At a time where leading breweries across the country are operating in saturated markets and against the rising clout of craft breweries, the wine market in Rwanda is still largely untapped. Wine distributors like Wines & More, a subsidiary of Akagera Business Group (ABG), are working towards changing this narrative, partnering with leading wine brands to bring to enthusiasts exciting varieties of wine. In a bid to encourage and inspire wine lovers to experiment, discover and explore the vast world of wine, Wines & More organized a tasting and conversation evening on Wednesday, 11th September where guests were treated to a wide assortment of red and white wines.
Guided by Stephane Roi, a French wine master, guests tasted up to twenty wines accompanied with bread, cheese and Gazpacho; a soup made of raw, blended vegetables. They marveled at the unique aspects of each wine’s character and revealing key tasting notes in detail.
“Wine purchasing is quite difficult unless you are a specialist and going to the store can be a long maze of wine bottles. Wine tasting gives the palate a history to build on and makes it easier to discover one’s preferences” says Stephane Roi. “Most people are made to believe wines get better with age but the fact is most sparkling and white wines don’t need aging. However, red wines aged particularly in oak barrels will have a smoother and rounder flavor. Aging red wine is usually done using bottles, stainless steel tanks, or oak barrels. It increases the wine’s exposure to oxygen as it ages, which decreases tannin and helps the wine reach its optimal fruitiness,” he adds.
Wines & More aims at leveraging and extending their products to more customers across the country but also maintain its value and position in the market it has already captured. “Our purpose is to build a brand for the next generation, with top quality wine from worldwide producers. With this tasting event, we expect to familiarize our customers with a wide range of wines available at our outlets and allow them to experience a little taste from all over the world,” says Hugues Basabose, Sales & Marketing Manager at Akagera Trading. He reassures wine lovers that even when their budget is low, they can get a bottle at Wines & More for as low as nine thousand Rwandan Francs, VAT included. In addition to this, Wines & More is offering a 40% discount on Bordeaux and Chateaux wines, an offer that will expire in two months.
Wines & More strives to destroy preconceived ideas or biases of what a wine brand should be by distributing wines that are acclaimed for their incredible smoothness, richness and intriguing complexity. This wine tasting event follows up on Moët & Chandon event that was held at Pili Pili in Kibagabaga and Glenmorangie Whiskey masterclass that was held in July at Khana Khazana Restaurant, Kigali Serena Hotel and Kigali Marriot Hotel.
Varieties of wines tasted during the event
Calvet varietals, Chardonnay, France
Legende Baron de Rothschild, Bordeaux, France (White)
Masi, Levarie Soave Classico, Italy
Domaine de Mas Belles Eaux, Chardonnay, France
Los Vascos, Chardonnay, Chili (White)
Victor Berard, Chablis, France
Calvet, Pouilly Fume, France
Domaine de la Baume, Viognier, France
Château Belles Eaux, Languedoc, France
Calvet, Rose D’Anjou, Val de Loire, France
Château Petit Bois, Lussac-Saint-Emilion, France
Domaine de la Baume, Cabernet Sauvignon, France
Legende Baron de Rothschild, Bordeaux, France (Red)
Los Vascos, Cabernet Sauvignon, France (Red)
Aruma Malbec, Argentina
Château Bois Pertuis, Bordeaux, France
Château Marcadis, Lalande de Pomerol, France
Château des Maures, Lalande de Pomerol Rouge 2016
Raymond Huet, Fut de Chene, Bordeaux, France
Raymond Huet, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, France
Château de la Fleur, Montagne Saint Emilion, France
Overall tasting notes
From the color and the aroma to the taste and the finish, the wines that were served were a burst of intense, spicy and sweet flavors. Red wines varied from deep purple to brick red in color and white wines ranged between lemon gold and golden amber. Throughout the four stages of tasting, white wine flavors were light, sweet and dry with lemon and lime notes while red wines were light bodied, fruity and savory.