Saturday, August 30, 2014

140829 Main Ingredient's MENU - CWG tasting, Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc, Pendock Wine Gallery, Young Wine Awards, pruning Vineyard vines, Chenin Blanc Top 10, Trade wine tastings

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The view from Delaire Graff to Thelema on a wet late winter day
In this week’s MENU:
* Cape Winemakers Guild tasting
* Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc vertical tasting and Gorgeous launch
* Pendock Wine Gallery at the Taj Hotel
* Young Wine Awards
* Learning to prune vines at the Vineyard
* Chenin Blanc Top 10 Awards at Delaire Graff
* Trade wine tastings
* 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 has been a frantic week, and we covered a couple of events on Thursday afternoon and evening which we will have to tell you about next week. MENU is a day late this week anyway. Adding those stories would have meant it reached you even later!
This week’s Product menu – We have a new product for hot chilli fanatics: Mr Pukkah’s Proper Portuguese Peri Peri Chilli Sauce. It has been produced by an enterprising young man who brought it to us when he heard that we no longer had the famous Prego. It has been pasteurised to make sure that it won’t ferment and blow up and he has had it tested in a food science laboratory. We have tasted it and we love it. It’s not just hot, it has great flavour and will add a delicious note to your chicken braai.  See it here
Cape Winemakers Guild tasting     Once a year the Cape Winemakers Guild hold an auction of their member’s wines: This year it will be held on the 4th of October at Spier and if you are a serious wine buyer, this might be the place for you to stock up your cellar with some of the best wines currently available in South Africa. We tasted 42 excellent wines at the sit down guided tasting which is fast and furious. And there were another 19 for tasting informally after that. There are some gems coming up this year in the auction, many of which we will be tempted to bid for, but hope not all are too expensive. And we will be attending for the first time as we no longer work on Saturdays. You can look at the catalogue on the CWG website
We then attended the public tasting that evening where we got to taste previous and current wines entered into the auction and chat with the winemakers. A silent auction is always held at this evening tasting, of past Auction wines donated and signed by the winemakers and we try to bid for some wine, with varying success! This year we only managed to secure a Nitida 2004 Select Shiraz. The money bid in this auction goes to support bursaries for talented young wine students to study further both here and abroad, a worthy cause indeed. One way to support our industry. Read on
Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc vertical tasting and Gorgeous launch     If we have a preference when drinking Champagne and MCC we veer towards a crisper, even Brut Sauvage, style and older vintages, so it was great to be able to taste 5 vintages of Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs with Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira last Friday. We tasted backward from the 2010 to the 2006, which was our favourite and is so lively, perfumed with crisp mousse and full of limes, lemons, umami and leesy with a long finish. Some are still in transition; all are worth drinking now and in the future.
The event was held at the 12 Apostles Hotel and, after the tasting, we were treated to a very good lunch where they announced the release of a new Graham Beck wine, Gorgeous - a pale pink blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, full of peachy citrus, in some very funky packaging. The exclamation was a favourite term of endearment by the late Graham Beck. It is going to be in the R60 price bracket from the farm. Read on
Pendock Wine Gallery at the Taj Hotel    Every week at the Taj Neil Pendock hosts a tasting of different wines. We went along last Wednesday to taste 36 RECM Best Value Merlots which he had assembled. The Hillcrest Quarry Merlot 2011 and the Org de Rac Organic Merlot stood out for us, closely followed by the Welbedacht 2010 and the Diemersdal 2013. The wines change every week. The tasting costs R100 per person and is great fun. Check out his programme here and Read on
Young Wine Awards     Several people were a bit scathing when we said we would be at this awards presentation and we don’t understand why. We see it as a chance, not only to see where the young wines made this year are heading, improving etc., but also as an opportunity to meet some of the young winemakers involved, while they are still at the beginning of their careers. Not all the wine is going to be iconic and some of these are lovely and fresh, but we did taste wines with aging potential. This was held at Grand West Casino last Friday night – there are not many places in Cape Town that can do a stand up wine tasting and a sit down dinner for nearly 360 people - and it was quite a glittering occasion. Read On
