The evening was made increasingly memorable with Winemaker, Simon Smith (“you can drop the H ‘cos I’m not handsome”) providing more than product knowledge, but in addition, proving to be a stand up comedian of note. In fact between laughs, sipping and experiencing the fare of “culinary artists “, Simon appeared more suited to jesting than the field of viticulture.
The five course meal was launched with a Louisvale Chavant 2013, which he pointed out “was easy to drink” – a statement that continued throughout the most pleasurable evening. There were however other informative snippets provided for the layman such as “lightly oaked” (a maturation process of some four months) plus, once a barrel had seen out its “ten years” of wine production service, it was carved in two and sold off as a “flower pot”. Thus ensuring the longevity for the noble Oak and providing much needed income for the humble Winemaker from Pappegaai’s Berg (loosely translated Parrot’s Mountain) in Stellenbosch, Western Cape.
Possibly the most noticeable feature of the evening, was the frenzy created by the specially invited “Foodie Media” bloggers/writers/hash-taggers/scribes – to say nothing of consumers – as they set about achieving top spot on the social media rankings for the evening. The guests were urged and constantly cajoled to “post their tweets” as #GMFood rose to pole position while the Proteas (exactly at which venue no one was certain of such was the hype in the dining hall) were in the process of carving up their own opposition (here again there was no clarity as to who the hapless victims were). Of only one thing there was certainty, across the country, the Natal Midlands Five Star venue of Granny Mouse, #GMFood reigned supreme.
Half way through the menu, guests were treated to a Palate Cleanser consisting of Yellow Jelly, Meringue & Fruit Salad. Following this brief interlude in consuming, a Loiusvale Dominique 2014 (taken from the name of a pet dog) was introduced which too was “easy to drink”. It should be pointed out that by this stage of the evening the entire Louisvale range was proving exceptionally easy to drink.
The dining aspect of the evening – by this stage near dawn – was brought to a close with a desert which most guests were unable to pronounce as Simon introduced his Louisvale Chardonnay Brut NV which was accompanied by his signature line – “easy to drink”.
With the sun due to shortly make its appearance, the Winemaker of comic skills dragged his wife (now referred to as the “mother of his children”) and self off to bed while guests and staff continued to tweet followed closely by continuing with the “easy to drink” Louisvale products.