After my recent fantastic exprience with a food a wine pairing at Rust en Vrede, I’ve been quite keen to try out some others. My next experience at Overture was not as good, but still excellent value. Last night I went to the first in the series of food and wine pairings at the Cape Colony restaurant in the Mount Nelson hotel.
The Cape Colony has a new executive chef, Rudi Liebenberg, and he will soon be releasing his new menu. I thought this pairing evening would be a good chance to see what might be in store for us with his new menu. The food was paired with wines from Diemersfontein. Most people know only their ‘ chocolate coffee pinotage’, but they have several other wines which in my opinion are much more enjoyable (as well as more serious) than the Pinotage.
We arrived promptly which gave us time to enjoy a Malasian style spring roll (uncoooked). We went for the duck and decided not to try the chicken and vegetarian option as we knew there would be plenty of food to follow. I like my spring rolls cooked, but this was pretty good, allowing the flavours of the fresh veggies and herbs to come through.
We took our seats and accepted our first glass of wine, the Thokozani 2008 white blend (Chenin, Chardonnay, Viognier). Thokozani is Diemersfontein’s empowerment initiative, a separate venture in which the employees have ownership. Before the first course was presented we had a little presentation by the chef and the winemake to introduce us to their creations. I find it always adds a deeper level to the experience when you are familiar with process that led to the creation of the offering. The first course was spiced cured salmon with prawn & avocado salad with orange and mustard, lime jelly, shoots, caper and lime dressing. It arrived looking very appealing, and when I took my first mouthful, I knew we were in for a treat. The starter set the bar, and the rest of the courses did not disappoint. I’m not going to analyse each course in detail, but know that it was fantastic food. Here’s the other courses:
– Pea soup with poached quail egg and truffle (this was absolutely amazing, I was blown away), paired with Diemersfontein Carpe Diem Viognier 2008. The wine was quite powerful but cut through the rich truffle and cream flavours in the soup.
– Roasted pepper and thyme rubbed beef fillet, oxtail bobotie, pumpkin purée, onion chutney and sweet potato pavé (the beef was done perfectly, the bobotie was not as nice as I thought it would be), paired with the 2006 Carpe Diem Shiraz. This was a beautiful wine, the star of the evening, and it simply tangoed with the pepper and thyme flavours of the beef.
– Blue cheese cake with mulled wine reduction (I thought it was blue cheese cheese cake, but it was just blue cheese cake, which would explain why it was so strong), paired with the Carpe Diem Malbec 2007. The bold flavours of the cheese were matched by the boldness of the Malbec.
– The dessert was a chocolate extravaganza with some citrus aspects, a torte, blini, sorbet and soil (?). It was phenomenal, so rich but so good. That was paired with the well know Pinotage (2008).
We ended with a coffee and some friandise (I didn’t know what it was either, but it turned out to be a fancy word for some sweets. In this case fudge and home made citrus wine gum type things.)
The service was excellent, we were served and assisted by so many people that I couldn’t even remember all their names (maybe that’s why they have name tags). The Cape Colony has an elegance to it, but it manages to err on the side of casualness rather than stiffness, which I find much more relaxing.
At R350 per head for 4 courses paired with wines (more than just a tasting, they were quite generous in fact), you’d be silly not to take advantage of these evenings. The schedule follows:
25 June – Meerlust Wine Estate
30 July – Jordan Wines
27 August – Beyerskloof Wine Farm
17 September – Steenberg Vineyards
22 October – Waterford Wine Estate
Call reservations on 021 483 1948 to book. Read more about the Wine & Dinner series here: