Virtual Tastings

IS CABERNET KING?

Cabernet Sauvignon, how it slipped through the palace gates and became the crown prince, finally ascending the throne as the most planted wine grape in the world: from its early days in 17th century Bordeaux, its post-phylloxera triumph in the Medoc, its early importance in South Africa, its conquest of California, Chile, China and pretty much the whole of the wine world.

QUE SYRAH-SYRAH: SHIRAZ WILL BE WHATEVER IT CAN BE

The story of how Syrah/Shiraz invaded the world of wine, from its probable origins in the Val d’Isere, via the Northern Rhone, to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, along the way showing how its chameleon-like versatility helps it to be a different wine, wherever it lands up.

RIEDEL BAR : DISCOVER THE EXTENSIVE RANGE OF SPIRITS GLASSES IN THE RIEDEL PORTFOLIO

Discover the Riedel BAR range. Tarryn Vincent takes you through the demonstration discussing a variety of spirits, as well as Sherry. For 50 years Riedel has been the leader in grape specific, wine friendly glassware. The same concept was applied to the spirit glasses. The world’s most renowned spirit experts participated in extensive tasting workshops. The tasters analyzed the effect of shapes, size and rim diameters on each beverage to create instruments that express the individual character and originality of the beverage.

THE LOIRE VALLEY: HOME TO CHENIN AND SAUVIGNON BLANC

A voyage along the longest river in France through Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, home of French sauvignon blanc towards Angers, heartland of great chenins. Michael Fridjhon connects these regions with a few of their New World descendants, and adds some interesting history about both varieties in South Africa.

PINOT NOIR: THE VINOUS VIXEN

Michael Fridjhon takes us on a journey around the world of pinot noir, talking about the pinot noirs of the world: while his focus is on Burgundy, where most of the greatest pinots are produced, his overview includes South Africa, Oregon in the US, and New Zealand

NICHE APPELLATIONS

An overview of some of the most famous – though less-known in South Africa – European wine appellations, beginning in the heartland of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, dropping by briefly in Alsace and the Douro Valley before visiting several of the Frescobaldi family domains in the broader Tuscan region.

WHY CHARDONNAY CONQUERED THE WINE WORLD

A review of the world of chardonnay and chardonnays of the world – with a real focus on the major French sites: where it’s grown and what styles it delivers, from Champagne via Chablis to the Cote d’Or, Cote Chalonnaise, the Maconnais, and finally Ardeche.

RIEDEL PERFORMANCE: Is it an optical illusion?

A brief but in-depth look at the new Riedel Performance wine glass range, which combines Riedel’s legendary varietal specific approach with light internal faceting. Tarryn Vincent introduces the range and explains how the optic-faceted surface enhances aroma and flavour delivery 

CHAMPAGNE – IF YOU LIKE IT THEN YOU PROBABLY LOVE IT: THE WHY AND HOW OF THE WORLD’S MOST VISIBLE WINE

Everything you could ever discover about Champagne in little longer than a soundbite: What makes it unique, who actually invented it, the wonderful underground landscape of the chalk caves, the point of a “non-vintage” wine, the increasing obsession with organic and bio-dynamic viticulture – all with personal anecdotes from countless visits to countless producers

A Journey Into Spain

An overview of the Spanish wine industry, with a closer look at Sherry, Rioja and Rias Baixas: a little history, some comments on the climate and the soils, and a brief review of the more popular wines

BORDEAUX – AREAS OF ORIGIN: REGIONS RATHER THAN ESTATES

A brief look at the major regions within the Bordeaux area, focusing on the Medoc, Saint Emilion and Pomerol: the historical background including the 1855 Classification, some brief remarks about the soil, climate and varieties as well as descriptions of the wines from each of the major appellations

BURGUNDY: AN OVERVIEW FROM CHABLIS TO BEAUJOLAIS VIA THE CÔTE D’OR

A look at Burgundy in its entirety, from North to South, starting in Chablis and ending in the Beaujolais, with most of the focus on the Cote de Nuits and Cote des Beaune. Some historical background, a little about the soils and climate, the red and white varieties, what the wines taste like and why they cost what they do.

RIEDEL AND CHAMPAGNE: DISCOVER HOW THE NEW RIEDEL CHAMPAGNE GLASS MAKES CHAMPAGNE SING

Discover why the new Riedel Champagne glass makes all the difference. Tarryn Vincent takes you through the demonstration with a bottle of Champagne Forget-Brimont Brut Premier Cru and shows how Riedel, family-owned since 1756, makes glasses tailor-made to purpose – in this case, to get the most from a bottle of Champagne