Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wellington Quest for the Best 2014 at Au' de Hex Boutique Hotel, Wellington

David Sonnenberg told us that Wellington is much closer to Cape Town than Franschhoek and that it is a gem of a wine valley. This was at this award ceremony, held in a fairly new venue, Au' de Hex Boutique Hotel in Wellington, where Johan van Schalkwyk, (chef owner of Twist Some More) produced a really good menu to match the winning wines
What is Quest for the Best?  “Quest for the Best” is a competition initiated for Wellington by Wellington, celebrating the wine district’s quest to showcase the overall quality and diversity of the Wine of Origin Wellington
Judging: A total of 64 wines were sampled and judged at a blind-tasting session by five esteemed Sommelier-judges on 21 July
These judges were:
Gregory Mutambe – Head Sommelier Twelve Apostles Hotel
Barry Scholfield  - Sommelier, Rust & Vrede Restaurant
Kent Scheermeyer - Hospitality Consultant
David Clarke - Previous Chairman Australian Sommelier Association, Ex Animo Wine Logistics
Higgo Jacobs - Sommelier & Wine industry Consultant
The ‘Quest for the Best’ top 10 wines of Wellington for 2014 are:
·         Diemersfontein Wines 2012 Carpe Diem Viognier Reserve
·         Diemersfontein Wines 2012 Carpe Diem Pinotage Reserve
·         Doolhof Wine Estate (Pty) Ltd 2009 Doolhof Theseus
·         Welbedacht Wine Estate 2005 Welbedacht Cricket Pitch
·         Welbedacht Wine Estate 2011 Welbedacht Wine Estate Pinotage
·         Thokozani CCV 2012
·         Wellington Wines 2014 Bovlei Cellar Chenin Blanc
·         Wellington Wines 2011 La Cave Cabernet Sauvignon
·         Dunstone 2012 Dunstone Shiraz
·         Linton Park Wines 2013 Louis Fourie Chardonnay
 Students from the  Hurst Academy prepare for the onslaught of guests
 It’s a spacious and well designed function venue
Seating outside for better weather
The entrance
And a warm welcome with good, representative, but anonymous, wines to try
Journalist Johan Crafford with a colleague
The service bar
Very professional staff
Chef of the day and owner of Twist restaurant, Johan van Schalkwyk
He prepared some lovely canapés. These are choux pastry buns stuffed with smoked salmon paté and caramelised onions
Wonton cups with smoked ham on apple jelly mousse
Pickled Yellowtail topped with pineapple
Today’s menu
Schalk Burger Senior of Welbedacht with his wife and David Sonnenberg of Diemersfontein, who was our Master of Ceremonies for the awards
The gathered assembly
David Sonnenberg about to announce the awards
David with judge Higgo Jacobs – convenor of the completion judges, member of the Sommelier society & Wine industry Consultant,
Higgo tells us about the wines they tasted and judged
An award for Diemersfontein
Johan Fourie collects an award for Doolhof
Tiaan Burger collecting Welbedacht's award
Neil Marais from Dunstone with their award
Corinne Borman of sponsors Mutual and Federal presented the awards
Chef explains what we will be eating
All the award winners together
The starter of very good local Springbok carpaccio with rocket, blueberries, toasted pine nuts and shaving of mature goat's cheese
A display of the winning wines
The main course was a duo of lamb. Perfectly cooked lamb cutlets and long slow cooked lamb in small filo parcels seared with a Rosemary Jus, a mint jelly, herb encrusted potato cylinders and young green beans
A glass of Dunstone 2012 Shiraz please
Chef strikes a pose
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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