Friday, April 05, 2013

4th April 2013 Main Ingredient's MENU - Graham Beck Game Reserve & Antonij Rupert wine launches, Luan Nel exhibition, La Mouette Autumn menu

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
Eat In Guide’s Five time Outstanding Outlet Award Winner
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
A pastoral scene near Darling
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       La Mouette Autumn Menu
*       Antonij Rupert tasting rooms
*       Luan Nel paintings
*       Graham Beck’s Game Reserve wines
*       Wine and Food Events
*       Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blogs, follow the link: because to tell our whole story here would take too much space and you can also read earlier blogs. Click on underlined and Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information. Follow us on Twitter: @mainingmenu
Main Ingredient's On Line Shop is performing very well. We are continuing to update it with new products and with photographs of products. Please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you. When you make an eft payment, make sure that it says who you are. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice once we’ve made sure stock is available. Click here to see the shop.
This week’s Product menu    Many of you know us for our Italian and French gourmet products, but we also have special Oriental products like black rice from China, Japanese mirin, dashi tuna stock and Shichimi Togarashi spice, Thai tamarind and shrimp pastes and Indonesian Sambal oelek and Kejap manis sweet soy sauce..
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 the Old Biscuit Mill’s wonderfully exciting, atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. It’s quite easy if you know how. Click here for a map which shows where we park. We will be back at the market in Long Beach Mall, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek on Friday March 22nd. Our  April dates will be Fridays 12th and 19th.
Well, after a quiet and family oriented Easter, we are back with a bang. We had a family lunch on Good Friday; Lynne cooked a gammon and we had it with salad, roasted butternut puree and potato salad. Dessert was a panettone bread and butter pudding, and we ate far too much chocolate over the very long and cold weekend. It seemed that winter had arrived far too early and we even lit a fire on Monday night and were peeved at all the rain we have had. However, yesterday and today we enjoyed marvellous weather and the forecast for tomorrow is equally good. Please let it last over this weekend.
Autumn is upon us, eat out well     On Tuesday night, we ventured out to try La Mouette’s new Autumn menu, very good value indeed at R185 for six course. Henry Vigar, the chef, is extremely talented at putting together a great selection of food and we ate heartily. We started off with a complimentary glass of Moreson’s Miss Molly Cap Classique, nice and crisp and citrusy, and Mari brought us a bowl of their truffle croquettes, which we can never resist, as an appetiser. The courses are small but, when you have finished, you feel as though you have eaten a very large meal. One favourite was definitely the classic mushroom risotto – rice of the perfect texture, creamy and full of mushrooms and then, as an added surprise, on the side are some lovely crisp battered deep fried mushrooms, a great innovation. John had the excellent roasted chicken alternative. The pan fried line fish was actually a very fresh piece of hake, not a line fish but well received. This will change daily according to what is fresh and available. And we also loved Henry’s witty homage to the Waldorf salad. Click here to see the photos and the menu. You can do the menu paired with wine for R295. We were happy to pay corkage and drank two wines from our cellar, a Winter’s Drift Chardonnay and Morgenhof Estate Red 2002.
The Good Cape Earth and the Sweet Life     Anthonij Rupert have just launched their Terra Del Capo tasting room and range of wines and we were invited to try them both on Wednesday. The farm was bought from Graham Beck wines a year ago. The Terra del Capo Tasting Room, situated at the entrance to the property, was designed to showcase the company’s Italian-inspired Terra del Capo range of wines which were a passion of the late Anthonij Rupert and which the family see as his legacy. Wine aficionados can enjoy bespoke wine tasting experiences of the Cape of Good Hope here and the Anthonij Rupert Wine range in the original Manor House on the farm, restored to its former glory and now home of the Anthonij Rupert Wines Tasting Room.
On arrival, we were treated to a taste of their new L’Ormarins Brut Cap Classique n.v. and then went upstairs to the tasting room, where we tasted three whites : Terra del Cape Pinot Grigio 2012, Protea Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and Protea Chardonnay 2010. These were followed by three reds: the Terra del Capo 2010 Sangiovese, 2011 Protea Reserve and Terra del Capo Arne 2008. We especially loved the well balanced and fresh Pinot Grigio which will retail around the R60 mark and the Sangiovese which is complex, spicy and full of delicious fruit. R75. Did you know that Sangiovese means the Blood of Jupiter? Many of these grape varietals are grown on a very different trellis system called Chandelier Escelot, where the vine is grown up a single post in a wigwam style as this is wind resistant and easy to harvest from on steep hillsides.
We were then served the magnificent antipasti lunch and then were driven up the road to the Manor House to taste the Anthonij Rupert wines in that tasting room. Click here to see the pictures and menu.
Guided by winemaker, Dawie Botha, we tasted two of their white wines - The Altima Sauvignon Blanc and the Cape of Good Hope Serruria 2010 Chardonnay and later we managed to get a taste of the Semillon. Then came four serious reds. The entry level Optima 2009 red blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a soupçon of Cinsault was delightful with sweet unctuous fruit, lovely depth of flavour and a long end with notes of good wood and soft tannins, all artfully integrated. R125 at the cellar door. The Anthonij Rupert classic Bordeaux Blend 2007 is a little rich for our pockets at R750 a bottle but is a very well made wine and scored 95 points in Wine Spectator, the highest score a South African wine has ever got – so far. It is full of violets, cassis, dark plums, liquorice, cigar box notes, juicy and full chalky tannins, and it has still got years to go. Only 1000 bottles have been released and this is treated to very, very careful wine making, as are all the wines in the range.
