Thursday, June 26, 2014

Brandy and Tapas at the Mount Nelson

And the day was not over for us yet. We dashed home, unpacked the car and, with five minutes to spare, arrived at the Mount Nelson hotel for a tasting of their new Winter Tapas and Brandy Menu which will be served daily from 12h00 to 23h00.  Does brandy go with food?  You can now find out for yourself. 
We assembled in the Planet bar and rather took over the area in front of the fire on this chilly, wet evening. This tasting was organised by Dr Winnie Bowman CWM, Executive Chef Rudi Liebenberg, Christelle Reade-Jahn of the Brandy Foundation and Gabi Palmer Bolton, PRO for the hotel group 
Some of the people attending were not regular brandy drinkers, others are
Dr Winnie Bowman MW and Gabi Palmer explain the tasting
Christelle Reade-Jahn, CEO of the Brandy Foundation, tells us about it and the brandies we are going to taste with the food
Our first course was Snoek Fritters, served with Collison’s White Gold Pot Still. It looks unnervingly like a vodka and we are sure it gets bought as another spirit due to its lack of colour. Its notes of almonds, apricots, pineapple and hot chilli matched the spicy fritters, which had fresh chilli in them
Listening intently
Now how does this taste? Uitkyk Potstill 10 year old with Calamari in a tomato and olive sauce. The olives were a little sharp and bitter. Nice peaches, nuts, citrus and coffee notes in the brandy
We discuss the pairings
Elegant brandy glasses with the calamari taster
Gabi and Christelle waiting for the next pairing
Very hot and spicy chorizo on potato rather overwhelmed the delicate Kaapzicht Pot Still 10 year old, full of violets, lemon and wood-smoke nose with rich, smooth silk caramel toffee on the palate
Journalist Jos Baker was in fine form
Examining the photographer at a distance
The duck bitterballen (croquette) with mustard went very well with the Laborie Alambic, our current favourite Cape Brandy. Its citrus, fresh peach orchard and almond flavours are gentle and soft and silky and the savoury duck brought these out more. It is a lovely match
We all discuss brandy as the next course is served, It was Peri Peri chicken wings with Joseph Barry 19 year old Cape Pot still. Perfectly cooked but, again a little spicy for the brandy, the assembly thought. The Joseph Barry is very floral, like Versace’s Femme and has caramel, cinnamon and nuts followed by citrus sunshine and then hot toffee coffee smoke
Ah, here comes the best course of the evening, a beautiful citrus financier topped with lemon cream and a shard of white chocolate. It was served with the van Ryn 15 year old Cask Reserve, recently voted the best brandy in the world, which is herby, spicy balsamic caramel on the nose and tastes just like a very old style Cognac with nuts, apricots and coriander spice
Lots of enjoyment followed as we tasted our brandies and ate some petite fours
The line up of brandies we tasted
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

No comments: