toast to toast: the perfect New Year’s Eve party

December 10th, 2012

The perfect New Year’s Eve Bubbly Party, and the perfect breakfast to soak it up, courtesy of One&Only Cape Town

(A recipe for success, and a recipe for the morning after)



New Years Eve is for bubbles. Instead of just uncorking one bottle of champagne at midnight, start at 9 and pop a new brand each hour on the hour, starting with the finest and working down to that last 1am bottle for lingering party guests. We spoke with Luvo Ntezo, head sommelier at One&Only Cape Town and the top young sommelier in Africa, for his top bubbly picks for a perfectly planned New Year’s Eve party that will raise the bar for all future fêtes. Pass off Luvo’s expertise as your own and wow the crowd – we won’t tell!


Start with the nicest champagne and work down – guests will be in festive, New Year’s mode after a flute or two.


The total bottle-to-guest ratio should be 1:1 – this ensures that each guest has at least one flute of champagne per hour. Depending on your guests’ drinking preferences, double or triple the amount of champagne purchased based on the number of flutes you think will be consumed per person per hour because according to Luvo, “only a poor host leaves glasses without a good pour.” Also be sure to have several extra champagne flutes on hand “just in case”.



9PM       Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1998

Tasting Notes: Named after Winston Churchill, the Cuvée is made in his favorite style – robust, full-bodied, and dominated by Pinot Noir.

10PM    Armand di Brignac Brut Rosé

Tasting Notes: Touted as one of the best champagnes in the world, this Brut Rosé has aromas of black currant and strawberries, with a bouquet of delicately smoky grilled notes and red fruit.

11PM    Krone Borealis Brut Rosé MCC (Methode Cap Classique)

Tasting Notes: Elegant, classic biscuity bouquet, with yeasty creaminess and fine, persistent bubbles.

12AM    Steenberg ‘1682’ MCC (Methode Cap Classique)

Tasting Notes: The 1682 Brut has aromas of fresh granny smith apples with overtones of freshly baked cookies, and a creamy and fresh mouth feel.

1AM      Korbel (USA)

Tasting Notes: Korbel Brut is light and crisp with spicy fruit flavors and a medium-dry finish.



After all of that toasting, how about some toast? Not just any toast – this rich and savory take on Eggs Benedict from South African celebrity chef Reuben Riffel will have you shipshape in no time. Reuben is the chef of eponymous, award-winning Reuben’s restaurant at One&Only Cape Town.

Poached Eggs with Steamed Crayfish Tail, Sautéed English Spinach, and Light Hollandaise with Toasted Fennel Seeds


2 eggs, fresh

1 crayfish whole, fresh

2 cups baby spinach, washed



2 egg yolks

Juice of ½ a lemon


1 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

A dash of warm water


Fennel seeds, dry roasted in a pan

Well buttered toast


Directions: (dictated by Chef Reuben Riffel)

Cook the crayfish preferably in well-salted water (or seawater if it’s available!) for three minutes, switch of the heat and leave them for 2 minutes in the water. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Cut the crayfish in half lengthwise; remove all the grit and guts and pick out the meat, keep warm.

For the hollandaise, place the yolks in a metal bowl, add the lemon juice and the water. Place over a simmering pot of water without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Whisk slowly until the sauce starts to thicken slightly; add the butter in a thin stream, whisking continuously. To prevent the sauce from separating, always add a little water if it gets too thick. Also remove the sauce from the heat if it starts to get too hot. After all the butter has been added, season with salt.

Heat 2 cups of water in a small saucepot, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. When it reaches boiling point, reduce the heat and leave to simmer. Break the eggs one at a time into a cup or soup ladle and drop carefully into the water. Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off.

Quickly blanch the spinach in boiling water, remove, drain and serve topped with eggs, hollandaise, crayfish on the side, and sprinkled with toasted fennel. And a side of well buttered toast!


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