Advent Calendar #9 2018

Codorniu Cava Clasico Brut nv, my first Advent Calendar #9 2108 wine

Cava is Spanish, and a sparkling wine made by the traditional method of a second fermentation in the bottle. Produced in the same traditional Champagne and Méthode Cap Classique method, The Catalan word cava means “cave”, or “cellar”. Caves were used in the early days of cava production for the preservation or aging of wine. Catalan winemakers officially adopted the term in 1970 to distinguish their product from French champagne. Cava is a sparkling wine of Denominación de Origen (DO) status, most of which is produced in Catalonia, in North West Spain. About 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia, with the village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia being home to many of Spain’s largest production houses. When it first began, Codorníu’s production was 100,000 bottles of Cava annually, today is close to 38-million.

Xarel-lo ripening on the vine

The grapes used for the Codorniu Cava Clasico Brut are the little known in South Africa, Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. The method is to make the base wine, then prepare it for the second fermentation in the bottle by adding a yeast and sugar liqueur de tirage and applying a crown cork. After the second fermentation, the bottles are degorged, close with th classical natural Champagne cork and the little wire muzzle to hold it in place.

Pour
From a traditional Champagne shaped bottle with elegant labelling. In the glass, it is a pale straw colour with fine bubbles rushing to the surface to form a little crown round the edges. The aromas are strongly mineral and green apples, limes and sweet fruit. Sweet lime marmalade on the palate is added to by the aromas. Beautiful balance, creamy and crunchy fruit and a refreshing aftertaste.

Ina Paarman’s Traditional Smoorsnoek

Pair
An any time of the day wine, starting with breakfast! Good mid-morning refresher. Excellent as a food partner too. Plump pink prawns with aioli, lovely with braaied snoek off the braai and brushed with apricot jam. Or Ina Paarman’s Smoorsnoek, also a perfect match. Click here for her recipe.

Read more about Codorniu Cava Clasico Brut and order online here – CLICK HEREMad Giant Killer Hop

Champion award spurs Jozi brewer to tackle single-use plastic

Awesome on the palate and kind to the planet – that’s Mad Giant, brewer of the beer just named Grand Champion (overall best beer) at the 2018/19 African Beer Awards. Having rock ‘n rolled to the title with its flagship Killer Hop Pale Ale, the award-winning Jozi-brewery is now set to intensify its frenzied battle on what is arguably the world’s biggest scourge: single-use plastic. Eben Uys fired up his brewery just three years ago with a simple aim: to brew beer for happiness. They soon realised the only way to smack a smile on, as Mad Giant’s tagline howls, is when you know your impact on the planet and people. “Plastic has become a massive pollutant of our rivers and seas,” says Eben, husband and father who has a doctorate in Chemical Engineering. “We don’t have an option but to start a journey of eradicating plastic. It’s our responsibility to be friendly to the environment; I want to create a legacy worth something to the next generations.”

At the taps, Eben Uys

In changing over to cardboard packaging, Mad Giant faced some serious challenges. Moving from shrink wrap to cardboard increased costs ten-fold. “Paper labels are almost double the cost and they don’t last as well in an ice bucket. But we cannot imagine the future cost of trying to clean the ocean and breeding sea life from scratch.”

But beer is what brings pilgrims and the uninitiated alike!

Killer Hop – the beer with explosively tasty flavour, made with four types of aromatic hops and a touch of malt – won a gold medal last year at the South Africa National Beer Trophy awards.

Hops – add the delicious flavours & bitterness to beer

Pour
From a classical dark brown glass beer bottle with a really quirky label. In the glass, gem bright amber. The aromas and flavours intermingle with the aromatic hops and an undertow of malt. There are four different types of hops used. The wine is of medium, and very refreshing bitterness and the carbonation is lively but not over gassy. I like that. I enjoyed the beer enormously. Best Pale Ale and overall Grand Champion – African Beer Awards 2018

Ina Paarman, creator of Traditional Smoorsnoek

Pair
Beer is made for food. A good pairing is usually meat off the braai, though it will go so well with Ina Paarman’s Traditional Smoorsnoek. Really an any time of the day refresher.

Read more about Killer Hop and Mad Giant Beers – CLICK HERE

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