Wild Peacock Food Emporium dîner with French food and Great Domaines wines!

Wild Peacock Food Emporium hosted a lovely homely evening on Thursday, with 24 food and wine lovers spoilt with a French themed dinner, and a tasting of six French wines led by Great Domaines’ Derek Kilpin.

Costing R250, the French evening was attended by representatives of Waterkloof and L’Omarins wine estates, and Den Anker restaurant, amongst others.  Creating 2 adjacent long tables covered with red and white check table cloths, there was a cosy atmosphere and buzz.

Derek grew up on an apple farm in Elgin, and studied B.Sc at Stellenbosch University.  He worked at Waterford and Asara wine estates before moving to Dublin, to run a wine shop belonging to Vaughn Johnson. From there he moved to London, working at Fine and Rare Wines, and thereafter at Decorum Vintners.  The weather made him move back to his home country, and he joined Great Domaines in Johannesburg, a company importing French, Italian, and Spanish wines.

The white wines we tasted were

*   William Fevre Chablis 2010: Derek said this is one of the most respected domains in Chablis, and is excellent when paired with summer seafood, oysters in particular. The price is R229.

*   Bouchard Pere et Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010:  This wine has been fermented in stainless steel, with only 15 % in barrels.  The producer is a big company, having invested heavily in a new cellar, and has ‘revolutionised‘ the quality of its wines, according to Derek.  The price is R 189.

*   Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursalt Les Clous 2010:   This wine is fermented in wooden barrels. Cost is R429.

The starter course was a lovely French onion soup served with crusty bread, prepared by new Wild Peacock chef Liesel Potgieter, previously with Knights Catering. She has most recently been a menu consultant to a clinic for eating disorders.

The French red wines we tasted were:

*  Bouchard Pere et Fils: Bourgogne Pinot La Vigne 2009:  Derek said that 2009 was one of the best vintages in Burgundy in the past ten years. Matured in stainless steel. Strawberry flavour.  R209 per bottle.

*   Domaine de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2010: The 15th generation of the family owns this estate, wines matured in old cement vats, ‘fresh pure Shiraz’.  Costs R195.

*   Domaine La Roquète Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009: a blend of 70 % Grenache, 20 % Shiraz, and 10% Mourvèdre, costing R439.

A Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend is made of up to 18 varieties, including Piquepoul Blanc, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Roussane, Cinsaut, Terret Noir, Counoise, Muscardin, Piquepoul Noir, Vaccarèse, Bourboulenc, Clairette Blanche,  Clairette Rose, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Picardin, and Piquepoul Gris. Grenache Noir is predominantly used in red and white wine making in this appellation, about 3000 hectares in size, according to Wikipedia.

Great Domaines supplies Wild Peacock, Aubergine, The Saxon, Rust en Vrede, amongst others.  Derek spoke about ‘value for quality’, saying that below R150 per bottle South African wines offer exceptional value. However, above the R250 price point French wines often offer better value.

The enjoyable evening ended off with the French staple Beef Bourguignon and mash.

Wild Peacock Products was established 21 years ago as ‘purveyor of fine foods to the hospitality industry’ by Sue Baker, as a wholesale supplier of restaurant delicacies, starting with oysters initially. The company stands for offering ‘Fine Food, Fine Quality, Fine Service’, sources sustainable products, and builds long term relationships with its suppliers and clients. It now supplies leading restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands with duck, pigeon, guinea fowl, quail, charcuterie, cheeses, Valrhona chocolate, rock lobster, mussels, salmon trout, caviar, snails, truffles, Italian pasta, olives, olive oils, farm butter, and much more. Two years ago they opened the Wild Peacock Food Emporium, run by daughter Sarah, stocking similar products to buy over the counter, as well as wines. They also serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day, and dinner on Friday evenings.

Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Street, Stellenbosch. Tel (021) 887-7585. www.wildpeacock.co.za Twitter: @WildPeacock  Monday – Friday 7h30 – 18h00 (dinner Fridays), Saturday and Sunday 7h30 – 15h00.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

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