Ster-Kinekor Entertainment extended an invite to Fortress of Solitude and some friends for an evening of Cognac tasting and cigars before the screening of the latest Jamie Foxx blockbuster, Sleepless.
I‘ll admit upfront that I’m not part of the elite gentleman’s club to regular enjoy a glass of Cognac or cigars, and haven’t ever experienced either of these before the event. When SK Entertainment invited me to the screening of the film coupled with a Cognac and cigar pairing, I was both excited and nervous. All in all, though, the night was thoroughly enjoyable, both in terms of the tasting and the movie.
Often at events and functions, when an invite is listed as 18h00 for 18h30, you often find most participants arriving at the latter time with the assumption that’s when it actually starts. Surprisingly, having arrived at 18h05, most of the attendants for the night were already present awaiting the start of the event. Kicking off with a few rounds of appetisers, and a round of Cognac cocktails, the event started in earnest with a quick cigar tasting session, before the main event started. The cigars included the Quintero and Montecristo, amongst a few others.
Martell has had a presence in South Africa for some time now and sent a representative from France to guide us through a brief history (Martell is one of the oldest Cognac houses having been founded in 1715) and the process of making a Martell Cognac. The tasting samples included three Cognacs, which included the Martell VSOP, Martell Noblige, and Martell XO. Guests were also taken through the proper method of rating the Cognac, from the smell, colouring and tears, to how to hold the glass and drink it. Much to my surprise, I could taste the differences in flavour, some more fruity than the others, even down to the vanilla and cinnamon added.
When the movie commenced, there was a noticeable buzz amongst the crowd, who seemed to have enjoyed it, which was the perfect pairing of preceding events before the actual screening. While not perfect by any means, the movie was a fun action flick.
The evening went down really well, and while there were a few who were unable to participate in all the activities on the night, I don’t think anyone left disappointed.