Thursday, October 03, 2013

131003 Main Ingredient's MENU - FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition Awards, Classical Concert at Nederburg, Overhex Balance wines, Say Yes to older Cape Wines, Pantry Pilchard cakes and Tartar sauce

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
Sunset over Milnerton beach
In this week’s MENU:
* FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition Awards
* Classical Concert at Nederburg
* Overhex Balance wines
* Say “Yes” to older Cape Wines
* Pantry Pilchard cakes and Tartar sauce
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: One of our most popular products in the last five or so years has been the amazing Prego sauce from Sense of Taste. Sadly, the producer has decided that it is no longer economical to produce and has decided to discontinue it. We will try to find  substitute, but it won’t be easy. 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.
As usual, we have a link at the bottom to our calendar of wine and food related events which might interest you. We have always has=d a few from centres outside the Western Cape, but we now have enough to justify a separate list, so, if you live in one of the other splendid places in our lovely country, have a look. If you are promoting an event in any of these places, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Competition Awards     Back at Blaauwklippen again this Friday for the presentation of these awards, we found we too could conduct our own awards as we were allowed to taste all of the top 20 wines and come up with our own top 10. And the person who got closest to the actual awards, won an Apple iPad. It wasn’t either of us! It is a very good idea and great fun to do, as you feel you are involved in the awards rather than just listening while they are being presented. Tasting 20 Sauvignon Blanc wines is no small deal however and, luckily, it was interspersed with food. The wines had been divided into five different categories and each had an accompanying paired course. It was a fast and furious tasting but a very enjoyable day indeed with great wines and some good food. Click here to see photographs of the event and the list of winners.
Classical Concert at Nederburg     Last Sunday, we enjoyed one of the Nederburg Concert Series evenings, held in their magnificent manor house, which now houses The Red Table Restaurant - a collaboration between Nederburg and Andrea Foulkes’ Dish Food and Social, who serve bistro-style food made to match Nederburg’s varied range of wines. There is a charge for these concerts and they do include a welcoming glass of sherry on the terrace with a canapé or two, a glass of MCC bubbly during the interval and a simple buffet supper with wine afterwards. The music was absolutely magnificent. We were thrilled and delighted to hear renowned soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi sing a selection of lovely arias and lieder from Bach, Mozart, Gounoud, Handel, Donizetti, Lehar and Satie, ably accompanied by Philippus Hugo on the piano. We last saw Hlengiwe as Susanna in Figaro at the Opera House a couple of years ago. Her range is amazing, her sympathetic and sometimes amusing renditions of the songs is very moving and special and we know she has so much to offer and will definitely be seen internationally, making South Africa very proud. Also featured were US Slagwerk Percussion Duo on Marimbas. A young duo, Cherilee Adams and Dylan Tabisher turned Marimba on its head by producing amazing sounds with very classical music. They also accompanied Hlengiwe on certain numbers. The next Sunday concert is on 27th October and the Sunset Picnic concerts begin on November 23rd. We could not find any more information on Nederburg’s web site or by phone, but perhaps you can phone the restaurant. Click here to see the programme and the photographs. We so wish we could reproduce the music for you.
Overhex Balance wines     On Monday, the sun came out at last, it reached 36ºC in town, a stunning day, and it lasted till Tuesday, when we went to the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay for the unveiling of the new vintage of Overhex wines. Overhex Wines International is one of the top 20 exporters of wine by volume from South Africa. You will know them by the trademark Balance Wines with the very cute depiction of a large elephant balancing precariously on the L in the word Balance. The Balance range aims to offer affordable, good quality and consistent wines to the consumer at very attractive prices.
Their production facilities are located in Worcester, where they make wine from grapes bought in from all over the Western Cape. The wines are made by five winemakers led by Willie Malan and Ben Snyman. JC Martin, owner/cellarmaster of Creation wines, joined the team in 2006 as production director and later as partner and is responsible for the all wine styles and blends. While the building of their existing brands is of the utmost importance, their marketing team also invests a significant amount of time and effort in creating individual Buyer’s Own Brands, mainly for overseas supermarkets. JC and several of the winemakers joined us for the day and we chatted to them over lunch
