Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kumala: Week #15

Tonight was the long awaited KV Santa Claus Parade – a magical night when you can stand on the sidewalk for an hour as you watch a series of advertisements roll slowly by.  I’m not sure whether my favorite float was the Port-a-John or the dump truck with a single red bow on the back.  In either case, I stilled got teary-eyed when my baby handed his letter over to the postman and Santa’s sleigh appeared.  Motherhood seriously messes with my cynicism. 
As is the tradition, after the parade, we enjoyed hot chocolate (with Bailey’s for the 19+ crowd) and a spread of holiday treats.  I had spent the morning getting a start on my Christmas baking – now here is when wine saves the day (yet again!).  One of my traditional treats is the Brown Sugar Button Cookie.  These little round cookies are deliciously packed with brown sugar and cleverly poked with a toothpick to look like buttons; Hence the name Brown Sugar Button Cookie.  However in past years I have been frustrated by poking four holes in dozens upon dozens of cookies – eventually my hand gets tired, I get lazy, and some cookies end up looking less like buttons and more like Brown Sugar Pincushions.  “Wouldn’t it be easier if I had a stamp of sorts?” I pondered as I surveyed my kitchen.  My eyes landed on a discarded wine cork, “Eureka!”
Minutes later the wine-cork button stamp was born!

Because of the Bailey’s & HC, I had planned on using a stock-piled review, but Helpful Husband was keen to get a bottle of Shiraz after our guests had left and the children were in bed (9pm), so after deciding to stick to the South-African section off he went to the liquor store with the cell in hand.  I would like you to imagine being a fellow late-night liquor store customer as Helpful Husband answered the following questions over the phone:
“What are our brand choices?”
“Are any on sale?”
“Alcohol content?”
“Are the labels pretty?”
“Describe them”
I wanted to ask him to read the labels to me, but I restrained.  I already felt that if there is such a thing as wine porn, I had just produced it.

Now, the final decision was hard because there were three wines to pick from, and one was on sale, another had a “cave-like drawing of an ostrich or a flamingo” (he really is helpful, isn’t he?), and the other had a lizard on the label and 14.5% alc./vol.  But, the bird-like design label mystery was too gripping for me to abandon and I had to see it with my own eyes.  The decision was made; husband hung up the phone.

He arrived home.  I eagerly pulled the bottle from the bag, enthusiastically awaiting the moment of bird-discovery when I could ream my husband for his stupidity over what is so clearly a penguin, but to my surprise it is a lizard that greets me from the label.  WTF?  I search my memory for the error – right, I had hung up the phone and left my ever so helpful husband without supervision on his way to the check-out counter = mistake.  Left to his own devices, he, of course, made small talk with the cashier, who, of course, is a Shiraz drinker himself (sure) and didn’t recommend the elusive ostrich-flamingo wine and confused my poor easily lead husband with shiny bottles and tales about how many feet above sea-level the grapes were harvested.

Kumala (South Africa, 2009)
14.5% alc./vol.

A word from the wine:
The ancient soils and Mediterranean Cape create the ideal conditions for producing this ripe, velvety Shiraz with a touch of spice. ALWAYS ENJOY KUMALA WINE IN MODERATION.
I don’t like my wine to lecture me about moderation.

When I first sipped this wine, my first thought was: DUD.  Then I swallowed and was pleasantly surprised.  For this wine, the flavor is in the finish.  It’s a very easy finish too – not too spicy or bitter, but it still loses points for lacking richness.  I was surprised I wasn’t tipsier after one glass, but I certainly felt the effects after finishing ½ the bottle.  I wasn’t too drunk to read before bed, though I did wake up in the middle of the night feeling extreme thirst and a dull ache in my head.  Weird. 

Helpful Husband Tip: “Easy going down”
I’m going to the liquor store today to confirm the species of bird on the other label.


  1. LOL! I think this is my fave post to date! Take a picture of the crazy bird, will ya? :) Oh, and props to you for being so crafty, hah! I knew you were hiding your crafty side from me!

  2. thanks for the laugh and review after a Monday at work, it made my day. Eventually i hope to go to the liquor store and buy one of these interesting wines.Your husband sounds like a `gem`to me, he`s a keeper for sure.