A grand dinner last night at the Grand Café and Beach in Granger Bay with Allan Mullins CWM and international man of mystery Steve Straker which must have cost host Mike Von a couple of grand. Retro avo Ritz’s to start, which quickly got us into a La Perla frame of mind and then fillet steak and salad (twiggy Steve had the chips we all wanted) as burgers were off the menu last night. Allan chose the white – a delicately wooded 2012 Sauvignon Blanc called The Young Airhawk, which was all intense and precise passion fruit. Too piercing for kreef but perfect with oily avo. I handled the reds: a Rhône blend called Motorcycle Marvel and a Bordeaux blend called Brewmaster which was powered by that savoury tomato paste style of Cabernet that Stellenbosch and Paarl do to perfection.
All three wines are from Nederburg, which Allan and I subliminally knew, but it struck me as strange that a brand that spends more than most on marketing (think MasterChefSA and wallpapering OR Tambo with images of cellar master Razvan Macici) should appear on the Grand wine list essentially naked. Naked Nederburg!
This is one way of handling the prejudice a brand which discounts Bar-One in Checkers experiences. The other is to tackle it head-on which is precisely what Assaggi manager Robin Donenberg plans to do, inviting Raz to Illovo to present a wine dinner at one of Johannesburg’s iconic Italian cucinas. The difficult bit will be transporting ten tons of sand to Illovo for the authentic beach experience.