Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé 2015 & Anna Montali’s Prawn & Chilli Risotto – 15.12.2016

Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé 2015

Frans Malan, founder of Simonsig Wine Estate in Stellenbosch with his wife Liza, back in the early 1970s started experimenting and ultimately producing the Cape’s first Champagne style wine which he called Kaapse Vonkel

[Cape Sparkle]. Ever the pioneer, he went on to create a number of new variety wines and blends.  A founder of the Stellenbosch Wine Route with Spatz Sperling of Delheim and Neil Joubert of Spier, Frans left the farm in the hands of his sons, Johan as Cellarmaster and Francois Vineyard Specialist.

Johan Malan, Owner & Cellarmaster of Simonsig

Continuing the pioneering spirit, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, in 2004 Johan created Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé [current vintage 2015] a blend of 63% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinotage and 2% Pinot Meunier, the second black grape of Champagne.

Francois Malan, Owner & Viticulturist of Simonsig

The earliest start to the harvest was created by a warm August the previous year and Francois and his team found themselves bringing grapes into the cellar at the earliest time in decades.  A dry summer led to vines with no disease.  The judgment of the time of picking in the early stage of the ideal ripeness window is in the experience of someone like Francois, and then the processes in the cellar are led by skill and experience, using traditional methods as used in Champagne, known locally as Mèthode Cap Classique or MCC.

Frans & Liza Malan, Founders of Simonsig

It looks like
Packed in a traditional Champagne bottle under a cork stopper and wire muzzle.  In the glass, hundreds of the tiniest bubbles rushing to the surface to form a crown around the rim.

It smells like
Fresh berries and pink spun sugar.

It tastes like
Fresh entry with masses of red berry fruit and an undertow of quince.  Mouthfilling with the crispest of endings.

Anna Montali’s Prawn & Chilli Risotto

It’s good with
I always try and get wine drinkers to look upon a sparkling wine without thinking it is only for celebration.  It works as well as a midmorning refresher while reading the Sunday papers [you need it then].  Great with breakfast with smoked trout Eggs Benedict. As a midweek supper Anna Montali’s Prawn & Chilli Risotto is a perfect match. The recipe comes from Food & Home Entertaining’s A year of Seasonal Dishes.

Anna & Roberta Montali

Prawn & Chilli Risotto

recipe and styling by Anna Montali
photograph by Graeme Borchers

serves 4
40 mins

The flavour combinations
40ml butter
20ml (4 tsp) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200g Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1,2 litres good-quality fish stock, hot
500g prawns, cleaned and shelled
2 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
250ml (1 cup) fresh cream fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

How to do it
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to combine with the onion-and-garlic mixture.
Slowly add the fish stock one ladleful at a time, making sure that the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Stir until all of the stock has been used and the rice is al dente. Add the prawns and chillies, stir through the risotto and cook until the prawns are heated through, 5 – 10 minutes. Season.
Add the cream and heat through.
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve hot.

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