Thursday, July 31, 2014

We luv Wine @ Cape Gate Pinotage and biltong tasting preview at L'Avenir, Stellenbosch

This tasting for the public will take place on Friday, 22nd August between 17h00 and 21h00 and Saturday, 23rd August between 12h00- and 18h00. See details here. Today, we joined other members of the fourth estate at a media prequel of the festival, which included a tasting of some of SA’s best Pinotages, matched with a selection of biltong and dried wors (sausage). A light lunch which followed was a biltong quiche from Joubert & Monty’s cook book . You can taste these wines and more, together with Joubert & Monty’s range of biltongs and droë wors as well as delicacies from other sources, at the festival. Pebbles Project will be the beneficiary of the festival and their representatives will be present to spread their message and raise funds and awareness. Today’s tasting was held in the tasting room at L’Avenir in Stellenbosch
Warmly welcomed by Cobie van Oort of CVO Marketing and Francois Naude, who has a long association with L’Avenir as the previous winemaker and, now, as a consultant
On the edge of the dam close to us, a grey heron poses for the camera
A welcome glass of some L’Avenir Brut Rosé for everyone
The table inside the tasting room, set for the tasting, was also covered in biltong and wors
Cobie tells us how the tasting will go. Each wine will be paired with one flavour of biltong or wors. We can decide whether they work or not, or if the wine would be better with another flavour
No vegetarians were invited and no vegetables were harmed at this tasting
Kyle Kristal, sales manager at Joubert and Monty, tells us how the company has grown and about the products
Dirk Coetzee, L’Avenir’s winemaker, tells us about his wine
These were the pairings we were asked to make. All the farms gave us two pinotages from their cellars apart from Raka, who only had one. All of the pinotages were enjoyable and drinkable - and that is from Lynne, who is not usually a big fan of this grape varietal, unless the wine is over 10 years old
Both delicious pinotages from L’Avenir went very well with the secret recipe biltong
Lemon and herb is not a flavour many of us associate with biltong, but it did match nicely with the Rhebokskloof. The Pearlstone is sweet and smoky with a herbal tangy nose. The very, very good 2012 Estate wine is full of licorice and smoky whiffs, with delicious red and black cherries. It is soft and approachable with warm alcohol. It was Lynne’s favourite of the tasting. Frankly, it would go with anything. Except perhaps the chilli, which might overwhelm the elegance
Sweet red pepper biltong was also a new one for us and was not unattractive, as the sweet pimento flavours did meld nicely with the two vintages of the 21 Gables top end pinotage. The 2011 is herbal and spicy on the nose with turmeric, lovely soft fruit and some nice warm chilli spice on the end. So it could stand up to the chilli biltongs. We were very interested to hear about their new optical grape sorter and would love to see it in operation next harvest. An expensive rarity that can make a huge difference to wines.
Raka was paired with the spicy BBQ and and its black pepper earthiness on the nose and good structure with sweet fruit and chalky spiciness was a conundrum with this biltong. Perhaps better with a milder flavour

Lanzerac pinotages were paired with the smoky sweet chilli and the Irresistible chilli and were a little overwhelmed by the chilli. The Pionier 2011 is a great wine, with sweet and sour fruit and good chalky tannins to make it last. The chilli gave it too much of a blast and the 2012 from the premium range was flattened by the chilli. This would have been better with the red pepper flavour
Some happy attendees: blogger Anel Grobler, Yolanda Martins from Spier and Adinda Booysen, Marketing Manager from Lanzerac
We hear about the wines
Adinda Booysen tells us about Lanzerac wines
Girls having fun while working
and enjoying being with L'Avenir's handsome winemaker Dirk Coetzee
Time to go through to lunch on the terrace
Lots of jollity and more wine to taste
Two slices of biltong and mushroom quiche with a leaf and crouton salad ‘dressed’ with grated cheese and biltong. We didn’t see any oil and vinegar
Old friends catching up
Dirk and Francois, L'Avenir's winemaker and his predecessor

