The family tradition on New Year’s Eve is to gather around the table with some decent food and wine. The menu this year:
Beetroot and vanilla gravalax and rooibos smoked salmon from the Luke Dale-Roberts Woolworths range on wholewheat bread
Gosset Grand Milléssime 1996
Tomato and goat’s cheese tarts
CWG Flagstone Weather Girl 2006
The Berrio The Weathergirl 2009
Chantel Dartnell’s Sunburst Pomelo Salad
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2009
Roast prime rib of beef with Mediterranean-style vegetables and potatoes
Pio Cesare Barbaresco 1997
Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato 1997
Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Apple tart from Cassis Paris Boulangerie and Patisserie, Newlands
The Royal Tokaji Wine Company Mézes Mály 1995
Some notes on the wines. The Gosset was marvellous – rich and full but not nearly as oxidative as I suspected it might be; nice with rooibos smoked salmon but didn’t work with beetroot and vanilla gravalax
The two vintages of the Sauv-Sem blend that is Weather Girl were remarkably similar, the 2006 only ever so slightly richer and broader. Both strongly herbaceous, they loved the goat’s cheese in the tarts – if SA is going to carry making “green” Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon blends, then let’s at least pair them with appropriate food.
The pomelo salad as conceived of Chantel Dartnel of Mosaic Restaurant in Elandsfontein featured such ingredients as sautéed desiccated coconut, chicken, prawns, asparagus and peanuts and was an exotic but happy marriage with the excellent HRV Chardonnay.
The two wines from Pio Cesare were both impressive, though I think I tended to the Barbaresco, relatively less ambitious by virtue of featuring less new barrique.
The Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 showed its trademark touch of mint, quite refreshing as those assembled waited for mid-night.
The Tokaji was simply a delicious way to see out 2012.