{wine} Picnic with Piekenierskloof’s Six Hats De-Alcoholised wines

Contrary to popular belief, I simply love the taste of wine, with or without the alcohol. With a seductive duo of Piekenierskloof Wines‘ Six Hats de-alcoholised wines chilling in my fridge this summer, I can delight in ample glasses without the worry, but with all the flavour.

Introduction

I used to be a serious sceptic when it came to de-alcoholised wine. If it didn’t have the alcohol in, I didn’t want it.  For a long time I firmly, but naïvely, believed that all the flavour of wine came from the alcohol, so as soon as you took the alcohol away, the flavour was lost. In general, I don’t drink wine because of the alcohol, but for the flavour, the taste, the complexities around the nose and palate. If only I could find a de-alcoholised wine with the full flavour bouquet, I’d happily drink it all day long.

De-alcoholised wines crossed my path again with the national alcohol ban this year. Not that I ran out of conventional wine to drink, but because de-alcoholised wines were fore-fronted in supermarkets and piqued my curiosity all over again. I had my fair share of trying de-alcoholised wines during the early throes of lockdown; so much so that I didn’t care too much for it after a while. The ones I tried were tasteless, yeasty and nothing like wine. Fully understanding, supporting and recognising that there is an ever-increasing space opening for alcohol-conscious beverages and a growing demand for alcohol-free alternatives, I’ve just never found the one that tickled my taste-buds. I’d rather go without wine than compromise on the taste.

Childishly excited about a very generous press drop the other day from Piekenierskloof Wines, I must admit, I was slightly apprehensive about the inclusion of their two de-alcoholised wines. But, in the spirit of trying new things, I  put all previous pre-conceptions out of mind, and lost myself in the abundance of this gift.

Background

Along the N7 on the Piekenierskloof Pas is a white building that holds many stories. Stories of Pikemen, toll fees, a nurse and her first aid cabinet that you can still see today when visiting our deli. This building acted as a supply station and pitstop to many travelers since 1849 and we are keeping the memory and tradition alive by offering honest food, exciting pairings, quality artisanal products and excellent wine to visitors and locals. De Tol Farm deli is the home and new tasting room of Piekenierskloof Wines, where you can experience the best of what the terroir has to offer (https://www.piekenierskloofwines.co.za/visit-us/).

Six Hats range

Piekenierskloof Wines recently debuted its latest addition to the beloved Six Hats wine-range in the form of two de-alcoholised wines, a white and a red blend.

Six Hats de-alcoholised White Blend

Tasting notes:  tropical aromas of guava, green apple and pear with a refreshing acidity and some spiciness on the palate.
In the vineyard:  grapes are sourced from vineyards in the Western Cape that are growing on koffieklip and oakleaf soils. 
In the cellar: prior to bottling the alcohol level is reduced to less than 0.5% ABV as gently as possible through a specialized process.
Cellar door price:   
approx. R85 per bottle

Six Hats de-alcoholised Red Blend

Tasting notes:  aromas of ripe red fruit and caramelized popcorn on the palate.
In the vineyard:  the wine is made from 13 to 16 year old trellised vineyards, planted in sandy, loam soils. 50% Tempranillo, 30% Tannat, 20% Tinta Amarella

In the cellar: prior to bottling the alcohol level is reduced to less than 0.5% ABV as gently as possible through a specialized process.
Cellar door price:   
approx. R85 per bottle

Summer snacking

I’m the eternal snacker, so it seemed a great idea to pair all the lovely snacks from the De Tol Farm Deli with our icy bottle of Six Hats White blend. There were generous bags of caramelised popcorn, plump dried fruit, fragrant droëwors sticks, roasted mixed nuts and my all time favourite thing to snack on – olive tapenade.

Being the little hedonist that I am, I was keen to try out a new recipe for chicken wings with a slight Asian zing. Served and tempered down with earthy hummous, these morsels of chicken went down a treat with the light, highly aromatic glass of Six Hats white. Ever so dainty and summery, the white blend was simply a really good white blend, but less the alcohol of course.

We are still to try the red, but with a blend of Tempranillo, Tannat, and Tinta Amarella, this is going to be a guaranteed winner.

I feel that these lighter wines are most perfectly suited to snacking; a sheer addition to picnic and “padkos” baskets. Best enjoyed icy cold and al-fresco, Piekenierskloof Wines offer consumers a stunning alternative to full-alcohol wines, for whichever reason they might prefer it. Be it for health reasons, as part of a controlled calorie intake programme, or simply because you don’t feel like the mid-afternoon slump, Six Hats de-alcoholised wines deliver on all the flavour and substantially less of the alcohol.

In conclusion

A unique addition to the Piekenierskloof Wines portfolio, the Six Hats de-alcoholised wines have won me over completely. I finally found, from the warm heart of Citrusdal,  wines that do not forfeit flavour to accommodate lower alcohol levels. My previous aversion to what I considered an abomination of wine, has undergone a radical change of heart. I’ll most certainly be inviting Six Hats de-alcoholised wines to our next braai, brunch, picnic, road-trip or any other occasion that requires a lighter tread. And not only because of the lower alcohol level, but more so because it just tastes so good!

Thank you, Piekenierskloof Wines, for giving me something to get excited about and for sparking this change of heart with your Six Hats de-alcoholised wines!

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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