Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 May 12 Main Ingredient's MENU - Old Mutual Trophy feedback, Mother's Day, Buitenverwachting tasting room changes, Chicken wings in sherry vinegar & smoked paprika, Wine courses, etc

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Click on underlined and Bold words to open links to pictures, blogs, websites or more information
Buitenverwachting’s magnificent avenue of ancient oaks

In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Old Mutual Trophy feedback
*     Mother’s Day
*     Buitenverwachting tasting room changes
*     Chicken wings in sherry vinegar and smoked paprika
*     Wine courses, Events and Restaurants
Products     Despite its high price, argan oil has been a consistent seller, to the extent that it has exceeded the importer’s expectations. We have one bottle, earmarked for a customer who says he’ll collect at the market on Saturday. If he doesn’t, it’s up for grabs. There will be no more till July. Italian products are also a bit short and our supplier of Carnaroli and other risotto rices and of Italian stock cubes is waiting for two containers. We still have a little stock of stock and a couple of kilos of Violone Nano rice and are holding thumbs for the news that Carnaroli and stocks will be here soon.
We do have more of the wonderful Valrhona Guanaja couverture chocolate “beans” in 200 gram jars, which amazed us when they disappeared so fast. For those and any other products you need, you can access our product list and see pictures in our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until our online shop is ready, drop us an email and we will help you. We are very happy to see that traffic on our website is increasing and more orders are coming from it.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Our market activities    Come and visit us at Long Beach Mall tomorrow, Friday 11th May from 09h00 to 16h00, where we hear that there will be a wide range of gift solutions for Mother’s Day. We look forward to seeing you at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Cape Talk Radio’s Kieno Kammies and Africa Melane will be presenting a special Mother’s Day event, which should add to the fun. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. Click here for a map
Old Mutual Trophy competition, a golden day for SA wines    Today, we enjoyed, once again, the privilege of going to the Grande Roche in Paarl for the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show competition feedback. The international judges, this year, were Brian Croser (Winemaker and industry icon, Australia); Anthony Rose (UK and Asian wine columnist) and Tom Cannavan (online wine guru: and UK wine broadcaster). The South African judges were Ginette de Fleuriot CWM (Marketing Manager, Vinimark), Gary Jordan (proprietor-winemaker, Jordan Wine Estate), Christian Eedes (wine writer and, Angela Lloyd (wine judge and writer), James Pietersen (head sommelier of Belthazar and Balducci restaurants) and François Rautenbach (Head, Premier Wine Programme, Singita Lodges). 
The news from this year’s competition is that this was a great day for South African wine. We have heard judges in the last few years tell us how much progress this country is making and how encouraging it is to see the progress. This year, we heard them display real excitement when they talked about the quality of the best wines. This doesn’t mean that they knocked the quality of the older wines. Of the 42 gold medals awarded (up from 32 in 2011), seven were in the museum class, proving us right when we say that our wines do age. As before, the largest number of gold and silver medals was for white wines, with Chardonnay, Chenin blanc and Sauvignon blanc picking up the majority of the accolades. Chardonnay was a big performer, more than one judge commenting on the precision of the winemaking, comparing it to the great improvement we saw in sauvignons a few years ago. Michael Fridjhon quoted the English wine writer Pamela Vandyke Price who said, about 15 years ago, that (to paraphrase) there was no hope for our chardonnay. Now we hear that visitors to this country, who profess boredom with chardonnay are getting excited when they taste our wines, “lightness of touch” being the secret. Sauvignons continue to show very well, but the most enthusiasm appeared to be (thank Heavens) for our chenins blanc. We, and other enthusiasts, have said for a long time that this is one of our national treasures. Brian Croser described it as “profoundly good” and Angela Lloyd said she found great pleasure in the quality, the variety of valid styles and the personalities of these wines. Overall, the improvement in quality was such that wines which would have earned gold medals a few years ago would now be awarded silver.
Reds did not perform as well. There was, as usual, a large number of shiraz entries, the best being excellent, but there were too many with out-of-balance sugars and alcohol and too much evidence of poor winemaking and vineyard practices. Excessively high residual sugar was a problem with too many wines. Pinotage did very well (John says another national treasure, when it is done well) earning two gold medals. “When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid”. The best cabernets and Bordeaux style blends showed well, but there was still disappointment with the bottom end. This was especially true of the other red blends. As one judge commented, “taking one bad wine and blending it with another bad one does not make for an improvement”.
For the first time, there were two gold medals awarded to Cap Classique sparkling wines. They will never assume the character of Champagne, any more than Spanish Cava can, but, at their best, the quality can rival the best sparkling wines from any other source. We look forward to seeing which they are and to tasting them.
A discussion which gave us pleasure was about “burnt rubber” which a British journalist (Jane McQuitty of The Times) said she found in our wines a few years ago, creating a bit of a storm in our wine glass. There was no evidence of this in the new wines or in the Museum class entries. A comment from one of the judges was “British wine writers need a story”, the inference being that when they need one, they invent one. Perhaps Messrs Murdoch (News of the …) would care to comment.
