** This post is sponsored by Creation Wines. The wine we took home was gifted as well as the entire experience at Creation wines**
A perfect trifecta of fine food, exquisite wines and art is what the FynArts Story is all about. Each dish is thoughtfully paired with their exquisite wines, whilst a collection of classical music is played in the background which serves as the perfect soundtrack compiled by local sound designer Ivo Ivanov, to a sensory affair. With its launch timed as a prelude to this year’s FynArts Festival Creation’s new ‘Story’ menu has so much to offer.
To match the warm Hermanus weather on what started as a cold and misty morning in Cape Town, we were greeted warmly by the formidable and bubbly Carolyn Martin, co-owner of Creation Wines. A walk about the garden filled with encapsulating sculptures by none other than artist, Nanette Ranger, set against the beautiful backdrop of Hemel-en-Aarde, really took my breath away. We sated our palates with their newly released MCC Brut Rosé, Elation, a serendipitous name, and a perfect blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (both varietals the Walker Bay region is famous for) The wine contains only natural residual sugar and is delightfully crisp with a generous dash of exuberance and an elegant touch of finesse. On the nose I picked up lemon zest and a hint of granny smith apple peel. The palate shows exquisite yeasty brioche flavours together with a hint of grapefruit, strawberry and fresh minerality. Needless to say I was not going home without a bottle in hand!
Pairing guru and art enthusiast Carolyn Martin explains: “At Creation we believe that wine and food pairing is an art in itself. To demonstrate this, our brand-new FynArts Story of Creation Pairing Menu brings you what we like to describe as ‘delectable art’, but with an exciting difference.” I couldn’t agree more with what Carolyn says, the FynArts Story engages every sense to tell a story, as every great plate of food and bottle of wine should do. Each dish is skillfully matched with a wine and artistically presented to resonate with Nanette’s enchanting sculptures. To quote Nanette, “it is a sculptural exploration of the natural synergies and synthesis of art, food and wine.”
We began our 7 course sensory tour with a ‘Bread and butter’ introductory course with Chapter 1 – Creation Sensation: beginning with crisp flatbread with dehydrated seaweed foraged nearby, to pair with the Creation Sauvignon Blanc 2019. Carolyn, demonstrated a sensory technique, a taking a sniff of wine, breaking off a small piece of flatbread with seaweed, then consuming it, thereafter take a small sip of wine and pinch of salt to smell whilst holding a abalone shell to your ear, the result? A door to a different portal opens up like a transportation device, to the beach and all the memories I hold dear of summer days at the seaside come flooding back.
Chapter 2 – Creation Celebration: comprises of their Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon 2018 paired with what was almost a little teacup size bowl carefully placed on a ceramic green leaf. The soup? Broccoli and pear, with a gnudi at the bottom and topped with pumpkin seed crisp. The Bordeaux style white brings out the subtle saltiness in the gnudi which consisted of ricotta cheese, and a fresh fruitiness of the Sauvignon Blanc paired so well with the hint of pear in the soup. I absolutely loved the idea of the idea of the gnudi at the bottom of the soup, almost like a little surprise at the bottom of something equally as delicious.
Chapter 3 – Creation Dedication: was indeed one of my favourite courses. An umami bomb on a plate! A dumpling and inside this delicious morsel was mushroom and spinach, with a vegetable broth (which would have anyone fooled into thinking its actually of bone broth!) with smoked paprika, and wild rosemary paired with their intriguing Creation Viognier 2019. Like always, I was the last one at the table still slowly consuming my food in the hopes the taste sensation together with the perfectly paired wine would never end! A match made in heaven some would say. The Viognier was elegantly creamy on the palate, with a tingling acidity to perfectly balance out the umami.
Chapter 4 – Creation Inspiration: thoughtfully plated, was a confit parsnip, cauliflower, walnut crumb with boerenkaas and a blackberry reduction. The wine to pair with is the incredibly delectable Creation Reserve Chardonnay 2017, and oh what a treat! I loved the variety of textures on the plate and one can certainly taste how much care the talented chefs put into making each and every single element on that plate. The Reserve Chardonnay is grown in a single vineyard, it has intoxicating aromas of apple, grapefruit, with a slight hint of honey. I adore the buttery palate and minerality. This is certainly a wine I could drink in any season!
