Last year we pulled out all the stops on a dedicated wine issue. We knew how much you loved your wine but never anticipated that it would become one of our readers’ favourite editions. It therefore only seemed fitting that we embrace this blossoming love affair and make this an annual special.
Many people still think there is way too much fuss surrounding wine. I know it can be quite daunting to pick a good bottle from a shop aisle bursting with options or make a quick informed choice when presented with a lengthy wine list. I personally still get a little flustered when out with a group of friends who insist I make the “expert decision” on what we’ll have with our meal. I can literally see that everyone sat there is in desperate need of a healthy glass but can barely get over the anxiety that the so-called ‘wine police’ will spot them drinking the wrong wine!
This expectation that one glance at a wine list or bottle will reveal the perfect fit is in my opinion unrealistic. Unlike spirits where we are often well-versed in brands and prefered serves, wine is completely different as we hardly order based on brand alone. Selection therefore has to do with individual palates, the meal at hand and occasion, but sometimes it’s also just about what’s in your pocket!
Like anything in life, you just need to dive in, experiment and wave goodbye to the wine police! One can only truly begin to appreciate the extensive world of wine if they follow their curiosity and get more comfortable with asking. In that regard, this month we’ve asked all the questions that you’ve probably been wondering about. We explore the world of wine on page 29-33. For many of these regions, wine has been an integral part of the heritage with traditions that date back centuries. Over the last few decades, we’ve seen the introduction of New World wines. These hail from countries such as South Africa and Chile that are known to be more experimental and as a result create first class wines. We’ve suggested a few of our favourites bottles in this issue, so you can now pop into your nearest wine shop and select a few with ease.
Charity Keita who admits that while she really enjoys wine is not a fan of the fuss attempts a little wine pairing experiment with close friends from the comfort of her home on page 21. Chef Ray of Talisman gives us insight into how he approaches wine at his renowned restaurant on page 22, and we then sit down with the incredible Argentinian Ambassador to Kenya who doubles up as a sommelier on page 35.
Another must read is Susan Wong’s review of Graze, the New York-style steakhouse at Sankara Nairobi, which we’ve all been raving about. Turn to page 24 for her poetic ode to good steak, equally good wine and impeccable service. Finally, on a slightly different but equally exciting note, if you haven’t already heard, the Nairobi Burger Festival is around the corner, kicking off from 30th May till 5th June. Be sure to keep an eye out for more details because if last year’s Pizza Festival was anything to go by, this festival is going to be something else!