Cyclist Charles Harman, British banker-owner of SA icon producer Klein Constantia, may have been stockbroker to the Queen, but his grasp of literature is less sure. Asked to comment on the appearance of Vin de Constance in Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the notorious pot boiler and bodice ripper Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James, Chas told the Telegraph “Vin de Constance has been a favourite wine of Emperors, Kings and authors for centuries. Its romantic qualities were first recognised by Jane Austen, were eulogised by Baudelaire and have now been taken to a new level by EL James.”
The 2004 vintage pops up as “part of the third course of [a charity masked ball], attended by the Fifty Shades’ lovers Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele – paired with sugared-crusted walnut chiffon candied figs, Sabayon sauce and maple ice cream.” A most unfortunate pairing perhaps but one which should attract the hordes of “ardent followers of the novels – which have sold 65 million copies worldwide – have already begun making pilgrimages to places named in them. Now book clubs and restaurants, mostly in America, are beginning to stage Fifty Shades evenings with replica menus.”
Klein Constantia has the perfect venue for bondage evenings and a perfect Maître d’ in the shape of Jürg Pfützner, German sommelier turned events organizer – think hunkier Joel Gray and Liza Minelli (geddit?) in Cabaret – not Cabernet. The man behind Constantia Fresh and the Big Bottle Bash is the right address. The venue: an old barn adjacent to the homestead which boasts crazy murals from the roaring twenties. The likely attendance of baboons and Cape Town’s XXXL swinging bloggers will add a certain frisson to those jaded souls for whom Fifty Shades of Grey was the best thing to hit the book club, ever.