Chapter 5 – Creation Ovation: This was where my tastebuds where knocked out of the park and I had to calmly tell myself just like Dorothy told Toto “we’re not in Kansas anymore” to avoid looking like a total food and wine geek! (not that I care much). The dish served was linefish (being Hake) that day, with beetroot, beurre rouge (almost like a beurre blanc, but a different and fascinating take on the sauce) radish, purple laver dotted with herb oil. Paired with Creation Reserve Pinot Noir 2017. Gleaming ruby red in colour, just like Dorothy’s magical shoes, this Pinot Noir had an interesting note of spice, supplemented by dried apricot on the nose. It has elegant complexity with layers of dried fruit that linger with raspberry, cherry and piquant spice. Creation’s Reserve Pinot Noir absolutely deserves a standing ovation!
Chapter 6 – Creation Generations: now this was something that had me puzzled at first, but after a few morsels eaten in order, I got the gist of it. The dish? duck bobotie, nutmeg labneh, shavings of cured egg yolk with mango atchar, paired with the delightful Creation Syrah, Grenache 2017. The bobotie was deconstructed, so If you like me have very fond memories of mom or grandma making it every once in a while with dollops of that famous chutney served with, you would be not inclined to trying this, however with that said, eating little morsel together reminds me of my dear mom’s bobotie. The duck was cooked to utter perfection and gave it an earthy taste, and the flavours are quite spectacular especially paired with the Syrah, Grenache, that enhances the spice in the dish and the fruitiness in both wine and bobotie
Chapter 7 – Creation Consideration: to end off an unforgettable experience with old friends and new, we finished off with a collection of Jaffa cake and what would it be without pairing it with something just as sweet, Creation’s Fine Cape Vintage 2017. The cakes were incredibly tasty with a fluffy peak of meringue to top it all off some dusted cocoa as a dessert with a dessert! The Creation Fine Cape Vintage, is deep in colour with flashes of royal purple held up in the afternoon Hemel-en-Aarde sun. The nose shows clove and delicious anise. On the palate the wine has a velvety smooth mouthfeel, with intense flavours of ripe and jammy plums and a hint of dried peach.
The end? Not by a long shot? Our gracious host insisted earlier that we try their delicious Beetroot soup, and at the end we were lucky enough to try a Fynbos gelato and wine pairing, which was with their Chenin Blanc. I couldn’t get over how deliciously smooth the gelato was, second to that the flavour of fynbos was quite prominent too. If you do happen to take this extra and individual pairing do yourself a favour and stand outside in their garden, where their chefs also forage for ingredients, and deeply inhale the crisp air. When I tasted the gelato, it tasted of what enveloped my senses in the herb garden that is also surrounded by plenty of fynbos. Balance, elegance, distinction and finesse – these are the hallmarks of every Creation wine and design of every morsel that the very talented chefs take pleasure in adding in the magic of this pairing journey.
I love how much emphasis is put on sustainability at Creation, from the tasting menu of which only had two items containing a carnivorous element, oh, and the menus are printed on 100% recycled paper! The Fynarts Story of Creation is artfully and thoughtfully paired with each dish to serve and highlight the food-friendly, versatile nature of a specific cultivar or blend. One thing I visibly noticed was that the well being of each guest is of utmost importance to the friendly and professional staff at Creation.
I cannot thank Carolyn enough for the taste and sensory journey she and her formidable team took us on, for hosting us so graciously and for gifting us each with our favourite wine as we parted. We had way too much fun and thank you so much Louis for getting there and home safely!
The FynArts Story of Creation Pairing Menu will be served until the beginning of September when a Spring menu will be launched – be sure to make a reservation here – https://www.creationwines.com/tasting-room/#nav_tasting-room
I cannot wait to be back again soon for my next taste journey down my own yellow-brick road of wine adventures!