Two dinners, fourteen wines
Serving fine stuff to foreign friends
Well, it is that time of year when lists are compiled. Some of us make wish lists, others issue ratings. All glorious seasonal parlour games – not to be taken too seriously.
So when friends from distant, freezing Europe fly in for a festive time in the Cape sun, the listing diversion comes to determining food and wine to show off.
For purposes of personal pleasures, we plotted two: one of ‘young ’uns’, another of ‘old guns’ – well, sort of . Wines that reflect individual South African-ness, bearing in mind what those northerners may like and remember.
The basic structure: local sparkling wine as friends meet, re-establish bonds and nibble; something fresh and cerebral, a white for the starters (it’s summer after all); a follow-up with somewhat deeper whites; a first red, obviously pinotage; followed by a smart cabernet or such blend; ending with NLH (not with the pudding – usually a sad misfit and misconception - but by its own) and possible a top brandy. Or whatever the party desires at this time.
List No 1: Bubbly: John Loubser’s Silverthorn Jewel Box 2009. Chenin blanc: Botanica 2010. White blend: Rall 2010. Chardonnay: Cape Chamonix reserve 2010. Pinotage: Spioenkop 2010. Cabernet sauvignon: Delaire Graff reserve 2009. NLH: Paul Cluver 2010. Boplaas reserve 8-year-old potstill brandy.
List No 2: Bubbly: Pieter Ferreira’s stunning Graham Beck Cuvée Clive 2007. Chenin blanc: Land of Hope reserve 2010. White blend: AA Badenhorst Family 2009. Chardonnay: Hamilton Russell 2010. Pinotage: Beyerskloof Diesel 2009. Cabernet sauvignon blend: Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2009. NLH: Nederburg Edelkeur 2010. Uitkyk Estate 10-year-old potstill brandy.
Food: a range that include the following. Freshly-smoked snoek from Dirk se Visvlekhuis in Laaiplek, Franschhoek trout, crayfish netted in one of the West Coast bays, local oysters dived for on the Wild Coast, ‘charcuterie’ from Cape Mountain in the Groot Winterhoek mountains, legs of mutton from Porterville-slaghuis, aged sirloin of beef, trifle (with KWV sherry), malva pudding (with KWV brandy), matured La Petite France cheeses from Kwazulu-Natal.
And then we all fall down on Twelfth Night!