Exploring Baleia Wines
I Love Foodies loves Tuning the Vine. I Love Foodies also loves wine, and I Love Foodies definitely loves exploring wine! That is also true for me personally. I am not a big drinker, but I do love a good glass of wine and I love learning about wines I don’t know so well. Of course, I have seen the beautiful Baleia Wines bottles – the labels are so memorable that there is no way you could possibly forget them – but I had never actually had some. So when we were invited to join Baleia Wines at Sotano Bree Street in celebration of Tuning the Vine, I got very, very excited!
Sea Breeze Wines
You seem to get two types of wine farms in the Western Cape: The ones that have been there forever and are usually huge, and then ones that are pretty new and much, much smaller. Baleia is one of those new small, boutique ones. So new, in fact, that the first vines were only planted in 2009! Located close to Riversdale and being the only wine estate in the region, the vineyards are just a few kilometres from the ocean, which, in my books, is always a very good thing. My favourite wines are the ones touched by ocean breeze. There is always something a little bit different – something special – about these wines.
Welcome to Sotano Bree Street
Ravioli with Chardonnay
Before I get lost in a tale of my love affair with sea breeze wines, let me go straight back to what I actually wanted to say. Baleia Wines had partnered up with Sotano Bree Street to treat some fellow wine lovers and me to a little tasting and pairing adventure. We jumped straight into things with a 2014 Baleia Inge Chardonnay. Now, I am currently in the biggest Chardonnay phase and am happy to report that this one was exceptional! More creamy than buttery and absolutely perfect. Chef Russel from Sotano matched this with an amazing saffron seafood ravioli (mixed seafood, bouillabaisse sauce) and won some instant fans at the table. More about this in a little.
Beef Shin Croquettes with Pinot Noir
Isak from Baleia Wines ran us through a bit of the history and the above sea breeze facts, and introduced the next wine for us to try: the 2014 Erhard Pinot Noir. I often jokingly say that Pinot Noir is my favourite colour, but it’s not actually a joke and this one was beautiful. The wine was good too and it was paired with some delicious beef shin croquettes with smoked capers and bone marrow mayonnaise. On a side note, I love how bone marrow is becoming a thing in so many dishes!
Caesar Salad with Sauvignon Blanc
Next, we moved on to little mini Caesar salads paired with the slightly wooded 2016 Baleia Sauvignon Blanc. This super fresh, super lively wine was yummy, but my heart already belonged to the Chardonnay.
Smoked Pork Belly with Tempranillo
It was then time to move on to some reds. I had never tried or even heard of the Spanish varietal Tempranillo before, and was super excited to have some. And, yes, I quite liked the 2015 Baleia one. It was something just a little different. We paired this with the smoked pork belly and it was fantastic.
Pecan Nut Tart with Syrah
To end off our pairing adventure, Sotano presented us with a chocolate pecan nut tart to be paired with the Baleia Syrah. As mentioned before, Chef Russel had gained some fans at our table and we were super happy when he came to say hi! I’ll definitely be back to try a few more things off the menu.
Explore Baleia Wines … And Tuning the Vine
As for Baleia Wines, I now know them not just as the wine with the pretty label but as a pretty good wine too! A huge thank you to Tarn, Isak from Baleia Wines, and the entire Sotano Bree team!
Baleia Wines: For more information go to their official website here.
Tuning the Vine: For more information, see below.
Tuning the Vine
Article Date: October 2018
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