{recipe box} Leopard’s Leap: old flames and a new vintage Chenin Blanc

With a chilled bottle of Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards’ Chenin Blanc 2019 hanging out in your fridge, you’re always ready to rumba and ignite some flames with sexy, sizzling sun downers, no matter the circumstances.


There’s just something synonymous about cocktails and summertime. Pretty, fruity drinks in tall glasses, coupled with a stunning sunset calls for a perfect end to your summer’s day. Leopard’s Leap is heating things up with a wine cocktail recipe that is sure to cause some flames. Showcasing their new Chenin Blanc 2019 vintage, our friends at Leopard’s Leap sent me a goodie box of ingredients to shake up their Chenin Blanc Old Flame cocktail.

Gone are the days when wine was served exclusively in wine glasses. The popularity of wine cocktails has steadily been rising, thanks to classic wine mixer recipes such as red or white wine sangrias. In fact, I personally think that wine lends itself beautifully to a cocktail component, especially character-laden tropical whites, with its smorgasbord palate of sun-ripened summer fruits. Now is the time to play with your wine, and hone your mixologist skills.


Leopard’s Leap was conceptualised at the turn of the century by winemaker and businessman Hein Koegelenberg.

With an initial international focus, the brand’s exceptional performance in the global market today sees it represented in more than 40 countries with dedicated marketing teams and distribution across Asia, the UK, Europe, North America and Africa.

While consumers worldwide enjoy Leopard’s Leap wines as an outstanding example of South African quality, it is at its Franschhoek home where guests are introduced to the accessible and versatile wine portfolio and the ways in which Leopard’s Leap wines can be enjoyed as part of an everyday quality lifestyle (https://leopardsleap.co.za/pages/about-us).

Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc 2019

Always a fan of an aromatic, crisp Chenin Blanc, Leopard’s Leap  is right on the mark with this food-loving vintage. A great addition to any wine collection, this Chenin is the perfect juicy starter.

Tasting notes: spicy and tropical aromas, underlined by a bold acidity, makes this wine a versatile companion. The nose has upfront aromas of Golden Delicious apples and grapefruit, supported by tropical flavours of ripe guava and the palate is a lively combination of summer fruits, sustained by a firm acidity and a dry lingering finish.
In the vineyard: grapes came from Perdeberg in the Agter-Paarl region. 100% Chenin Blanc
In the cellar: after fermentation, the wine-maker chose to blend a small portion of the press component into the free-run to lend the wine some additional body and flavour.
Cellar door price: approx. R70 per bottle

The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestions: There’s not much not to love about a good Chenin Blanc.

When in doubt, always pair your meal with a lively, fruity Chenin Blanc. Because of its incredibly aromatic palate, the Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc in particular, pairs beautifully with a wide range of ingredients. We all know a Chenin laps up a gorgeously juicy whole roasted chicken, as well as grilled vegetables, creamy vegetable bakes and stunningly silky pastas, especially if it has hints of lemon in the sauce. Creamy style cheeses are always a winner, even the more herby goat’s cheeses! 

For the more adventurous home chef, think Asian flavours; sweet and sour or sweet and spicy noodle dishes, gooey pork chops or a chicken chow mein with loads of fresh veggies.

Old Flames

I simply couldn’t wait to unpack my goodie box. I get unusually excited at the prospect of working with fresh ingredients, especially if I get to put them together to create something super tasty and innovative. In my goodie box, I found treasures of fresh figs, fragrant lemons, honey, London Dry gin and ginger ale, plus a few more store cupboard basics.

This is a really easy recipe to make and doesn’t require many gadgets or tools. Once you’ve made the fig syrup, you can keep it in the fridge to enjoy the next day. A few whizzes and blends later, and I had two beautifully bright cocktails. These tasted like the afterglow of summer; deep, intense figs, lightened by the spice of the ginger ale and tempered out by the addition of a squidge of honey.

The Chenin Blanc enhanced the fruitiness of the cocktail and lingered on the palate long after the glass was empty. A welcome nudge from the zesty lemon and dry gin right at the end reminded us of their role in the cocktail – to provide that refreshingly satisfactory kick you’ve been waiting for.

Following on from the month of love, this recipe is perfect to surprise your loved one. Date night has never looked this romantic, knowing that Leopard’s Leap has your back. Turn a mid-week dinner into a showstopper meal with the addition of these sexy Old Flames. Or, serve your Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc neat, for a sophisticated twist to the everyday routine.

In conclusion

A delightful addition to any meal, Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc 2019 is simply charming, with or without the added frills. Thank you, team Leopard’s Leap, for yet another stunning vintage, and for continuing to share the love long after Valentine’s day is done!

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.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.


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