Friday, August 30, 2013

130829 Main Ingredient's MENU - CWG Auction Showcase, Strandveld dinner, Meridian show, Elgin Shiraz tweet up, Twankey Beer, Wine & Curry Challenge, Best Value Wines, Steamed Berry Pudding

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
A gull challenging the wind in an Yzerfontein storm
In this week’s MENU:                                
*    Cape Wine Master’s Guild Auction Showcase
*    Strandveld dinner at The Vineyard
*    Meridian Trade show
*    Elgin Valley Shiraz tweet up
*   Beer, Wine and Curry Challenge at the Taj Twankey Bar
*   Ultra Best Value Wines Awards
*   Steamed Berry Pudding
Follow this link to see our Main Ingredient blogs, because to tell our whole story here would take too much space. Click on Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information. Follow us on Twitter: @mainingmenu
This week’s Product menu: Truffle products are suddenly selling very well in this time of austerity so we have just restocked and have small jars of black truffles, black and white truffle oils in two sizes, truffle butter, truffle paste (tartufata) and truffle salt. With the weak rand this might be the time to splurge before the next price rise. Our online shop shows our range of rare and exciting products which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in South Africa. See it here
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.
Cape Wine Master’s Guild Auction Showcase       In our opinion these are the best wine tastings of the year and we do always feel very privileged when we are invited to taste some of the wines to be auctioned each year. The passion of the winemakers shines through the wines they produce. The seated, guided tasting for invited guests was held at the CTICC last Thursday afternoon, followed by the open public Showcase tasting. In the guided tasting, guild members introduce their wines as they are poured. One has a maximum of three minutes before the next wine arrives, so one always wishes there was more time to savour and enjoy the wine – they are always excellent. This year we tasted 43 wines. These tastings are held a few weeks before the Auction, which will be held on Saturday 5th October at 9:00 am at the Spier Conference Centre in the Stellenbosch winelands. We sampled some really amazing wines and think this may be one of the best auctions they have ever had. And yes, we do say this every year. So, if you are looking to purchase some excellent wines, the CWG Auction is open to all purchasers. You will need to register to bid, there is a deposit and this year they are doing telephone, proxy and on line bidding should you not be able to get there. Click here for more information about the Auction and the wines.
Were money no object, the wines we would love to buy at this year’s auction would be: Graham Beck Non Plus Ultra Cap Classique 2008; Cape Point Auction Reserve White blend 2012; Haskell Vineyards Merlot 2010; Grangehurst Auction Reserve 2007; Kaapzicht Cape Blend 2010; Groot Constantia Auction Reserve Shiraz 2010; Luddite “Just Alice” Shiraz Mourvedre 2010; Adi Badenhorst’s AA Badenhorst Family Wines LDR Shiraz 2011; Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2011; Cederberg Teen Die Hoog Shiraz 2011 and Teddy Hall’s Eva Chenin Noble Late Harvest 2012. But there are many, many more we could choose from. We photographed some of the people, see them here.
Strandveld dinner at The Vineyard     Earlier this year, we wrote about taking part in a tasting of these wines with a selection of food, to see what went with the wines. The chef made notes and, last Friday, we went to the dinner at The Square restaurant at The Vineyard. It was a truly inspiring dinner, mainly because the chef kept things quite simple and didn’t overcomplicate the food matches. All the Strandveld wines are worth drinking and buying and this was a lovely evening. We were invited by The Vineyard to stay overnight afterwards, which we welcomed after a rather bibulous dinner and it meant that John was able to drink all the wines. We had a lovely garden room and if you click here you can see the pictures.
Meridian Trade show     This show was held on Monday, in the very spacious second floor foyer of the Artscape Opera House, which was dark on that evening. This distribution company has a very good list of clients and so this is an opportunity to taste some new wines, new vintages and see familiar friends. This year, they did something very clever. They had the chefs from Pierneef at La Motte create dishes, each of which was matched with two completely different wines. There were about 15 dishes, so this became a great diversion at one end of the show. Click here to see our photographs of some of the people, wines and the food.
Elgin Valley Shiraz tweet up     If you follow us on Twitter, you would have seen the fun we were having at Caroline’s Fine Wines on Wednesday afternoon, taking part in a ‘Tweet-up’ tasting of several Elgin Shirazes. The wines were arranged in flights and we tweeted as we tasted each one, as long as we had something to say about the wine or the flight. The winemakers were all (apart from Joris van Almenkerk, who was with us) assembled at Oak Valley’s Pool Room in Elgin, reading and re-tweeting (if they approved!) our tweets. It gives them an idea of what people think of their wines while tasting. The group who were tweeting were mostly people like us in the media who write about wine and there were some bloggers as well. Now Lynne finally has a smartphone, we can both tweet.
They are producing some really soft, fruity and spicy shiraz in the area. Not one was faulty or undrinkable. The price range varies from R40 to R212.50 with an average of about R115. Our favourites in the four flights were Oak Valley 2011 R150; Almenkerk 2010 R145; Oneiric 2009 R212.50, Iona Syrah 2007 R180 and Sutherland Vineyards 2009 R100.
If you would like to follow us our tag is: @mainingmenu
Beer, Wine and Curry Challenge at the Taj Twankey Bar     After the tweet up, we continued our day at the Twankey Bar at the Taj hotel, where we took part in an interesting concept. Seven courses, dishes from Bombay Brasserie, each dish paired with an artisanal beer and a wine. Taste and decide which one you think goes best. We had lots of food, tiny sips of the wine and beer and a whole lot of fun as all there were having a marvellous time interacting with Jean Muller who was asking us all our opinions and whether the matches worked . There were many different opinions!  Click here to see the photographs.
Ultra Best Value Wines Awards     We were invited to the presentation of these awards held at Forest 44 (next to La Pineta) in Stellenbosch on Monday and to receive copy of the new Best Value Wine Guide which is now on sale. To quote: “In the guide, the Value Awards are presented for wines scoring a 19 or 20 (out of a possible score of 20) on the best value rating system which takes into account the quality of the wine in relation to the price it sells for. There are many other wines reviewed and rated in the guide which score as well or better on quality but cost more.” (our italics)
We tasted through the Value Award winning wines and had some very good snacks. Our favourite was the Ultra Table Bay MCC which, sadly, is now very scarce. We also like the very good value Koelenhoffer Sauvignon Blanc from Koelenhof, a serious bargain at R30. We were not that impressed with the red wines shown this year, but there are some good names in the book. Old Brown Sherry finally got a deserved award. 
Congratulations to all the many tasters and especially to Fiona McDonald (who also is a taster and judge) and then writes and edits this booklet in only three weeks, an amazing feat of endurance and fortitude. Photos here
Want to be adventurous with this week’s recipe?  Lynne recently bought a bottle of boysenberries in syrup, which look absolutely delicious. How to use them?  With this horrible cold weather one does want solid food so a steamed fruit pudding came to mind. This one is cooked in the microwave in about 8 minutes, rather than steamed which might take two and a half hours. You are welcome to do it the traditional way; we need something quick when we are writing and putting Menu together on Thursdays. If you can’t find bottled or canned berries, use fresh and cook them gently in a little sugar, but don’t let the fruit fall apart.
Steamed Berry Pudding
900ml pudding basin, buttered and floured – 150g soft butter – 150g caster sugar – 2 eggs – 200g self raising flour or 200g plain flour and 2 t baking powder – a pinch of salt – 1 T milk – zest of one lemon – jar of bottled  or tinned berries like raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries
Cream the butter and sugar together until you have a light and fluffy mix.  This is what makes a light pudding. Add the eggs one at a time and then incorporate the flour and salt gently, trying not to over mix. Add the milk and the lemon zest.  Put about 3 cm of the fruit mix at the bottom of the basin then carefully spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Cover with an inverted plate and microwave on medium for 7 to 8 minutes in an 800 watt microwave. Look to see if it is well risen and spongy to the touch.  Give it another 30 seconds if it is not.  Then leave to stand for five minutes with the plate still on it.  Run a knife around the inside and invert it.  Gently heat up the rest of the fruit and pour it over each portion.   You could top this off with cream or ice cream to be really wicked.
Buying from us On Line   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 on line shop. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa. Please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you, then you pay and then we deliver or post. 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. Click here to see our OnLine Shop.
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. It needs updating and we’ll do that tomorrow. 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. We plan to visit their French establishment after Vinexpo. 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). Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home. She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Wednesday evenings. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here

