By Bryan Harrison - posted October 17, 2017
Mountain House, CA - Wine Club members and guests were treated to an authentic South African Brai at the October 14, 2017 tasting event. A joint effort by three host families: Jaco & Anne-marie Swanepoel; Jennifer and Scott Snyder; and Patricia and Bryan Harrison, the event featured a varitable feast of flavors and varietals, all with South African roots. Held at the Snyder residence in Questa Village, the sold-out event had the club all a-buzz in the lead-up. .
Altamont resident Krysten Hahn said "Last night was my first Wine Club event. I was hesitant and a little nervous because I'm just now entering the wonderful world of wine and still somewhat new to the community. But I was welcomed with a warm greeting at the door and lots of smiling faces. Everyone I talked with was so nice and it was great seeing everyone having a good time. And then the food! Oh my gosh! Each dish was delicious in its own way. Thank you all again for a wonderful time. I will for sure be coming back."
Board member, Lorrie Rudock, gave a glowing review. "What an awesome evening! Jennifer, Scott, Patricia, Bryan, Anne-marie and Jaco...you outdid yourselves. The food was absolutely amazing, the pairings incredible, and the company was outstanding. It was a fabulous night! So wonderful to see so many new members having a great time."
And, new member, Mayra Moniz, expressed her pleasure, as well. "It was super great," she exclaimed. "Thank you to the hosts of the event this evening. I cannot wait for the next month event, ❤️"
Following the initial customary happy hour of members sharing favorite wines, the first featured pairing was a delicious curry-based savory delight known as "Bunny Chow", served over a hollowed-out bread, as presented by Patricia Harrison. The dish was paired with the South African wine, Amy Sauvignon Blanc (Western Cape, South Africa).
The second pairing, more of the main course, featured the brai/barbeque, as done expertly by Jaco Swanepoel - a native South African. Jaco, along with Scott Snyder, cued up some delicious marinated Ribeye steak, pork loin, as well as South African boerewors - an authentic saugage delight the Swanepoels discovered being made in Manteca. The over-abundance of meat wound up being pretty well scarfed up, with the excess having been put out separately after the serving. The Braai serving also featured "Pap & Sheba" (maize porridge and a sweet tomato sauce). Paired with Glen Carlou Grand Classique Bordeaux red blend (Cape Winelands, South Africa), the crowd continued the swooning that began with the first pairing.
The third and final pairing course was a Malva Pudding (Google it, it's amazing!) paired with Graham Beck Brut, from Western Cape, South Africa. The Malva Pudding was absolutely amazing, especially paired with the dry brut sparkling wine. A rich, buttery but flaky, spongy cake of sorts, had a light flavor that exploded with sweet yumminness upon entering your mouth. So good!
The last of the pairing dishes did run a bit late for this one, and the party carried on well beyond the midnight hour. Click for a complete photo gallery of the evening.