Merwida Black Friday 2017!

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2017 Awards Season

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We are very proud of the 2017 awards 🙂

Merwida Awards 2017

Fun, Unique & Amusing Facts About Wine

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Wine is an age old tradition.

Here is a variety of fun, odd, and amusing facts about wine, grapes, vineyards and winemaking.


Courtesy of #SonomaChat, an on-line, Twitter-based conversation about our favorite subject — WINE!!

Fun Facts About Wine

  1. Wine is made in virtually every country in the world.

  2. 20140713_195926Due to a natural chemical balance, grapes ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients.

  3. In Vietnam, if you are in the know and ask your waiter for a glass of cobra wine. They will serve you rice-wine covered with snake blood that is killed on the spot.

  4. Intense fear or hatred of wine is called “oenophobia.”

  5. The dark green wine bottle was an English invention, the work of Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665). Previously wine had been kept in goat skin bags.

  6. Wine ‘tastings’ are somewhat inaccurately named – top sommeliers agree that smell is by far the most important sense when it comes to drinking wine.

  7. The custom of bumping glasses with a “cheers” greeting came from old Rome.

  8. In ancient Egypt, the ability to store wine until maturity was considered alchemy and was the privilege of only the pharaohs.DSC_0895(2)

  9. Bubbles in wine have been observed since ancient Greece and were attributed to the phases of the moon or to evil spirits.

  10. Winemaking is a significant theme in one of the oldest literary works known, the Epic of Gilgamesh. The divinity in charge of the wine was the goddess Siduri.

  11. The average age of a French oak tree harvested for use in creating wine barrels is 170 years.

  12. The primary fruit crop in Napa Valley during the 1940’s was Prunes – Not grapes.

  13. 10,000 varieties of wine grapes exist worldwide.

  14. Roman Historian Pliny the Elder rated 121 B.C. as a vintage “of the highest excellence.”  This was the first known reference to a specific wine vintage.

  15. 400 different oak species are available to source wood for wine barrels.

  16. The signing of the Declaration Of Independence was toasted with glasses of Madeira.

  17. President Lincoln held an actual liquor license back in his days in Salem, Illinois. For a modest $7 dollars, in 1833, he and his partner William F. Berry got a tavern license that permitted them to sell a “1/2 pint of wine or French brandy for $.25

  18. DSC_0488Wine tasting is the sensory examination and evaluation of wines.

  19. A few vine cuttings from the New World brought to Europe spread a tiny insect called Phylloxera vastatrix, which feeds on the roots of vines. The only way to save all of the European grape vines was to take European vines that were grafted onto American rootstocks to combat Phylloxera.

  20. A “cork-tease” is someone who constantly talks about the wine he or she will open but never does.

  21. While wine offers certain medical benefits, it may slightly increase the risk of contracting certain kinds of cancer of the digestive tract, particularly the esophagus.

  22. European wines are named after their geographic locations while non-European wines are named after different grape varieties.

  23. Besides churches and monasteries, two other great medieval institutions derived much of their income from wine: hospitals and universities. The most famous medieval wine-endowed hospital is the beautiful Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune, France, it is now a museum.

  24. DSC_0912In the Middle Ages, the greatest and most innovative winemakers of the day were monastic orders. The Cistercians and Benedictines were particularly apt winemakers, and they are said to have actually tasted the earth to discover how the soil changed from place to place.

  25. The Germans invented Eiswein, or wine that is made from frozen grapes.

  26. Because grapes in the Southern Hemisphere are picked during what is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, a 2010 Australian wine could be six months older than a 2010.

  27. As wine comes into contact with air, it quickly spoils.

  28. DSC_0528_04Chilling tones down the sweetness of wine. If a red wine becomes too warm, it may lose some of its fruity flavor.

  29. Wine is made with grapes, but it is NOT made with the typical table grapes you would find at the grocery store.

  30. Ancient Romans believed that seasoning was more important than the main flavor of wine. They often added fermented fish sauce, garlic, lead and absinthe.

  31. The Romans discovered that burning sulfur candles inside empty wine vessels kept them fresh and free from a vinegar smell.

