Sitting down to Swirl, Smell and Sip
“A lot of people drink wine but don’t necessarily know what they are drinking. My idea was to create a place for people to enjoy drinking wine and to learn more about wine.”
What is there to love about wine? According to Vivino, “Wine is there when you’re single and searching. It’s there for your first date. It’s there for you when you get in a meaningless argument. It’s there to celebrate your engagement and future. Wine is there to toast your marriage.” And so the list goes on. According to wine lovers globally, wine is not just a drink, it’s an art form that is also a companion on special occasions and through dull moments.
An ode to the art of wine, the friends that are made and the love that is celebrated around a glass of wine is the Wolfshack in Windhoek. Still relatively new on the scene, this trendy bar is fast becoming the place for an eclectic mix of Windhoekers and travellers.
According to Le Roux van Schalkwyk, the owner of the Wolfshack, “A lot of people drink wine but don’t necessarily know what they are drinking. My idea was to create a place for people to enjoy drinking wine and to learn more about wine.” says Le Roux.
Namibian born, Le Roux studied to become a wine maker and has worked at wine farms you’ll find in the vicinity of Cape Town to those you’ll find in the vicinity of Nappa Valley. He notes that “Wine has a negative connotation in people’s minds; this comes from many factors like the way in which people should drink their wine, or knowing which wine to choose. People tend to lack confidence in their wine selection abilities. Also, people have their own unique way of drinking their wine, but there is a perception that there is a wrong and right way to drink wine. This is not the case. Just as you might like ice added to any drink you enjoy, so too you can add ice to your wine if this is what your palate prefers. There is not a wrong and right way to drink wine. It’s personal preference.”
These are some of the myths the Wolfshack is looking to dispel when it comes to wine enjoyment. One of the ways in which they are doing this is through bringing in new wine selections regularly which can be ordered by the glass. Le Roux notes that this gives people a chance to try different wine recommendations. He is also soon to start food and wine pairings, hot on the heels of his newly launched lunch menu. Now a trip to the Wolfshack includes delicious conversation with diverse Namibians while sipping a latest selection in the wine aficionado’s (Le Roux’s) collection and indulging in one of their light lunch options (from personal experience, the pulled pork sandwich was sublime).
Another suggestion Le Roux has for the (would be or want to be) budding wine expert, is to download an app by Vivino which he says, will allow you to photograph the label of the wine you like or make notes on which wine you enjoyed and then the app will build a database for you of your favourite choices (Link to the app found below)
The Wolfshack is fast becoming the place where you bump into old friends and make new ones. According to LeRoux, this was the plan, “We wanted to make a space where people feel at home, where you can come a read a book if you want to or chat to the barman. We hope to make the Wolfshack into a community of people who come together because of their love of wine.”
Le Roux notes that it was not an easy journey to get to where they are today and despite their challenges they have many future plans for the Wolfshack. As is often the case with entrepreneurs, Le Roux notes that “starting a business is not easy.” He adds that in addition to the difficulties you face, “starting a business is scary and you need to be clear on what you want to achieve with your business.”
When asked how he overcame the obstacles he faced in starting a business, Le Roux notes that “your support structure is everything. Without people to go to for guidance, or people that support you, it would have been so much harder and who knows if it would have actually all happened.”
If you want to get in touch with the Wolfshack, you’ll find them on Facebook here : The Wolfshack or on Instagram by searching the handle @_the_wolfshack
If you’re looking for Le Roux’s recommended wine app, Vivino, you’ll find it by clicking here : Vivino
Article by Kirsty Watermeyer