Beau Constantia is a 22 hectare, boutique wine farm at the top of Constantia Nek, some of the vines are 350 metres above sea-level. Blake from Constantia Wine Tours gave us a lift to the farm, and he explained that it took a devastating fire in 2000 for it to be realised that the land was perfect for planting vineyards.
Three years later, owners Pierre and Cecily Du Preez along with their farm manager, Japie Bronn, planted their first vines. Today they have 5 gorgeous wines, which we had the joy of tasting.
To prove how versatile the Beau Constantia range is, every two weeks they create a new menu based on a different country’s cuisine. Chef Tjaart Walraven and his team aren’t afraid to change things up. White with dessert. Rose with meat. Red with fish. And it all works.
Whether you try the 5 course pairing for R135 or the 3 course pairing for R70 – you are in for a good time.
Pea and Ginger shooter with sweet sesame crumble – delicious, light and frothy, with great contrasting flavours.
Green papaya, cucumber, pomegranate salad, with an oriental chilli dressing – the crisp, delicate flavours worked well with the fiery dressing on this summer salad.
Chicken satay with crunchy peanut dip – tender chicken perfectly paired with the nut dip
Asian pork roulade with Umami cream – I don’t eat pork, but I hear it was well seasoned and exceptionally tender.
Roast corn and tomato tostada with jalepenos and crème fraiche – just brilliant, full of stunning Mexican flavour.
Nachos with cucumber and spring onion slasa and guacamole – this mini portion of nachos was superb, the only problem was that I wanted more
Chilli con carne with nachos crumble – perfectly cooked and full of punch. The simple crumble gave it texture.
Tres leches cake with dried mango cream – similar to a malva pud, this creamy traditional dessert was brought to life with the mango.
South African Experience
Cape Malay pickled fish – this was the real deal. Pickled perfectly, you could still taste the salty fish, but enjoy the fragrance of the pickling spices.
Roasted spicy butternut soup with popcorn crust – this bad boy had me weak at the knees. Full of roasted, spicy flavour. Not your usual butternut soup.
Boerewors bredie – Surprisingly delicious, the fresh tomato-based sauce really brought the boerewors to life, giving it a more
Smoked beef and chip stack with tomato and peach chutney – the chutney was too overpowering for me, but the beef and chips were delicious.
Koeksister – I am not the biggest koeksister fan, but considering these were the first to go, I would say the rest of the table loved them.
I absolutely LOVED the Mexican experience and it was a toss up for 2nd place between the other two. Next up on the BC itinerary is a Mediterranean and Experience, which can only be amazing.
Now for the wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not conneseiur, but here goes nothing…
Beau Constantia Lucca – 2011
Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot & Cabernet Franc. Just under 5,000 bottles of this dark, robust red with a deep cherry undertone, have been produced. Imagine drinking it next to a fire, reading a leather-bound book. Incredible with the pea and ginger shooter.
Beau Constantia Aidan – 2011
There are 3,200 bottles of this contemporary red blend of Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A bit lighter and more vibrant than Lucca, Aidan still reminds me of winter fruit, but with more oompf. The perfect complement to the roast beef stack.
Beau Constantia Cecily – 2013
With just 1,800 bottles available, this fresh and fruity Viognier is a must-have. Often I am told that I should taste a certain flavour in a wine, and I can’t – but this blossomed with the fresh, lively flavour of apricot. I could have easily had a bottle or 7 myself, especially with those Mexican Tostadas.
Pas de Nom Red – 2010
Not a hint of bitterness, this relatively light red had a gentle woody, floral finish which brought out the roast of the butternut soup.
Pas de Nom Rose – 2013
A hint. of strawberry. Zesty, fresh, perfect for summer. Sweet but not overwhelmingly so – it balanced out the sweetness of the koeksister,
Pas de Nom White – 2013
This is a very easy drinking, fresh, peachy white, the perfect partner to the Cape Malay pickled fish!
The Pas de Nom range of wines are in honour of farm manager, Japie Bronn, whose beard features on the bottle.
While booking is not essential, I would recommend it if you have a big group. On that note, you can also book a group in advance and choose a menu style.
Just in time for sunshine, the Summer Canapé Experience is a must. Thank you Tjaart, Blake and the whole team for a really lovely day. And to those who read all the way to the bottom of this very long review – sorry ?
11 NOVEMBER 2013 | KAYLI VEE | WWW.FOOD-BLOG.CO.ZA