Snakes in the Cellar


When I lunched at Constantia Uitsig with Andre Rousseau in January (his 2012 Chardonnay is a knockout), the valley’s most underrated chef and King of Sweetbreads (kos) Clayton Bell, hurried over to enquire whether Andre had caught his snake yet.  Seems that a green mamba had taken up residence, a little early for the Year of the Snake festivities which take place next Sunday.  And also the wrong address, as the Cape to Canton party takes place in the garden of the Newlands Hotel & Spa down the road.  There are still a few tickets available.

snake face 300x207 Snakes in the Cellar

But snakes are certainly on the way.  The BBC this morning ran a feature on snake soup in Hong Kong, beloved of Chinese as it helps their blood run faster.  Yesterday, the Guardian ran a feature on Saintilus Resilus (above, in mufti), a snake charmer from Petionville, Haiti.

SA wine is well endowed in the snake department with Slanghoek Ground Zero for slithery friends.  My recent assessment of wines from the Slanghoek co-op:

Sauvignon Blanc

♥♥♥♥ 2012 lime blossom nose, soft creamy palate, good food wine

Chardonnay

2012 cream soda perfume, reminiscent of viognier

A quartet of stickies

♥♥♥ Cape Ruby 2011 floral, sweetly fruited, earl grey tea, dried plums and cherries

♥♥♥ Red Muscadel 2011 rooibos tea, apricot jam and nuts

♥♥♥ NLH 2007 apricots and honey marmalade

♥♥♥ Crème de Chenin 2010 raisins, marmalade and honey

Rather than some of the dodgy dipsos offered freebee trips to SA on the pretext of marketing, producers should invite Saintilus, shown sucking meditatively on a snake, below.  This is the kind of colourful guest speaker to take the Nederburg Auction to the Next Level in this, the Year of the Snake.

snake1 300x208 Snakes in the Cellar