29th August 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 online shop 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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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Beer, Wine and Curry Challenge at the Taj Twankey Bar

The view from the upstairs balcony of  the Twankey bar
Getting started with the Devils Peak Saison beer and the Pierre Jordan NV Brut
Served with a warm spicy potato cake cumin yogurt and apricot tamarind chutney. Very warm and spicy tasted just like the potato in a dosa
Jean Muller was the cheerful and amusing Master of Ceremonies

Lynne chats to Giddy Caetano of Anthonij Rupert Wines about the Franschhoek Uncorked festival on the 7th and 8th of September
It was a nice buzzy crowd
Willem du Toit, Food and Beverage Director of The Taj
The next dish was a Seekh Kebab with mint chutney which went amazingly well with the Jack Black Lager and less well with the Good Hope Chenin Blanc
A huge bowl of Roti pe Boti – Spiced beef curry on rice.  We have had the Devils Peak India Pale Ale before and absolutely love its fruitiness.  It has wafts of tangerine and granadilla and a lovely dark depth of malt.  We also had the Anthonij Rupert Optima full of cassis and minerality enough to cope with the curry.
This was half a pizza and half a stuffed roti!  Full of sweet tomatoes and olives and covered in baked paneer cheese.  Served with Jack Black Pale Ale and Paradyskloof Pinot Noir
Lauren Berry enjoyed it too
The outside of Twankeys on the corner of Wale Street and Cape Town’s main street, Adderley Street. It still has bits of history with the old bank doors and the Statue of our lady of Good Hope above.
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

