Spicy Sebeka

The cheetah leaping across the blazing yellow label stopped my eye. Hmmm, I don’t recognize this one. Sebeka — how do you pronounce that? Cabernet pinotage — what is that? Only $5.99, on sale from $8.99 — ok, I’ll try it!

Sebeka is pronounced “se-BEEK-a” and is named after an orphaned cheetah taken in by wildlife conservationist Lente Roode. “Sebeka Wines aim to share with wine lovers the same sentiment of awe and excitement that one experiences when in the presence of a cheetah’s speed and prowess.” (from the Sebeka website)

Pinotage is South Africa’s signature grape (re: wikipedia) and is a cross between pinot noir and cinsault (hermitage). Hmm, didn’t know that! But now that we know the basics, let’s get to the tasting.

I tasted it immediately after the pour, and it made me pucker; too much alcohol, too tart. But after about 10 minutes of mellowing in the glass, the second taste was much better. It still had a heavy alcohol bite, but the alcohol melded well with the earthy coffee taste. I think I taste fresh green beans and green pepper, but it’s hard to pinpoint the flavors because I can’t quite get past the pucker.

This wine would be a fantastic base for a spritzer if  you’re like me and don’t like sweet, fruity drinks. I like the occasional spritzer, but they tend to be too sweet. The alcohol and peppery taste would stand up well mixed with seltzer (NOT 7-Up) over ice, and it make a great grown-up spritzer.

It should be clear that I don’t LOVE this wine, but I am intrigued by the varietals and appellation and will be trying more with the Sebeka label.


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