Wine with dinner – Primitivo & Chenin Blanc

Bon Vivant, a kitchen store on the island, had cooking classes from time to time.  Sushi making and champagne tasting, Canape making lessons, Mediterranean platter ideas etc.  We signed up for the pizza making and wine evening.  It was fantastic, we had to make our own dough in groups of four and then split the dough to roll out a pizza base each.  While the dough was rising Chef Lloyd then demonstrated how to make your own homemade tomato sauce to use as the base on the pizza.  Also while waiting for the dough to rise, the wine rep, who had made a concerted effort to seek out and find suitable wines to pair with our homemade pizzas, poured us each a glass of WHITE. He asked for our comments and thoughts around the flavours, what varietal we thought it was and which region in the world we thought had been produced it – the questions made for some interesting conversation, a great idea for wine club.
Once rolling out our pizza bases and lathering them in tomato sauce we topped them with our personal preferences from the array of choices, roast chicken, brie cheese, parma ham, rocket, caramelised onions and more.  Again, interesting to see all the different combinations that people come up with.
While the pizzas were in the oven cooking our wine rep filled our glasses with a RED wine and continued with the same discussions and questions posed regarding the WHITE.

Once revealing all the answers to us we were allowed to continue drinking our preferred of the two wines together with our homemade pizzas.  Chef Lloyd also quickly whipped up a tiramisu for us for dessert. 
What a fantastic evening, and who knew homemade pizzas are actually not that difficult to make.  A great way of combining interactive cooking lessons with wine tastings.

My wine notes below…
(Bearing in mind most of the opinions were noted prior to knowing any information about the wine or even seeing the label.  So none of our notes could be swayed by the “typical” characteristics of a wine.)

WINE:  Spice Route Chenin Blanc
PRODUCER:  Spice Route
REGION & COUNTRY:  Swartland, South Africa
RECOMMENDED BY:  Blackbeards wine sommelier
PLACE TASTED:  Bon Vivant pizza making class.  Delicious pizzas with awesome Chef Lloyd

APPEARANCE:  More golden than a Sav B, but not as dark as a Chard.
NOSE:  Fruity like pears and baked apples, a hint of cloves in the nose too.
TASTE:  Delicious
FINISH:  Smooth and easy drinking
OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Light and crisp, a GREAT white wine.  I chose to have this rather than the RED with my pizza.
OVERALL VALUE:   5 out of 5

WINE:  Primitivo (the same grape as a RED Zinfandel)
RECOMMENDED BY:  Blackbeards wine sommelier who mentioned it is a good pizza wine
PLACE TASTED:   With pizza at our cooking class
APPEARANCE:  A rich RED colour, not your dark and thick hue.
NOSE:  Slightly spicy, a bit of cherry
TASTE:  Buttery and fruity with a slight spice.  It tastes like it needs to sit for a year or two.
FINISH:  A bit watery, not a lot of tannins
OVERALL IMPRESSION:  A bit too Pinot-Noir-ish & Cote du Rhone-ish for me.  Not as “whole” as a Cab Sav or Merlot.  Having said that some of those in the class who were more familiar with American wines seemed to enjoy it quite a lot, as well as those who had travelled to France and enjoyed a genuine Cote-du-Rhone.
OVERALL VALUE:  3 out of 5

We actually wanted to look up the Spice Route farm when returning home to South Africa  after we enjoyed this wine and evening so much.  We thought we would need to make a trip up the West Coast into the Swartland, but in fact, while the grapes are all grown there the farm and tasting room are actually based just outside Paarl.  This farm is definitely one of our favourites with the beautiful views and number of different activities available.  My notes from our numerous visits have been documented in another post.


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