The winter arrived. Sneaky winter winds blow around the corners bringing cold into Gauteng. So it is time for a weekend away with a good book, red wine, a fireplace, a wine cellar experience and winter activities in the sun.
Winter activities in Hartebeespoort dam
Harties Aerial Cable Way
The winter weather is chilly with blue sky sunny days in the highveld. There are few rainy days with more sunny winter days in Hartebeespoort dam in the winter months.
The winter days are perfect for a cable car ride up the mountain to experience the never-ending views over the Magaliesberg mountain range, game parks, Hartebeespoort dam, golf courses and meandering valleys.
A cable car ride varies from R250 per person to experience the exciting cable car ride.
Self-drive Lion and Safari Park Tour
Drive your vehicle and get up close to the predators and wildlife. It is a guideless drive with your family and friends in your own time through the lion, wild dog, and cheetah enclosures. You can also include the extended game drive to view antelope and other species.
View all the wild animals basking in the winter sun as your drive through the park.
At a rate from R200 per adult, R115 for over 65-year-olds and free for children under 12.
Dog-friendly accommodation in Hartebeespoort Dam
If you love your pets as much as you do a night or two away, you can travel to Hartebeespoort dam with your pet.
Mr C Harties is a pet-friendly accommodation location in Harties.
If you travel with your pet, make sure to pack all your pets favourite toys, blankets and sleeping baskets for a comfortable and warm travel experience.
Pack a leash if you want to venture out for a walk or a hike in one of the many pet-friendly hiking trails in Hartebeespoort dam.
Ensure your pet is well trained and friendly to interact with other pets when you book into Mr C and visit the local pet-friendly restaurants and bars in Harties.
Just some caution, not all activities like a Lion park tour or a flight package are suited for pets.
For more information send Mr C Harties team an e-mail to book your stay.
Mr C Harties wine chat
In this weeks wine chat, we will have a taste of Merlot red wine.
Merlot is one of the world's most popular red wines and a close second favourite after Cabernet Sauvignon. Last week we featured Cabernet Sauvignon in the wine chat. Merlot can be velvety and plummy, rich and oaky, making Merlot an easy go-to red wine for any wine drinker to enjoy.
What does "Merlot" mean?
The word Merlot is French for "the little blackbird." Merlot also refers to a red grape variety used to make wine around the world.
How does Merlot taste?
Merlot is known as a chameleon, adapting to many climates. As a result, merlot wine takes on the character of both its location and winemaking techniques. However, great Merlot is not as easy to grow as people think, resulting in overplanting and bulk inferior quality wines.
Traditionally, Merlot is a dry, medium- to full-bodied wine with moderate acidity, moderate to high alcohol, and soft tannins. Excellent Merlot has various flavours, ranging from herbs and blackberries to black cherries, plums, and cocoa. In addition, Oak-aged Merlot offers notes of vanilla and cedar.
What is the colour of Merlot?
Merlot has a red colour and made with red-skinned grapes. When youthful, wines can be ruby red. The colour is generally lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon and darker than Pinot Noir. Merlot colour changes with age, losing pigmentation and brightness. Sometimes winemakers use Merlot to produce both rosé and white wines.
How much alcohol does a bottle of Merlot have?
The alcohol in Merlot depends on where it's grown, as climate influences ripeness, which influences alcohol. Merlot alcohol levels range between thirteen and fourteen per cent alcohol.
Is Merlot sweet or dry?
Merlot is a dry style red wine. The fruit flavours of plum and berries is not a sweet taste.
A dry wine means that after you press the grapes, the sugar from the grape is converted into alcohol by yeast. When the sugar converts, it creates a fully dry wine. Sometimes, a little sugar called residual sugar is left behind.
The process leaves a hint of richness and sweetness to the wine.
How many calories and carbs does Merlot have?
Merlot is typically dry. Of course, wine with little to no sugar doesn't equate to wine without calories. Alcohol has calories.
How should you serve Merlot?
Merlot has an ideal temperature range. Serving wine at room temperature is outdated because of the varying temperatures, from cold in winter to hot in summer. Warm red wine accentuates the alcohol and dampens the rich flavours of the wine.
Too cold, and the aromas and flavours mute. The ideal temperature range to serve Merlot is fifteen degrees Celsius, achieved by leaving the bottle a few minutes in the refrigerator.
Merlot versus Cabernet Sauvignon: What's the difference?
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are different grapes, but in blind tastings, it can be hard to differentiate them, primarily when grown in cooler climates.
Why? Because they come from the same family of grapes, sharing a parent grape, Cabernet Franc. Wines from this family have aromatic flavours that produce pepper and herbal notes.