First, we met on the terrace, welcomed with a glass of their very acceptable Sparkling wine, Boldly Brut, which you will find in most good supermarkets. This went well with the crocodile samoosas with chutney and the sunshine. Then we went indoors to taste though the 10 wines – 5 whites, one rosé and six reds. We thought the Pinotage and Shiraz were the ones we would most likely drink and buy. We had the good Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend for supper tonight with a Mediterranean lemon and herb chicken and it went extremely well. It even stood up to fresh artichokes which is a challenge for any wine.
These wines were introduced by co-owner and MD Gerhard van der Wath, and this was followed by lunch in Tides Restaurant. We found that the Winemakers selection Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon went very well with lunch. Sadly, the kitchen had a bit of a melt down during dinner and all was not well with the food, or the timing. Feeding four different courses to 40 plus people all at once can be a challenge, if there is not enough experience in a kitchen. We shall draw a veil over the main courses and dessert, but we did enjoy the taste of the Tomato Confit Tart with Olive Oil ice cream. It seems there have now been some staff changes and the hotel has really come to the party with an apology to all concerned, with reparations to the Client.  Well done. We are sure they will try harder at the next function they cater for. We found the serving staff very pleasant and helpful, but they seemed not to be kept in the loop by the kitchen. Click here for the photos. They sent us home with wine, an apron and a lovely pair of silver balancing elephant earrings for Lynne and an elephant key ring for John.
Say “Yes” to older Cape Wines     Our small wine club meets once a month and we start at 6.30 and taste wine for approximately two hours. Everyone brings a plate of something and after the tasting we all fill up a plate and stand around chatting and finishing off the wines we have tasted. Last night we had a wonderful tasting of the best wines everyone could find in their personal collection, many of which had been kept for a while. It produced some really exceptional wines and we didn’t have any duplications. The organiser of the tasting was very naughty and he snuck in a boxed wine which he had bottled. Only Lynne liked its strange characteristics – it was a blend of many, many things, so it shows that our group can spot good wine from dodgy. The best wine of the evening with an average score of 17.5 was Grangehurst 2002 Cabernet/Merlot blend (Lynne scored it 18.5  - her top wine of the evening). A classic Bordeaux blend, it was soft, silky and full of juicy fruit. Well done Jeremy Walker. Also amazing were the Raats Granite Block Cabernet Franc 2010, Graham Beck Joshua 2004 - a blend of Shiraz & Viognier, and Cederberg 2009 Shiraz. Buitenverwachting Cabernet Franc 2004 knocked our socks off, as did Guardian Peak 2012 Shiraz. There was a delightful Thelema Sutherland 2009 Syrah and we took along a 1998 Thelema Cabernet, which also got high marks, having lasted very well. It does clearly show that if you can keep our good wines longer, they so reward.
This week’s Recipe     What did we take? Well, often it is on a busy day for us so Lynne has to raid our pantry and this time she found a tin of Curried pilchards from Lucky Star and Tamsin Snyman’s book You Can with Fish that they produced together last year. This is indeed a pantry dish and made some good fish cakes and tartar sauce with a little substitution.
Pantry Pilchard cakes and Tartar sauce
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks – salt - 800g tin of curried pilchard cutlets, well drained of all sauce – 2 eggs, lightly beaten – 1 small onion, very finely chopped – 2 T chopped fresh parsley – ground black pepper – 1 t chilli or Tabasco sauce – canola oil – dry breadcrumbs
Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, drain and mash. When cool, stir in the pilchards, eggs, onion, chilli sauce, black pepper and parsley. Mash well to blend then adjust the seasoning. Mould into small flat cakes about 4 cm across and 1 cm thick and fry them gently on both sides. If they are too sloppy to hold together, add some breadcrumbs until you have a stable mix. Serve with tartar sauce
Quick tartar sauce
To half a cup of mayonnaise (NOT salad cream), add approx 1T each of finely chopped gherkin and pickled onion, snipped chives, chopped parsley.
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. 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. Events outside the Western Cape are listed here.
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

3rd October 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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