The Power Of Elegance
Food & Home Entertaining|June 2017

When She Came Across A Beautifully Subtle Wine, Relatively Unknown And Somewhat Mysterious, Our Ed, Andrea Pafitis-Hill, Went Beyond The Bottle To Unearth Its Provenance.

Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” 

Could this quote by ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, be the reason why Mutle Mogase, Moses “Moss” Ngoasheng and Mbhazima Shilowa named their wine label Epicurean? While each of their journeys of the vine are rooted in different terroirs, the twists they’ve taken have ultimately converged to bring these accomplished men to a path they have walked together, when this partnership began in 2002.

For Mutle, former executive chairman of Vantage Capital and now running family investments, his ambrosial baptism began as a UCT student in 1984, when he joined The Wine Society. He tells me that Meerlust Rubicon was one of the first fine wines for which he quickly developed an appreciation... then he breaks into his signature wide smile and soft chuckle, as he fondly recalls taking his then girlfriend, Baba (now his wife) up to Rhodes Memorial with a duvet and bottle of Johannisberger – perhaps it was that legendary shape of the bottle, inspired by a mountain, that determined the choice of location or vice versa!

Moss – who is CEO and director of Safika Holdings – says, “I taught at Natal University in the late ’80s, where I was introduced to wine by my then university colleagues – Dave Lewis [Chairman of the Competition Tribunal], Alec Erwin [SA politician], Gyles Webb [owner of Thelema wine estate] and Mike Morris [professor at UCT School of Economics and director of PRISM] among them; a crowd of ‘lefties’ – trade unionists and so on. I became part of their wine collective – a buying club. The first wine I enjoyed was merlot, largely because it’s friendly and not as harsh or heavy as a cabernet sauvignon.”

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