A countrywide road show will follow immediately after the results have been announced on May 30th.  Public tastings take place on Friday 8th June at the Sandton Sun (18h00 – 21h00) and on Friday 15th June at the CTICC (17h00 – 20h30).  Tickets are available via Computicket at and cost R100 if purchased by 27th May or R120 thereafter or at the door. Visit the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show website for judges’ profiles, information and historical statistics.  The 2012 results will be available on the website from 15h30 on Wednesday 30th May after the awards have been announced at a function at the Mount Nelson.  Twitter: @trophywines. As usual, we took some photographs. Have a look here.
LUNCH ON THE TERRACE AT BOSMANS     Following the Old Mutual Trophy press briefing, we were invited to have lunch at Grande Roche’s restaurant, Bosman’s.  Because the weather in Paarl was absolutely balmy we were lucky enough this year to be able to eat on the terrace under umbrellas. The company was sparkling and the wine flowed. Our sommelier, Michael Gabagas, was very attentive, knowledgeable and encouraged us to taste many of the very good wines on offer. We found we agreed on many of the wines.  We started with a very humble table salad of leaves dressed with olive oil. We thought it was probably for the benefit of the tasters and judges who had been there all week and got to eat a lot of rich food.
We began with Jordan’s delicious Nine Yards chardonnay (the first time we have seen it with a screw cap), The Muratie, which was very lean and clean, and went on to taste Hartenberg’s The Eleanor and then Neethlingshof 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, nice and crisp and the first 2012 of the year for Lynne. The next small course was a duo of prawns, a quenelle shape of yellowtail tartare and some yellowtail ceviche slices with a teaspoonful of mango corn salsa and some interesting dots of avocado crème. The flavours were absolutely delicious and all complemented each other, but a few more prawns would have been appreciated...  Our wine adventure continued with a very enjoyable deep & elegant De Morgenzon Chenin blanc.  The next course was some slices of honey glazed duck breast, meltingly tender, served on a flash of sweet and sour butternut puree, an amazing confit of duck spring roll and a ginger jus.  We went to reds at this point and loved the Delheim 2009 Cabernet Merlot, which was a serious match for the food. Cedarberg’s 2009 Shiraz was full of blood, cassis, cherries and black current leaves. The Koelfontein Shiraz was incredibly elegant and showed careful winemaking and had a soft delicate silkiness on the edges, as if a small amount of viognier had been added, but we were assured by Christian Eedes that nothing had been added.
Dessert was a poem of a light chocolate nougat mousse gateau with a sour dark berry ragout and crème. We were drinking the Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 which is a cassis driven fruit bomb, soft and mellow. If you have some, drink now, it is at its peak. Unexpectedly, this serious wine matched the dessert to a T, its cassis and chocolate flavours being the perfect meld. Great coffee followed and then back to town to write this.
Mother’s Day. We salute our mothers, those who are perpetually busy with their children (however old the children or the mothers are) and who never stop caring for their progeny, and those who helped to make us what we are and have now departed. Sunday will give us an opportunity to thank them and tell them how much we love them and to spoil them. We have a list of special meals and events to help you. Look at it here.
Buitenverwachting tasting room. Last Thursday (it seems an age ago) we visited Buitenverwachting to learn about the changes being made to their tasting room. They are in the process of refurbishing their tasting facility. The refurbishing programme should be complete by the start of spring. We were invited to try some of the wines with Tapas, Winzer Platters and Cheese Platters, which are served in the Tasting Room, and to hear about the plans. We took some photographs. You can see them if you click here.
Spanish flier?     We get lots of queries about how to use some of our products. Here is a recipe that uses two of them in a dish from Spain which is really quick and easy to do. Try these chicken wings when you next have friends around. We took a dish to our wine club meeting yesterday evening.
Chicken wings in sherry vinegar and smoked paprika
16 Chicken wings - 2 T sherry vinegar - 2 T honey -  2 T extra virgin olive oil - 2 t smoked paprika - 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped – 1 T fresh thyme or 1 t dried -  salt and pepper
Use the Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika, but if you want some heat in the dish use the Hot Spanish paprika.
Slash the wings on both sides. Mix up all the above ingredients and marinade the chicken in them for a couple of hours.  Then bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 180°C until they are sticky and well cooked, basting once or twice. 
30 Roma baby tomatoes – sherry vinegar – olive oil, salt and pepper
Halve 30 baby tomatoes, put on an open roasting tray and drizzle them with the sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the same oven for 30 minutes.
2 red peppers
Grill until blackened on all sides. Immediately put them into a plastic bag, seal it and allow to cool. Then rub off all the black skin, remove seeds and slice into strips.
Serve the chicken wings on a bed of drained tinned chick peas, the roasted tomatoes, roasted red pepper, de-pipped black and green olives and rocket leaves.  Drizzle over some good extra virgin olive oil just before serving.

There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year. Click here to access the Calendar. You will need to be connected to the internet.
We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details here.
Some more restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offers. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc. that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
Winter is coming in with a bang, but we can still expect some wonderful clear and sunny days. Make the most of them and enjoy a picnic on a wine farm; several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.

3rd May 2012

Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

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