What’s your Wine Moment?

The other day, whilst entertaining a few of my closest friends, pouring a glass of Chardonnay for each, one of my friend’s rather gleefully exclaimed: “I haven’t had Chardonnay in years! How that brings back memories of beach, bonfires and a crush or two.”

I knew she was going to share her exact memories in Sophia from Golden Girls style with a “Picture this, Sicily, 1922…” vivid recollection. But then again, I have over many years realised that wine is something to be shared – not only the liquid but the story attached to each.

And so, our afternoon turned into one of reminiscing with our best wine moments. The setting or our emotion at the time, which created that specific wine moment that will transport us back again and again, and find us longing for a particular wine just to re-live the moment.

However, I have a wine memory I really don’t want to relive!

On route to a recent camping trip with my family along the West Coast, Google Maps took us on a gravel road which quickly turned very sandy. Without a 4×4 vehicle, towing a caravan, and with no cell phone reception, our adventure suddenly turned into panic.

We couldn’t turn around, so the only option was to push through and rely on my husband’s driving skills to avoid getting stuck. After an agonising 10km sandy trip of dread, we reached our camping spot – breathtakingly beautiful! The first thing we did was open up a bottle of Zonnebloem Merlot (the first bottle I could salvage from the yet to be unpacked caravan).

As we sipped the wine from coffee mugs, the sheer relief of being safe, being surrounded by such peaceful scenery and the promise of a wonderful holiday ahead, made me realise that wine moments can never be boxed. This particular one is certainly not filled with glitz, youth or an envious story. Rather, the blissful aftermath of a dreadful situation!

Psychologists believe that out of our five senses, smell is the closest linked to our memories. But I say from now, every time I see a sandy road, I know that I will be reminded of that bottle of Merlot and what exhausted relief tastes like – heaven!

Here’s to finding your unique wine memory and migrating back to that particular wine or cultivar, and re-living a moment that you will never forget.


Elize Coetzee


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