December 6, 2011 in Events
Photos: Courtesy of Di Procter (http://wineblog-diana.blogspot.com/)
Sigh. Will I ever be organised? I doubt it. And even less hope when airlines CANCEL MY FLIGHTS AT THE LAST MINUTE!!! Breathe, breathe, breathe. So here is my quick review of my favourite event of the year – the Franschhoek MCC and Champagne Fest. A bit later than others. With less pictures and not such elegant words. But at least it gets posted now as opposed to later!
Best bits of the Festival
- An hour’s early entrance for media – sorry to pull rank, but actually we don’t often get perks like this and it really helps to be able to chat for a bit longer. Plus we got a nice table in the shade – gloat.
- New producers – really enjoyed chatting to Bramon and getting to taste their under-the-counter 2007 Sauvignon MCC. I much preferred this to the 08, so either try some of the earlier one if you can and if not, then keep the 08 for another year. Also enjoyed meeting Albert and Gerrit from The House of GM &Ahrens. They used to import barrels and then began to make a fizz of their own. They have lots of cool fun ideas such as being able to buy a particular numbered box of wine which then becomes yours in perpetuity. Check out their website www.gmahrens.com for more info.
- Meeting Tweeple in real life – apart from @Bubbalubs and @AndrePentz, the best new tweep to meet was Hendrik from Chabivin. I’ve heard so much about the imported wines from Guy Charbaut and the local MCC and tasting lounge at this venue that it was a real pleasure to meet IRL (as we tweepies say – ha ha ha!) and taste the wines. Certain supermarkets are getting excited about selling Moet at R360 at the moment – don’t waste your cash, but rather get yourself to Chabivin and buy their Brut instead – far more interesting and exciting at the same price. And if anyone is having any dim sum over the Christmas break, get a bottle of their star anise/cinnamon-y Rosé too – unique flavours and a stunning wine.
- New styles of wine. Graham Beck launched their Zero Dosage wine earlier this year and it was great to see more examples from Sterhuis (yummy), Saltare (elegant and intense) and the recently-disgorged (as in 45 mins ago!) Ross Gower. I love the salty/savouriness of no dosage and hope to drink more of these in the future.
- Lots of wine – shot to Steenberg, Graham Beck and Allée Bleue for sending bottles my way and to all the other producers for pouring so generously!
- Goodfellas – yes, I know I am luckier than most in getting sponsored by them, but I used them before I got sponsored and I would use them again any day of the week. The bliss of being able to drink what I like and not worry about driving home, makes this almost the best part of the day.
Worst bit of the Festival
- Falling down a hole in the grass within 20 minutes of arriving, getting grass stains all over my white trousers (mind you, it was only a matter of time before I got SOMETHING on them anyway) and ricking my ankle really quite badly – still limping and sore two days later. Still, at least that meant I had a good excuse for sitting in the shade and dulling the pain with champagne.
If you didn’t go – sorry for you. You should have done cos this is the best way to get in the Christmassy mood and spoil yourself rotten. Big thanks to the organisers and all the producers – and yes, you’re still officially my Fave Function of the Year!