Bottoms up at the Constantia Fresh Festival
Held this past weekend on the rolling lawns of Buitenverwachting Estate, the Constantia Fresh Festival began in the late afternoon and featured some of the Cape’s most beloved wines along with a handful of notable new names. Guests were given the opportunity to sample offerings from myriad vineyards as well as tasting plates from Western Cape foodies such as Open Door’s Evan Coosner and Jonkershuis’ Althea Jacobs and Michelle Brandt. The theme of the festival was Shades of Blue, and everyone were encouraged to dress the part, with white picnic benches, umbrellas and giant blue balloons adding to the decor.
The main attraction was naturally the wine, and we loved the crisp and refreshing Miss Lucy from Springfield Estate in Robertson. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Pinot Gris that is moderate in alcohol and features citrus notes, Miss Lucy's beautiful packaging is reminiscent of retro cookbooks: the label features the red stumpnose, who is often called 'Miss Lucy' by fishermen, and acts as an apt recommendation that this wine is best served with seafood.
As for the reds, the Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon from the same estate is made from grapes that have been crushed whole and matured in oak barrels, resulting in a smooth, full-bodied wine with softer tannins. Another wine with a lower tannin count that we enjoyed was Fairview’s Extraño – The Stranger 2013 Spanish-style red. Thanks to his expert combination of Tempranillo and Grenache variety of grapes, winemaker Anthony de Jager brings you a wine with a punchy flavour and exotic dryness.
To eat, we lingered over Foxcroft’s Korean-style crispy chicken wings and Bold by Brad Ball’s char siu pork belly, but what really got us excited was Jonkershuis' chicken liver parfait with caramelised grilled figs, pulled pork and charred bread. The creaminess of the chicken livers offset the crunch of the toast whilst the sticky sweetness of the fresh figs combined with the smoky pork made for a tasty and texturally interesting dish.
The Constantia Fresh Festival presented a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for imbibers and the epicurious alike, so be sure to get your ticket for next year's event. Visit constantiafresh.com for more.