To make the most of Wacky Wine, we decided to book ourselves for a four-course meal for an authentic and slow farm experience. But this year’s Wacky Wine had conjured the wrath of a gale force wind. We left McGregor well after sunset and had to battle the forces of nature to reach Zandvliet Wine Estate. The plan was to dine in a tent, but I grew more doubtful about the setup as the wind grew stronger.
As the car rolled up to the beautiful wine estate splayed near Bonnievale, we were uncertain of what to expect.
As we entered the tent, we received a warm welcome from the crowd who had braved the weather. Heaters were strategically placed around the Bedouin tent, and we soon forgot about the impending storm surging into the Breede River Valley.
The tables were elegantly set against the backdrop of a musical duo. There were a violinist and guitarist picking and slamming some Spanish tunes. It was a lively atmosphere, and we soon forgot about the weather. Before we tucked into our starter, we made our way to the bar to grab a whole bottle of ClemenGold Gin. Tonight would be an occasion indeed!
Once we settled, our starters were placed before us. Tonight it was potato and leek soup with fresh farm bread, paired with ClemenGold Marmelade and Zandvliet Shiraz Jam. I tackled the loaf eagerly, generously spreading the butter before dipping it into the warm soup. It was a perfect little taster.
Our table was bubbling. Gin and wine were flowing freely, and the conversation ensued unstemmed. I could feel my cheeks flush as my Gin and Tonic was refilled and the heater did its duty.
We eagerly awaited our main course. I selected the Angel Fish with chips and fresh veggies, but also managed to snag some of my partner’s delicious medium-rare steak. I am one of those who gets food envy when I look at other’s dishes. This night was no different. The vegetarian feta and butternut ravioli was also mouth-watering.
Then it was time for dessert. I had a little space left in my belly to savour the Shiraz poached pears and ClemenGold cream and chocolate soil. The entire menu was well structured, testing different taste buds.
I guess it was something about the weather that called our silly side out to play. We were a company of five, late on a Saturday night after a full day spent at Wacky Wine… not to mention that our palates were wet with delicious gin. I was eager to show my friends the artwork in the underground cellar in the Kalkveld Lounge, so we went on a little late night exploration.
Marc and I headed down into the cellar first. Unlike my first trip down last week (read more about the launch of Laresa Perlman’s art exhibit here), there was an eeriness that lingered in the air this time around. Maybe it was the late night, the roaring wind, or the fact that the candles were spitting at the end of their wicks.
The rest of the gang soon joined us. We twisted through the various underground rooms, admiring Laresa Perlman’s photography. Gradually the mirrors and the dark corners played with our imaginations. One shriek led to another, and soon we rushed back up the stairs to the warm firelight in the Zandvliet Lounge.
All silliness aside, it was a wonderful way to end off our Saturday at Wacky Wine. With good company, good wine and good food in a scenic location, it turned out to be a ‘Not-So-Wacky Wine Weekend‘.