This offer is available from Friday, August 19th at 3:00 pm to Sunday, August 21st at 3:00 pm.
You’ll see the order form at the bottom of this page if the offer is still on. Completed forms are sent to Solo Vino Wine Shop in St. Paul, MN, for final fulfillment (local delivery and/or shipping is available).
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The trifecta: great wines, great price, great story
This past Wednesday evening, TCWE organized an amazing event with sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka, who works professionally in South Africa but is from Zimbabwe. He’s also one of the four sommeliers featured in the most anticipated wine documentary in years: Blind Ambition, which hits theaters in a couple of weeks.
We got to enjoy some amazing wines available in this week’s offer at great prices, and we got to learn so much about this amazing individual and his story.
The movie is moving. It’s personal. It’s emotional. And it’s wonderful. I’m not going to give anything away, but let’s just say it was a fascinating Q and A with Tinashe after the showing.
Tinashe’s story is incredible.
After fleeing Zimbabwe in 2008 during the political and economic collapse, he arrived in South Africa needing to find a job. Any job.
From his website:
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tinashe worked his way up to the position of manager at a grocery store when Zimbabwe fell into economic crisis. After moving to Cape Town in South Africa, he found work polishing cutlery at the fine dining restaurant, The Roundhouse. After being promoted to waiter and without any prior experience of wine, Tinashe learned from the beverage director, eventually landing a job as wine steward at Nobu – an establishment of the One & Only group. In 2013 he wins the Reaching for the Young Stars Best Wine Steward Award. He then works at the Oyster Box hotel in Durban, before returning to Cape Town to become the head sommelier at The Test Kitchen.https://www.kumushabrands.com/my-story
The last restaurant mentioned, The Test Kitchen, was considered one of the finest restaurants in the world before closing one year ago due to the pandemic. Read a short article about it here.
What I love about his wine journey is that it started with food. He was immersed in fine dining and amazing cuisine before learning about fermented grape juice. This has totally influenced his winemaking, resulting in wines that are, on one hand, totally approachable and crushable and, on the other hand, play well with flavors. It’s a fine balance, not often found, and he’s hit it.
This was Tinashe’s first trip to America, flying into MSP to start a six-week tour of the United States to promote his wines and the upcoming film. We are honored that his event with Twin Cities Wine Education was his first wine education event in America and the movie’s first showing to an American audience.
Onward to the wines!
About Kumusha Wines
From the local importer:
After a formidable career as one of South Africa’s top Sommeliers, Tinashe Nyamudoka took up a new challenge of launching his own wine brand. Kumusha, in the Zimbabwean Shona language, translates to ‘your home’, ‘your origin’, or ‘your roots’. Tinashe believes that the best wines are representative of their varietal and region and carry a sense of place. Developed in partnership with winemaker Atti Louw of Opstal Estate, in Breedekloof Valley, using minimal intervention and natural fermentation, Kumusha wines represent a new style of South African wines.
Tinashe is quick to point out that he is not pretending to be a winemaker. His blending process which respects the winegrower, the winemaker and the consumer aims to create wines that are food-friendly, not overly serious, and also reflect their roots.
Four selections are available, and I used the word “pure” to describe them all at the event. It’s rare nowadays to find wines that are pure in style and so consistent in quality. The rise of the “natural wine” movement has led to many wines that are a bit funky, odd, and strange (sometimes in a good way, sometimes not). That’s not what you’ll find here. These four ROCK SOLID wines are great representations of each grape variety, with the overall quality that punches over their weight class. They are made in a non-interventionist style but don’t carry any “natural wine” baggage.
Kumusha Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa
I love love love this wine. Sauvignon Blanc has so many different personalities depending on where it’s grown and who makes the wine. If you mark a point somewhere between New Zealand’s citrus, the Loire Valley’s grassiness, and the ripe fruit of California, you get this wine. It’s possibly the most versatile Sauvignon Blanc I’ve had in years.
Zippy and fresh with tropical fruit aromas jumping out of the glass. Notes of melon, passion fruit and guava make this wine absolutely moreish. Complements seafood, sushi, pasta, chicken and veal dishes. Spontaneous fermentation and maturation on the lees for 4 months in stainless steel tanks.
Kumusha Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc can come in many forms, from overripe to overtly lean, dry to sweet, sharp to round. Just as with the Sauvignon Blanc, it’s hard to find one that doesn’t play on the edges but rather embraces the middle. This one does, and the secret is in the winemaker’s notes below. The blend of oak, concrete, stainless steel, and lees aging brings out all the good. This is FABULOUS Chenin Blanc.
Aromas of pear, white peach and lime on the nose. A juicy palate with flavors of cantaloupe melon and papaya, following through with a crisp dry finish. Great with Chicken Caesar Salad or lemon & herb spatchcock chicken. 20% of the wine spent 6 months in large oak casks and 80% in stainless and concrete, with a total of 7 months on its lees to add complexity.
Kumusha Cabernet Sauvignon
Straight-up crushable. Pure Cabernet with no makeup on. Fine tannins, loads of black currant and raspberry, and a drinkiness that is hard to resist. This is not trying to win the big scores but rather bringing joy to a night involving pizza and a movie.
This Cabernet Sauvignon shows beautiful red berry fruit flavours. The aim is to produce an attractive nose that lures you in and then over-deliver on the palate where drinkability is key. Classic Cab meets smashable drinkability. Destemmed into old oak cask open top fermenters. The Cabernet Sauvignon underwent maceration for 30 days then was pressed into old French oak for 12 months.
Pinotage is a grape that was developed in South Africa in 1925 (more info at WineSearcher) by cross-pollinating Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The result is a grape that was embraced by post-apartheid South Africa (when suddenly their wine industry was, for the first time, being showcased on a global stage) as the “national grape.” Unfortunately, many growers didn’t know how best to tend the vineyards, and many winemakers didn’t know how to coax nuance out of the grape.
As a result, Pinotage quickly developed a bad reputation from critics and consumers. Many people who experienced it in the 1990s and 2000s remember the burnt rubber and ashtray aromas, and vowed to never return.
I’m happy to report things have changed. I’m also extremely happy to report that this is the best Pinotage I’ve ever had, and now I have a fresh enthusiasm for the variety. This wine with a rack of lamb would be perfection.
Uniquely South African wine. A wine with depth, balance, and delicious aromas reminiscent of dark cherries and mulberries on the nose. Notes of ripe plums and hints of spice on the palate with a savory finish. Pairs well with game, turkey, spicy dishes and curries.This wine was made from bush vine Pinotage from the Swartland planted in the early 1990’s and is dryland farmed. 80% was destemmed and 20% left whole bunch through fermentation and maceration. Only gentle actions through fermentation as to not over extract tannins and rather create an elegant and fine example of Pinotage. Aged for 12 months in big French casks and old 500L neutral barrels. No additions and minimal intervention is the philosophy here.
Tinashe made quite an impression in our market during his visit, landing placements at every wine shop and restaurant he visited. As a result, and to be transparent, you can now find these wines around town at most better fine wine shops (or you will start to see them in the coming weeks and months). So what is nice here is the availability … buy a collection of the wines through this offer and be confident you can repurchase your favorites in the future.
I promised Tinashe that we’d be doing our best to get his wines into as many hands as possible through our Friday offer. We are honored by his visit; we love his wines and love his story.
And don’t forget: pick up at least one or two bottles to pop when the movie comes out!
Thank you, everyone!
Sommelier, founder of Twin Cities Wine Education
This offer has closed. Thank you for your interest.