When I turned 21, my mum gave me a choice: a trip away with her and her new husband or a 21st birthday party. Guess which I took? Actually, as luck would have it, I was in for a party both ways as, while I wedged my way down the passage between the seats of the little shuttle bus at the airport having just landed, I saw only boys. Lots of them. Can you imagine the luck? There I was, girl alone stranded on an island in the Indian Ocean with a bunch of boys who were on an entire week’s bachelor breakaway party. It’s the stuff of dreams.
Now. Let’s first get a few things straight here. Though it took a few days for the bachelor boys to understand my age and agenda and hence tailor make their trip carefully around this, letting me tag along on their scuba diving course and the odd snorkeling trip, there were many times I was the third wheel: on the golf course, on the beach and most often at dinner. And it was at one of these first few dinners, that my age and inexperience in regard to the precious wine, which my mum had brought with in her luggage was the defining factor.
‘Would you like something else to drink?’ she would say, ‘you are not going to appreciate this wine, it’s much too good for you.’
I’ve been in therapy ever since.
No, this is not true. It’s been a long- standing favorite family joke and I now agree with her, entirely.
Wine is something you learn to appreciate the older you get. It’s like the appeal of grey haired men and the sage wisdom of years having been lived.
I cannot profess to know a huge amount about wine other than there are those I instinctively love and those I don’t. I do know quite a lot more than a boyfriend I had -many years back- who leant over my page squinting at the answers on my multiple choice answer sheet after a four week Masters Course which he still failed and I passed, but that doesn’t say much about my knowledge of wine but rather that I was sufficiently in love with him to let him share my answers.
More recently I had the fortune of attending a fun tasting session in a small vineyard in the middle of Tuscany somewhere but that too doesn’t say much about my wine knowledge either.
But what I now realize is that knowledge is not a pre-requisite for Opulence.
For Opulence is simply about a grandiose taste. I cannot recall having tasted anything so smooth, so beautifully blueberry fragrant (or was it raspberry? Or even both?) , so pleasingly lacking in any bitterness and I felt not a smidgen of a dull headache which wine- and particularly red wine- tends to leave the next morning.
I deliberately didn’t read the label to see what I could blindly and honestly get of the bouquet but here is the lowdown on wine called Opulence:
- it is an organic wine which I believe means that it is essentially free of any herbicides, pesticides or any added, unnatural substance and is thus kinder to the environment
- the colour was a clear warm, brick red which slid easily down the side of the glass after swirling, commonly known as having ‘good legs’ or not as I recall amongst wine experts. Usually a more full- bodied wine would have ‘good legs’. This was a lighter bodied one and truly delicious .
- there was something else in the bouquet which I couldn’t quite work out but it was almost like perfume. I loved it. I equated it to the slightly, exciting momentary whiff of something clean and wonderful like when you opened those little sachets of hand cleanser on an aeroplane in the old days. Do you remember those?
The word ‘opulence’ is associated with wealth and velvety plush cushions. It is synonymous with grand and expensive and fancy.
I have no idea what the bottle costs but I can assure you of one thing, I think I have finally become of an age to really live a life of OPULENCE and I plan to do so. REGULARLY.
The wine was sampled as a trade exchange for Merriment & Co, a new innovative liquor company bringing new brands into South Africa.