A few weeks ago my fellow blogger friend Danielle and I went to a fun event hosted by Distinctive Wine Frames at Kaia Wine Bar here in New York. Distinctive Wine Frames are high-end frames / shadow boxes where you can save your favorite wine corks. Made with wood from Indonesia, Brazil and the US, accompanied by strong glass, the frames can hold hundreds of keepsake wine corks. The small ones hold roughly 100 corks and the larger ones hold about 400. They are great mementos of a summer spent sipping wine, or even a whole year. I know I keep my wine corks in a wooden bowl in my kitchen, so this is a great gift for any wine-lover in your life. They’re also easy to keep adding to; there is simply a small, elegantly opening on one end so you can keep dropping corks in as you go through bottles of wine.
You can see the wine frames in the background and foreground; they make great wall decorations or even trays, as one is used here to display food. Kaia is the only place in New York that you can currently purchase the wine frames, but you can order them online as well. They have generously offered eyechow readers 30% off any purchase today through December 20 with the code eyechow30. So head on over to their website and check it out!
The wine bar features South African inspired fare and wines and the owner, who we met, was lovely. She served up honey-rooibos tea ribs, toast with cheese and squash, a lentil salad and cape malay spiced beef in fried dough.
Of course, there was lots of wine. We had a 2010 South African pinotage, the country’s signature grape varietal, Southern Right hemel-en. Pinotage, I learned, is a blend of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, or “Hermitage” as the grape is referred to in South Africa. Every time I try a new wine I like, I have to take to the internet to learn more. About.com described this wine better than I could, so I’m just going to borrow: “In general, Pinotage tends to take on a rustic profile and often shows earth-driven notes on both the nose and the palate, followed by berries, smoke and on the extreme “burnt rubber” or even acetone characteristics. With a profile like that, people either tend to have a “love it or hate it” relationship with Pinotage. If you fall into the “love it” camp, then this wine can be a fairly flexible pairing partner, going well with the likes of game, steak, brats, burgers and pizza.”
The fried dough with curried beef was by far the best food item, and I just wanted to keep eating them.
The toast was a close second, and was perfect for Fall.
The lentil salad was nice and light.
The ribs were good but were too difficult to really eat standing up and drinking wine.
Danielle eventually took a seat at the food table, and I joined her. Flanked by food and wine frames is not a bad place to be.
We weren’t expecting dessert, but when they brought out these cute little cakes we weren’t complaining.
It was some sort of sticky, dense cake with a custard-y topping. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but it was delicious.
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