Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Master Sommelier

Back during our May 2008 reconnaissance trip to see if we really wanted to move to Africa, we went out for a celebratory dinner upon making the big decision. In a festive mood, we foolishly allowed ourselves to be manhandled by the sommelier at the fanciest restaurant we’d ever been to, and ended up with a bill that worked out to about half of our mortgage.

We both remember him vividly, and see him around town periodically – here at the weekend’s wine festival. Merci, buddy.


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Saturday was the ConstantiaFresh sauvignon blanc festival, so we gathered up the crew and rolled out to Buitenverwachting wine farm (yeah – try pronouncing that after a few bottles. It’s bait-en-ver-VOCK-ting.)

It was a beautiful – though HOT – day, and we made the most of the dozens of wines on offer. Who would have guessed that the night would end in a full-on frat party back at our house, complete with a shattered toilet seat lid and a broken foot?! (Anna’s – a dancing injury. She goes in for surgery next week, poor thing.) Regardless, a great day!

Lizzy, Addie, Lindsday, Megan & Anna (pre-fracture) soak up some sauvingon

Chris, Pawl & John drinking it all in

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Our friend Simon (of &Union fame) recently got into the winemaking game, and had a launch party luncheon for his first release – The Hedonist – on Sunday. It’s an absolutely lovely wine – it worked just as well slightly chilled with the starters (bacon-wrapped figs and assorted cured meats), served room-temp with the main course (7-hour-roasted lamb, white beans, green beans, arugula salad) and again along with dessert (salted dark chocolate tart). A great day!

Best of luck to Simon and his business partner David. I predict great things from these two, and will be happy to say that we were there for the beginning.

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Dieu Donne

…translates as “God gives”. A fitting name, with a view like this! Wine-tasting and dinner at Dieu Donne vineyard with the McGuinnesses, including Chris’ sister Beth who is visiting from Chicago.

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Vino with Dohertys

We took a lovely lap around the winelands with the Dohertys on Tuesday, accompanied by Sean’s childhood friend John, John’s wife Sam, and their adorable and impossibly long-lashed son Oliver.

After coffee at Sam’s parents’ B&B in Stellenbosch, we did tastings at Uitkyk (ATE-kik), Muratie, and Thelema, then lunch at Franschhoek’s La Brasserie restaurant, and roadside champagne on Franschhoek Pass overlooking the stunning valley. Cheers!

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Jimmy World Cup

Our friends Jared and Lindsay hold an annual wine-tasting contest every year with their families, named for Jared’s dad: The Jimmy Cup. In honor of their first Christmas away from Texas, they decided to hold a version here in Cape Town. We (of course, being us) suggested that it be a costume theme, and hence the Jimmy World Cup was born.

JG, Roxy and I represented Germany, with other people repping Mexico, China, the UK, Japan, Cuba, and the unanimous winner of the costume contest, North Korea’s own Kim Jong Il. I put up an astonishing second-place finish in the blind tasting, ultimately losing the cup to Cuba. Buncha Commies!

Heidi, Juanita, Johan, and Senor Guapo

Kim Jong Il, Kim Pug Il

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Day of Champagne and Vuvuzelas

Wednesday was a national holiday (Day of Reconciliation), so we headed out to the winelands with a group of friends, ostensibly to do some champagne “research” in preparation for New Year’s.  It was a stunning day, complete with a stop through Graham Beck (which is widely available in the States, and a tasty champagne if you run across some!)

We finished off the day at Paul and Addie’s house, taking turns blowing their vuvuzela out on the patio. If you’ve ever seen the South African soccer team play, you’ve heard the vuvuvzela. It’s the loud, one-note horn that SA soccer fans blow during matches. When you have a few thousand of them going at once, it is DEAFENING. I’m sure their neighbors were loving us.

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