Then we tasted the Anthonij Rupert Merlot 2007 (R410) and the 2007 Syrah (420), both excellent expressions of the grapes. Later we also got to taste the Cabernet Franc (R430) which, with its silky mouth feel and juicy fruit – rhubarb, mulberries and black cherries - we liked very much. This wine will last for ages and we wish we had some for our cellar.
The afternoon finished with a walk in their quite comprehensive herb garden, where Lynne had a conversation with the chef about his use of the herbs, a wander around the manor house seeing the beautifully appointed guest rooms and then they laid on a delicious tea on the stoop before we shot off home.
All a’Twitter     Not about communication on your phone but the name of an art exhibition! Luan Nel is one of our very talented young artists and we were invited to the opening of his new exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery at the V&A Waterfront last night. The exhibition features many new paintings, many of birds and we covet some of them dearly. Several were sold on the first night and if you want to see this fine exhibition it will be on until the 16th of April. Click here to see the photographs
GRAHAM BECK SAYS “PLANET FIRST – IT’S IN OUR NATURE”      This is the logo for Graham Beck’s newly launched range of wines, The Game Reserve. The media lunch was held today, appropriately at The Camps Bay Retreat and Nature Reserve in the Glen in Camps Bay, a magnificent old house now part of the Village and Life Group, built in 1908 overlooking the bay, the crashing waves and its magnificent gardens. We sat at long tables underneath the pergola and listened intently to Mossie Basson, formerly of the Department of Conservation, and now Graham Beck Wines’ conservation manager; and award winning Cellarmaster, Erika Obermeyer tell us about the Graham Beck Nature Reserve and the range of wines they are launching to support the reserve. Each of the 9 wines: 4 whites, one rosé and 4 reds, represents the precious animals on the Reserve. Graham Beck Wines is the only wine brand in the world associated with a private nature reserve that can demonstrate measurable actions taken to conserve the natural environment, something so necessary in our world.
The Graham Beck property, Madeba in Robertson, is situated in the heart of the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem in the Breede River Valley, an area extremely rich in plant and geological diversity. Of the 1,500 species of vegetation in the area, 115 are endemic and, of these, 77% are succulents. Only 2.4% of the region is formally conserved. Graham Beck Wines is proud to be one of the earliest pioneers in the initiative to conserve the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The winery was appointed the second BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) Biodiversity Champion and is currently still one of around only 28 wineries in South Africa that can lay claim to this prestigious status.
Bordering Madeba is the Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve, an area that extends to the eastern slopes of the Rooiberg. The reserve was set aside in the 1990s shortly after the Becks purchased the farm, in the hope of reversing the devastating effects of 200 years of over-utilization of the natural resources. They have even discovered a new mop head vygie (mesembrianthemum) now named Esterhuysenia grahambeckii and this now is on the Rosé label. Each animal or plant depicted on the label is endemic to the region and nature reserve on the property.
In July 2007, 27 neighbouring landholders pledged to join the conservation effort. The Rooiberg Breede River Conservancy was born, and remains a strong focus of the efforts, comprising no fewer than 13,500 hectares of natural vegetation. For every 1 hectare of land utilized for producing wine or stud horse farming on the Graham Beck Estate at Robertson, 4,5 hectares of land are conserved today.
The list of wines we tasted and Fauna and Flora depicted on the labels are:
•        The Game Reserve Chenin Blanc – The Riverine Rabbit
•        The Game Reserve Sauvignon Blanc – The Fish Eagle
•        The Game Reserve Chardonnay – The Cape Eagle Owl
•        The Game Reserve Viognier – The Honey Badger
•        The Game Reserve Rosé – Esterhuysenia grahambeckii
•        The Game Reserve Pinotage – The Bat Eared Fox
•        The Game Reserve Merlot – The Cape Clawless Otter
•        The Game Reserve Shiraz – The Eland
•        The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – The Cape Leopard
The white wines retail for around R60 per bottle and the reds for around R85
We particularly liked the Honey Badger 2010 Viognier, full of white peaches and honey but crisp and dry and elegant with a long finish.  Also the spicy and fruity Eland Shiraz, full of perfume and ripe red berries. This over-delivers with white pepper, cranberries, raspberries and is made in quite a serious style with 18 month in 1st to 3rd fill barrels: 80% French, 20% American. But all the wines are good and well worth drinking. Some, like the white wines and the rosé are easy drinking and ready now. Others like the Merlot and the Cabernet may need some time and could be put down in your cellar for a year or two.
Canapés were served on the lawn before lunch, while we drank glasses of Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc and then we sat down to a very nice lunch, the best course being a rack of pink lamb which was the most tender and flavourful lamb we think we have ever had.  After coffee we wandered around the house and gardens and got a feel for its history. Click here to see the pictures.
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 see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit 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.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here.
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here. Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here. Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia. Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital).

4th April 2013
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 and our blogs 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.
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