Nederburg – Johannesburg – September 2015
September marks the annual Heritage Month in South Africa. In this month we recognize and commemorate all aspects that make us, as South Africans, unique and exceptional in our diversity. Here at Come Wine with Us we could not think of any better way to celebrate our living heritage than to celebrate it through extraordinary food and excellent wine. So that is exactly what we did, celebrating with a five course menu and paired with the infamous Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes range of fine wines.
The event was hosted at the picturesque, five-star boutique hotel, Morrells, a veiled gem situated in Northcliff. The venue is Provençal inspired with a 19th Century farmhouse, among the first of its kind built in this area and curated ever since. It was not dissimilar to what you would suppose the original Settlers tried by superimposing their French motives upon this foreign land they have found.
Upon arrival you are welcomed by the friendly staff as you wonder into another world: a little French village with manicured gardens, beautiful architecture and enchanted features around every corner. It was as if though someone crystalized a moment in time just for you to adore – a very fitting parallel to a Heritage event. The attention to detail and customer centricity is alive on every inch of the venue. As you are enticed further into this luxurious past, you feel the hustle and bustle of the city diluting behind you. This immersive dive into a timepiece ensured the promise of a flawless evening, celebrations and relaxed festivities that was intended for the guests.
Inspired by the special range of wines from Nederburg, Eat Out Rising Star 2013 award winner, Chef Vanessa Marx, developed the menu enjoyed by our guests on the night. Throughout the evening Vanessa delighted guests with her creative culinary process and a display of how different wines encouraged her to create each dish and pair them perfectly.
Chef Marx was asked to create a heritage focused five course culinary array to be enjoyed. True to our ethos at Come Wine with Us she had to set-up in an unfamiliar kitchen with a new, eager team to prepare for the merriments to come. Only once satisfied that the preparation captured a sense of time to be voiced in each bite, Chef Marx was prepared to send out the first course for the evening.
And so the evening commenced as a battalion of bottled Nederburg Heritage Heroes was lead by their general, Chef Marx into a historic battle of taste. As the guests arrived they were met by one of the first Heroes: The Young Airhawk, a wooded Sauvignon Blanc which arrests fresh and crisp layers of green figs, asparagus and minerals for its audience to enjoy. Not only will this wine make you revisit for more, it also hides a story. As we learned later that evening from Annetjie, the Nederburg representative, all the wine in the Heritage Heroes range, were created to honour the Winemasters and major figures in South African winemaking history. Each wine camouflaged a unique story that is historical in nature, with delicately illustrated labels which provides a short introduction to the inspiration and personalities of the wines.
The Young Airhawk was only the first of the evening’s wonders to be enjoyed. Once the wine was served the guests had some time to explore the garden paths and make their way through to the courtyard where Bobotie spring-rolls with buchu and a mint yoghurt was served.
Meanwhile the dining room, where the rest of the menu would be served and the event would commence, was waiting. The tables in the dining room were brushed with rustic décor and the evening kicked off with with a Cape beach theme. As the shoreline of chairs and tables were waiting for the wave of guests, a sense of history blew like wind and filled every little corner of the room. As guests swam ashore to find their menu as a message in a bottle, beach elements such as shells, coral, some beach pebbles and rope aided their transition into the legendary shores of South African dining. This theme tied in perfectly with the first seated course of baked Snoek with an apricot relish, toasted almonds and sage butter served in a blik bord which was truly a nostalgic resonance with our heritage. The wine paired with this course was the very appropriate Nederburg’s Heritage Hero: The Anchorman. The aromas of floral and fruits, especially apricots made this the perfect wine for Vanessa’s dish inspiration.
Subtly and almost unnoticeably the décor changed after each course and as the staff removed the beach setting, the tables were transformed with thorny bushes, succulents and candles – the proverbial famous trek from coastal shores to mainland. A true bushveld feel. And suddenly you knew you were in the heart of South Africa. As the flames from the candles twirled through the room and created dancing shadows of bushmen like paintings on the wall, the second course of spiced and seared kudu with a lentil dressing, crispy bacon and wild rosemary was served. It couldn’t feel more South African than this, and a very patriotic sense of belonging settled among us. The wine pairing for this course was Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Motorcycle Marvel, a spicy and peppery berry wine perfectly complementing the seared kudu.
To maintain guests reveling in our indigenous nature some small Spekboom were placed on the tables as a piece of interactive décor, as to lead the aroma of the next course by the smell of fresh Karoo. The guests were informed that the Spekboom leaves will form part of the next course and that some of the leaves should be foraged to add to the salad. Just as the fancy surroundings tried to steal the feel of the rural and the outdoors, black pots were placed on the tables and the aroma of the lamb knuckle Potjie filled the room. Saved by the smell, South Africa was once again remembered and you almost missed a time of which you were never part of. The Potjie was served with samp and beans and Spekboom salad. This family style feast was paired with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Brew Master. A Bordeaux-style blend with concentrated aromas of dark fruit, tobacco and a hint of vanilla spice to commemorate our rich cultural epicenter of family and friends. Something you cannot explain to any foreigner until they have experienced our sense of belonging.
For the last course of the evening, the tables were adorned with beautiful rose bouquets and the scent of rosewater occupied the air of the dining room. This transition displayed the sense of refinement that our rich South African history has always paradoxically included in our wild hearts. A local cheese board with relishes, as well as a selection of Turkish Delight and Stokbrood was served as a perfect end to our event. This was paired with the Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes: The Beautiful Lady, a wine filled with aromas of rose petals and Turkish Delight. The perfect inspiration and pairing for the last course of the night.
As the festivities came to an end, and the guests started to depart, I understood that this special night would not have been possible without the incredible team from Morrells. They are justly staff you would want to accompany you into any battle. With a professional manner and exceptional customer service, the night concluded without a hitch. Thank you for making this event possible at your beautiful venue and transporting all of us through a diverse timeline in our wonderful history.
If you would like to have a look at all the special details of the evening, do visit our Come Wine With Us Facebook Page. The incredibly talented Jomeri, from Jomeri Photography, did an amazing job in distilling the spirit of the event. We were honoured to have her on our team and would like to thank her for helping with the décor and capturing our Heritage festivities.
We would like to thank say a special thank you to the talented Vanessa, whom made the event so special with her creativity of the menu and her ability to make us all nostalgic through her food. As well as Nederburg who generously supplied us with the wine for the event. Without you this unforgettable night would not have been possible.
Nederburg Wines – http://www.nederburg.com/za/
Morrells Boutique Estate – http://www.morrells.co.za/
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/comewinewithus
Jomeri Photography – http://www.jomeriphoto.blogspot.co.za/
About Nederburg Heritage Heroes range
“South Africa’s famous Nederburg winery, nestling beneath the majestic Drakenstein Mountains, has been carefully crafted by its forefathers since 1791. Today, the collection is honoured by their creator, Razavan Macici, in the exclusive Nederburg Heritage Heroes wine collection. This collection represents five unique personalities, comprising of the The Anchorman, The Brew Master, The Young Airhawk, The Beautiful Lady and The Motorcycle Marvel.
To read more about the range please click on the following link:
About Morrells event venue
Whether it be for intimate gatherings or celebratory soirees, Morrells will cater to your every need and make your special event truly memorable. From product launches to lavish gala dinners, guests will be pampered by our quality and originality. We have created a conference venue & event space in Johannesburg where guests experience our venue in all its sumptuousness for any occasion.
To read more about Morrells and that they would be able to offer you: http://www.morrells.co.za/