Sunday, October 04, 2015

Pongracz Methode Cap Classique's 25th Anniversary

The Pongrácz event to celebrate their 25th Anniversary was held at the CAAM Gallery in Hudson Street in the Waterkant. It was a loooong way up those steps. We began the tasting in the basement and tasted a different MCC bubbly on each level.  Pongrácz is named after Desiderius Pongrácz, a Hungarian nobleman and cavalryman who was captured by the Russians at the end of the Second World War and made to work in the labour camps. He travelled to Africa, where he trained as a viticulturist and was employed by Distell, where he helped to revolutionise winemaking in the Cape.
They served the Pongrácz wine in coupes, the old fashioned glasses that are incorrectly supposed to be moulds taken from Marie Antoinette’s breasts. We find that the bubbly goes flat very quickly in them and you don’t get as much flavour or aroma
The three tasting areas in the gallery were all hung with 'walls' of orchids. They used 500 stems
Ross Sleet of Distell opens proceedings
Cellarmaster Elunda Basson tells us about her philosophy of making bubbles
Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living Magazine
Food was prepared by The Chefs Bench. Chef Steffen Olivier tells us about the canapés they will serve. Some were rather odd
An amused Ross and Elunda paying attention
It was a very well attended occasion
First came the oyster 
topped with a jelly and some mild chilli
Chef Jacques Fourie
Can I top up your glass?
Interesting vases acted as wine coolers
On the second floor, with the Brut Rosé, we were served peeled and balanced carrots dipped in pink beetroot mayo and covered in bitter chocolate 'soil'. It was very strange and looked rather unappealing. Chocolate does not go well with rosé, we think
On the third floor, we were served Desiderius MCC in glasses which matched the beautiful bottles, but they were a bit thick rimmed
Not La Dame aux camellias, but Siobhan Thompson, CEO of Wines of South Africa, in amongst the orchids
Winemaker, artwork and orchids
Duck breast 'nigiri' topped with mushrooms, micro greens & mayo. A bit big for one bite
With mushrooms and without for John
PRO Gudrun Clark who brought the guests here, with Jacqueline Lahoud of and Tshepang Molisana
Climbing to the top for some Desiderius: Journalist and Editor Ingrid Smith, Jeanri-Tine van Zyl and Lucille Botha
Desiderius with its recent Amorim MCC Award for the Museum class
Yellow orchids, yellow sofa and yellow cushions
We all gravitated to the roof garden, where there was seating
A sign on the window
We were told that dessert canapé was calf’s liver enrobed in dark chocolate and that sounded awful. Could the chef have been joking? Or pulling our legs? Actually it was a rather nice, rich liver mousse on a crunchy biscuit soil
Warm Madeleines straight from the oven with an icing and a nut brittle
Chefs making vanilla ice cream with liquid nitrogen. They then filled the thin tuilles with a spoonful of it. It got a bit messy, napkins were needed!
Gossiping with old friends and toasting life
Girls, you won’t  believe this, but..... Justine Drake in full flow keeping us amused
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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