We are well on our way through March already, and I’m still stuck on luxurious December holidays and reminiscing about Christmas lunch. I’m sitting at my desk daydreaming about sun-downers and socials. But who says it has to be Christmas to have a merry celebration? Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards has given me a reason to bring the merry back any time of the year with their beautifully festive Very Berry Merrytinis!
I was (yes, we all know!) childishly excited when a lavish box of goodies arrived at work. I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer and had to take a sneak peek at the contents. I could see fresh mint, raspberries, cranberry juice, ginger, a bottle of vodka and a beautiful bottle of Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc 2018. I hate to admit this, but I’m a relative new-comer to Leopard’s Leap wines, except for their exquisite Chardonnay Pinot Noir, which is a firm favourite of mine. So very pleased to have the opportunity to try another of their range.
I simply couldn’t wait to get home and unpack my box, and indulge in a few festive cocktails!
Leopard’s Leap wines
Leopard’s Leap was conceptualised at the turn of the century by winemaker and businessman Hein Koegelenberg. Following its formidable success as a wine producer during the first decade, a decision was made in 2011 to broaden the horizons and, at the same time, create a home where visitors can get close to the values of the Leopard’s Leap brand and experience the Leopard’s Leap identity and principal passions – wine, food, conservation and literature.
In our food and wine offering we endeavour to expose wine lovers to experiences they can recreate in the company of Leopard’s Leap wines, wherever in the world they are.
Through decades, the Rupert family has displayed a sincere commitment to conservation and environmental care. Inspired by exemplary actions in this regard, Leopard’s Leap is a proud sponsor of the Cape Leopard Trust, an NGO that aims at optimally facilitating the conservation of the Cape region’s predators, in particular the endangered Cape Mountain Leopard.
Through sponsorships and the creation of platforms, Leopard’s Leap is closely involved in promoting South African literature and the advancement of local authors.
The Very Berry Merrytinis
First off, I was somewhat confused when I read the recipe. Wine in a cocktail? Wine AND vodka in a cocktail? Confused, but more so, intrigued. And in much need of some merry-ness. Onwards!
The recipe calls for a simple ginger syrup, which infused my kitchen with that lovely warm, comforting, spicy goodness as it simmered on the stove top. That was pretty much the hardest part of the recipe!
For the rest, mix the ingredients as indicated, garnish to your liking and enjoy!
I loved it. It was refreshing and joyfully spicy with hints of juicy red fruits; it was rich and indulgent and packed with flavour. The perfect cooler for a pool-side party or to accompany a few sunset snacks. I must admit, I had a few, and made another few rounds the next day when I had friends over for lunch! A very easy-drinking, but super impressive and aesthetically beautiful cocktail to serve at your next soirée. You will definitely put a bit of that Christmas cheer back into the souls of your guests!
Leopard’s Leap Classic Chenin Blanc 2018
Awards: Chenin Blanc Trophy in the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards
Tasting notes: A medium to full-bodied wine made in a fresh and fruity New-world style. Upfront tropical aromas of ripe guava and grapefruit, supported by flavours of Golden Delicious apples. A lively combination of ripe summer fruit and subtle fynbos undertones, sustained by a firm acidity and a dry, lingering finish (https://wine.co.za)
In the vineyard: 100% Chenin Blanc, grapes came from Perdeberg in Agter-Paarl region
In the cellar: Grapes were whole-bunch pressed, settled and fermented at 14°C with extended lees contact.
Approximate retail price: R60
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: A very easy drinking, everybody pleasing Chenin that is fruity and bold, supported by a luscious nose of summer without being too sweet, this wine is the perfect companion for almost every meal. A beautifully grilled chicken salad, a simple cheese platter, home made fish cakes, sweet and sour sticky pork chops, a mild Asian noodle dish, smoked salmon and avocado starters, pan-fried herby white fish fillets with greens – the list is endless!
As a avid Chenin drinker, I always thought Chenin is a bit of an acquired taste. I was super impressed by the versatility of this Chenin and how widely it appeals to most palates and foods. I was pleasantly surprised at the addition of the wine to a cocktail, and could most certainly appreciate the delicate gathering of ingredients to make these festive berry martinis.
I know now Christmas doesn’t only come around in December – in fact, in my house, it now comes around quite regularly! A firm new favourite in my cocktail arsenal, I’m all about spreading goodwill, merriment and cheer throughout the year, thanks to Leopard’s Leap!
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.