I am a happily married mother of two, but yesterday I developed a secret crush (which isn’t so secret now). His name, Giorgio Della Cia.
I’ve never been much of a wine connoisseur, associating the appreciation of wine associated with a spittoon and a boggling number of pretentious adjectives – earthy, jammy, brooding complexity…and the list goes on and on. Deep down though, surrounding my aversion to wine connoisseurship is my blatant ignorance on the matter. I generally know what I like but my exploration doesn’t delve into the origins behind what’s in the bottle.
So you ask yourself, why the sudden infatuation with Giorgio Dalla Cia? Well let’s start on how and why the romance began. Giorgio Dalla Cia is an exceptional wine maker who incidentally was the originator of Rubicon, the first Bordeaux-style blend in South Africa. He and his son also founded Dalla Cia, in 2001, a winery and grappa distillery that arguably produce some of the finest South African wines.
An intimate lunch at the Sankara Hotel’s Artisan, is where the romance began…please note that the ‘romance’ is purely one sided. My infatuation with the 71 year old, Giorgio boils down to the fact that he shattered my pre-conceptions about wine appreciation. I finally met someone who was truly passionate about the art of winemaking that didn’t sound like a cravat-wearing-stuffy. He was down to earth, knowledgeable, enlightening. All the qualities you’d look for in a secret crush.
My most memorable moment of the aforesaid romance was when Giorgio Dalla Cia counters my concerns about the pretention around wine and food pairing with a simple statement. “You have to think about wine with food as a frame for a picture. The food being the painting and the wine, the frame. Wine is not there to upstage what is presented on your plate or palette. Its purpose is to enhance the food’s natural flavours. The act of finding the right wine for each dish is an art in it’s own right, just like the art of making wine.” He follows this with a direct smile. And I’m sold.
Don’t miss your chance to experience this special event at the Sankara Hotel tomorrow night only. It’s Ksh 6000 per head for the food and wine pairing plus you’ll get a chance to purchase Dalla Cia Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and their Grappa at a special price. Rest assured, Giorgio Dalla Cia makes a perfect “dinner companion” and you’ll certainly leave feeling a little more satiated and enlightened about the art of wine-making, if not a secret crush of your own.