It is that time of year, the festive season. A period best known for its excitement, festivities, celebrations, and all-round good cheer. A time of year when we celebrate the senses, where the halls are decked with twinkling and flashing lights, dangling ornaments and all things red. Either way, it’s holiday, which means exceptional times and, the living should be easy. It is, after all, the time of year in which we celebrate the senses.
A Sight To Behold
Sight is the first of the five senses that we at De Toren would like to celebrate this season. Just look around. The bare boughs have finally been transformed into green spurs. Even our vineyards are flourishing beautifully. Whom has not been blinded by the brilliance of the summer-flowering hydrangea, jubilant in blues, reds, pinks, and purples, or amazed by the pugnacious pink of the stargazer oriental lily, with its golden stamen. And looking out towards the Winelands, visible on a clear day, you will witness the Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek mountains shimmer in the summer sun. And how can we forget the various hues of red, the five varietals from De Toren. There are thousands of words in the English language for colours, and hundreds of these to describe the various shades of red, but we’ll focus on just five this season, the noble reds of De Toren – De Toren Délicate, De Toren Z, De Toren Fusion V, Book XVII and The Black Lion. Talk about five wishlist worthy wines.
Sound, the unmistakable reverberation of laughter and jollity that fills the air during the festive period, is the second of the five senses we celebrate this season. There is a sound that is close to home, and by home, we mean De Toren Private Cellar, situated on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, and that’s the striking sound of a corkscrew twisting into the cork, the friction as the tightly sealed cork rubs against the glass neck on its passage out of the wine bottle, and followed by the elegant ‘pop’ of the cork being removed from the neck of the wine bottle. Need we even mention the satisfying sound of one of De Toren’s opulent reds on its first pour into the glass. Perfect for celebratory occasions.
On The Nose
Smell. The ‘olfactory’ sense plays a supporting role to almost all of the other senses. Of course, by our estimation, the most important use for the third sense is what is known in the wine industry as the ‘sniff’. This is the main sense used whilst tasting wine, and the quality of a wine can be judged by its nose and taste. For example, the bouquet or aroma of De Toren’s opulent Book XVII wine has variously been described as being fruitcake and fig scented. Similarly, De Toren’s phenomenal De Toren Fusion V blend has been described as having a lingering hint of sweet fruit on the back palate. With De Toren, it will be instant extra-sensory perfection on the senses.
On The Palate
This brings us to taste, the fourth of our five senses. The tastes of summer in South Africa are a unique culmination of cultural influences. One of the main aromas of a SA summer is surely the aroma of a braai (or barbeque as many of our international friends may know it), and like the aroma of bacon, it must be followed by the immediate consumption of whatever causes that aroma. Be it ‘skilpadjies’ (Karoo oysters) or beef fillet on the coals. Or, back indoors, there’s always the option of a slow-roasted leg of lamb, or roast gammon with crispy crackling. All of which pair exceptionally well with De Toren’s one-of-a-kind Book XVII or an ultra-lavish glass of De Toren’s majestic 100% Shiraz, The Black Lion. A range of tastes and influences, one might say. Not to mention, the cinnamon, saffron and turmeric-based Cape Malay curries. And while on the subject of wine pairing, a little-known fact about the light-style red blend, De Toren Délicate – it’s recommended to serve this red slightly chilled, making it the perfect summer aperitif and ideal for pairing with French Charcuterie or Spanish Tapas. Of course, when savouring any one of the exquisite De Toren blends, let the wine coat the surface of your mouth for a few seconds. It is here that the magic happens; here where the complex taste experience and characteristics of a wine take place. It goes without saying that you’ll find our wines extremely well-balanced, or to use industry lingo, our five wines are known to achieve a ‘harmonious fusion’.
Touch is the final of the five senses that we would like to celebrate this season. Less obvious than the four senses above especially when it comes to food and wine, however, it is still important. The proud quality of the five world-class reds made by De Toren is not only revealed through smell, taste and colour but by the sense of touch, too. The packaging and labels of each of the five De Toren wines scream to be touched. From passing a finger lovingly over one of our embossed labels, specifically the Book XVII and The Black Lion, designed by internationally recognized US illustrator Steven Noble, to the feel and weight of the gift boxes which house the wooden frame and iconic key of both these two bespoke wines – you’ll find unrivalled touch and sensory perfection.
In Another Sense
A scientific argument has been made for an additional, or sixth sense. This is the sense of space and it deals with how your body understands where your body is in space. Of course, we can’t confirm the truth of this except to say there is one space that you could sense, a newly renovated space, which is the De Toren Manor House on the estate. Here, not only can you visit to celebrate the five senses, but might we add, celebrate the sense of space too. Ultimately, it is thanks to the five senses, and perhaps a sixth, that you are able to Experience Exceptional this season.