We anticipated our first visit to Rupert & Rothschild to be a quick impromptu wine tasting on the way back to Cape Town, after spending a night in the lovely Franschhoek valley. Instead we were met with elegance, friendly service and incredible wines and after a lengthy, informative and delicious tasting, we left with a yearning to come back and a lunch booking for the following weekend.
On arrival for our lunch the next weekend, we were met by a familiar and very friendly face, Dale from the Tasting Room. He had served us for our wine tasting the weekend before, made our lunch reservation and he was serving us for the lunch too. Dale is awesome and we really enjoyed his demeanour and how helpful and friendly he was the weekend before. We were stoked!
We started off with a “tasting” of the Champagne Barons de Rothschild (Brut for my husband, Rose for me), which is a (proper) champagne, made in the Champagne Region in France. There really is just something about champagne that is so special and so comforting at the same time.
With our Champagne, we were served with warm, fresh rolls straight out the oven accompanied by a smoked butter and a chicken liver pate. When you get offered warm bread as fresh, soft and fluffy as these, you grab them and you don’t look back.
Food & Wine Pairing
I decided to go for the Rupert & Rothschild Wine & Food Tasting (3 course) and my husband decided to go for the Wines of the World Wine & Food Tasting (5 course). The Rupert & Rothschild tasting consists of wines from South Africa and the Wines of the World consists of wines from South Africa, France, New Zealand and Argentina.
Wines of the World Wine & Food Tasting (R325 for 5 courses)
First course was a Poached Prawn, Organic Baby Gem Lettuce and Shellfish Aioli paired with Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut (France). This dish was so tasty, so fresh and so apt with a glass of bubbles. It was in the form of a salad which is the perfect way to start a meal – crisp and (mainly) raw to really get that digestion fired up – and the prawns were cooked to perfection. The Champagne paired with this course was Chardonnay (60%) and Pinot Noir (40%) blend. An absolute quality champagne that you would keep going back for.
Second course was Cured Tuna, Avocado and Cucumber with Ginger ‘Jelly’ paired with Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand). Votes were counted and this was the absolute winner of the day. In terms of flavour of the food and wine as well as the perfect pairing of the two, my husband and I both agreed that this took the cake. The tuna was so fresh and tasty and the avo and cucumber just complimented it so well. The ginger jelly was such a surprisingly fabulous element to the dish. The ginger is very subtle and rounded off the entire dish so well. Let’s not get started on the wine. We loved it so much that we bought a few bottles. (New Zealand, you make some pretty darn fine Sauvignon Blanc)
Third course was a Kingklip Fritter on a Romesco Sauce paired with the Rupert & Rothschild Baroness Nadine (South Africa). I’m a big Kingklip fan so this really hit the spot for me. The fritter was beautiful and thick, perfectly crumbed (nothing too heavy), and the fish was fresh as can be. That paired with the Baroness Nadine was a match made in heaven. The Baroness Nadine is 100% Chardonnay – a fresh and elegant wine which has an aging potential of at least 5 years. That is if you can keep it that long.
Fourth course was a Seared Free Range Duck Breast with Ratatouille, Roast Sweet Potato paired with Chateau Clarke Baron Edmond de Rothschild (Bordeaux). The duck was perfectly cooked – slightly pink but still cooked through and tender. I’ve only recently got into the idea of duck so seeing it and tasting it in this context really took me to a whole new level. This course, paired with a full bodied Bordeaux blend – Merlot (70%), Cab Sav (30%) which was more complex and obviously perfect for such a full bodied course.
Fifth course was a Karoo Lamb Shoulder, Paprika Fondant Potato, Pomegranate Glazed Carrot paired with Flechas de los Andes Gran Malbec (Argentina). The Lamb was so soft – you could literally cut it with a spoon – and flavoursome. Paired with 100% Malbec wine which was well rounded and balanced. A fabulous end to an incredible pairing of the wines of the world.
Rupert & Rothschild Food and Wine Pairing (R190 for 3 courses)
First course was a Kingklip Fritter on a Romesco Sauce paired with the Rupert & Rothschild Baroness Nadine – as above.
Second course was a Cloudy Pear Braised Pork Belly with a Brussel Sprout, Fennel and Apple ‘Slaw’ paired with the Rupert & Rothschild Classique. This dish was certainly not what I expected but it was a pleasant surprise. It was an unconventional Pork Belly – with crackling serving as an almost “crumb”. It was absolutely delicious and tender with the crackling still being nice and crunchy. As we all know, pork can be extremely heavy and the portion size was quite generous so the slaw really balanced the dish. The Classique is a well balanced red blend of Merlot (50%), Cab Sav (40%) and Cab Franc (10%) and it paired perfectly with the richness of the pork belly.
Third and final course (at this stage feeling that I will be rolling out of the restaurant) was a fabulous Karoo Lamb shoulder served with Fondant Potato and Glazed Carrots. The food was the same as the course in the Wines of the World but the course was paired with the Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond (South Africa) which is a Merlot (70%) Cab Sav (15%) Cab Franc 15%. This is an elegant and heavy red which goes perfectly with a dish like Lamb Shoulder.
At this stage we were full to the brim… until Dale brought a dessert platter to the table (inclusive of the cost might I add) and all of a sudden my dessert stomach had awoken.
Thanks to Dale and the team at Rupert & Rothschild. We will certainly be back!
Elegant yet not formal or too stiff. Completely comfortable. We sat at one of the inside tables by the windows but you can also sit outside.
I would recommend the pairings to any of my friends or family. If you are not keen on the pairing you can order from the Chef’s Menu.
Brilliant – friendly, fast and attentive.
Incredibly reasonable for what you get – quality of food and wine.
Reserve a table by the window, ask for Dale and come hungry.
Tel: +27 (0)21 874 1648