If time is life, then wine is life encapsulated …
Who feels they have enough time to do all they want in a day? Moved by research which shows that time affluence is at record lows globally, the team at KWV’s Cathedral Cellar felt compelled to include the wish of time affluence in their festive message to you.
Time is one of the most important components in making wine. The first planting and cultivating of grapevines, to harvest, bottling, cellaring, to the final moment of enjoyment is an arduous process which requires incredible patience by all involved. At Cathedral Cellar this cycle is never questioned and never rushed – the cellar team has become practised at the art of waiting; for the grapes to ripen, the juice to dry-ferment, and for the barrels to work their magic. When the wines are finally bottled and presented to consumers, it is this same wish of time and patience that accompanies each bottle: “the ability to find time to breathe, to experience joy in something as simple as simply being,” says KWV chief winemaker, Justin Corrans.
And what could be more apt this festive season than the knowledge that by pressing pause, you are indulging in one of the most precious commodities that our “superhuman syndrome” has been trying to erode?
“This year will certainly be remembered as challenging,” says Cathedral Cellar brand manager, Tanya Blokdyk, “while many of us were forced to a physical standstill, the mental rush continued unabated, and this year, perhaps more than any other, it is important to allow ourselves to take a deep breath, and to reconnect with what matters most.”
The art of breathing is beautifully illustrated at dinner tables when decanting a bottle of wine and allowing aeration. Breathing allows the wine to express more of its flavours, textures and aromas – revealing charming aspects which would otherwise have remained hidden. Can this simple act we bestow on wines, inspire us to do the same?
The gift of time
“As a physical illustration of time-in-a-bottle, Cathedral Cellar’s Chardonnay 2019 and Triptych 2017 captures our cellar team’s patient commitment to the wines’ journey from vine to bottle,” says Justin. “The Chardonnay was left on extended lees contact for nearly a year, imparting beautiful secondary aromas of almond and sweet spice, and a lovely creamy mouthfeel. The Triptych spent 18 months in barrel, an unhurried period which allowed the wine to develop its stunning tobacco and cedary aromas,” adds Justin, saying “as both wines are so multidimensional, both will benefit from being decanted and will absolutely take your breath away as their veiled features become unmasked.”
How does this concept of time translate in the kitchen? Cathedral Cellar’s ambassador chef, Mynhardt Joubert suggests a super indulgent deboned and stuffed leg of lamb that has been left to cook in olive oil for 8 hours! “I was extremely inspired by this concept of time affluence and couldn’t think of anything better suited for the festive season than a seasonal staple, made differently, with absolute commitment from the cook,” says Mynhardt. This indulgence is matched with an olive oil polenta cake, made with blood orange and lemon olive oil topped with a pistachio nut icing.
“It is our wish that Cathedral Cellar’s wines, matched with Mynhardt’s slow-cooked lamb, will remind consumers of the value of truly connecting, of being present in the moment, and the importance of breathing,” wished Tanya.