Elgin Valley Shiraz tweet up

Making tasting notes, tasting through the range of Elgin Shiraz is complicated enough and now we tweet at the same time
These are the wines we tasted, their technical specifications and their cellar door prices.
And the bottles displayed - each flight on one of Caroline’s shelves
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

Meridian Trade tasting at Artscape

A good idea was a selection of the wines on show paired with suitable canapés:
Rather under-seasoned Oxtail spring rolls with Epicurean 2008 or Meerlust Pinot Noir
Duck with a fruit ‘jam’ with Rust en Vrede Shiraz or Saronsberg Shiraz. Sadly the duck was raw and needed seasoning
The all-time favourite dish of the evening. Duck mousse pate in a raspberry gel shell to go with either the Mulderbosch Faithful Hound or the Stellenbosch Kloof 2010
Roasted tomatoes topped with creamed snoek and sweet potato mash was a little strange. It went with Haute Cabrière’s unwooded Pinot Noir 2011 or La Motte’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, which is not a good match with tomato.
Poached chicken roulade topped with (tinned?) mango and peaches matched to Cederberg Bukettraube 2012 or Ken Forrester 2012 Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc
Unusual dish of deep fried seafood infused risotto patties with Zevenwacht Chenin Blanc 2012 or Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir 2012
Very good twice baked cheese soufflés with De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay and Cape Point Isliedh – both perfect matches with the rich cooked cheese.
Not to everyone’s taste, but Lynne enjoyed. Cooked beetroot slices sandwiched with goats cheese to match Delaire Graff’s Coastal Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc and Cape of Good Hope Ultima Sauvignon Blanc. The match worked.
Soft and juicy poached salmon wrapped in cucumber with Diemersdal 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel 2011 Brut. A conventional match but good.
Rare roast beef slices wrapped around enoki mushrooms. No flavour at all, sadly. It needed a sauce or seasoning. Paired with Ernie Els Big Easy 2011, a lovely wine.
Rather overcooked chicken pieces in a sauce, paired with the smoky Paul Cluver 2011 Chardonnay or the Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve 2011
Simple slices of salami with Guardian Peak SMG 2011
This course was strange until you tasted it with the wine, then it worked. Small dabs of duck paté on pieces of dried apple, served with De Grendel 2010 Merlot or Martin Meinert’s La Barry 2011 Red.
Peeled prawns with a ball of polenta and cheese with sweet corn inside it. It lacked flavour. We didn’t feel it worked as a canapé. Paired with Leopards Leap Chardonnay 2012 or Tokara Director’s reserve
 Takuan von Arnim of Haute Cabrière
A huge draw card for the evening was David Nieuwoudt’s Ghost Corner wines. Here he chats with Axel Daniel of Mo and Rose restaurant near Robertson 
 Duncan Savage of Cape Point Vineyards explains his wines
 Cape Point's Splattered Toad Sauvignon on tap at their dispensing station, which can be hired.
A lovely selection of  Simonsig's Kaapse Vonkel to taste
 Jacques Jordaan, Hannes Meyer and Johan Malan of Simonsig
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Best Value Wine Awards

Held at Forest 44 near Stellenbosch aerodrome
Our favourite award winner. Table Bay MCC Blanc de Blanc from Ultra
There were some good and some interesting snacks
Slivers of mushroom pizza
Superb salmon sushi rolls
Bobotie spring rolls
Steak topped with onion jam and hollandaise
Vegetable wraps
Nice light pastry puffs with onion jam and blue cheese
Rather overcooked pea pancakes topped with a sliver of smoked salmon
The list of winners with their origins and their prices
The winners lined up for tasting
We particularly liked the Keolenhof  Koenenhoffer Sauvignon Blanc at R30, The Pearly Bay might go with hot food but is quite sweet.
John liked the KWV Concordia Chardonnay, Lynne found it a little flat.
A selection of the reds
Judy Brower of and journalist Fiona MacDonald, Editor of the Best Value Wine Guide listen to the award ceremony
Master of Ceremony for the Ultra Best Value Awards was Brandon de Kock
Some happy award winners and some invited guests including Pearl Oliver, sommelier of Myoga restaurant at The Vineyard Hotel
The tasting line-up
Mark Norrish, the wine buyer for Ultra, the sponsor (and this year an award winner) of the awards
Anel Grobler tweeting the awards
Christine Rudman, head of the tasting panel, tells us how the competition wines are judged
Mark Norrish presents an award
And gets Awards for the three Ultra wines
Enjoying the Table Bay MCC Blanc de Blanc

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus