A surprisingly punchy discovery at Market Cellar


Matua Sauvignon Blanc Wine pictured at The Market Cellar at the Artcaffe Market on Rhapta Road on December 19, 2023. 

Photo credit: File | Bonface Bogita | Nation Media Group

At the ArtCaffe on Rhapta Square, Westlands, there is a small wine-shop (cellar) on the ground floor past all the potted plants and handmade cards on a rack. If you go on Wednesday it will be Lady’s Night which means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things from what I saw. It isn’t a place that’s throbbing with activity, which is great if you want to have a quiet drink.

A sommelier will sit you down and interest you to try out certain wines. I know little to nothing about wines other than the fact that I prefer Malbecs (they agree with me) and that all white wines make me feel droopy-eyed and sleepy. Actually, listening to sommeliers and wine lovers talk about wine makes me droopy-eyed and sleepy. To avoid dying of boredom, I wandered to the whisky section where I stood making a long eye contact with a bottle of Dalwhinie.

Regrettably, they don’t sell tots.

“You can always buy a bottle and carry it home with you,” the sommelier offered. I don't have that commitment to alcohol, besides I have more than enough whisky at home already. And so I was cajoled into sharing the bottle of white wine in the spirit of “getting out of my comfort zone.” It was surprisingly a decent bottle, a Chardonnay from South Africa.

The music was particularly amazing. They played MoTown and some New Jack Swing. So from Teddy Pendegrass (who I love!) to Johnny Gill who is hard to believe was a member of New Edition. Oh what a songbird Johnny is. I really loved the music.

It was just loud enough to converse. The place wasn’t full, but it wasn’t empty either. It was the right mix and tempo, actually the whole evening was the right mix and tempo. I didn’t fall asleep in the middle of a sentence but after two glasses I started feeling lazy-eyed and sluggish but also, it was past my bedtime. (I sleep at 9pm like a princess).

The air was beautiful when I walked to the parking lot. The sky, so beautiful, felt like a slow-moving lake.

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