Recently I was lucky enough to be asked to go to a wine dinner showcasing a couple of winemakers supplying the top on-trade wine supplier Connoisseur Estates. I was fortunate to be sat next to the founder of Connoisseur, the very funny Andrew Steel. Andrew, I said it before, and I’ll say it again, sorry for talking so much at you!!
The two winemakers – Philip (from Oldenburg Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa) and Mauricio (from Gauchezco Winery in Mendoza, Argentina) – were stars. Great thing about meeting winemakers is they love it! They love their wines, they’re massive fans of the world of wines, and it’s just so infectious. Just brilliant to sit with them for an evening.
I won’t bore you with all the wine-geek questions I was coming out with. What I would say is that both these areas, Stellenbosch and Mendoza, have been going for years. But it’s only in the last couple of decades that they’ve been selling stuff over here under the slight annoying, catch-all “New World” brand.
Well from this dinner, the days of the “New World” brand are over. These winemakers and wine areas are starting to own their styles and grapes. Mauricio’s phenomenal Malbec was actually overshadowed by a seriously impressive Petit Verdot. Philip didn’t have the word Pinotage in sight, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot bossing the steaks.
These great wines are coming to a restaurant near you soon. Make sure you get stuck in!
P.S. On top of those mentioned above, massive thanks to Louise Hill of Philllips-Hill Consulting for all the organization. Did I mention I was sorry for being late? 🙂
Also huge thanks to my good mate Tim Milford. Without his expert translation skills no one on the table would have been able to understand my plastic scouse drawl! Star turn fella!