Note: Yesterday, I posted the wrong year-ago photo, which I have since corrected for the accurate date. Also, not many photos ops right now during the busy holiday weekend.
Yesterday evening, we headed to Jabula for our usual Friday night fun at the Cheers-like bar, followed by a delicious dinner. When we arrived, Dawn and Leon were outdoors with some old friends at the bar by the pool. It was unbearably hot and humid, even in the shade. They invited us to join them, and we did.
I’d brought along my usual bottle of ultra-light white wine with only 5% alcohol, almost one-third the alcohol in a typical bottle of wine, essentially comparable to an alcohol-free wine. We’re always happy to pay a corkage fee wherever we dine out if possible.
When we were in the US, there were no light or low-alcohol wines found at any liquor or wine stores. or served in restaurants. Here in South Africa, it’s common to find at least one light white wine offered on a wine menu. But most of those wines have a bitter taste I don’t like.
While we were in the US and out of dinner, I ordered white wine a few times with an average alcohol content of 13-14%. Typically, I order Pinot Grigio, which is one of the few white wines I enjoy. I prefer a full-bodied, dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir. But since I had open heart surgery in 2019, I don’t seem to tolerate drinking full-alcohol red wines.
Instead, occasionally I drink low-alcohol wine from a Cape Town vineyard, Four Cousins, called Skinny Red, with an 8.5% alcohol content. The taste is surprisingly tolerable; although it feels very light. It doesn’t seem to keep me awake at night or leave me feeling hungover after only two glasses in an entire evening.
With these limitations, it would make sense to quit drinking entirely, as I’d done for 20 years. I didn’t start drinking wine again until we were on a cruise in 2016, and drinks were free. With some prodding from our cruise mates, I had a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, which tasted good.
I drank in moderation from there, enjoying the taste and socialization until I had the surgery in 2019, after which I found myself still enjoying the taste and socialization but feeling hindered by the aftereffects of red wine. Thus, since that time, I have had regular red wine on a few occasions, always regretting doing so later.
Several months ago, I ordered several cases of Spier 5% alcohol Chenin Blanc. The taste has been tolerable, but now, as I’m down to the last bottle, I’ve found I’ve lost the taste for that wine and won’t be ordering any more from the vineyard. At Spar a few days ago, I grabbed four bottles of another brand of low-alcohol white sparkling wines. Two of the bottles are alcohol-free, with only .5% alcohol content, and the other two at 5%. We’ll see how these work out. I’ll report back here if they are worth mentioning.
In any case, after we both were sweating profusely sitting outdoors by the pool, after about 40 minutes, we headed upstairs to the bar. I had never seen Tom sweat so much. His new shirt was soaked. With no aircon working due to load shedding and the temp and humidity outrageously high, we continued sweating along with all the other patrons at the bar. Load shedding ended around 7:15 pm, 1915 hrs, and finally, Dawn was able to turn on the two aircon units.
Our food arrived after 7:00 pm, 1900 hrs., and we ate at the bar. The place was packed with customers during the busy holiday period. We were having a good time chatting with familiar patrons at the bar and, as usual, were content to eat at the bar, which other customers often do.
By 8:00 pm, we headed out the door, still warm and sweaty and looking forward to running the aircon in the bedroom to cool off. We’d forgotten, with the frequently changing schedule, that load shedding would be occurring in our area, different from the times for Jabula.
Once we entered the door in the dark, the house felt particularly sweltering after cooling off in the air-conditioned car. Once we headed to the bedroom, we turned on the fan run by the inverter, changed out of our clothes, and looked forward to the load shedding ending an hour and a half later, which it did. We slept peacefully in air-conditioned comfort, although not quite long enough.
At the moment, we’re in the bedroom, with the air-con running. Tom is taking a nap, and I may try to do so also once I get this post completed and uploaded. Again, tonight, we’ll head back to Jabula, but load-shedding will be taking place again during the same hours as yesterday. Today, it’s even hotter and more humid than it was yesterday. But we’ve decided to go anyway. So what if we’re hot and sweaty? No harm done! The fun times are worth it!
Photo from one year ago today, December 17, 2021: