Divine & Wonderful DW11thirteen

Lunch with the first lady of SA wine shows, Juliet Cullinan, at DW11thirteen in Dunkeld today.  Sommelier Patson Mathonsi (below) was over the moon to see us and comped us two glasses of Pol Roger NVMaître d’ Richard, who I’d last seen at the Singing Fig in Norwood, reckons that Patson is a blind taster of note which makes the cold shoulder shown to local somms by WOSA at their International Sommelier World Cup last week so much harder to stomach.  For shame Su Birch, for shame.

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Far harder to stomach than the deep fried local goats cheese for starters which complemented the Pol wonderfully.  But how strange to name a Champagne after a Cambodian mass murderer Pol Pot.  Jools and I both had rare, almost sashimi salmon for mains with a creamy dill sauce on the side and Patson insisted on a New Zealand Pinot Noir called Alexia 2011 which once decanted, was smooth and balanced with a spicy cinnamon note at the end.  If SA wine ignores local sommeliers, only fair that local sommeliers ignore SA wine and offer imported competition. Heck at Rust en Vrede restaurant they take this revenge on WOSA to the extreme with no SA MCC on the wine list at all.  While its one thing to be a proudly S’efrican drinker, at R490 a bottle, there is nothing in the SA cellar to match Alexia.

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Jools now lives in Monaco, a city state with 60 somms, with new husband, legal eagle Christopher, and we spent a pleasant afternoon planning innovations for her annual wine show sponsored by Standard Corporate Merchant Bank. Jools wants to jazz up her offering as in 2015 her show celebrates 25 years. A brandy bar is a strong possibility. 

It will be at Summer Place again next year and I suggested Aleit Swanepoel be hired as designer after his tour de force on the ABSA Champagne Festival at that venue this week. We spent the whole lunch workshopping themes and schemes to refresh the moribund wine show scene that has become a predictable pay day for lizards, barkers, shills and other fauna.  Watch this space!