Review: Winemakers Dinner at Lourensford Estate

31 Jul

Laurent function venue at Lourensford Estate.

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend the first Winemaker’s Dinner on the 25th of July 2013 at Lourensford Estate‘s Laurent function venue. This brand new initiative is a showcase of the estate’s best wines together with the inhouse food team from Stir Food. Chef Gustaaf Boshoff is used to catering for large upmarket functions in the Laurent function hall, and this was his chance to shine with a 7 course food and wine pairing menu that he designed in colaboration with winemaker Hannes Nel to knock the socks off the first group of guests.

If you have not been to Lourensford Estate before, prepare to be amazed by the majestic views and breathtaking spaciousness. They are one of the largest wine estates in the world, and the surroundings are simply spectacular. Their recently refurbished Laurent function venue is fit for a royal occasion, with pure white interiors and clean modern structural design.

The evening started at 17h00 for 17h30, with welcoming cocktails on arrival made from the estate’s exclusive honey liqueur. After the cocktails we were served 3 different canapés along with a glass of Lourensford’s Brut MCC 2009, and then we took our seats to start the 7 course food and wine pairing. This is what the elaborate menu looked like:

Arrival Cocktail

Lourensford honey liqueur “mojito” with lemon & fresh mint

 

Canapés paired with Lourensford Brut MCC 2009

 Oyster & beef tartar, sushi rice, nori, cucumber, radish, cupi mayo & caviar

Panko breaded quail egg, crispy pancetta & chives

Fish & chips with a twist, fresh lemon, sea salt

 

First course / Lourensford WMS White Blend 2009

Cured salmon, fennel ceviche & fresh avocado, cherry tomatoes, goat’s cheese, enhanced with a fennel veloute

 

 Second course / Lourensford WMS Chardonnay 2012

Wild mushroom risotto, pine nuts, parmesan crisps, fresh rocket & truffle oil

 

Third course / Lourensford WMS Viognier 2009 

Lightly smoked duck breast, cumin sweet potato puree, orange & star anise jus, enhanced with a saffron, lemongrass & cardamom emulsion

 

Fourth course / Lourensford WMS Merlot 2011

Springbok wellington, beetroot, fine green beans & baby carrots, juniper & cherry jus

 

Fifth course / Lourensford WMS Red Blend 2009

Beef fillet on vanilla parsnip puree, ground coffee, chocolate jus & chili oil

 

Sixth course / Lourensford Noble Late Harvest 2012

Foie Gras with dried apricot, camembert, baked cheese cake & preserve

 

Seventh course / Lourensford Honey 

Karoo mint chocolate, almond nougat, honey comb with dark chocolate

 

Coffee & Tea

The evening was simply fantastic: immaculate service, perfect ambiance, an atmosphere of indulgence and celebration. It was exceptionally well planned and executed and I have to compliment Gustaaf and his team from Stir Food on one of the best food and wine pairing menu’s that I’ve ever experienced. Every dish was carefully constructed and conceived, and every bite was just delightful. In terms of the wines, the winemaker Hannes Nel told us more about each wine with each course, comparing the wines to women – each with their own uniquely seductive qualities. We tasted some of Lourensford’s most exclusive wines, some of which were part of a very small limited edition. It was a rare opportunity for true wine lovers like me and my husband. All of the wines were on sale after the event.

This experience costs R500 per person, and includes all the wines. It was a spectacular evening, and I can surely recommend it to serious food and wine lovers. Looking forward to the next Winemaker’s Dinner at Lourensford in the coming Spring! Be sure to watch the press for details, or contant info@lourensford.co.za or 021-847 2333.

Thank you very much to photographer Claire Gunn for the use of her photographs (please click on images to view large versions).

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