Sunday, 18 August 2013

Zinzi - a touch of class

I've visited Zinzi, situated between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna on South Africa's Garden Route, a few times over the last 5 years.  The interesting architecture and decor of the restaurant and the beautiful gardens and surrounding forest provide a unique and relaxed atmosphere that is elevated by great service and an imaginative menu.  I've always been impressed.  Last night I entered once again and had 2 courses that were exceptionally good.   

Duck liver with baked Parmesan marrow, brandy, pancetta and spinach sauce

Pork belly, honey-roast vegetables, apple and potato bake, creamy prune sauce

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Old things are more beautiful?

Old things are more beautiful
than many things brand new
because they bring fond memories
of things we used to do.
Old photographs in albums
love letters tied with lace
recapture those old feelings
that new ones can't replace.
Baby shoes, a teddy bear,
a ring that Grandma wore,
are treasures waiting there behind
a door marked "Nevermore".
Old things are more beautiful,
more precious day by day.
Because they are the flowers
we planted yesterday.
Author - Clay Harrison


Certainly old when it comes to South African wine, possibly dead, but definitely a gamble I'm willing to take. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

De Wetshof's way with Chardonnay

One of my many pre-booked activities for the recent Robertson Slow Festival was the Mystery Chardonnay tasting at De Wetshof.  This was my first visit to the estate and on driving up towards the beautifully impressive tasting room I wondered why.  These guys are one of the few 3rd generation operations in South Africa and have a reputation for producing exceptional Chard's.

Johann De Wet opened the huge solid doors for us and we entered a reception room that was warmed gingerly by a wood-fire and generously by a hospitality that you'd expect at a mates home.  We learnt about the variety of soils on the farm, from clay to rock, and how this is uniquely expressed through the wine.  We learnt about the importance of cellaring, enhancing the natural characteristics of the grapes but not being too pushy with wood.  Most of all we learnt about the families passion for their land and how it comes to life in each and every bottle.

I was blown away with the whole thing and that was before I encountered the 1993 Finesse. Eish!