  32. DSC_0874_02The word “sommelier” is an old French word meaning butler or an officer in charge of provisions, derived from the Old Provençal saumalier, or pack-animal driver.

  33. The “Cheers” ritual started back in the Middle Ages, when poisoning was a favorite way to get rid of an enemy. To be sure their glass was poison-free, drinkers would first pour a bit of wine into each other’s glass, so if there was poison in one, it was now in both.

  34. A crop of newly-planted wines takes about four to five years to grow before it can be harvested.

  35. A “butt” is a medieval measurement for the liquid volume of wine.

  36. DSC_0106_03Prohibition had a devastating impact on the US wine industry, and it took years to recover. Some wineries survived by making sacramental wine for religious purposes, which was allowed under the law.

  37. China has become the leading market for red wine—not just for its flavor. It’s a color favored by the government, and also is considered lucky.

  38. Single-celled organisms called yeast convert the sugar in grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and also release heat in the process.

  39. CMyb1YIUEAAjla5Most wine glasses are specifically shaped to accentuate those defining characteristics, directing wine to key areas of the tongue and nose, where they can be fully enjoyed.

  40. All wine is stored at the same temperature, regardless of its color. But reds and whites are consumed at completely different temperatures.

  41. One glass of wine consists of juice from one cluster of grapes.

  42. Seventy-five grapes comprise one cluster.

  43. One grape vine produces 10 bottles.

  44. One acre can contain 400 vines, resulting in five tons of grapes.

One Bottle of Wine:

  • 750 ml of liquid
  • 2.4 pounds of grapes (39 oz.)
  • 4 glasses of wine

One Barrel of Wine:

  • 740 Pounds of grapes and 59 gallons
  • 295 bottles of wine
  • 1,180 glasses of wine

Capacity (Liters) followed by the number of standard size wine bottles that would be:

  • Standard (.75)  1
  • Magnum (1.5)  2
  • Jeroboam (3)  4
  • Rehoboam (4.5)  6
  • Methuselah (6)  8
  • Salmanazar (9)  12
  • Balthazar (12)  16
  • Nebuchadnezzar (15)  20


What types of red wines are “good” for you?

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What Types of Red Wines Are “Good” for You?

Some red wines have significantly higher levels of what science has determined to be the beneficial ingredients found in wine. Evidence also suggests that younger red wines are better than older wines when it comes to health. Find out which red wines are the best for you – and surprise: it’s not Cabernet or Pinot Noir!

We all know that alcohol can be bad for us, especially when consumed irresponsibly. However, imbibing moderately may carry with it some surprising benefits:

There's no question that people who drink moderately have lower rates of heart attacks, lower rates of diabetes, and live longer. Dr. Eric Rimm, Professor, Harvard School of Public Health 2013

Dr. Rimm’s statement isn’t just an opinion, it’s been deductively proven with hundreds of studies on alcohol and its effect on health. Of course, not all alcoholic beverages are created equally in terms of health. And, of the different kinds of alcohol (spirits, beer, and wine) there is one type that consistently outperforms the rest: wine.

The beneficial attributes of wine outplay all other types of alcohol when it comes to longevity. Of course, not all wines are created equally either! Some wines have significantly higher amounts of “good stuff” in them.


What to Look for in “Healthy” Wine

Here are the traits characterize wines that are better for you with respect to health:

  1. Wines that are “dry,” meaning they’re not sweet and have little to no carbs (sugar).
  2. Wines that are lower in alcohol (ideally, 12.5% ABV or less).
  3. Wines that have higher polyphenol content, particularly procyanidins.


What Are Polyphenols and Procyanidins?

Pretty much everything in wine that’s not alcohol or water is a polyphenol. These include tannins, color pigment, aromas, resveratrol, procyanidins, and about 5,000 other plant compounds. Of these polyphenols, the most abundant in wine for health reasons are Procyanidins, which inhibit cholesterol plaque in blood vessels. This is why wine is connected with hearth health.


Which Wines Have the Highest Levels of Polyphenols?