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

Peruvian inspiration for dinner with Martin Moore at Durbanville Hills

Taste your way around the World   Durbanville Hills Wines are taking guests on an eight-week journey to discover the foods and cultures of countries from around the world - paired with Durbanville Hills wines and typical cuisine from New Zealand, Spain and the other countries which their winemakers have visited, while promoting the wines of Durbanville Hills. These culinary journeys are happening on Wednesday evenings until September 3rd. Your tour guide might be Cellarmaster Martin Moore, whose business travels inspired these tastings, red winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee or white winemaker Gunther Kellerman – all are avid cooks. The cost is R280 per person. Contact Simone Brown at or 021 558 1300 to book or visit the website for more information
We had been invited to try last night’s journey to the food of Peru and we had a ball. Recent food fashions dictated that we have all had to discover Vietnamese food, then it was Spain and el Bulli, then foraging with the Scandinavians. Now, according to Martin, Peruvian food is going to be the next big thing world-wide. Many of the ingredients we eat today originated in South and Central America, like chillies, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, maize, avocados, quinoa (pronounced keenwa) and chocolate. We quote: “Foods that were prepared by ancient civilizations are still enjoyed today, while typical Peruvian dishes have also benefited from European, African and Asian influences. Peru's geographic characteristics yield diverse ingredients: abundant seafood from the Pacific, tropical fruits from the jungle and unusual varieties of grains and potatoes from the Andes”. We have eaten some Peruvian food at Keenwa restaurant in town and enjoyed it very much, so it was with a keen sense of anticipation that we sat down to dinner with Martin Moore, our able guide … READ ON......
Sunset over Durbanville and down to the sea at Blaauwberg
Welcoming faces in the tasting room
A very good welcome was the Pisco sour, Peru’s famous cocktail
We all gather kin the reception area, before going upstairs to the restaurant for dinner
Taking our places at the long table
Martin Moore explains the food of Peru and tells of his many trips there on business. After three trips, he fell in love with the people and the food. It is a culinary adventure, he says
He tells us of the amazing diversity of Peru. There are 32 officially recognized climatic regions in the world. Peru has 28, from the dry desert coastline through the tropics, right up to the high Andes.
A line up of glasses to be filled with Durbanville Hills wine to match the food
Chef Louisa Greeff did a marvellous job, producing Peruvian food with little experience and many recipes from the internet. Ingredients were also a challenge to source
Martin introduces her to us
We learn more details of Peru. Lynne makes notes
The interesting menu
Our first course arrives:  Papa a la Huancaina (not ‘The father of the hurricane’ as Lynne assumed, but the more prosaic "Huancayo style potatoes" ! )
A mild cheese is added to a sauce,  which is mixed with a nice kick of warm chilli and other spices. The sauce is then thickened with ground salty crackers! This is poured over sliced boiled potatoes and topped with a hard boiled egg and some salty olive slices. It is served cold. Sounds ordinary? It wasn’t. Full of flavour and a really good compliment to the earthy potatoes. Might be worth trying at home. Peru has hundreds of varieties of potato. Paired with the Durbanville Hills Chardonnay which added a little roundness and sweetness to the dish
The next course, Anticuchos, is street food on every corner in Peru. Well flavoured grilled meat on a skewer, served with grilled corn. You might find that your lunch is guinea pig, or other rare meat. We were served beef and it was very tender and nicely cooked. The grill burn on the corn is also great, as it caramelises the corn. Nicely paired with the full fruit Rhinofields Pinotage
Martin tells us the story of Ceviche, fish ‘cooked’ in lime or other citrus juice. It was an Incan dish but, apparently, was improved immeasurably by the arrival of Japanese immigrants in the last century The sauce that cooks the raw fish is known as Leche de Tigre (tiger’s milk). This is added only just before serving
It was served with some corn, and a slice of potato. Nice lime flavour on tender morsels of fresh raw fish. And it went so well with the Rhinofields Sauvignon Blanc, that Lynne was motivated to buy 6 bottles to take home.
The next dish was not a poem on the plate, but it was pure comfort food. Aji de Galina is shredded chicken in a thick sauce, with garlic walnuts and cheese and is served on basmati rice. Lovely with the Rhinofields Chardonnay
And then came dessert. Pionono is described as jelly rolls and was the lightest swiss sponge filled with jam and cream and some dolche de leche, which is caramelised condensed milk - a South American fixation found everywhere there. And on our supermarket shelves too! We were served Rhinofields absolutely delicious Noble Late Harvest and couldn’t decide which we liked more, the dessert or this sweet honeyed wine
The entrance to the  winery at night
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

