As the sommelier poured the deep red wine into our glasses, she began telling us about Catharina, a gutsy single woman who left her native Germany for South Africa. The year was 1682.
I swirled the crimson liquid in my glass and sniffed at it. The first whiff told me that this is a big wine. And not for the types whose palates favor fruity light or heavily oaky wines, either. We had already tasted a handful of other wines, but I knew that this one - Catharina's namesake - was the one for us.
As we took our first sip of the dark liquid, the sommelier pressed on with Catharina's story. Apparently she became a citizen the only way she could: through marriage to a South African. Alas he died a tragic death a few short years later. She remarried but the same fate met husband number two. And three and four. Only the fifth husband outlived her.
We finished tasting the wine and were sold on the Catharina (2007 vintage). It was the boldest of their wines and suited our palates. And you know that when we open and share the bottle with friends that Catarina's story will be retold.