Barking Brandy

The decision to wrap this coming Sunday’s Sunday Times Lifestyle in an Au.ra wrapper speaks volumes and confirms the positioning Van Ryn has chosen for its über-bling latest and priciest offering. In with the ego watches and fashion accessories. Not in Food Weekly nor as a travel destination. Even if the first SA brandy was distilled onboard a ship in Table Bay by a ship’s cook.

At the Wednesday opening night of the Fine Fusion Brandy Festival in Sandton, the most pumping stand was that of Bisquit. Distell big man Jan Scannell confirms he’s off to Cognac next month to open the refurbished Bisquit Château in the village. Any bets Business Day’s Wanted supplement cracks the invitation to cover it within those glossy FT How To Spend It-inspired pages? Distell marketing mavens must be hoping editor Gary Cotterell, Cape Town’s less extravagantly punctuated Tyler Brûlée, sends spirit medium David Cope, rather than himself. Guess it will all come down to the class of travel offered.

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Meanwhile, not having the patience for the Bisquit bunfight, my best Cognac of the fees was the 35 year old (average age of the spirit) Jean Grosperrin XO. Five years older than Au.ra, it is also almost R13K cheaper. But then the Au.ra decanter is art, on which only a plebeian would put a price. Wittilly poured by Paul la Cock (above) it is liquid garrigue, or fynbos as festival goers would call it. No chance of seeing the Grosperrin in Wanted, thank heavens. Not even a small perrin.

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