Asked to judge the Amorim Cork MCC Challenge in August, my thoughts turned naturally to the awards lunch. Or perhaps brunch, as I suspect last year’s lunch was an exception, it being the 10th anniversary of the competition. I’m not even sure the Grande Roche runs to brunch. Besides, brunch hoists something of an anti-elitist, anti-snobbish flag over the whole affair which fits in with these recessionary times. This trend is further advanced this morning by Eric Asimov in the New York Times who proposes Champagne with pizza. Even if the photo used to illustrate the story shows pizza and still wine. Oops!
As Eric notes “Champagne should no longer be consigned to the black-tie visions of its marketers. Sure, it can be urbane, but Champagne is also racy, earthy and as casual as you want it to be. The only argument against Champagne with pizza might be its cost.” A problem that does not apply to most MCCs of my acquaintance.
Turns out Italians recommend something with a bubble for pizza, which sounds like a convincing argument for an MCC Awards brunch in a pizza parlour. The gourmet ones we had at Mulderbosch in February were cooked by Paul Gouvea and I hear he has a Stellenbosch operation in addition to the Tulbagh mother ship. After all, chef Gouvea would be quite appropriate for a competition sponsored by a Portuguese company. As for me, I’ll be happy with a Hugh Johnson pizza – Gorgonzola and pear.