Different wines for different occasions!! Kenyans pallets is evolving fast ~ Juan Gambil, WoW Beverages

By Waithera Mbuthia

Different wines for different occasions!! Kenyans pallets is evolving fast ~ Juan Gambil, WoW Beverages

We’ve all been in a catch 22situation where you are invited to an occasion but you legit have no idea what drink to bring along. It could be a picnic, romantic date, birthday party, cook-out or just a game-night. Sometimes you just want to try a new recipe and wondering which the best wine to use is. Kiss the dilemma goodbye because we understand your struggle and we went looking for the ultimate solution for you.

We got talking to a sommelier from Wines of the World. Here they’re all about amazing wines and affordable prices. They are also very generous with all the information they have in matters wine. So here is how our amazing conversation went.

TPS: For how long have you been in Kenya now?

Sommelier: For seven years now.

TPS: From your experience, what exactly do Kenyans like to drink?

Sommelier:  Kenyans love dry, medium bodied wines that are smooth for the palate. They love wines that are not so tannic. Basically smooth, refreshing, easy to drink wines.

TPS: Do they for example buy wine from like a certain hemisphere?

Sommelier: Kenyans buy South African wine more than wine from anywhere else in the world. Number two is Spain. We are talking about volume business and quality wine. Kenyans’ knowledge is growing and are now buying wines from, Italy, France etc. Consumers are appreciating new and good wines. Their palate is growing and getting very good, like the European type.

TPS: What are you drinking? (He was holding a glass half-filled with wine)

Sommelier: Right now, I’m drinking, Arnegi criantha, from Spain (he walks to show us the bottle). It is very good wine and one that has won one of the best nominations in Spain. Earlier in Spain when the wine was made, they were taught by the French people to make good wine.

TPS: (Referring to his wine) what food did you match it with?

Sommelier: Lamb! Mbuzi.

TPS: How would you make the Mbuzi? What seasoning would you use?

Sommelier: Mbuzi Choma would be okay, but any type of add up style spice would be okay. We can put some ginger, cumin etc.. would match perfectly with this.

TPS: Say you’re going out on a romantic date with your partner, at the park. What sort of wine would you bring?

Sommelier: (Looking a bit concerned) that’s always the problem because we are in the times of gender equality. So the Champagne is the better option for both.

TPS: What Champagne’s do you have here?

Sommelier: (Walking across the tavern to where the Champagnes are).. We have the great MCC (méthode cap classique) from South Africa. We can’t call it Champagne because it’s not coming from France but it’s equally the same quality. For the price quality, it’s just perfect for your date because it will match with all the types of food you’ll have. It is very versatile and matches with any type of food.

TPS: We noticed for this one (referring to the MCC), it has…. Which means it’s dry so it’s a mix of red and white grapes?

Sommelier: Yeah.. exactly! Champagne and méthode which the typical one which is being used to make sparkling wine has brut which means it has from0-6 grams of sugar per bottle. Then you can have demi-sec Champagne will have a higher sugar content. Right now were having only brut in Kenya but shortly, in about two weeks we are gonna have the demi-sec and sec which is a little bit sweeter – but still matching with all types of foods.

TPS: What kind of Champagne are Kenyans buying?

Sommelier: Kenyans are buying Moet a lot and Belaire. Brands that we don’t distribute but that are very popular. But right now, Graham Beck ,I would say is one of the favourites for Kenyans- It is really selling in all the places. But also, most of the time Kenyans tend to go to the a little bit sweeter side of the Champagne, so here at Wines of the world we have Maison Castel, which is a nice Champagne, semi- sweet, beautiful and very romantic and you can take it with ice in case you feel it’s very hot.

TPS: In case we are going for a family cook-out, and they say, bring a bottle of something. What should we take? Having in mind they are cooking a lot of chicken, Nyama Choma. Lots of Mbuzi Choma.

Sommelier: I would say,  bring whites and reds. But if you want to go with one wine, just go with a Rosé.

TPS: What Rosés do we have here? 

Sommelier: We have Barefoot rosé from the United States. Goes for a thousand shillings on retail, very affordable and the quality of this wine is exceptional. The Waterford would be another option, from South Africa, and is one of my favourites. It’s made from red grapes and goes pretty much with any type of food.

TPS: In case we are trying out a new recipe,.. we are making Risotto with wine. We also want to have some wine with the meal later. What should I buy?

Sommelier: I would advise you to buy the same wine you are going to drink with your Risotto.

TPS: Which one would you recommend?

Sommelier: If you want to make some nice Risotto with an affordable wine, one that you can drink and also have with your food, I would easily go with Roche Mazet from France we retail at around nine hundred shillings. It is affordable, but the quality is amazing. I personally prefer cooking with chardonnay than Sauvignon because it is more dry and transmits more acidity and a better feeling.

Yeah! So there you heard it from the expert! We are sure you now know better on what drink to bring to your next occasion courtesy of these life-changing tips.