What started as a hobby has now burgeoned into a fully-fledged fascination. I’m on a mission to decipher all I can about wine and inspire a wine drinking culture in Kenya. That means wandering into wine bars, shops, talking to stakeholders in the wine scene, networking, taking notes and making appearances.

I have dragged a friend of mine on winetasting event that another friend of mine told me about. We are in Muthaiga Shopping Centre. As we are descending the stairs that lead to La Dolce Vita, I happen to see some people holding wine glasses in the opposite direction. I point in that direction and tell my friend, who is probably wondering why we came all the way, that that was the place we were meant to be.  Relieved, she scampers down the stairs and joins me.

We are in “Out Of Sicily’, a wineshop that only stocks Italian wines. I meet Sam, who had invited me to the event, and introduced my  friend. Today, we are tasting the Ferrari sparkling wines. I love sparkling wines, because of the bubbles, quality and taste. I think that they are one of the wines that are made with utmost care. Read more about Champagnes and sparklings in this article.

According to the owners of the shop, Emanuele Corino and  his wife Nebiat Tekle Corino, Italy is one of the best wine growing regions of the world because it has great soil and climate. There are thousands of grape varieties in Italy and they thought that they would introduce them to the Kenyan market. The reception was good and they decided to set up shop in Muthaiga Shopping Centre.

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Emanuele Corino and Nebiat Tekle Corino

Ferrari has just bagged an award as the best sparkling wine in Italy, and that is what we are celebrating. I carry my champagne flute which I’ve almost emptied as I walk round the shop. Shelves and cellars of neatly stacked bottles sit revealing glossy labels. The labels boast wine varieties that you have never seen or heard. Like most treasures, it is hidden in the middle of nowhere. Here you will get wine ranging from 1,000 to 22,000kshs.

I look for the owner of the shop Emanuele, to have a word or two. He tells me that he comes from a wine-oriented background. He pointed out that the wine culture in Nairobi is growing at an astronomical rate. He records more sales than he did 3 years ago.

In Italy, No party is complete without a pop of Ferrari Sparkling wines. It is even the official celebratory wine in the King’s palace. I try my last wine and deliberate which bottle to carry.

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Published on: Nov 9, 2014