The two grapes often blend as partners in red Bordeaux wine, Cabernet for its cassis, herbal undertones, and tannin structure and Merlot for its supple texture and ripe fruit. Merlot is usually cheaper, fruitier, and softer than Cabernet and often seen as a less complex red wine.
Five Tips to enjoy your Red Wine.
1. Temperature. Don't serve a red wine too warm or too cold. You will lose all the fruity flavours and aromas of the wine.
2. Bottle Shock.
If you travel with red wine, let the wine chill out a bit and recover before you open and enjoy the wine.
If you ship wine, let it rest for at least a week to settle.
3. Lipstick and Perfume or Cologne.
When you drink wine, you are using your nose to enjoy your wine. Perfume, lipstick or cologne can interfere with the wine aromas and taste.
If you enjoy sipping your last bit of red wine before your dessert arrives, don't bite into a sugary dessert. The sweet dessert can change your palate and will affect your last sips in your glass.
Order a dessert wine to pair with your dessert.
5. Don't Serve Asparagus.
Certain foods like Asparagus, artichokes and peanut butter need to pair with the right wine. But, unfortunately, not all red wines pair well with all foods.
Your Full red wine taste experience
Take a sip of wine, But wait. Don't swallow your first sip of red wine right away. Instead, let it roll around on your tongue, savouring every taste and flavour. Taste the fruit, tannins and texture of your wine. Do you taste intense, unexpected flavours or a rich, balanced flavour? Let the wine linger in your mouth to help you enjoy the full taste sensation.
What red wine do you enjoy?
- These areas tend to produce lighter-bodied wines. Elgin, Hermanus, The Hemel and Aarde valley and Cederberg are colder South African wine-producing climates.
- Wineries from warm areas expect to produce full-bodied, riper wines with more intense flavour. Some of these areas are Stellenbosh, Franschoek, Worcester and Robertson.
Choose the right glass for your red wine to let the full round flavours liven in your glass.
- Pour and Swirl
After you let the wine breathe for a little while, pour a small amount into your glass. Now, gently swirl the wine in your glass. Notice the colour and texture of the wine.
- Take a Sniff
Lift your glass to take a big whiff of the wine's aromas. There are three levels of aromas you might be able to discern when smelling the wine:
- First, you'll get the prominent scent. Do you sense any fruits such as blackberries, plum or strawberries?
- Second, you might find hints of the flavours in your wine. Some familiar aromas are rose, vanilla, pepper or mint.
It will take a bit of practice before you can smell and taste all these elements.
- Finally, the wine's aroma will reflect the ageing used, such as oak. You might pick up scents of leather, smoke or coffee.
Merlot Wine Food Pairings
What foods pair best with Merlot?
People love Merlot because of its versatility. The wine is fruity, easy-drinking that pair well with white and dark meats from chicken, turkey and pork. A juicy Merlot is also perfect with pasta, burgers, and pizza.
Fuller-bodied, ripe and fleshy Merlot styles with higher alcohol can handle fuller-flavoured foods such as beef, lamb and game meats like venison.
Heavier and bolder red wines like Merlot are more suited to beef or cured meats. Generally, seafood pairs best with white wines.
What is your wine Personality?
The wine Newbie
Someone new to wine usually starts with a less complex wine. Merlot is the perfect red wine to nurture your red wine palate.
The Wine Adventurer:
For the Wine Adventurer, every bottle of wine is an exploration. These are people on their way to becoming wine enthusiasts who want to learn everything about wine.
Enjoy your red wine odyssey, experiment and try every varietal of red wine that appears blended with rich flavours and full aromas.
Mr C Harties Wine Cellar Taste Sensation
The wine cellar package is only R850 per couple.
A romantic wine and cheese taste sensation in the cellar at Mr C Harties.
Two meat selections
Three cheese selections
Seasonal extras include olives, marmalade and pickles.
1 Bottle of wine ( A Merlot red wine will pair perfectly with the meat and cheese plate.)
A romantic night away with something extra special for you.
Specials in Hartebeespoort Dam
Long Stay Saving Winter Special
SAVE UP TO R4725.00
- 15% Discount
- 20% Discount
- One Winter Warmer Dinner p.p
- 25% Discount
- One Winter Warmer Dinner p.p
One Welcome Drink p.p
- 30% Discount
- One Winter Warmer Dinner p.p
- One Welcome Drink p.p
- One bottle Champs.
Valid until 31st July 2021. Excludes Mr C Harties website packages
Mr C Shared Fly Away Package - R14 900
2 Night stay
1 Hour Full Body Massage & 30 Min Sauna
2 x Light Lunch for 2
2 x Dinner for 2
AND an option between the selection below:
Option 1: Classic flight 2 x Adults only or
Option 2: Safari flight 2 x Adults only
Contact Mr C Harties to book your stay.
Tel: +27 65 843 5238