Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Flagstone Wines goes Theatrical launching new Inner City Tasting Experience

If you want to taste Flagstone wines in Cape Town, you no longer have to go out to the winelands. They have now opened The Flagstone Tasting Room at The Rockwell Hotel in Green Point. We were summoned to be at the venue at 4.30 precisely, handed a glass of wine and then ushered into the theatre there (Who knew there was a theatre at the Rockwell?) What followed was a very amusing piece of theatre as they launched their new wines to music, poetry and tasting in the dark! It was hilarious and great fun
The tasting began with three white wines and three red wines in our glasses
and then suddenly some musicians came on stage. They are Cape Town duo, Palm Strings (Mike Hoole and Titia Blake)
A short wait while we waited for latecomers
Then Alison Pearce, Flagstone's National Marketing Manager, came on stage to tell us about their partnership with the theatre, the 55 room Rockwell All Suite Hotel and the new tasting room. Twenty two million visitors come to the Waterfront every year and they hope to pick up some of them to introduce them to Flagstone wines. She said: "We want the new Flagstone Tasting Room to celebrate all forms of creativity and so we opted to offer our guests the experience of a wine & music pairing”. Visitors to the new Flagstone Tasting Room at The Rockwell Hotel are able to choose from over 22 wines in the Flagstone range. Each taster glass is a 100ml serving with pricing starting at R10 per glass
Then head winemaker Gerhard Swart came on stage to introduce each wine. Cellarmaster Bruce Jack explained the story and inspiration behind each of them. As we tasted, the music changed for each wine, the lights went out and we tasted in the dark. Lynne always makes notes on each wine she tastes and she wrote in the dark. Surprisingly she could read her notes afterwards. Bruce Jack is a talented poet; he read a poem to each of the wines. He has wanted to do this sort of tasting for years as he believes that music makes life and wine better
John and others tried to tweet while the lights were out to much barracking from those of us who wanted to enjoy tasting in total darkness. Bruce has been encouraged to produced a book of his excellent poems - well maybe not the Rap song, but definitely the haikus. It was a lot of fun
One of the snacks provided. Do wines taste better in the dark, does music improve their taste? The jury is out on that one. Accompanied by Gypsy music, we tasted the Free Run Sauvignon Blanc, 4½ stars in Platter this year. It has intense green layers, is forward and long. To very romantic music, we tasted the Treaty Tree Cape blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Green pyrazines, minerality fuller, still crisp and green with oily limes, lemons and rocks. The Two Roads Chardonnay 2016 full and soft with wood notes and crisp with limes, melons and butter. Bruce said he should recite Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken. But instead he recited a rap song entitled RapShody
More snacks. Then it was time for the three reds. First the Dark Horse Shiraz tasted with the Habanero from Carmen. Smoky salty wood, tannins and chalk then berries, cooked plums and cherries. The Music Room 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Elgin is pure cassis berries and leaves with expensive wood with soft, chalky warm berries, licorice and smoke, raindrops of flavour, long, pure and honest. Accompanied by Bach. And finally The Writers Block Pinotage accompanied by music of Africa. True to place, perfumed, delicate, expensive wood notes, silky sweet and sour fruit with a dark bitter end and lots of chalky tannins blocking the flavour. Needs time
At Wegner and Johan Wegner of Get Wine with Amanda de Klerk of Distinctive Brands were enjoying themselves, as were we
Out into the Tasting Centre to some chicken sate. The Rockwell is on the MyCiti Bus Route and Flagstone are selling a lot of wine here every week, both from the venue and on line
More snacks
Mini sliders
At Wegner, Michael Olivier, Johan Wegner, Bruce Jack, Karen Glanfield Pawley
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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