It started with fear: the fear of missing red currant season in New York, while I was in South Africa. Chills.
It ended with our first (but not last) visit to Kaia Wine Bar on 3rd Avenue. Suzaan Hauptfleisch, Kaia's founder (and fellow Free Stater), and whom I had never met in person, said she'd order a box for me, when I bleated about my fear on Facebook.
When I received word that the box was ready, I made a date with the Frenchman to go and pick it up. But first, we sipped one of my favourite bubblies - a Graham Beck brut rosé. And this one was vintage - 2009. I don't know where else one can do that in New York. Then we tucked into some flaky-pastry bobotie pies. Vince may have eaten a Gatsby. There was steaming malva pudding. And quite a bit more bubbly.
It is Women's Day in South Africa, and it was being celebrated at Kaia with an event honoring South African female wine makers. We stayed till we realized that we had resorted to reading lips to follow conversations. It was packed.
Suzaan, who is one of the nicest people I have met in a long time (she even got the Frenchman's stamp of approval which is, shall we say, rare), would not let me pay for the red currants.
There is red currant gin in her future.
(Kaia's malva poeding and vetkoek will be at the LIC Flea this Saturday, by the way...)