Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Tops at Spar wine show at GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World

An invitation to attend the Annual Tops at Spar Wine Festival, held at the GrandWest Casino in Goodwood, was tempting. We set out at 4 to get there for the opening on Thursday and, sadly, the Cape Town traffic had us crawling very slowly and we only got there at just before 6. The 650 metres from Strand Street to the flyover took us more than half an hour due to gridlock. It is a daunting challenge to get to any event that requires central city and motorway driving nowadays to get out of town in the late afternoon and early evening

Certified Sommelier Neil Tabraham, a partner in the Sommeliers Academy, with Roxan Waldeck and Jean Vincent Ridon on the South African Wine Tasting Competition stand, where the search for the Super Taster was taking place. The final team to go overseas should be announced this week. This was the last chance to enter
Lots of staff support! …and fun
We heard from Neil that Bloemendal had their Suider Terrace 2019 Sauvignon Blanc for tasting
and this is the vineyard in Durbanville that most winemakers would love to turn into wine
The wine does indeed live up to its reputation, even though it is very young and newly released
The Bloemendal wines. The Sauvignon Blanc has always garnered lots of awards in the past
Guy Webber of Hill & Dale has produced two Spumante type bubblies in the style of Prosecco
Winemaker JD Rossouw & Marketing Manager Fanie Fourie of Wildeberg Wines. We have just heard that their Chenin was one of the top five in the inaugural Best Value Chenin Blanc Tastings 2019. Well deserved
Jon Meinking invited us to take part in his annual SA Wine Showcase, where he gives us 8 wines to taste and we then have to come to a conclusion as to what they are. Jon is adept at choosing good wines that taste very little like their expected varietals. Well, we do so badly at these tastings, that is our conclusion! Lovely wines. all available to taste on the stands at the show, if you had time beforehand. It is a great fun tasting and confounded many people. We think that the highest correct score at our tasting was 2! And that was scored by a well-respected winemaker
Gotcha again! "No, not a Pinot Noir, but a 2016 Malbec from Bloemendal. Lynne, who was in love with the wine, scored it very highly - pale in colour, soft and perfumed and gentle with strawberries and raspberries - like Malbec often isn’t...
OK who can tell me what #4 is? Chocolate and nut nougat, very sweet on the nose, crisp on the oxidised palate. The nearest we came was a Muscat or a Bukettraube. It was a Skin Contact 2018 blend of Chenin blanc and Hanepoot from Daschbosch
Eugene Kinghorn, Marketing Manager of Koelenhof with their rip roaring 1679 Chenin Blanc
Not a wildly busy evening for a Thursday and then suddenly it was time to eat something
With our VIP tickets, we had been invited to a food and wine pairing at the VIP enclosure
Sadly, when we got there at 7.30, it was all over
The dishes in the pairing were: 
Southern Fried Chicken with Ranch Dressing
Mosbolletjie Bagel with Pickled Beetroot, Goats Cheese Mousse
Cape Malay Pickled Fish with Curry Emulsion
Smoked Lamb Rib Roulade with Rosemary Jus
Chorizo and Blue Cheese Arancini
These were the paired wines
Chef Beau du Toit of Goose Roasters, who were doing the catering, made a plan and found us some of the dishes and some of the wines
Southern Fried Chicken with Ranch Dressing
Mosbolletjie Bagel with Pickled Beetroot, Goats Cheese Mousse, Cape Malay Pickled Fish with Curry Emulsion
All delicious and the pickled fish was a complete revelation to us
We both hate it normally, but this was not a heavy sour pickle, more spicy and Indian in flavour and spice, and the fish was perfectly cooked
The perfect match to the Pickled Fish. The Goose wines are an appropriate label for The Goose Roasters caterers. Goose Wines belongs to golfer Retief Goosen, who won his first tournament in the PGA Circuit Senior Players’ Championship that weekend 
Chef Beau du Toit of Goose Roasters
Smoked Lamb Rib Roulade with Rosemary Jus was really tender and full of flavour
Chorizo and Blue Cheese Arancini
Both wines were good; the Cape Ruby port was sensational
Frank Meaker, GM & Winemaker, Org de Rac was our final tasting before heading home at 9

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