Christmas tingle, or Christingle, about this red.
However, despite all the festivities going on with this wine, I still feel it’s missing something. I keep expecting, with every mouthful, for that ‘something’ to jump out at me and for me to suddenly say “Oh yes, there it is” but it’s just not happening and I’m already through the first glass.
Saying that, one thing I do really like about this red, which you don’t tend to get with a white, is that wonderful heat as it hits the back of the throat, followed by that spreading warmth across the chest. It’s kind of like hugging a hot water bottle. I could imagine this wine becoming a bit of an eye-drooper by the end of the second bottle so probably not the best choice for ‘Date Night’, fortunately I only bought one bottle.
If I’m being totally honest – which I am being because that’s the whole point of writing these reviews – I would have to say that, while there’s nothing wrong with this wine it’s certainly nothing special and I have had much cheaper wines which, in my opinion, were actually much better. Sorry all you CapeMountain leopards out there, no offence and all that, I’m just not a huge fan of your plonk and don’t think I will be buying it again.
And so to summarise, has this intended conversation starter worked its magic? Have we avidly discussed the world of offshore finance or the latest works of Jack Vettriano? No we have not and we certainly haven’t discovered the meaning of life but, all in all, despite my initial disappointment over this red, a jolly good evening was had by all (except the kids who were banished to their rooms).
Oh yeah, I bought this wine from Co-op at 2.48pm on a Friday afternoon and I was served by Dan.