Monday, December 2, 2013

Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival 'The 'Magic of Bubbles' 2013

I've been so busy lately I haven't had a chance to sit-down, breathe and blog. But, a great way to kick-start December is to share my experience of this past weekend's Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival 'The 'Magic of Bubbles', Presented by Mastercard.

I was invited to experience the VIP Gourmet Theatre, which featured amazing cheese and charcuterie as well as a fabulous lunch by Chef de Cuisine Chris Erasmus of La Motte's Pierneef a la Motte restaurant.

The weather was gorgeous and hot with a breeze and the crowds were all dressed beautifully in black & white with 'stripes and dots' - the theme for this year's event. MCC producers participating in this year’s festival include (among others) Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, La Motte, Boschendal, Leopard’s Leap, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Graham Beck Wines, Krone, Simonsig, Steenberg and Villiera. Some of France’s best Champagnes will be represented by brands such as Billecart Salmon, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot.

And so it began...

The VIP Gourmet Theatre at the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival 'The 'Magic of Bubbles', Presented by Mastercard

My Champagne partner in crime for the day - looking dashing in black and white - the theme colour for every Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

Our lunch table at the Gourmet Theatre - with The Food Fox and Neil Pendock in the background

The most incredible cheeses were on offer! Divine goat's milk cheese and creamy blue!

Charcuterie by Bread & Wine chef, Neil Jewell was showcased - love the new wagyu beef salami

Veuve Clicquot winemaker Pierre Casnave

a selection of cheese and charcuterie

A healthy pouring of Veuve Clicquot to pair with the cheese and charcuterie

Chef Chris Erasmus of La Motte's Pierneef A La Motte restaurant preparing our starter

starter: potato nests, smoke salmon mousse and quails egg

The Food Fox's husband enjoying his starter

Mr fabulosity enjoying his starter and wine

Mr fabulosity enjoying his starter and wine - hmmm delish!

Chris Erasmus explaining and demonstrating how to make the main course (with presenter Colin Moss on the right)

ME (again) sipping more Veuve Clicquot
Main course: Smoked and pickled lamb, sweet corn and vanilla cromesquis, wild barley and watermelon bbq sauce - very rich indeed! Thank goodness the food fox husband was there to help me finish this course!

My favourite course: DESSERT! Not a usual choice for me as I love savoury over sweet anyday! I do love berries though, and this sorbet was delish! The tart was a wood-roasted pumpkin and ginger flower pot, hence my love for it!

Out into the field we went, tasting the bubblies on offer at the stands. Here, Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose - my first choice of the afternoon

Fancy little MASTERCARD card with credits for Champagne and MCC tastings. Each card contained 10 tastings... we went through three after our lunch. Good Work I'd say!

Loved the Claudia 2008 Brut to the left!

The range of bubbleis from Domaine des Deux

De Wetshof Estate bubbly: De Wetshof Estate Methode Cap Classique Pinot Noir Brut 2008

Loving the new Groote Post labels - the Aurelia (private label produced by the winemaker is delish! And that Brut Rose is the new Old Man's Sparkle)
Maison's maiden bubbly is a superb: fresh crisp green apple bouquet with a dry style-mineral yeasty flavour.

tasting manager and sommelier at the Maison estate Alice Mfundisi - she always gets me into trouble... "bottom's up!"

Love the packaging of this bubbly box: holds 5 bottles of GM&AHRens Cap Classique

Tasting of the boutique bubbly: GM&AHRens Cap Classique

Chabivin's MCCs.... and this was the last that I could taste...
... although Mr Fabulosity rushed back to Haute Cabriere to grab a glassful before for the shuttle ride home to Cape Town!

For more information on the Bubbly fest, visit: