Is brandy populêr in Potch?

As the Cape bibbers from the koue and Snow Selfies clog up Twitter, one’s thoughts turn naturally to hot chocolate and brandy. Some good news on that front from the balmy north. Amanda Strydom posts on FaceBook

Ek is só opgewonde dat ” ‘n Vuur gevang in Glas” by die Vryfees in Bloem én by Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees aanvaar is ! Coenraad Rall begelei my by beide hierdie feeste.

Well the only thing I know about Bloem is its now home to Xanthus Viljoen (below, with Migdalia Bellorin and Luke Krone) but Aardklop rang a bell as Luan Nel curated a wildly successful art exhibition there last year. So I jumped onto the interwebs but alas, even though the Clover Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees takes place in October, applications for an arts and crafts stand closed in March. They have a novel system for charging for stands: by tender. You specify the amount you’re prepared to pay and they choose their exhibitors.

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I was thinking of bringing the Karoo Kêrels out of retirement and accompanying Amanda and Coenraad with some authentic brandy. Oude Meester would be a natural choice as Amanda’s cabaret was written by the late, great Hennie Aucamp who Amanda refers to as “the master.” In fact Oude Meester Demant would be a perfect fit, as the Western Transvaal is elephant country for alluvial diamonds.

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How many punters from Potchefstroom does the Brandy Foundation think it will attract at tonight’s Fine Brandy Fusion gig in the Sandton Convention Centre? Potch is a university town, so brandy should not be totally unknown. In the meantime, I’ve decided that July will be brandy month at my Wine Gallery at the Taj Hotel. The theme of the exhibition is ‘n Vuur gevang in glas. Hulde aan Hennie Aucamp even if the master drank whisky, according to his friend, the artist Jan du Toit (above, with Luan and Amanda).

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To curate the exhibition, I’ve asked Dr. Winnie Bowman (above), chair of the Institute of Cape Wine Masters. Her pick of six:

Laborie Alambic Brandy

This is an unforgettable gem! Produced from mainly Chardonnay grapes, with a touch of South Africa’s own Pinotage. Light gold in colour – South African sunshine and fynbos in liquid form! It won the World Brandy Award in 2010.

Oude Meester Demant

Created to celebrate Oude Meester’s diamond jubilee – it is fresh, fruity, smooth and enticing and the fine texture will convert first time brandy drinkers forever!

Klipdrift Gold

The interplay between more mature brandy (up to 20-year old brandy in this blend!) and younger, fruity flavours makes this a household favourite. It seduces drinkers wherever it is poured and leaves them asking for more!

Van Ryn 12 year old Distillers Reserve

One of South Africa’s most internationally awarded brandies – 6 times the World’s Best Brandy! Beautiful balance and richness – true finesse – A South African icon.

KWV 15 Alambic

World Brandy of 2013 and one of South Africa’s best! Burnished amber, glints of gold and so smooth with intense pure flavours – elegant and regal!

Boplaas 15 Year Reserve Brandy

Close to my heart from the Klein Karoo where I grew up – gorgeous mature fruit favours mingle with the dusty Karoo bossies from the veld and the rich, red soil. It tastes the best in the Karoo – come with me to explore and taste the Klein Karoo. This is the brandy of my soul.