The news that the Grand Old Duke of Wellington (below) passed on today, age 99, reminds us that next year is a red letter vintage for Wellington, the serially underrated wine appellation next door to Paarl and the Swartland. For June 18th 2015 marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo where Napoleon and his Grande Armée came second to the Seventh Coalition army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher.
How best to commemorate this event? Perhaps a tasting of France against the wines of Wellington? The Commanderie de Bordeaux can surely field a selection of French wines chosen by commandeur Schalk Burger while the Wellington contingent could be the annual Quest for the Best organized by the Wellington Wine Route.
On the menu, beef Wellington and Fides 2013, an amazing Grenache Blanc from Bosman Family Vineyards, as aperitif. The press release translates fides from the Latin as faith and we’re not talking Christian faith here but rather Roman reliability which sums up the wines of Wellington for me.