Last week Wednesday we were invited to attend the launch of Terracura, a 2015 Swartland Syrah produced by Ryan Mostert – a young gun who has gone on to take over winemaking of two awesome brands, Silwervis and Smiley. Terracura is his latest project, a collab between partner Samantha Suddons, financial whizz Michael Roets and wine retailer Roland Peens. At the Wine Cellar-based event held in Obs, we were treated to something called a blind tasting.
So what’s a blind tasting? Hint: It does not involve blindfolds. Instead, each wine bottle is hidden from view by getting its own wine covering (read: fancy pants sock), with the goal being to encourage the tasters to focus on the colour, aromas and flavour of the wine. You might not think it, but the aesthetics on a bottle (labels, award stickers … hell even bottle shape) has a super strong influence on your impression of a wine. Branding is all powerful, and that’s why, if you really want to step up your wine game, it is a fun and useful practice to strip away all decorative features and focus on the wine itself.
Our thoughts? We’ve always LOVED the illustrated, zero ponce approachability of the Silwervis and Smiley labels – très glou glou if you ask us, and the local references are a trendy nod towards South African township culture (side note: a smiley is a roasted sheep’s head and a silwervis is an empty box wine baggie). However, if we learnt anything from this experience is that one should do their best to not judge a bottle by it’s cover (easier said than done!). While we love the cartoon-like labels, the inside wine is something grown up. A perfect juxtaposition really. Terracura does the same – simple, and understated, but a vixen on the palate.
Lesson? Don’t follow blindly – neither in life nor in wine.