Thursday, June 19, 2014

140619 Main Ingredient's MENU - Sense of Taste, KWV Fortifieds, Burgundy Festival, Calitzdorp Port Festival

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A misty rainbow behind De Ou Pastorie between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp
In this week’s MENU:
* Calitzdorp Port Festival
* KWV Fortified Wines at Societi Bistro
* Burgundy Lovers’ Festival at The Vineyard Hotel
* Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School launch
To get the whole of our story, please click on MORE... at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the blog with pictures. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back.
This week’s Product menu – This is definitely Cassoulet weather.  This once a year rib-sticking but slightly sophisticated country dish is only possible with good duck confit and the correct white beans, both from France.  And you can get them from us........ See them here.
If you can find it in the supermarket, we don't usually stock it, just the products you would struggle to find.... Check our online shop to see more details and prices.
This has been another very busy work-filled week and we have certainly moved around the country and had a great deal of entertainment and fun. Winter breaks are always so rewarding when you have been working so hard and we have tried to blend work with travel and great events, despite the cold and wet weather. Following our visit to the Calitzdorp Port Festival, we had a welcome break, as we had been invited to review some very nice accommodation in Knysna and Hermanus, which we will be writing about next week. John still has to process lots of great photographs when we get home! We have two more events on Wednesday and another on Thursday (which we will write about next week) so this week’s MENU is being done on our laptops while we are travelling.
“Port” in South Africa – an explanation     Officially, we are no longer allowed to call the fortified wines we make in the port style, “Port”. But no-one yet has come up with a better name (as was done for Champagne, our local equivalent that we now call Methode Cap Classique or MCC). We are writing this week about the Port Festival and that is what the organizers call it. So we have continued to use the word port so our readers will not be confused when we write about tastings we do of ports and wines made from port varietals like Tinta Barocca etc.
Calitzdorp Port Festival     Have you ever visited the quiet and very hospitable little town of Calitzdorp in the Karoo? We have once before, but have always wanted to attend their famous Port Festival. On Saturday, we left home really early and drove the 375 Km through to Calitzdorp for this annual festival of Port and the other delights which Calitzdorp wine farms produce. They organise a weekend crammed full of events and the restaurants come to the party as well. Calitzdorp was so full we had to book ourselves into accommodation in Oudtshoorn and drove the 47 Km back and forth, but it was worth it. MORE.....
We arrived at the festival site at the old station a little before midday and went straight into the hall for a tasting of some ports, wines made with port grapes and some muscadels and other sweet wines. We started at Mike Neebe’s Axe Hill stand and love his cleverly named wine Distinta, made from Shiraz and Tinta Barocca. Plus his 4 star Cape Vintage Port and his Cape White Port. Next door to him was old mate Peter Bayly with his terrific hand crafted 4 star Cape Vintage Port, excellent White Port and his red blend made from Port varietals and named simply III. Peter recently received a gold medal for his Cape Vintage 2004 at the Port Producers Awards. We also tasted through the TTT range and some Bernheim and John tasted some of Margaux Nel and Leon Coetzee’s very interesting Vagabond Viognier and Hoeksteen Chenin. MORE.....
After a quick Kudu burger it was off to Boplaas for a pairing of port, port varietal wines and brownies. It was a great deal of fun but, most of us agreed, the sweet and decadent flour free brownies (made by Eric Labuschagne of Yummi in Stellenbosch) do go better with the port than the table wine. MORE.....
That evening we joined Boets Nel at De Krans for one of their ‘secret’ dinners. This was entitled Boere Barok and the mystery chefs were Francois Ferreira and Toinette du Toit. We had a selection of very enjoyable Calitzdorp wines and ports with dinner, including some of Boets Nel’s De Krans Cape Vintage 2011 which won the Miles Mossop Trophy for Best Cape Port at the Old Mutual Awards. MORE.....
Next morning we had a lovely breakfast at Handelshuis before leaving for Knysna. Thank you so much Calitzdorp. MORE.....
KWV Fortified Wines at Societi Bistro     Another chance for us to taste some of these lovely local treasures, which we so wish more people would drink and appreciate. KWV successfully, deservedly and successively capture trophies and awards for this category of wines. From a stunning dry fino sherry (which we tried to persuade Richard Rowe to market in a smaller bottle and more aggressively so we can find it) to a museum class Full Cream made from 44 year old vines and the Tawny Port from a 25 year solera, it was indeed a discovery of the Jewels of KWV wines.
The wines were matched with really impressive food from Societi Bistro, a place we feel we have neglected of late and it is due for a return soon. Lynne is still dreaming of the salt baked camembert with the Tawny Port and the Chicken liver parfait with the red Muscadel…. yes please, more...... These wines match so well with all food, not just dessert, to which they are usually restricted by people who have not experimented. MORE.....
Burgundy Lovers’ Festival at The Vineyard Hotel     This annual festival, run by Wine Concepts, showcases some of the very best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that we make in South Africa and this year it was so difficult to choose favourites as the quality of both has increased so markedly. It is also held in Johannesburg and all the wines are on special at the festival. Many of the wines we love have already been mentioned recently, as they have won prestigious awards, but we can still point you to some more great wines. Edgebaston 2013 Chardonnay really impressed as did the Mulderbosch 2010 barrel fermented. The two Springfield Chardonnays, Wild Yeast 2012 and Methode Ancienne 2009 are showing beautifully. Richard Kershaw’s Elgin Clonal Selection Chardonnnay 2012 is a big wine and very French in character as is the De Wetshof Bateleur 2012, while the Vriesenhof 2013 Chardonnay is a great food wine. Our favourite on the night was Glen Carlou’s Quartz Stone 2012.
We never manage to do the Pinot Noirs as much justice as the Chardonays, as we always seem to run out of time, but we loved the Crystallum 2012, Glen Carlou 2008 in a magnum, the slightly salty Strandveld 2010,and the very French Springfield Pinot Noir which Abri Bruwer has finally released. He is such a perfectionist...  MORE.....
Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School launch      This was held last week at the premises of Sense of Taste in Maitland. We have done a short cooking course with the owner Pete Ayub and know what a good teacher he is. We think this two year City and Guilds course will equip the students for a good career in the food industry. MORE....
No recipe this week, sadly, as Lynne hasn’t cooked anything exciting while travelling. We both gained a kilo this week. Damn. But not surprised.
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 and drives the wheels that enable us to produce MENU possible. 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. If you wish to come to our home, please phone ahead to ensure that we have what you want in stock and to make sure that we are at home. We are often out!
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. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here.
In addition to the new Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs courses for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nad├Ęge 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 Thursday evenings and she has decided to introduce LCHF (Banting classes). The Kitchen Confidence classes, which focus on essential cooking skills and methods, have been expanded and are now taught over 2 evenings. She continues to host private dining and culinary team building events at her home. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here





20th June 2014
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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 and standard or Dutch-flavoured Afrikaans.
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