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Columella 2009

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Versatile with food.

If your reason for being is to showcase the world’s best wines, then why would you choose a hotel whose chefs specialise in Indian cooking to provide the catering? It appears that The White Club opted for The Taj in Cape Town to host its dinner and wine experience at R15 000 a head this past Saturday because other potential establishments were entirely apathetic about the undertaking.

Yesterday a reprise of the dinner for the media. The menu and wines as follows:

Tandoori style creamy chicken kebabs and fried kingklip matched with Vergelegen V 2007, Lafite 1995 and Vega Sicilia Unico 1998

Saffron scented Karoo lamb curry with Petrus 2001, Vilafonté Series M 2009, Columella 2009 and Margaux 1998

Baked yoghurt, stewed cherries and biscotti with Latour 1988 and Waterford The Jem 2007

I’m increasingly inclined to think that we could all be a little more liberal when it comes to food and wine pairing but that’s not to say anything goes – most of these wines were crying out for classic European dishes to show at their best.

However, the one food and wine combo that did seem to work was the Columella 2009 with the Karoo lamb curry. The Columella was both suitably exotic in terms of aroma and flavour (red fruit, orange peel, fynbos) and forceful enough in terms of overall drinking experience to stand up to the food. As is so often the case, the wine of the region went best with food of the region.

The White Club has its headquarters in Switzerland and holds 12 to 14 dinners around the world annually. Membership is by invitation only and there is a €15 000 joining fee plus a €2 500 membership fee each year. It was started at the beginning of 2011 and is already close to its 50-person capacity

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