Pizza & Chenin secrets: what it is

“The secret of good pizza” said Franco (below, left) today at our PC lunch at Magica Roma in Pinelands “is it should taste what it is. Baby Rosa tomatoes must taste like tomato. Not bearnaise sauce.”

20120709 193050 Pizza & Chenin secrets: what it is

Chenin is the same. The flavours are accessible. One does not need to wear a bow tie to enjoy a glass of Ken Forrester’s (above) Petit Chenin. And no one in Magica Roma this lunchtime had dressed up. Including the billionaire at the next table who looked more Johnny Cash than Cash and Carry, even if he is the largest retailer in Africa. Ken’s PC was a budget match with Franco’s Rosa tomatoes and fresh rocket. A versatile vegetarian combo platter indeed.

Ken was agitating for shrimp which puzzled Ezio (above, right) “shrimps don’t have much flavour” but then he was speaking American. An easy mistake as he’s the biggest SA brand in the USA. He meant prawns and called for some chili flakes to spice up the pizza to cope with his FMC 2010, a Full Monte Chenin, well endowed with flavour and almost dry with 7g/l of residual sugar.

I’d already assigned the FMC to the rich Italian pancetta pizza (below, top) while my favourite, the porcini pizza (below, bottom) cried out like Little Voice for the 2011 Forrester Chenin Reserve which will shortly be released. More mineral than the opulent 2010, there is a rustic earthiness in wine and mushrooms that sings. At R75 a bottle marked up to R120 (say) in a pizzeria, add in a couple of porcini pizzas, two grappa rutas, an espresso and a cappuccino and you’re talking affordable luxury.

20120709 193123 Pizza & Chenin secrets: what it is

We took a moment to toast the late Harold Eedes, the publisher who believed in wine. Unique in SA. “He used to phone me from Italy” remembers Ezio “to ask me what to order”. A hassle shortly to be solved for good after the Secret Festival at Spier at the end of October when the mysteries of Pizza and Chenin will be solved more convincingly than the Da Vinci Code.