La Parada Lifts Off

Bumped into Scott and David this morning, both very much the worse for wear after a night on the tiles of La Parada Bar de Tapas on Bree which was pumping in spite of unbranded cutlery! and salt! & pepper! grinders! as pointed out by one witless wannabe food blogger. Funny how people assume if you’re fat, you know something about food.

When sailing in the Inner Hebrides, whales can be detected by a tell-tale smell of cabbage from their eructations. In the Cape Town blogosphere, whale eructations take the shape of inane observations which should likewise be avoided.

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La Parada is owned by the Townsend brothers who also own Harbour House. At the Waterfront HH two Sauvignon Blancs jostle side-by-side on the menu: Buitenverwachting 2012 and Klein Constantia 2012 as do the neighbouring farms in Constantia. So is there any hope of seeing one of yesterday’s FNB Top Ten Sauvignon Blancs in La Parada, Cape Town’s funkiest venue?

Probably not, as what use is a list of ten brand names including two from Cape Point Vineyards made from grapes grown in different appellations according to the self-congratulatory press release from SBIG, the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group.

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Funny that, I would have assumed the grapes in Cape Point Vineyards Reserve 2012 and Cape Point Vineyards Woolworths 2012 would have come from a farm at… Cape Point. Obviously not, which could explain the enigmatic smile on the dial of Ivan Oertle (above) whose own appellation is given as Cape Point Vineyards/Woolworths.

Sounds like a case of misleading advertising to me and Woolies has had problems in that department before. So how can you tell what a Sauvignon Blanc should taste like from the label (i.e. in Platter mode)? SBIG is obviously no use, having sold out to producer flummery and a desire to shift stock at any cost, including integrity.

Pendock’s rule of thumb is there are three main styles: Maritime, Inland and Mountain plus blends of these end-members. My advice to La Parada is forget the SBIG list and buy Ondine 2011 for a maritime expression (there weren’t any 2011 wines at all on the FNB list), Du Toitskloof 2013 for the inland example (the price is right and it’s widely available) and the Dry Lands 2013 from Perdeberg made by some of the hairiest mountain men this side of Everest. It’s under 13% alcohol and dryzabone.

If you’d like to test drive a wine offering compiled on the basis of terroir rather than luvvie laundry lists or one sponsored by a corporate with deep pockets, come to dinner at Birds on Bree at the end of next month. Charlie Chandler, sommelier to the Margrave of MiM (below), has been busy.

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All these wines are under R60 a bottle which should appeal to FNB and their shareholders who funded three days of tastings to produce yet another laundry list of dubious value. But a great time was surely had by all and stuff the consumersTM which, come to think of it, is a great motto for SA banks.