Posts Tagged ‘Sparkling wine’

After missus and I fought our way through the droves of desperate dames at a wedding fair, we definitely needed a glass of the good stuff to calm the nerves. As we have never been to Chabivin, we decided that today will be a good day to visit the farm… and we’ll tell you we are very glad we did!

Chabivin is a small boutique MCC house that is situated on a farm on the Blaauwklippen Road just outside Stellenbosch. Director and wine maker Hendrik Snyman together with Jean-Pierre and Brigitte Charbaut from France, opened Chabivin’s doors to the public in 2010 with a tastefully decorated tasting room as well as beautiful, tranquil garden with large cushions spread out on the grass for you to lounge on like modern-day Dionysus.

Chabivin boasts with two ranges of sparkling wines:

The Diary Series of Method Cap Classiques

  • Mademoiselle Mégane (Blanc de Blanc)
  • Cuvée Jean-Michel 2007 (Chardonnay / Pinot Noir)
  • Aclémée 2005 (Semillon)

Imported French Champagnes

  • Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay, 4 years on lease)
  • Brut Selection (Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay)
  • Memory (100% Chardonnay, 8 years on lease)
  • Millesime (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay)
  • Rose (100% Pinot Noir)

Originally wanted to taste a couple of Cap Classiques as well as the Champagnes that Chabivin imports but we’ve decided to skip the formalities and just enjoy a bottle of the Mademoiselle Mégane (a Blanc de Blanc that has been bottle fermented and matured for four years) as well as snack on a delicious combination platter that consisted of Brie, Gouda, Parma ham and Pastrami, with fig preserves, basil pesto, olives and cream cheese.

The Bubbly Tree

Everything was just perfect! It was a beautiful day in Stellenbosch, the Mademoiselle Mégane had beautiful biscuit aromas with a refreshingly limy citrus character. The platter that we’ve order was a wonderful compliment with the sparkling wine.

Chabivin has truly become one of my favourite sit-and-sip Cap Classique Houses.

Contact Chabivin on:
Tel: 021 880 1643
Email: info@chabivin.co.za
Website: http://www.chabivin.co.za/chabivin/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Chabivin
Twitter: @Chabivin

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Recently, Sundays seems to put me in a predicament, since for years now it has been a weekly tradition for the Nebbiolo Nymph and I to drink a bottle of bubbly on what we call Bubbly Sunday. Since I moved to Somerset West with my flat mate Chef Kev, we have started another tradition called, Chinese Sunday, which basically means that we gorge ourselves on greasy Chow Mein and Sweet and salmonella Sour Pork and watch DVDs. How can I keep both parties happy? Chinese food and Sparkling wine is not the first best match that jumps to my mind, but what the hell, I tried anyway…

My little food/wine bible

I tried to do some research on this East meet Bubbly pairing in The Food & Wine Pairing Guide” by Katinka van Niekerk and Brian Burke with the result that Weisser Riesling seems to be the best overall wine match for Chinese food.

I tried to find out if there was SOMEONE out there that was crazy enough to make a sparkling wine with Weisser Rielsing. Apparently Rhebokskloof did produce one a few years back,  called the Tamay , which contained 45% Weisser Riesling. When I phoned them to find out if this is indeed true, the blend has since changed and alas, Weisser played no part in the sparkling anymore.

So we headed off to the Chinese Take- Away around the corner where Sum Yung Chick took our order.

I am a Beef Chow Mein man, since it’s basically stir fried noodles and beef, it does not contain overpowering flavours and can be matched with a greater variety of wines.

My Mein Meal

The Nymph and Kevin both have an affinity towards Sweet and Sour Pork.  The dish comprises mostly out of the pork that has been fried in a batter and served with vegetables or rice in sauce made from sugar and vinegar. The best match for this style of food would be a wine with a slightly higher sugar content.

For the sake of variety The Nymph ordered the Beef in Oyster Sauce, which contained 95% cabbage. The oyster sauce gave the dish a yummy savoury flavour (which, at the end, actually went better with my noodles)

The bubbly I decided to pair with the food were the following:

  • Twee Jonge Gezellen’s Krone Borealis Cuvee Brut 2005.  A classic Pinot Noir / Chardonnay MCC with zesty acidity. Nice, fresh fruit flavours and lingers with a crème brûlée, biscuit-like aftertaste.

Food Pair:

The Beef Chow Mein and the Oyster Beef were both too savoury to go with the acidity in the bubbly, which left a slightly bitter taste on the back palate. With the Sweet and Sour Pork the Krone’s fruity acidity added to the character of the dish.

  • Distell’s Pongrácz Non-Vintage: Good all-round MCC. It has a fuller mouth feel than the Krone. It also had softer fruit flavours which reminded me of pears, apricots and yellow plums. The bubbly also had a lingering yeasty aftertaste.

Food Pair:

The subtle acidity and softer fruit characters paired better with the Chow Mein and the Oyster Beef. The full mouth feel also added to the all-round enjoyment of the dish, but with the Sweet and Sour pork, the sauce was too sweet and the acidity too high, which made the Pongrácz a bit tasteless.

Since Chinese food plays with different flavours, some subtle, some more intense, it is recommended to match a sparkling wine’s fruitiness or sweetness to the intensity of the sauces or spices of the dish.

Our conclusion?  Rather eat the Chinese first with a bottle of Weisser Riesling and THEN it’s Bubbly time!

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