{wine} A legacy in a bottle: Van Loveren’s Perlé de Jean

Be the centre of Insta-attention this summer when you whip out a couple of bottles of Van Loveren Family Vineyard’s gorgeous Perlé de Jean to heat up your pool party. She’s vibrant, she’s just a little bit sparkly, and a whole lot of heart!

Introduction

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and my eyes fell instantly in love as I lifted the lid on a gifted bottle of Van Loveren’s Perlé de Jean Pinot Grigio Rosé. Striking in her rose-gold attire, this bottle is a love affair at first sight. But more so, it tells a very touching story, going back to the first roots of this heirloom wine estate.

Jean Retief, the matriarchal mother of Van Loveren wines, had an unparalleled love for gardening and botany. She was a gifted gardener with exceptionally green fingers, and her years of hard work is reflected in the stunning expanses of Van Loveren‘s gardens, almost in full bloom throughout the year. If you lift your head to the skies, you’ll see a myriad of different trees, each one hand-selected and planted by Jean to commemorate important family and world events, special celebrations and historical figures. She was also the driving force behind the re-naming of the farm to Van Loveren, as we know it today.

Jean’s legacy lives on as visitors to Van Loveren today still takes pleasure and shelter in her gardens, as they have for many years before. Now, her family treasure and memory will live on in this beautiful bottle of Perlé de Jean Pinot Grigio Rosé.

Background

When the sun beats down and the cool water’s calling, you know just one drink will do: Perlé de Jean. The latest vintage of this delicious and refreshing Pinot Grigio rosé is now available and flying off the shelves.

The salmon-pink wine launched last year by Van Loveren Family Vineyards to great acclaim for its vivacious taste and elegant design. The wine quickly became the sunshine beverage to enjoy, especially when seafood’s on the menu (press release).

Perlé de Jean Pinot Grigio Rosé

The intricate detailing on the label pays homage to Jean’s lush garden paradise that she and husband Hennie established with the estate in 1939. Gorgeously salmon in colour and captivatingly easy on the eye and palate, this is the perfect sharing-wine for your summer soirees.

Tasting notes: aroma of ripe, fresh red berries, citrus zest and melon.
In the vineyard: The wine is made from Pinot Grigio, a red wine grape that Van Loveren harvests at night to ensure its plump, fresh fruitiness is retained from vineyard to bottling.
In the cellar: As far as ascertained, the wine was South Africa’s first perlé-styled Pinot Grigio rosé when it was released.
Cellar door price: Perlé de Jean Pinot Grigio is available at Checkers, Makro, Food Lover’s Market and selected Spar and Tops@Spar stores. It sells for around R69.99.

The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestions: This beauty screams garlicky, buttery, smokey seafood and grilled king prawns on a Saturday afternoon, especially when smothered in a smoked paprika aioli. I’ve however decided to make my own baked, blackened chicken strips (due to my shellfish allergy!), which is deliciously moreish, easy to make and incredibly versatile. Add a lovely fresh side salad, a few wedges of gorgeous soft cheeses, oven baked herby potato wedges and a giant bowl of paprika aioli for dipping, and summer is served on a plate.

Also try pasta salads with a bit of spice, chargrilled vegetable and halloumi skewers or even a lovely fruit platter with good quality vanilla bean ice cream on the side. This is truly a wine that can be served with starters, mains and dessert. It’s deliciously refreshing, and the perfect cooler after a long, hot day.

Perlé de Jean Pinot Grigio Rosé does not require a lot of preparation and prefers lazy days next to the pool or sundowner gatherings. Make sure your food matches the vibes to get the most out of this fuss-free, luxuriously chilled wine.

I made my blackened, crumbed chicken strips by using my favourite wheat cereal for the crumb (hence the blackening) and smoked paprika-infused flour for dusting. I double-dipped the strips in egg between layers of paprika flour and crumbs, before baking in the oven until golden brown. The multiple coatings ensure a crispy crumb, with a juicy and tender chicken strip inside. I mixed up a quick paprika aioli using the best mayonnaise, butter, garlic and smoked paprika spice.

For a marinated king prawn recipe, click here!
For a prawn skewers recipe, click here!
For a crispy king prawn recipe, click here!

Remembering Jean

When I showed my mom the bottle of wine, she fondly recalled the Retief family, as she grew up in Robertson on the farm neighbouring Van Loveren. She went to school with the four cousins at Goudmyn school, and my grandfather were friends with Hennie Retief, Jean’s husband. 

My mom further recalls that Jean was such a vibrant, caring person that everyone in the area knew her. Jean often spent time comparing gardening notes with my grandmother and they both competed in the annual Robertson flower show, celebrating their most beautiful flowers and plants.

In conclusion

Jean Retief lives on in many memories, and her heart will forever be shared with many more generations to visit this iconic Robertson wine estate. Perlé de Jean Pinot Grigio Rosé is an elegant and effervescent ode to an elegant, sparkling lady, who, without realising, pioneered the way for women in wine. I’ll quietly say a special thank you for her contribution to South Africa’s wine scene every time I cheers a glass of Perlé de Jean.

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.

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