Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance, South Africa


Occasionally some bottles of wine defy conventional descriptive terms, this might be on of those: Vin de Constance is a sweet South African wine made form Muscat grapes that was developed in the late sixteen-hundreds. The Klein Constantia website describes the aroma and taste candied orange peel, white peach, nutty finish. I was struck by the perfect balance of sweetness that accentuated the complex palate rather than dominating it. Perhaps it was just my imagination, but I tasted a bit of root flavouring similar to South African Rooibos tea. The wine was surprisingly clear and moved around my tasting glass without much viscosity. The Vin de Constance is sold in a short and stout wine bottle that looks as though it came from the days of Napoleon, who is rumoured to have made this his preferred beverage during his “retirement” days.

Not marketed as a sexy wine, it does have some forbidden fruit character to it. With its pre-prohibition style bottle and its sweet but mysterious character it connects me to the roaring 1920′s. This would be the perfect elixir to be served in rooms where gentleman of leisure wore three-piece suits and drank the night away with ladies of easy pleasure in art deco ballrooms like the Palm Court in Los Angeles’ Alexandria Hotel. Enjoy “There’s A Ring Around The Moon” an Al Goodhart composition featuring still photos of period starlet Louise Brooks. Ms. Brooks might embody Vin de Constance; undeniably engaging, immunity to desuetude while clearly lacking the features that would otherwise define conventional beauty.

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.

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