RKS Wine: The Penniless Pensioner is Rolling in Dough; Are South African Wines Beneath Him?

We last left the Penniless Pensioner stewing over his impending marriage to “converted lesbian” Celine Serpent.

Well he phoned me gleefully the other night saying his Panamanian bank accounts had been unfrozen and cash was rolling his way. He bought a small house in the Leaside area of Toronto and drives a new Volvo S 60. He says that as an old rich man he should be driving a Porsche with a “real woman” at his side….preferably twenty years younger and much better looking than him. The ageing rich man syndrome.

I admit I see his newfound wealth as tenuous knowing that Canada Revenue Agency is cracking down on offshore accounts. The fact that he acted as counsel for Bernie Madoff on certain transactions make the amount of money in the Panamanian bank accounts stink a bit.

In any case to celebrate his new house purchase he is hosting an open house barbeque and he has already bought a few cases of South African wine saying that this is where the bargains are. Could I try a couple of the wines and give him my opinion? It will be a catered affair by Toronto’s “The Butler” with the main BBQ fare being wild Coho salmon from British Columbia and beef tenderloin both served with a fresh green salad and baked potatoes and grilled corn.

PP wants something versatile that will be pre-BBQ and served with BBQ.

He chose a Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé as a farewell to summer and a good match for the salmon. It is mid-pink in colour with a slight orange tinge to it. It has rather a riveting nose of strawberry and raspberry. It has a solid texture to it and it teeters on being a full- bodied rosé. On the palate there is tangerine, strawberry with a smattering of watermelon and sweet red grapefruit. It has a moderate finish.

It will suit the grilled salmon to a tee and is also a great sipper. Gone are the days of me blowing absurd amounts of money on wine PP says. He thanks me for showing him that there can be winners in the bargain bin and at $13.95 this is a winner. I can only hope PP will be a winner with the Canada Revenue Agency when and if that time comes.

As for Celine Serpent she will be attending the open house. It is obvious by the way PP is talking about her he is pining for her!

(Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2020, WO Coastal Region, Mulderbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa, $13.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 999821, 750 mL, 12.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

We move to a M.A.N. Family Wines Syrah from the Coastal region of South Africa. On the nose I might venture to say it has characteristics of a warm climate Syrah. On the nose a bit of that hallmark earthy South African funk. There is smoke, black cherry, blackberry, dates and smoked meat. On the palate it has mild tannins so makes it a great sipper. On the palate it has a low tannic threshold. Rather smooth but not anemic. There are notes of choke cherry, cassis, red plum and date squares. Short finish. I wish for more tannins to stand up to rare tenderloin but as we move to above rare beef where tannins are less important to break down the protein in the beef the wine will excel. So whilst a good sipper it limps in as a match for the beef. PP makes a statement that “Forgive them as they know not about wine”.

(M.A.N. Family Wines Skaapveld Syrah 2019, Coastal Region, M.A.N. Vintners, South Africa, $14.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 71332, 750 mL, 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 89/100).

As the night progresses and the alcohol is being drained by guests I see in the corner of the backyard Celine Serpent hurling a glass of Syrah in PP’s face staining his Harry Rosen shirt. Oh my! And to add fire to the awkwardness the poop on PP’s new Volvo does not look like racoon poop!

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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