Travel and a bit of shopping
First published on http://www.westcoastway.co.za
“If you have a dinner party, serve this wine if you want your guests to remember the evening with fondness.”
Or: “This is a wine that keeps on giving.”
At The Darling Wine Shop – a real one-stop wine shop if ever there was one – you don’t just get professional, knowledgeable and friendly service. What you get is heartfelt recommendations and gentle guidance in order to learn to appreciate new wines, all delivered with a twinkle in the eye by Charles Withington, a veteran with more than 30 years’ experience in the South African wine industry.
Charles believes the best spokesman for the wine is the wine itself. I hasten to add he does a sterling job of recommending wines, his own and equally enthusiastically those of others, as well. The same applies to his warmly efficient staff.
The tagline of Charles Withington’s business ‘Family Name, Family Values’ is evident in everything he undertakes.
At Darling Wine Shop Charles Withington does themed and paired wine tastings by arrangement. And an occasional impromptu blind tasting that is not intimidating at all contrary to one’s initial reaction. One emerges with newfound knowledge and a feeling of wanting to go out and share it with the world. Or your nearest and dearest at least.
Apart from imparting wine knowledge everyone at Darling Wine Shop are at the ready to help visitors to Darling whether they want to know which restaurant to go to, what to eat at a particular establishment or where the flowers are blooming in wild flower season.
On the shelves of The Darling Wine Shop – the shop concentrates on the full range of Darling Wines – you will find: Withington (do not leave without trying both Malbecs) , Cloof, Fairview Darling Vineyards, Organic Wines (Earthbound and Stellar), Groote Post and Darling Cellars.
There is a special section called Not Darling but dear to me (I can hear the voice of Charles Withington when I read this) featuring, amongst others, Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay and the rare Glenelly Grand Vin 2009, Fryer’s Cove Sauvignon Blanc, Swartland Bush Vine Chenin Blanc and various wines from Neil Joubert. Also a brandy, port and speciality section – keep an eye out for Inverroche Botanical Gin, the exclusive Withington Voorkamer brandy (with a name like that how can you not take it home?) and Clemengold Gin (it’s impossible to miss the pretty packaging). Lastly some craft beers are also available.
Some wines beg to be bought based on name alone: the aforementioned Voorkamer brandy (not to mention the gorgeous label depicting the Withington family crest), the Roan Ranger (also by Charles Withington – note the word play of Roan and Rhône, relating to the style of wine namely a blend of Cinsaut, Grenache and Mourvèdre) , Ink Spot Vin Noir, The Very Vivacious Viognier, The Very Sexy Shiraz, Drie Papenfontein Blend (named after three granite mountain rocks that resemble the mitre’s or tall headdresses of three popes on the farm of the same name), The Old Man’s White (or The Old Man’s Red), Arumfields Chenin Blanc, Cinful Cinsault and Smaak Red Blend.
Oh yes, lest I forget, they also have fresh West Coast oysters and mussels delivered weekly.
All the wines are sold at cellar door prices. If you are from out of town, or want to replenish your stock, there is an online shop (free delivery to main cities and towns) as well. And do subscribe to the monthly newsletter – it features new wine releases, interesting facts, exclusive invitations and titbits of information.
The Darling Wine Shop, The Old Orchard, 5 Main Street, Darling
Contact numbers: 022 492 3971 or 074 1941 711
Buy wine online: www.darlingwine.co.za/shop/