One thing we had a lot of these last few months, was time. Once a much sought after commodity, we now had more of the one thing we all wish for every day – time to breathe, and simply just to be. And if there’s anyone that knows how to make time stand still, it’s Cathedral Cellar.
The definition of time affluent is the feeling that one has sufficient time to pursue activities that are personally meaningful, to reflect, to engage in leisure.
In those final weeks of scurrying to bid farewell to 2020, I received a generous gift from Cathedral Cellar and Chef Mynhardt, with a heartfelt wish of time affluence, reminding me to breathe as we race towards a new year.
As I’m sitting here reflecting on this experience, I remember that exact moment to be a defining moment of insight for me at the end of last year, as I held this precious wish in my hands. I realised, after the madness of the world, that it was finally time to slow down, to take a breather; to return to myself. Like the bare vines sprout sprightly green growth when the season turns; like the grape bunches start to blush as the sun caress their skins; as the wine lays still in a dark barrel, metamorphosing into something beautiful – everything happens in its own time, without hurriedness. And so should I.
Cathedral Cellar is a premium wine portfolio and events venue by KWV. The wine portfolio includes the Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Cathedral Cellar Shiraz, Cathedral Cellar Triptych (a red blend), Cathedral Cellar Pinotage, Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay and Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc. The labels depict the Cathedral Cellar with beautiful copper line drawing and honours the cellar’s most impressive feature: its 32 ‘stukvats’ (barrels) which measure approximately 3 meters in circumference, some of which tell the stories of the South African wine industry with intricate carvings.
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.
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 (press release)?
Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay 2019
Tasting notes: prominent nose of pineapple, mandarin and apple with secondary aromas of orange blossom and lime, this textured palate shows hints of peach and pear. It follows through with a lime finish.
In the vineyard: 76% Elgin, 16% Stellenbosch, 7% Wellington
In the cellar: The wine was left on extended lees contact for 270 days after fermentation and stirred regularly during this period.
Cellaring potential: Enjoy now or cellar for up to four years.
Cellar door price: approx. R85 a bottle
Cathedral Cellar Triptych 2017
Tasting notes: exudes aromas of blueberries, crushed herbs and tobacco leaf with hints of dark chocolate and cedary oak. The palate reveals velvety tannins and a savoury palate with a well-rounded, persistent finish.
In the vineyard: 76% Western Cape, 16% Wellington, 6% Stellenbosch, 2% Paarl
In the cellar: After 18 months in barrel, only the best wine was selected to make up this vintage Cathedral Cellar Triptych.
Cellaring potential: The wine is ready to be enjoyed now or cellared for up to six years from vintage.
Cellar door price: approx. R140 a bottle
Bringing time affluence to the table
Chef Mynhardt, as one would expect, beautifully translated this concept of time affluence into the kitchen and onto the table. We often cook in a hurry, relying on convenience and ready-to-cook dinners. This experience was meant to counter-act the urge to multi-task, and to pay your beautiful ingredients the respect it deserves.
As I slowly and methodically rubbed spices into the generous leg of organic lamb (gifted by Deli-Co), I breathed out deeply. Preparing this meal would keep me in the kitchen for a few precious hours, where my only task at hand would be to bring out the best from my ingredients. I only had to concentrate on the sound of glugging olive oil, on the slice of my knife through the onions, on the cracking of black pepper as it fell through my grinder. With soft background music and a liberal glass of Triptych at my side, I relished this quiet time, this leisurely moments, where I could fully be present and do something that sparks joy.
With my leg of lamb slowly poaching in a glossy embrace of olive oil, I could turn my attention to recreating Chef Mynhardt’s show-stopping olive oil polenta cake. Having switched over to my Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay, I had to take a minute just to enjoy this stunning wine without any interruption or hurry.
Made with Willow Creek‘s blood orange and lemon olive oils and topped with a pistachio nut icing, this cake required patience, a steady hand and the luxury of time. With the fragrant smells of citrus, nuts and the earthiness of polenta, intermingled with the tropical bouquet of the Chardonnay, my kitchen once again became the haven I’ve not had the time to visit recently.
As we sat down around this gorgeous meal that evening, I felt more grounded than I did in a long time. I looked at the faces I loved over candle light, and wished that this moment in time could stand still. I made a promise to myself that night, as I clinked my glass of Triptych to 2021, that I would fully embrace and practice time affluence in the coming year. There were no guarantees that this year would be easier, more rewarding, or even less troublesome, but if we just allow ourselves to hang up our self-imposed super-human capes every now and again, we’ll slowly return back to the core of happiness: the small things that hold us all together.
Inspired by Cathedral Cellar and Chef Mynhardt’s wish of time affluence, I wish you space to rest your mind this year. Time to heal your body, and to feed your soul. I wish you slow seconds, that feel like a life-time and the opportunity to clearly capture memories that stay vivid in your mind for years to come.
Thank you, Cathedral Cellar, for reminding me to pause every now and again, and to appreciate the luxury of time for what it is; a gift that should be enjoyed slowly, and purposefully.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.