Tibby and I went to Buitenverwachting Wine Estate in Constantia, Cape Town on Saturday 30th October 2010 for a wine tasting and lunch. In general this was a pleasant experience but with some disappointments.
Before we arrived we knew that we liked their Buiten Blanc which is a cheap, very drinkable blend of 85% Sauvignon Bland and 15% Chenin Blanc. We were disappointed that their Sauvignon Blanc 2008 was too fruity for us. We could not get excited about their Meifort 2005 or their Cabernet Sauvignon 2003. We really like their Cabernet Franc and their Christine 2003 although we found them expensive at R150 and R250 respectively. We loved their dessert wine, 1769, which we look forward to drinking with cheese. The wine tasting room is attractive and comfortable and the assistants are knowledgeable and helpful.
The large restaurant is very pleasant with views on to the courtyard on the one side and over the vineyards on the other. The confusing thing is their menu. About 75% of their courses contain asparagus. There are many options of how the asparagus is served and what it is served with but one is in trouble if one does not want asparagus. Their Courtyard Menu, which is the alternative to the asparagus menu, is a confused offering of dishes from open sandwiches, through Kabeljou on tomato risotto, steak and a hamburger. Some marketing person has decided that they should have a menu with a difference. Unfortunately it just leaves the patrons confused with a limited choice. We gave ourselves up to asparagus and had asparagus with asparagus quiche and hanger steak slices. It was delicious. The wine list was comprehensive with respect to South African wines but was expensive. Next time we go we will avoid the restaurant and rather order their attractive sounding picnic basket and eat under the trees on the lawn.