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To celebrate the end of the qualifying rounds of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, I decided to have my own international matchup. On Wednesday (East Coast time), South Africa played Italy, with the winner coming in second in Group G and continuing on to the Round of 16! So I went looking for a suitable match up at the nearby Bottle King.
Even though it was a challenge, I thought it would only be fair to choose the same grape if possible. I did find some South African pinot grigio, but I think I’ve successfully pinoted all the grigio of late. To my surprise, I found two chardonnays from each country! Perfect!
To your left, we have 2021 Aslina Chardonnay from South Africa. The winery is in the Stellenbosch district, considered the Napa Valley of the country. Aslina is named after the grandmother of winemaker Ntsiki Biyela, who earned a scholarship to study oenology and has been churning out award-winning wines ever since. She’s also South Africa’s first female Black winemaker!
To your right, we have 2020 Cantina Terlano-Kellerei Terlan Kreuth Terlano Chardonnay. We’re back in Alto Adige, where all that high-quality pinot grigio comes from. The Terlano descriptor is “in recognition of the special character of the terroir.”
We’ve got two powerhouses here! They’re almost indiscernible in color. They’re both gorgeous gold and medium to heavy bodied. Let’s go to the taste!
On the Aslina, I get a mild hint of vanilla on the nose. It’s a creamy powerhouse on the palate, with rich apple and pear and a toasty note on the finish. It’s got wonderful balance. It has stature, and would be an excellent mix with something like rosemary chicken.
With the Kreuth, everything is fresher and zingier. It’s not as rich, but there’s a citrus note and a little minerality on the palate. A fabulous aperitif, maybe with some goat cheese.
I gotta call this one a draw. They each have a unique character, high quality, and are even great for your wallet. I might serve the Aslina with dinner before the Kreuth, but I’d happily sip that while sitting around with friends.
The winner here? Is me! And you! Check out these wines tout de suite, and enjoy the Round of 16 games starting this Saturday!
I’m thrilled to have found a line from a Black woman-owned winery to taste. If you know of others I should be featuring on the blog, please drop a comment below!