Friday, September 06, 2013

130905 Main Ingredient's MENU - Seductive Sauvignons Festival at The Vineyard, RisCura White Hot Wine Awards, Season of Sauvignon in Durbanville, Wellington Wines “Quest for the Best” Showcase, Decanter winners, Real Marzipan

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Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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This pelican flew past us at Landtscap on Sunday at The White Hot wine awards
In this week’s MENU:                                
*    Seductive Sauvignons Festival at The Vineyard
*    RisCura White Hot Wine Awards
*    Season of Sauvignon in Durbanville
*    Wellington Wines “Quest for the Best” Showcase
*   Decanter winners
*   Real Marzipan
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: We have a full stock of the Nielsen Massey real extracts for baking and desserts. See our recipe below. Flavours are vanilla, chocolate, coffee,almond, orange, lemon, mint, rosewater and orange blossom water.  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.
Another late night: Restrictions imposed by all the Internet service providers mean that we can only send to 400 addresses per hour, so MENU may only reach some of you about 24 hours after we start sending, and we have to send it this late because we have had so many events to report on that we have only just finished writing – at nearly 2am. We thank you for your patience!
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur     Our Jewish readers will have started your New Year celebrations on Wednesday. We wish you all a blessed year and that all will be well for you at Yom Kippur.
Seductive Sauvignons Festival at The Vineyard     Mike Duggan and Corlien Morris of Wine Concepts hold this festival annually at this time of the year and it is usually the best place to taste the newly released Sauvignons blancs and some very good Cabernet Sauvignons. This year, the farms were also encouraged to show older Sauvignons blanc and we tasted some amazing wines. Do get the message: white wines also improve with age. OK, perhaps not the inexpensive over-sulphured R19.50 bottle from the supermarket that has to taste the same year in year out, but most well made single varietals and many blends will surprise and reward you.
The wine everyone was talking about was David Nieuwoudt’s 2012 Cederberg Ghost Corner wooded Sauvignon blanc, which has just won a prestigious International Trophy at the Decanter awards. Oak Valley had a 2003  Sauvignon blanc which was still fresh and lively and so drinkable but their current release 2012 was also very good. Springfield showed not only their new releases – we particularly liked the Life From Stone and their three older wines which had aged really well. Steenberg Black Swan, Iona 2012, Cape Point, Constantia Glen, De Grendel , Glen Carlou, Le Riche Cabernet, Edgebaston…  all the usual suspects were terrific. This is a very good year for Sauvignons blanc of all styles.
There were so many Sauvignons blanc to taste and we have to confess that, again, we only managed a very quick run around tasting of the Cabernets at the end. Those we tasted were all very enjoyable.  
A question of the evening is “Where does The Vineyard (which Mike Duggan named as the Wine Destination Hotel of the Cape) buy the huge prawns that they serve as canapés at these events?”. They are the best we and others have ever been served or bought in Cape Town. Their rice pasta paella also went down a treat as it didn’t clash with the wines.
RisCura White Hot Wine Awards      We go to a lot of functions and, now and then, we discover a new venue. On Sunday, it was not just a fantastic new venue but also a beautiful new scenic drive into Devonvale from Bottelary.  Landtscap is on the top of a very high hill looking out over Stellenbosch mountains and at the Paardeberg mountains on their extreme left then across to the Helderberg on the right. Very modern, exciting and very adaptable in space, this was the venue for these awards. It was also beautifully decorated with white flowers for the first day of Spring.
The very talented chef from The Foodbarn in Noordhoek, Franck Dangereaux did the innovative and delicious food and the Sponsors RisCura put on a very good event for their customers, staff and the media.
The judges were Christiaan Eedes, James Pietersen and Roland Peens. The three equal winners – all different Bordeaux blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon - were Caroline Rillema’s 2012 Celestina from Elim, Tokara’s 2011 Director’s Reserve and Steenberg’s Magna Carta 2011. All are typical examples of beautifully made white blends but all are labelled Sauvignon Blanc. Click here to see more
Season of Sauvignon in Durbanville     On Wednesday, we attended the media launch of Durbanville’s Season of Sauvignon which, this year, will take place on the individual farms on Saturday and Sunday, the 5th and 6th of October. We had a lovely experience talking to the winemakers, tasting the wines and food prepared and matched to the wines by four of the local chefs. This event was held on Klein Roosboom Farm. Click here to see all the photographs and our comments
Wellington Wines “Quest for the Best” Showcase     Later on Wednesday, we drove back to town to the Waterfront Southern Sun Hotel for a tasting of the wines of Wellington. This precedes their festival which will be held on the different farms next Saturday, the 14th of September. Click here to see their site. And here to see the photographs and comments. They had a top 10 table which included 2 white wines, 7 red wines and Bain’s Whisky and all were good. There were tables of different varietals. We especially liked the four Cabernets they had to taste. We think Wellington might have really good terroir for this grape as all were full of flavour and depth, without any greenness or over-tannic flavours. The Shirazes are also suited to our taste and there was an interesting Petit Verdot from Diemersfontein, redolent with fresh violets on the nose with wild and gamey flavours. Pictures from the tasting here
Decanter winners     These prestigious awards by the British Decanter Magazine have just been announced and South African wines have done extremely well. Click here to see the list of the major awards and medals. You can also go and look at Decanters web page to look at all the awards. We are rather pleased (and not a tiny bit self satisfied!) at these awards as many of the winning wines are wines we have recommended to you over the last year.
This week’s recipe     A few days ago we heard a customer of ours on John Maytham’s Cape Talk afternoon show asking for a recipe for real marzipan, as he wanted something better than the Persipan (horrid stuff) available in supermarkets. He then gave us a wonderful plug as we do indeed stock the real Almond Extract from Nielsen Massey in the USA that is an essential ingredient in this recipe. As September is the month in which you should be making your Christmas cakes and pudding for this year, we thought we would reward him, and you, with the recipe. Marzipan is incredibly easy to make, if you have the right ingredients. You don’t have to keep it for cakes, you can make it into bars and coat them with melted chocolate using our Callebaut 70% chocolate buttons or petit fours or even cute marzipan animals or fruit to decorate cakes. If you dislike marzipan we would encourage you to come and smell the real extract, it might well change your mind. We don’t regularly stock ground almonds, but we can obtain them on order for you as well. We find that this can keep well for a while in a plastic bag in the fridge if you are unable to use it all at once.
Real Marzipan
125g icing sugar – 125g caster sugar – 250g ground almonds – 1 t lemon juice – 1 egg, beaten – Real almond extract to taste
Sift the two sugars into a bowl and mix in the ground almonds. Add the lemon juice and a few drops of the almond extract. Gradually stir in the beaten egg with a spatula or spoon until the mixture is a firm and manageable dough. Knead lightly and roll out. This quantity makes enough to cover a 18 cm cake. Double up for more.  Or shape into bars and dip them in melted chocolate.
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.
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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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