Most of us grew up with the smells from our mom’s kitchen. Well, some of us in anyway. To be able to sustain oneself to the stage of reading this, you survived by having food to eat. In my case, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that is just totally over the top when it comes to preparing delicious meals and trying out different cuisine. Another thing about growing up, were my memories of Sunday lunches where we as children could actually have a sip of wine. Mom would take out the bottle of white wine, a Bellingham bottle. Jip, those Bellingham wine bottles that were shaped like the mountain side. I can still remember parts of the television advertisement where the landscape changed into the bottle. That was a very clever advertisement, because most Bellingham wine drinkers can and would probably still remember that advertisement.
So I was invited to an evening of culinary delight and premium wine at an extraordinary Italian Restaurant called Fumo (here in the capital Pretoria) last week. The evening was in partnerhsip with Bellingham Wines. No, there was no hill-shaped bottle in sight, but rather an unveiling of a premier range of wines from Bellingham Wines. The story of Bellingham is one that alleady started in the early 1700’s and then much later to where Mr & Mrs Podlashuk bought a derelict farm called Bellinchamp which means “pretty fields” and was forced to build it up to what it is today. A creative Hub which produces world class and award wining bottles of wine, with a local and international following. It is not longer the Bellingham we knew, but rather a journey of wine ending up today with 3 genres or ranges of wines called the Innovation series that can be seen as more contemporary wines, the Homestead series that hatched special wine concepts and praising itself as very inventive and lastly their flagship, the Bernard series, a tribute to the wine pioneer, Mr. Bernard Podlashuk who had the vision to make superior, intricate and beautiful wine.
Now imagine this, an evening where the current Wine maker Niel Groenewald of Bellingham Wines enticed everyone with glamorous intrigue around the premier wine they produce. Sampling them was a palate-adventure and true learning and appreciative experience. Chef Claudio Uccello, the Executive Chef of Fumo and his team, showered us with Italian cuisine to capture our senses and indulge our tastebuds.
The evening started with the 1st course of Josper grilled Tuna and in house smoked Salmon with crostini bread paired with the elegant Homestead Saugvinon Blanc 2017. Boasting fruity flavours with a soft crisp finish.
The 2nd course offered us, stuffed baby squid in black ink curry, accompanied by a Bernard series Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2015. A lovely layered golden wine with citrus flavours and spicy oak.
3rdly, We enjoyed a wrapped Sea bass with Culatello ham and beautiful mushroom risotto and off course a stunning Bernard Series Old Vine Pinotage 2015. Lovely berry flavours with a lasting oaky succulent fruity finish.
Our 4th course was a delectable Lamb loin with almond crust, celery puree and baby carrots. Paired with a Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2014. Alluring black berry aromas, layered with chocolate and intense fruit that is smooth and lovely.
Rounding things off, we enjoyed a naughty (yes very naughty but lovely) Chocolate budino, white chocolate mousse with pistachios and Angel hair partnered with their Homestead Shiraz 2015. An intense dark vino with notes of plums, blackcurrants and pepper.
Listening the Neil tell the story behind each and every bottle, made it almost feel like a ballet of different notes, flavours and scents combined to present a new generation in wine from Bellingham. No longer (in my mind) will I think of the old green mountain shaped bottle, but rather of their premium and exquisite ranges on offer and when you pair them with cuisine that is world class from Fumo, you are sure to enjoy and evening that is LUX to the fullest! The evening was a wonderful collision between Bellingham & Fumo and we got the best of both worlds! Visit their sites and support their quality products. Go! Now!