Saturday, June 9, 2012

24. Random Wine Trip: Serengeti Resort and Vinously Speaking

Male ostrich at Serengeti
24. Random Wine Trip
Giraffe, ostriches,
we all meander today
searching nourishment:

a taste of wines I know, don't,
a new wine society.

I know I have lots of posts to write, chronicling my recent visits (Perissos, Pillar Bluff, Texas Legato, Westcave Cellars, McReynold's Wines, Solaro Estates, and Bell Spings), but I wanted to share a quick note about my random trip today. Sean and I followed up on some local wine places we recently happened upon. Both visits provided some great new places.

In the lodge with the tasting bar on the left.

Our first stop was Serengeti Resort in Bergheim (they are off 46 just outside of Boerne). This resort offers two of my favorite things: wine and animal viewing. They have a tasting bar where they highlight South African wines (go along with the animals just outside the lodge), but they showcase wines from throughout the world. We took our time chatting about wine, learning from each other. I learned about South African wine and I shared my Texas wine stories (their interested in expanding their Texas wines beyond their one excellent choice, Bending Branch).
Sean's prize: Indaba's Shiraz

We met Zach and were treated to six wines. We started with an Australian Moscato by Deakin Estates. This slightly carbonated, fruity sweet Moscato was effervescent; it's green apples and other lighter fruit softened the palate. We followed with Alamos' Torrantes from Mendoza Valley Argentina. This blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that was light and soft. We then moved on to big, bold reds. The first was a Chilean Pinot Noir from Cono Sur. This hearty smelling wine had a hint of sweetness that was smooth on the palate. Sean then had his favorite wine of the day: Indaba's Shiraz from South Africa. This earthy, smooth wine was a treat. Are next red was the one I knew well, Alamos' Malbec (same folks as the Torrantes). This is a great example of Argentina's Malbecs. This smooth, rich wine is one of favorites to just set and drink. We tried it a few years ago at Olmos Bharmacy in San Antonio and were hooked. We finished the tasting with the only US wine, Josh Cellar's Cabarnet Sauvignon (from California). This rich wine was smooth and full; it helped me solidify my opinion of Pillar Bluff's Double Gold 2009 Merlot (a Merlot that is as rich and bold as a good Cab).

Giraffe visiting a Bungalow
We stuck around a bit, enjoying and glass and chatting with Zach, but we felt bad taking his time (they were getting ready to have a wedding on the property). We then took to the grounds just outside the lodge to check out some of the closer animals. A group of ostriches was hanging about to get a chance at some snacks (you can buy food to feed the animals). A giraffe has also wandered up to beg from some folks who were staying at one of the bungalows available. We also watched groups of gazelle -- I can't tell you which type -- graze through the area. Before we left, we visited the lemurs and saw what we think were probably kudu a short ways from the parking lot. Since it was mainly a wine day, we didn't do the tour -- you can rent a golf cart and tour the grounds and see animals up close (you can also buy feed). The tour is $53. This may seem steep, but after visits to similar places (like Fossil Rim in North Texas), this price isn't bad.

A bottle of Pedernales Cellars Merlot; quite the present
Since we finished up early -- and got there much quicker than we anticipated (about 40 minutes from IH-10 and 1604) -- we decided to visit a new wine shop that was tasting Pedernales Cellars today. Vinously Speaking (at Wurzbach and Babcock next to our last residence) opened in April and has sought to provide an eclectic selection of wines. I was impressed with the variety of less common varietals and blends. And I was even more impressed with their Texas wine selection. I was very happy to Perissos there; now I can drive about 10 minutes (and visit the comic book shop and  my grandparents), and get some great Northern Hill Country wine. It was nice to chat with the owner, Cecilia Barretto, and share our Texas wine experiences. In fact, it was nice to find out about another San Antonio based wine blog: Vinously Speaking. The spot they took has gone through multiple owners -- I can honestly say I was not impressed with the last folks, but I did like the first. I am glad to see it in its new hands and can't wait to visit again soon.

Today was one of those random wine days that brings more into my life. Sean and I decided a stay at Serengeti Resort for our birthdays is in order -- in October it will be much cooler for touring the grounds. However, another more leisurely visit will be in order soon. And as for the new wine shop, they have shot up on my list as places I MUST visit. It was a tasty day.

No comments:

Post a Comment