Polyphenol Content in red wines Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, and Sagrantino

Polyphenols are found in the skins and seeds of grapes, so only wines that are made with skin contact (including red wines and orange wines) have elevated polyphenol levels. Certain grape varieties have more concentrations of Procyanidin. Most notably:

  • Tannat The wine of Madiran in South-West France, that also grows in abundance in Uruguay
  • SagrantinoA rare grape from Umbria, producing deeply-colored wines.
  • Petite Sirah Also known as Durif, and primarily grows in California.
  • Marselan A successful crossing between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache with very small berries that creates wines with intense deep purple hues. A rarity found in tiny amounts in France, Spain, China, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
  • Nebbiolo Nebbiolo is an important grape of Piedmont, Italy.

These grapes contain anywhere from 2–6 times as much polyphenol content as other more popular varieties like Pinot Noir and Merlot. Concentrations of polyphenols are highest when the wine is young. Of course, there are many other variables involved, including how the grapes were harvested and the wine was made. So, if you’re looking for an easier answer, go for the taste.



What Do High Polyphenol Wines Taste Like?

The wines will have highly concentrated fruit flavors, higher acidity, and a bold, tannic finish. Most will have a darker color, so much so, that you won’t be able to see through your wine glass.

The more bitter, the better.

High polyphenol wines are the opposite of smooth and supple: they’re robust and bold and often described as astringent. The bitterness in wine appears to directly correlate to the level of procyanidin in a wine. So, if you like a little bitter in your life, you’re going to love these wines!

Of course, wine isn’t the only food with high levels of polyphenols. Apples, beans, chocolate, grape seed extract (as a supplement), tea, and pomegranates are great alternatives to wine with higher levels of polyphenols.


Great Wines for Sipping

Because these wines are perceived by most as “hard to drink,” you’ll find yourself drinking with more moderation. This isn’t a bad thing, considering the National Cancer Institute recommends men should have no more than 2 glasses per day and women no more than 1 glass (a glass is 5 oz). So, the next time you read “robust, bitter and age-worthy” on a label, you might avoid your initial instinct to run the other way!

Via  Winefolly

Visit from The Inter College Business School

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Bart Van Den Dries, our importer from the Netherlands with some of the students from The Inter College Business School B.V visited us here at Merwida Winery.


‘n Verrassing skuil in elke wynbottel – Versnit Artikel

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’n Verrassing skuil in elke wynbottel

Nero d’avola se donker kleur wanneer dit gereed is om geoes te word.

Deesdae lê veral die jongeres se lus by wat in die wingerd aangaan en wat daar geplant kan word. Dit het iets te doen met die globalisering van wyn. Maar ook ’n fyner lees van klimaat en grond – en dan ’n sensitiewer bewustheid van die mark, veral die een wat immer aan ’t ontwikkel is en hoe mode verander.

Om hierdie rede is die wynland van Suider-Afrika in hierdie dae ’n lappieskombers waar jy wyndruiwe van die mees uitheemse plekke kan naspoor. Inderdaad het die eienskappe van ’n unieke druifsoort (jammer, maar die anglisistiese “kultivar” werk nie vir my nie!) tot ’n fyner studie onder die nuwe geslag wynmense gelei.

Ons beveel aan

1. Merwida Barbera 2015 (R80)

Herinneringe aan Italië se heuwelwingerde in bekoorlike pruim- en naeltjiegeure

2. AA Badenhorst Sout van die Aarde Palomino 2015

Wonderlike “souterige” aard aan die delikate, ontsnappende geure en mondgevoel.

3. Dagbreek Tinta Amarela 2015 (R135)

Forse vrugtegeure, ryk en ruim dog sag en intrigant omdat dit so ongewoon is.

4. Lemberg Hárslevelü 2014 (R180)

Eksoties met perske en speserye-aromas, vol persoonlikheid en altyd delikaat.

5. Bosman Nero d’Avola 2015 (R150)

Sisilië s’n is ’n vakansiebelewenis. Hierdie een is so vars en verleidelik.

6. Overgauw Sylvaner 2016 (R120)

Appelkose, blomme en kruie wat die wyn ’n lieflike gespreksgenoot aan tafel maak.

