Fascinating World of wine with Melissa Mwende
Melissa Mwende is a Kenyan born and raised sommelier and wine educator as well as a wine content creator. She has been in the wine industry for the past eight years. She worked as a wine ambassador for four years, for a brand in South Africa and is currently freelancing as a wine consultant based in Laikipia. She is also founder Little Wine basket.
- What are some of the major wines that you have? And how are they different from others?
Well I, as Melissa and my company Little Wine basket, focus on great value wines that are available at a good price, we always maintain consistency in stocks and focus mainly on South African wine and French wine at the moment.
The difference between us and other players in the industry is that we are well educated in wine. We are a team of knowledgeable industry leaders. And so we try to stock only good quality wine.
What is your favorite terroir for wine at the moment?
I am in love with Chablis. Chablis is in France and they make the most elegant Chardonnays.
What are the qualities you look for when purchasing a wine?
One is the aging potential of the wine, can it keep for long? And what it needs to keep for long is good acid, beautiful aromas andflavors that are pronounced. If it’s red wine, you want to have a good amount of tannin that can preserve it for a long time. I prefer wines from smaller producers. These producers tend to maintain the quality in production year after year.
- What is the oldest wine you have tasted and what was it?
I have had a 96 Dom Perignon, which I doubt I’ll have again, until I’m very rich soon haha. That was very delicious.
- What happens when a wine stays for long?
If it was great, from the beginning, the flavors and the nuances of the wine change and become more complex. In other instances, they become even more elegant. And you can taste the maturity in the bottle really shine through.
6.What tips do you have for someone going through their first wine tasting?
The major thing is there’s no need to be scared. Usually, from my own experience, if you find yourself intimidated, scan the room for someone else who looks just as scared and start a conversation about how scared you are to be there. I guarantee you that will be the beginning of a very good session.
Another tip is togo in with an open mind, go in with a bit of humility, be ready to learn and accept what you don’t know. That’s the fastest way you can learn. And also, a bit of wine tasting etiquette: Try to wear less pungent perfume so that you can smell what’s in the glass. Also, when we’re holding our glasses, we hold the glass by the stem and not by the bowl because you don’t want to leave fingerprints on the glass or warm up the wine too quickly, which will destroy the taste
White or red wine?
Currently, I am loving white wine though as the weather becomes duller, I might be leaning towards the reds. Something like cabinet Sauvignon, doesn’t sound too bad right now or big and juicy Merlot.
What are the three wines on your wine list exciting to you right now?
I have the La Vieille Ferme Rouge, which is a light-bodied, easy drinking red wine from the south of France. I also have on my wine list a very beautiful red, muscadel. This is a sweet red wine that is perfect for making a mulled wine, which is the best winter drink by the fireplace, or at dinner with someone special.
What are the 2 wines on your wine list exciting to you right now
La Vieille Ferme Rouge
This easy drinking red wine from the south of presents wonderfully expressive aromas of plum, blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry, rounded off by vanilla. The light-bodied wine is exceptionally fresh and lively on the palate considerable length in the finish.
This sweet red wine is fresh, fruity and well balanced with an attractive light amber colour and red tint to go with. This is a sweet red wine that is perfect for making a mulled wine, which is the best winter drink by the fireplace, or at dinner with someone special.