Graham Beck’s Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) has made headline news in the past ten days, when it appeared on the menu of a lunch hosted by Bono for American First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as on the menu of the wedding celebration dinner of Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O’Neill, putting Graham Beck’s MCCs on a par with French champagnes in celebrating celebrity occasions!
The menu for the Swedish royal wedding dinner, held at the royal palace Drottningholm in Stockholm on 8 June, offered a small choice of beverages,Graham Beck Brut Blanc de Blancs 2008 being first listed, with Swedish schnapps and beer, Trimbach Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2009 Alsace, Pommery Grand Cru Millésime 2005 Champagne, Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru 2010 La Chapelle Dom. Lafouge, and Sattlerhof Beerenauslese 2010 Südsteiermark. The wines were served with a delectable menu of Swedish delicacies (Kalix vendace roe in a cone, with lemon and piquant crème fraîche, Skagen emulsion with crisp rye bread, mustard herring in a carrot coating, pickled herring terrine, egg from Gotland with Drott caviar foam. and miniature Västerbotten cheese pie), followed by Butter-baked salmon trout with boiled white asparagus, fried green asparagus, marinated purple asparagus, and tomato and shallot compote with browned butter, horseradish, chive oil and salmon roe. The main course was Roast fillet of veal from Holmberg Farm with Västervik mustard coating and Astrakan cider sauce, carrot variation, and roasted mini cauliflower from Nobis Farms, followed by Pavlova with Italian meringue, wild strawberry sorbet and strawberry ice cream, white chocolate and fresh wild strawberries, according to the website for the royal wedding. The selection of the Graham Beck MCC was personally made by King Carl Gustav, after his wine advisor tasted the MCCs with Graham Beck Wines Global Sales and Marketing Executive Etienne Heyns a few months ago. The Swedish royal family has enjoyed Graham Beck’s MCCs over the years, its Blanc de Blancs in particular, and its members have visited Graham Beck Wines. ‘He has extensive knowledge and good taste’, said Pieter Ferreira, Cellar Master for Graham Beck Wines, of King Carl Gustav, as quoted in Livets Goda, a Swedish wine publication.
On Tuesday last week USA First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters had lunch with Bono and his wife at his favourite Finnegans Pub in his home town of Dalkey in Ireland, while President Obama attended the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. Graham Beck’s MCC was one of three wine choices, in addition to Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2009, and Santi Sortesele Pinot Grigio 2011, reflected in a Daily Mail Online photograph. The menu included a number of seafood options, including Dalkey lobster and crab salad, Baked Dalkey crab, and Prawns en croute for starters. The main course choices included Baked Supréme Chicken, Lobster Thermidor, Rack of lamb, and Poached wild salmon. Dessert options were limited to three: strawberries and cream, warm chocolate fudge cake, and apple crumble. Graham Beck Brut NV MCC was recommended to President Obama and his wife by the sommelier of their favourite Chicago restaurant, after declaring his intention to run for president, and his nomination was celebrated with Graham Beck Brut NV at a private function at their Chicago home on the eve of his nomination a few months later.
Former President Nelson Mandela set the trend to celebrate with Graham Beck MCC, it being served for his inauguration as President in 1997. Graham Beck Brut was served at a recent fund raising Gala Dinner in Johannesburg, toasting the success of Prince Harry’s Sentebale charity. James Bond too has become a fan of Graham Beck, its most prestigious and exclusive MCC Cuvée Clive having replaced martini as his favourite drink, in the new Cape Town based 007 book ‘Carte Blanche’ by Jeffery Deaver.
The Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs is produced from 100% Chardonnay grapes, combining rich creamy aromas with hints of fresh lime. The grapes come from the vineyards on Graham Beck’s Robertson estate. In the state-of-the-art MCC cellar whole bunch pressing ensures an even finer bubble. Only the cuvée juice (premium quality) is selected for fermentation, with 36 months on the lees.
Presidents, Princes, Princesses and First Ladies have enjoyed Graham Beck’s MCCs for special celebrations around the globe, but at a starting price of as little as just over R100 a bottle they are affordable for everyday celebrations too!
POSTSCRIPT 30/6: At the state banquet hosted by President Jacob Zuma in honour of President Obama at The Presidency in Pretoria last night, Graham Beck MCC Brut was one of three wines served, with Zandvliet Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend 2002, and Knorhoek Chenin Blanc 2010. The menu appears rather disappointing, with a Garden vegetable soup served with cocktail rolls to start, followed by Duo of Beef fillet medallions and chicken breast stuffed with spinach, peppadew and feta, accompanied by a traditional maize baton, and a vegetable parcel finished with a rich beef jus. A vegetarian option of a Baked aubergine tower served with basil tomato compote was also offered. The dessert was Traditional South African malva pudding topped with custard and a platter of fresh seasonal sliced fruit, according to well-connected Tweeter Christian Smit.
Graham Beck Wines. Tel (021) 874-1712 www.grahambeckwines.co.za Twitter: @GrahamBeckWines
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @Whale Cottage