7. B de Alexandria 2016 (R150)

Tipies Kaaps, maar ook anders, omdat die wyn so verfynd droog is. Lemoenbloeisels.

Hulle sal dalk baklei en filosofeer oor wat “terroir” is, maar elke wynmaker praat vandag van wat die wingerd aan die fyn kuns van wyn verskaf. En as jul druiwe persoonlikheid het, of goed met mekaar kan trou, waarom sou ’n mens nie kelderjeuk aanmoedig nie?

Maar dis natuurlik hóé die druiwe-immigrante hul geaardheid hier aanpas wat die avontuur in die bottel bestel.

Die laaste aantal jare het die vreemde name, danksy goeie vertroeteling van stokkiemense en so, al hoe meer op ons etikette verskyn.

Ten minste dra druiwe soos albarino, verdelho, tanat en barbarossa daartoe by om die kaleidoskoop van Kaapse wyn nog helder te laat skyn.

En dan is daar die plaaslike ou bekendes wat só uit die mode geraak het dat ons hulle amper vergeet het. Gelukkig het die geesdrif van die jonges ’n ding begin om daardie druifsoorte ’n nuwe kinkel te gee.

Wie onthou kurkdroë wyn van hanepoot? Of palomino wat nie in sjerrie omskep is nie? Die bakermat van die ou Kaapse wynkultuur.

Maar in die nuwe Kaapse wynwêreld woeker ons eweneens met die “vreemdelinge”.

Ons keuse vandag is om die nuwes en ongewones vir plesier en avonture aan te durf.


Sowel barbera as nero d’avola is rooi Italianers van oorsprong en karakter. Maar eersgenoemde kom van die verre noorde, Piëmont, en laasgenoemde van die verre suide, Sisilië.

Albei is ware “werkdruiwe” in die sin dat iedereen geduldig, algemeen en goed in die kelder tot voortreflike en aromatiese wyne verwerk kan word. Albei is veelsydig en tog uitdrukkings van waar die wingerde groei. Ons gaan met hierdie druiwe nog baie pret in die Kaapse wynlande hê.

Tinta amarela is Portugees, rooi en spesifiek van die Dão-streek en die Douro-vallei. Diegene wat die ouer Dão-wyne onthou, sal die heerlike parfuum dadelik herken.

Hárslevelü word net deur ’n Oos-Europeër reg uitgespreek. Dit is Hongaars, besonder aromaties en die grondslag van die beroemde tokajerwyne.

Janey Muller het dekades gelede op die landgoed Lemberg by Tulbagh met hierdie wit druif die avant-garde in die plaaslike wynlande gelei.

Ook sylvaner is ’n Europese wit druif met ’n lang geskiedenis – in Duitsland en die Franse streek Elsas, waar dit sterk terroir-eienskappe toon.

Overgaauw s’n, die enigste vandag op die wynlys, het ook ’n lang geskiedenis en driftige uitgesprokenheid.

Palomino is, soos die naam miskien suggereer, die gewillige wit werker wat die ganse sjerriekultuur van Jerez in Spanje eeue aan die gang hou.

In Suid-Afrika was dit ewe dienswillig totdat wynmense belangstelling verloor het. En toe het dit by die nuwe geslag weer byval gevind.

Hanepoot oftewel muscat d’alexandrie is so oud soos die Kaapkolonie en sekerlik die lekkerste druiwe om te eet. Soetwyn is, soos nagmaalwyn, deel van die plaaslike geskiedenis, maar net hier en daar is probeer om dit as ’n droë tafelwyn te produseer – in die jare sewentig in die eertydse Eersterivier-kelder en nou onder die Raats-kêrels.


Via Versnit

Artikel geskryf deur Melvyn Minnaar

Merwida Soetes and Soup 2017

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Exactly 3 months to go until this year’s Soetes and Soup Festival 😀

Be sure to join us at Merwida for a Mexican Fiesta!

Telephone lines off due to cable theft!

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Please note that we’ve had some cable theft in our area and our telephone lines are not working at the moment.

Please contact us via email on or 074 101 0421.