Friday, April 20, 2012

Kleine Zalze Grapes Gourmet & Gallery at Harvey's in the Winchester Mansions Hotel

We were invited by Nils Hecksher, the General Manager of the Winchester Mansions Hotel to join a pre-tasting and wine pairing lunch with Kleine Zalze wines in their Harvey’s restaurant.

This was to assess the menu pairings for their very exciting Grapes, Gourmet and Gallery dinner on Wednesday, June 6th matched with 6 Kleine Zalze wines.

These dinners are held every month, prepared by the hotel’s Executive Chef Jochen Riedel,

and cost a very reasonable R345 per person for a five course meal with matched wines from that month’s selected winery. They will use the Chenin Blanc as their welcoming wine and follow with the delicious first course of a fresh and warm glass of pea soup with a soft confit Norwegian Salmon served with the Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

The next course is Cinnamon smoked (in house) Chicken with poached pears, roasted walnuts, garden leaves and a vanilla blue cheese crème fraiche, served with the 2010 Pinot Noir.

If you can get all the flavours on one fork, a superb mouthful. The pears poached in red wine work very well with the cinnamon, the chicken and the wine.
Then a perfectly cooked Osso Bucco on a delicious saffron risotto with gremolata, served with the 2009 Cabernet which we so loved at the TVM tasting yesterday. How well this wine complimented the food and vice versa.

The soft veal, the aromatic risotto, the deep and delicious jus and the herby garlic gremolata were outstanding with this classic Cabernet.
The fourth course is a fillet of pork rolled in rough cumin and black pepper, served with a shallot jus, a Brussels sprout-sized serving of stuffed cabbage and a tiny interesting tartlet of white chocolate and avocado cheesecake in the most buttery short pastry case we have had for a long time, that went ‘poof’ and melted when you bit into it.

The jury is out on the sweetness of the white chocolate but some tasting around the table thought it matched the wine well, others (us!) felt it needed a more salty note. The spices and the pork went superbly well with the 2010 Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2010.
We had a short pause, a spoonful of a lovely lemon lime sorbet to refresh our palates

and then it was time for dessert. Surprisingly, they served the Gamay Noir Rosé 2011 with the Berry compote Pavlova and what an unexpected, but excellent, match that is.

The fruit in the wine clearly complemented the berries in the Pavlova and cuts through the cream and the crisp and melting meringue, which is not too cloyingly sweet. The menu will also include filter coffee or tea to finish and we think this is going to be a wonderful occasion to attend. Get your booking in soon, we think it is going to be very well attended.
All photographs are © John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012
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