140724 Main Ingredient's MENU - 10 yrs Saronsberg Shiraz, Steenberg, De Grendel's new chardonnay, Dynasty Chinese

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
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The Sea Point beachfront with a gathering storm and a “hat” on Lion’s Head – a sure sign of turbulent weather
In this week’s MENU:
* Launch of a big Chardonnay at De Grendel in Durbanville
* Tasting 10 vintages of Saronsberg Shiraz
* Steenberg wines at Bistro 1682
* This week’s Recipe: Poached chicken
* Food and wine (and a few other) events for you to enjoy
* Learn about wine and cooking
To get the whole of our story, please click on READ ON..... at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the related blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
This week’s Product menu – The fourth season of The Great British Bake Off starts this week. If you are inspired, we do stock Nielsen Massey real extracts: Vanilla Bean paste, Vanilla, Orange, Lemon, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Mint, Rose Water and Orange Blossom Water. ................. See them all here
We’ve enjoyed three completely different wine tastings this week combined with three completely different restaurant lunches
Launch of a big Chardonnay at De Grendel in Durbanville     De Grendel’s wines always impress, the restaurant produces very good food and the farm has one of the best views of Table Bay and the mountain in the country. On Tuesday we were invited to taste the wine ‘Op die Berg’ 2013 Chardonnay, paired with a three course menu prepared by chef Ian Bergh and his team who are all on show in their open kitchen.  READ ON....
Tasting 10 vintages of Saronsberg Shiraz      We feel very privileged when we are invited to this sort of tasting. Saronsberg winemaker Dewaldt Heyns took us through the ten vintages of their Shiraz at Auslese this week, followed by lunch with our favourites. To see the progression of this wine on one table is amazing and very, very interesting. It started out as a big, full on spicy, warm Shiraz and, as the vines have aged, it has turned into a Northern Rhône style shiraz, full of minerality and refined layers of flavours, but still recognisable as the same wine. Lynne had two very different favourites, the award winning block buster from 2007 and the elegant 2010. Hard to believe that they are from the same vines, but what a marvellous progression. We have all asked if we can do this again in another 10 years so that we can taste 20 years of the wines progress! Here’s hoping we will all still be around tasting wine.  READ ON....
Steenberg wines at Bistro 1682     Another one of those terrible days. Storm sweeping an from the North West, we headed off to Steenberg to meet Marketing manager Caroline van Schalkwyk in the tasting lounge, where she warmly welcomed us with a glass of their new Sauvignon Blanc bubbly. Not an MCC, not enough time on the lees, more of a Prosecco fresh and crisp, a sparkly style. Then we sat down and tasted through some of their other wines before going through to the restaurant for what turned out to be a very long lunch indeed. Were we having a good time? Yes, you bet, or we might have left at a decent hour. And we were captivated by Chef Brad Ball’s food from his new Bistro style menu.  READ ON....
Building a Dynasty     We do try to support our local Sea Point restaurants as often as we can, despite being invited out to many others all over the Cape. Dynasty is where we go the most, it is close to home, we know them well now and if Lynne doesn’t feel like cooking or gets a longing for good sushi or excellent authentic Chinese food, it is to Dynasty that we go. They are in the Nedbank Building on the Corner of Kloof Road and Irwinton road. We thought you might like to see their food.  READ ON....
How to Poach a Chook     Not so much a recipe this week as a cooking suggestion. Determined to recreate the really moist chicken at De Grendel, Lynne happened to watch one of the closing episodes of Masterchef Professional Australia, where they cooked a whole chicken in a very different way. We are definitely going to try this out this weekend and thought you might like to hear about the method and try it yourself. But we offer no guarantees that it will work for us, or for you.
You need a huge pot of what they call a Master Stock. Enviably, Brad at 1682 has one that is 8 years old. Many other chefs have their own too. Ours will be as aged as it takes to assemble it. Here is the recipe from the internet:
Masterchef Master Stock
600ml light soy sauce – 1 litre good chicken stock - ½ bottle sake (or you can use Shao Xin rice wine) - 1 tsp ground star anise – 1½ cinnamon sticks - 1 large knob ginger, chopped - 4 garlic cloves, chopped - 2 cups caster sugar - ½ orange, pared zest
And here is Matt Preston’s recipe for poaching the chicken:
HERE'S how to simply poach your chook for that delicate softer-set flesh using a simpler version of the steps taught to me by Peter Gilmore of Quay in Sydney.
Step 1) Buy a 1.5kg bird - the best you can afford. The quality of the flesh will shine through with this form of poaching. First check the bird's cavity and remove the giblets if included. Now rinse the bird inside and out and dry using kitchen towel or a spotlessly clean tea towel.
Step 2) Pick a pot with a lid that will comfortably hold the bird without swamping it. Now bring three litres of stock or a 2:1 ratio mixture of stock and water with your choice aromatics to the boil. Have a kettle of freshly boiled water handy. Slip the bird in breast side down into the pot so the stock covers it. Add more boiling water from the kettle, if needed, to cover the chook.
Step 3) Remove the pot from the heat, bang on the lid and leave for an hour. Do not let the chook sit in the pot until the stock goes cold but remove it from the stock after an hour and place in the fridge to cool. After an hour or so the barely poached pink chook flesh will be ready to pull apart for salads or popping in a pie. Just rub the chook all over with a little sesame oil, cut into segments and serve with boiled rice and steamed bok choi for a healthy meal. Served this way, the chook is perfect with my spring onion relish or red chilli relish - see
It's not an exact science but, for a larger bird, I use more stock and leave it in the stock 15 minutes longer.
As they say on The Great British Bake Off, “COOK!” That fabulous show’s third season is back this weekend and Lynne, who rarely bakes, will be glued to the TV for the whole enjoyable series.
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 type of event 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 list of wine and food pairing dinners, list of Special events with wine and/or food connections, list of Wine Shows and Tastings and list of special dinner events. All the events are listed in date order and we 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
The Hurst Campus, an accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, will soon start a new series of short courses in baking. Check the ad in our blog page or 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 a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek 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

24th July 2014
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 and standard 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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