What I really had in mind for lunch was to hook up with mates for a pie and chips and a pint or three of Guiness at Fireman’s Arms, arguably Cape Town’s best pub. However, suffering from sports fan fatigue, I’d overlooked the fact that the All Blacks would be playing the Wallabies at around noon, making it a less than suitable place for our nearly fourteen month old daughter, who’d put off a nap all morning.
Off to Il Leone Mastrantonio , corner of Prestwich and Cobern Streets, Greenpoint, a restaurant with a reputation for being child-friendly, something that it admirably lived up to: the four-year old in the party got crayons and colouring-in book; the baby got her own plate of favourite cherry tomatoes.
After a morning of shopping for baby basics, some alcohol for dad was essential. The Mulderbosch Steen op Hout Chenin Blanc 2008 worked well with starters, and at a R120 a bottle completely over-delivered on quality relative to price.
Pastas all round when it came to main courses, and having spotted a Rickety Bridge Shiraz on the wine list without a specified vintage but selling for only R145 a bottle , we ordered it, hoping against hope that it was the 2008 that rated 4½ Stars in this year’s Global Trader Shiraz Challenge convened by WINE magazine.
Our waitress arrived at the table with a bottle of ever-popular Porcupine Ridge, her mistake easy to understand when she explained that she’d never served a bottle of Rickety Bridge, and the two sounding quite similar especially given the noise of a restaurant doing brisk trade.
The wine ordered was soon substituted, not the 2008, but the 2004, which proved to be quite developed but did show typical varietal pepperiness. It was first reviewed in the 2009 edition of Platter’s where it was rated 3½ Stars, and then subsequently got 1 Star in the 2009 Shiraz Challenge. This suggests a wine of no great distinction but with a plate of pasta and good company, it went down fine. There’s a difference between professional tasting and drinking but who says competition results don’t emphasise purchasing decisions…