The other week, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, living a Travelife, I stopped at a garage winery called Bezalel Estate Cellars to see their wines and get a spot of lunch.
Bezalel Estate Cellars is a family-run winery and they make everything from white wine to port.
The son of the owner, Martiens Bezuidenhout, personally took me around.
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BOTTLES THAT CAN START A FIRE
Then after lunch, we tasted about 12 different kinds of products including a fantastic port wine and a liqueur that was almost 80% proof.
Of the liquer, which they make out of all kinds of exotic South African fruits and dates, I said: “You can start a fire with something like that.”
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CHEAP AND GOOD PORT WINE
Meanwhile, the port was excellent.
I’m not a heavy port drinker myself, although occasionally I’ll feel like a small glass of port with some cheese — especially when I’m on holiday in some grand hotel that feels like the kind of place to drink port in.
But I really like Martiens’ port wine as it’s smooth and it has a wonderful taste.
SOUTH AFRICA’S BEST PORT WINE
IS A BARGAIN
Apparently it was chosen the best port wine in South Africa by consumers in a survey, over two of the country’s leading port wine producers.
It’s also quite cheap.
I bought a bottle for something like 75 South African rand, which comes up to an incredible 300 pesos. If that isn’t bargain, I don’t know what is.
A PORT THAT ISN’T.
AND THE KALAHARI RUBY.
Martiens was quick to remind me, though: “We can’t officially call it port wine, though, as port is now a trademark that only port wines made in Portugal can use.”
So port wine makers in South Africa have taken to calling their port wines all kinds of things instead, even if everyone knows these are really port wines.
In the case of Bezalel Estate Cellars, they call their port the “Kalahari Ruby.”
And one of these days, when I have guests over for dinner, I’m going to open this lovely bottle of port and remember my wonderful trip to Northern Cape, South Africa, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.