Wine of the Week: Graham Beck “The Game Reserve” Chenin Blanc, Franschhoek

The Society of Wine Educators held a dinner last night at Jiko – The Cooking Place. The theme was South African wines and African inspired dishes.


This dish was a delicious fusion of ingredients that included a revisited spanakopita with curry vinaigrette, a delicious “Mozambique-style” Tomato Salad and a crispy beef “Bobotie” Roll. The Chef explained the dish to us but I am a four-ingredient person and after the fourth ingredient get lost. Suffice it to say it was exquisite. This was paired with my wine of the week, Graham Beck’s “The Game Reserve” Chenin Blanc. The wine is nicely priced at $14, as well.

According to their website, “This 100% Chenin Blanc is from low yielding, 40 – 46 year old bush vines. The grapes were destalked, then mash cooled with 8-12 hours skin contact and cool fermentation. A small percentage (5-10%) of the Chenin Blanc was fermented in French Oak barrels to generate an added dimension of richness.”

In fact, I like the toasty, yeasty, lees note that I got on the palate. It also had the wonderful waxy, lanolin flavors of Chenin blanc and I thought stone fruits as well. A very refreshing wine, it paired well with the dish it was served with but I would have had it with the entire meal, including my interesting Cinnamon Couscous.

After dinner, I was told I could walk outside and see a giraffe. I didn’t quite believe them but instead, this being Florida and Disney, I went on blind faith. Lo and behold, this is what I saw…

Animal Kingdom

Quite a moment…


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