Giant Periwinkles! sounds like something TinTin or Captain Haddock might exclaim when faced with a tricky situation. The second exhibition at the Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj is Ostrich October. It features BlikBlik in die Swartland, a TinTin-esque character with a signature quiff and his trusty ostrich sidekick Ozymandias. So along with Great Snakes! and billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles! we’ll be adding Giant Periwinkels! to the lexicon for authentic effect. Had a bottle of the Giant Periwinkle 2012 Syrah made by Pierre-Jacques Rabie Jnr. and Johan de Kock at Il Leone in De Waterkant (appropriate suburb for periwinkels) yesterday and was amazed by the accessibility of the wine. The grapes hail from Elim and this wine is full of missionary intensity.
The tannins have been polished to within an inch of their lives, and it slips down the gullet like a… giant periwinkle! The last time I had alikreukel was in St. James with Cobus Joubert who served them on toast or Bruscheta as they call it in the southern suburbs. I’d brought along a wicker basket of lemons from Lemoenfontein (my pied à Paardeberg) and we dibbled lemon juice liberally over the mollusc in its sauce of mushrooms, garlic and cream.
At Il Leone, alikreukels were not on the menu so we had to make do with rack of veal. Rare baby beef served on the bone, the chary taste of the flesh was amplified by the rich spiciness of the wine. Full marks to chef and winemaker. This is a critter wine beloved of Americans, with a difference.