I did a Christmas series, 12 Wines of a Kenyan Christmas last year on the blog and I planned to do another list for 2015. This time, we handpicked wines that are affordable and go in line with the Kenyan palette. It is safe to assume that most people will be making some of their best recipes during the festive period. I am thinking of people taking out the family recipes to whip up something special for that day. I have tasted different wines throughout the year and there are so many great wines in Kenya. However, the 12 that I have chosen go well with Kenyan cuisine in my opinion.
The wine is locally available in different outlets. If you need help with buying wine in Kenya, check out my “Buying Wine Guide for Kenyans‘article. I have been tasting different wines all year and I surveyed some wineshops to catch a glimpse of their favorite wines. After tasting them, I came up with a list of 12 wines that I recommend this Christmas. Note that this list is based on personal opinion, tastes and preferences.
#JeanSamples: MY TOP PICKS
1. Franschhoek Cellars Unwooded Chardonnay
The Franschhoek Cellars Unwooded Chardonnay is an ideal wine because the company focused on the fruity character o the chardonnay grape rather than the oak quality. You get to experience exciting flavours with this one. It is wonderful on its own or with light salads.
Where to buy : Chandarana , Wines of the World Shop and a number of small grocers for around Ksh 1200
This is an amazing red blend that you will enjoy. If you are looking for a flavorful red wine for Christmas, this is it. Pair it with spicy meat dishes. You can enjoy this wine on its own or as an accompaniment to roast, grilled and barbecued red meat and chicken dishes.
Where to Buy it– Slater & Whitaker Wineshop.
3. B & G Rose
The fist time I tried this French wine, I absolutely loved it. This salmon pink wine tastes fruity. Roses are easy drinking wine that can be enjoyed with the whole family. I would drink this wine on its own or with a fruit salad.
Where to buy- The Wineshop.
5. KWV Cuvee Brut
If you are looking to make a toast on Christmas day or new years, make sure to buy this wine. I would drink it on its own. If you are having a party, serve this when the guests arrive. It is dry, crisp and it fills your mouth with tropical fruit aromas. Where to buy: SW Wineshop, Nakumatt for around 1,300ksh
6. Mara Celebration Sparkling Wine.
I included this wine in the list because it was a sparkling wine made for the ‘Kenya at 50’ Celebration. What better way to be authentic than to include this wine. The wine comes from South Africa for Kenyan company MIA Wines & Sprits International. There is only one winery in Kenya and making a celebratory wine here would mean growing the grapes. The company saw that it was easier to make the wine form South Africa because they are well versed with the wine making processes and they are a major wine producer in the world. To know more about the wine and how to pair it with Kenyan food, read my review here.
Where to Buy: MIA Wines & Spirits International & different stockists in Nairobi.
7. Douglas Green Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine is smooth with delicious blackcurrant and soft plum flavors. It would be perfect with sizzling steak, meaty roasts with rich gravy, hearty stews or tomato based foods. Feel free to experiment with this wine.
Where to buy; Sixty Three Wines.
8. Robert Reynolds Rocky’s Block Petite Syrah
This is an incredible wine with blackberry flavours. It goes well with game meat and spicy foods.
Where to buy: Berries & Barrelsfor 2400ksh.
9. Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Chenin Blanc
This wine smells of fruits like peach, pineapple and l is slightly acidic. This is one of the most compatible wines in this list as it can pair with many Kenyan dishes like Samaki wa Kupakwa, fish, duck, pork and sea food.
Where to buy: Berries & Barrels Ksh 4,580.00- B&B
10. Spier Creative Block 2
I first tried this wine at a tasting in Nairobi Wine Gallery. I then interacted with it during Cape Wine 2015 at the Spier Winestand. I remember the wine company rep telling us how the creative block range came through an art project that combines works from different artists to create something new. Just like art, the winemakers blended different grapes and created the Creative Block range. Pair this with your light stews. For example, if you will make chapati and a light stew, this is the wine. It can also go well with lightly spiced dishes.
Where to buy: Nairobi Wine Gallery.
11. Leleshwa Wines
I cannot talk about a Kenyan Christmas wine list without including our very own Kenyan wines. Apart from just proving that vines can grow on the equator, the wine company re-branded a few weeks ago to demonstrate our confidence in competing with global brands inspired by the quality of our produce. Make sure you give us feedback on what your best Leleshwa wine is.
Where to buy: From Stockists in Nairobi.
12. Fat Barrel Sauvignon Blanc
Thinking of sangria and wine cocktails? I tried this wine in Caramel Restaurant & Lounge earlier this year when we were experimenting with wine cocktails for the #wineinkenya Project. We made the Crimean cocktail. Learn How to make ithere. However, the wine can also e drank on its own and paired with different dishes.
Where to get it: Caramel Restaurant & Lounge and Nakumatt.
If you need some recipes on Christmas Cocktails grab a copy of Drum Magazine East Africa, turn to the Tavern Section and read my article on Christmas Cocktails.
Have a Blessed & Wine-ful Christmas and if you do try one or all of these wines, I’d love to know your feedback.