October saw the first of, hopefully many, executive cafe-style food and wine pairing evenings at the Gardenia Boutique Hotel.

Gorgeous Johannesburg spring weather and the welcoming pool patio set the scene for a scrumptious food and wine experience that played out for the 40 guests.

The story of Eagles’ Nest wines paired with the Gardenia Boutique Hotel’s fine executive café style cuisine goes like this…

A boutique, family owned vineyard that hugs the foot of Table Mountain rests in a striking setting on the crest of the Constantia Neck pass. So, it comes as no surprise that its breath-taking location is the inspiration for award winning wines…or, that a pairing with the Gardenia Hotel food should be such a match made in heaven.

Eagles’ Nest winemaker since 2008, Stuart Botha is the quintessential modern winemaker who is obsessive about quality at every stage of the winemaking process. In his view, a great wine is true to its origin, is unique in its flavour profile and is the embodiment of finesse, complexity and elegance.

A theme that was expertly interpreted by Chef/Manager of the hotel, Graham Dent, who paired the ample volumes of the award winning wines with a generous tasting menu.

On arrival guests were served the 2014 Little Eagle Rose which, reflecting the soft hues of the setting sun, with the fruity aroma of strawberry mousse and cranberry, produced a mood and palate ideal for the crumbed prawn tails, vegetarian spring rolls and sweet chilli.

As this wine was sipped to the echoes of ‘Ooh’s and ‘Aah’s, we highly recommended a healthy supply as summer and silly season approaches and before the secret is out!

Stuart’s recommendation that the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is paired with sushi or grilled fish was upheld. This fresh, lively wine with Inside-Out sushi and a soya cranberry reduction served in porcelain Chinese appetizer spoons, had people asking for seconds (of both!).

The partnership of the evening was undoubtedly Thai chicken curry and the 2013 Viognier recipient of a double gold award at International Wine and Spirits Competition. This light combination was closely contested by the well rounded combo of seared beef on sweet potato and beefy berry reduction served alongside the 2009 Merlot.

And last but by no means least, final drum roll –ba dump dump chshshshshshshsh– the Braised Duck Breast with Blueberry & Red Wine Reduction served on Noodles and yet another award winning wine; the 2011 Shiraz; winner of a double gold at Veritas, lead to the close of a truly enjoyable gathering of appreciative foodies.

Let us know if you want to be on the next invitation list by email to info@hotelgardenia.co.za or comment here.