Weekend Post columnist Sam Venter takes a look at the kid on the wine block in this week’s Vine Time
There’s a new kid on the block to tempt local wine-lovers with tastings, wine-themed gifts and a personal selection of wines from some big names through to off-the-beaten-track boutique offerings.
Life is Grape, tucked into a corner next to the Two Fat Butchers on Main Road, Walmer, makes no pretence at wine snobbery.
“Wine is about the moment and the enjoyment. I wanted to create a relaxed, comfortable environment where people can taste, experience and buy the wines they like. We don’t claim to be connoisseurs – we just want to share our enjoyment of wine,” says owner Benedetta Schafer.
The little shop is arranged so that all the wines are clearly visible, and organised in price groups. It’s also a great destination for gifts for wine-loving people, with a range of T-shirts, wine holders, décor and bar accessories, along with wine gift boxes and bags, and a personalised labelling and gifting service.
Benedetta introduces a new wine farm each month, with “pop in any time” daily tastings and a menu of wines by the glass that changes monthly as well. November’s daily tasting offering is five wines from Lomond in the cool-climate Agulhas region near Gansbaai.
Platters featuring local meats, cheeses, home-made preserves and pestos and artisan bread are on offer to enjoy with a glass of wine, or to take away, and the shop takes bookings for group tastings and events.
The wines on offer are evolving as Benedetta gets in tune with her customers’ tastes and she’s also happy to order in specific wines on request.
“We do have some wines that you might also find on a supermarket shelf, but mostly it is wines from smaller wineries that you won’t find just anywhere,” she says.
Her current favourite recommendations are Arendsig Cabernet Sauvignon and the Leipzig Grand Master Cab/Merlot blend – “two of the most beautiful wines in the shop” – and she also stocks the Tree of Knowledge range from Bartho Eksteen’s Wijnskool label.