So they say that wine is the "Nectar of the Gods". Personally I prefer fruit juice or a Crème Soda, but I'm not totally anti wine. I just never learned to drink it and even though I won't touch a red I wouldn't say no to a nice sweet Rose or late harvest. Even in saying all that I really enjoy wine tastings - see, trying to teach myself to appreciate wine as one probably should. A week or two ago I received a call from my very good friend Geoff Applewhite, also known in the Geocache and cooking world as Shefetswe. Geoff manages the popular Gardenview Guesthouse in Port Elizabeth and along with well known radio personality and foodie Charl Leslie - Charl's Cooking - they host a monthly food and wine paring event at the guesthouse. The first event featured bubbly from the House of JC le Roux while the second one involved Durbanville Hills wine. This time around it was the turn of Paul Cluver Estate from the Elgin region in the Western Cape.
50 odd guests rocked up on the night in anticipation of good food, great wine and exceptional company. Nobody left disappointed. Charl's cooking has never let anybody down and once again his pairings were spot on. The wine flowed and even though I struggled to get the red, down the people around me had their glasses filled not just a second but also a third time. Company was excellent. Geoff's witty remarks and the informal way he hosts and interacts with his guests is exactly what a function like this needs. Everybody sits along long tables and your partner is across from you so you could have two strangers flanking you which helps to get to know everybody around you. Have I mentioned the food and wine? Yes I did, but its worth mentioning again. The first wine we received on arrival, the second with the soup starter (my favorite dish of the evening), the third with tangy chicken and salad including litchi and winter melon (my second favorite dish of the evening), a palate cleanser, the next wine along with the main meal and a noble late harvest along with the very yummy dessert (with my diet I shouldn't have but I just couldn't help myself) followed by coffee. A most remarkable evening and great to see the PE folk supporting such events. Keep an eye on the Charl's Cooking Facebook page and make sure you don't miss the next one if you are in town.