Howard Booysen Wines

Restaurants that offer exceptional wine lists along with their innovative menus must be applauded as they certainly enhance the essence of fine dining. However as excellent as a good wine list is, offering hundreds of fine wines with different styles of each grape variety, can easily confuse the diner when looking for the perfect wine with the meal. Good restaurateurs who understand this scenario have knowledgeable wine stewards or Sommeliers to assist their diners with the ultimate choice of wine to pair with food.

Howard Booysen is the erudite Sommelier at Harold Bresselschmidt’s famed restaurant, Aubergine. The outstanding collection of wines in Aubergine’s Cellar has enabled him to work with one of South Africa’s top wine lists and his knowledge on food and wine matching is legendary. Howard’s career started when after an unsuccessful stint at sea he went into the hospitality industry and this is when he realised his love for the fermented grape! He attended Elsenburg College and finished with a degree in Cellar Technology and Viticulture while at the same time completing wine courses and judging for both international and local wine competitions.

So it’s not surprising that with all this wine understanding he has ventured into producing his own wine in his precious spare time. His first commercially successful wine is his Weisser Riesling 2010 which has been lauded as the finest Riesling in SA! A wine in true steely, Rhine Riesling style, it offers lovely fragrance with green apple, white peach and lively acidity. Drinking beautifully now it will enjoy several years of cellaring for a truly amazing experience.

His second wine, a red, is the Pegasus Cinsault 2011. The grape Cinsault, sometimes referred as Hermitage, is the backbone behind the all South African grape, Pinotage, and not often bottled as a single variety. Years back when I settled down in the Cape I was given a bottle of 1987 Landskroon Cinsault which was delicious with its fruity berry bouquet and earthy savoury flavours. By many aficionado’s its considered an unfashionable grape but Howard, who enjoys a challenge, has resurrected it to new heights and a bottle this weekend confirmed this! Chilled for half an hour in the fridge before opening, the wine offered aromatic aromas with fresh raspberry fruit leading to a silky smooth entry to the palate. Creamy flavours of savoury red fruits abounded and the finish was long lived! Spiced chicken kebabs on the barbecue went happily with this wine!

Buy at Wine Concepts:
Howard Booysen Weisser Riesling 2010 R133.00
Howard Booysen Pegassus Cinsault 2011 R59.00

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