I believe in being adventurous when I drink wine rather than sticking with conventional varietals and established regions. There's so much to be discovered in the wine world. In the past few weeks I've tried new-to-me wines like dandelion, a red blend from Idaho and a sparkling Moscato from Brazil.
My latest give-it-a-try bottle is a South African rosé. South Africa is a respected wine region, and it's not unusual for one of its wineries to produce a rosé. What is unusual about this particular wine is that it's made from 47 types of grapes. Take a look at all of the varietals that go into the De Bos Walker Bay 47 Varietal Rosé (SRP $17):
Shiraz (syrah), cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, pinot gris, pinotage, semillon, pinot blanc, roussanne, cabernet franc, cineast, malbec, muskadel, chardonnay, chenin blanc, kolombar, sauvignon blanc, nouvelle, carignan, morio muscat, tempranillo, tinta barocca, clairette blanche, durit, petit verdot, tannat, weisser reisling, crouchen, muscat de Frontignan, nebbiolo, grenache noir, souza, mataro, sangiovese, touriga nacional, meunier, roobernet, ruby cabernet, gewurztraminer, touriga Franca, zinfandel, tinta amarelle, viognier, verdelho and muscat d’Alexandria.
I could spend days going down the rabbit hole learning about some of the varietals in this list that I've never heard of: kolombar, crouchen, durit. (They sound more like names from Tolkien, don't they?) All of these grapes grow in one vineyard that has a wide spectrum of grape varieties for the production of fine wine, table wine and raisins.
The deep pink/orange De Bos Walker Bay 47 Varietal is a rosé that's fair trade accredited, vegan and produced using sustainability initiatives that include the use of solar panels, minimal pesticides and following practices that conserve biodiversity. The workers at the winery own a 26 percent share of the business and the land.
But what does a wine made from 47 different kinds of grapes taste like? Cranberry was the first thing I tasted and then came some of the summer fruits that rosé is most known for — strawberries and melon that linger through the finish. As the weather warms, this is the type of wine you'll want to open. Let it sit in the glass for a few minutes to warm just a bit. Not all the flavors are evident when it's fresh-from-the-fridge cold, which is common with a rosé.
I enjoyed this wine and appreciated the chance to try something a little different. And 47 different types of grapes stuffed into one bottle and poured into my glass is different, satisfying my desire for new and uncommon wine experiences.