Learning to prune vines at the Vineyard     Up bright and early on Saturday morning, admittedly a little bleary eyed after such a hectic week and late night the previous evening, to head for the Vineyard Hotel. It is the season to prune our vines! After a welcome drink of bubbly, it was time to learn how and we found Kevin Arnold a great teacher. John took photos while Lynne honed her pruning skills, then it was off to enjoy a lovely buffet and braai lunch in the Health and Fitness centre, where some delicious vintage wines from the sponsors were brought out of the cellar to enjoy. (Thank you Matt Dietchmann and David Wibberley, the Food and Beverage Managers) Read on
Meridian Trade tasting     This is certainly the season of Trade Wine tastings. We do enjoy them very much, but why have they all been put into one month? It is quite punishing and we suspect that the company that doesn’t organise theirs in the same month as all the others will get a much better attendance. Having said that, this tasting, which was held in the Foyer of Artscape, was very well attended to the point of being overcrowded. Probably because they represent a really impressive range of wine producers. The canapés were also pretty good. Read On
Chenin Blanc Top 10 Awards at Delaire Graff     Chenin Blanc could be the wine that defines South African white wines worldwide and seeing the huge advances in quality, style, sophistication and good marketing of the winners this year, it is possible to believe that this might happen soon. IF ONLY we had government support to promote SA wines overseas. Standard Bank are the involved sponsors of these awards and they do a very good job of seeing that their support goes, not just into the awards, but into the community. Each of the top 10 wines was awarded R20 000 - with the proviso that this money should be used in the farm’s local community for upliftment. And there are some very good initiatives.
The Awards were followed by an excellent lunch, produced by Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell, who gave us 5 courses, each perfectly matched to two of the winning wines. Read On
DGB Trade Tasting     We drove back from Stellenbosch to the President Hotel in Sea Point for this tasting which is, thankfully, only 5 minutes away from our home. The weather was becoming quite foul, so we went to taste a few of their brands and talk to some of our winemaker friends before going home to finish writing MENU and for John to edit hundreds of photographs from a very busy wine-filled week. Read On
ENTER AND WIN     Excelsior wine estate is celebrating 100 years of hospitality at Excelsior Manor Guesthouse - on a working wine farm in Robertson – this month and they are giving away 100 cases of Excelsior wine in celebration! Enter here to stand the chance of winning 1 of 3 cases of wine daily! Until 31st August. So do it now! All entries stand a chance to win the Grand Prize of an all-inclusive 2-night stay at 4 Star Excelsior Manor for you and a friend. The competition is open to South African residents only.
Groote Post New Sunday Market     We will be attending this on Sunday – as guests, not participants. It will be a chance to see the West Coast flowers on our way up and on the farm and to see what Groote Post have put together. The weather promises sunny and fine, if a little nippy. We hope to see lots of you come out to join us. Do you know that they have wonderful game drives, but they need to be booked.
This week’s recipe is a Frittata, a nice quick easy supper using up some things you might have in your fridge.
200g spinach and broccoli – 1 onion, sliced – 1 T olive oil – 1 T butter – 6 small Roma tomatoes cut in half -100 g spicy Spanish chorizo, cut into rounds and then halves - 4 spring onions, chopped – 6 peppadews, sliced into chunks – 40 g grated cheese – 6 eggs, beaten – salt and pepper - 1 T smoked Spanish paprika
Steam the green vegetables till tender, drain well and roughly chop. In a large frying pan or chafing dish, fry the onion in the oil and butter till just turning golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute or two. Add the chorizo and fry till it is becoming warm and slightly crisp. Add the steamed vegetables to the pan with the spring onions and the peppadews. Cook for a moment or two to warm everything through. Beat the eggs, season well and stir in the grated cheese. Pour over the mixture in the pan, stir once to blend and cook till you see the egg beginning to set on the bottom. Dust the surface with some of the smoked paprika. Turn your grill to high and put the dish underneath it until the surface is puffed, the cheese is starting to turn golden and the egg is cooked through. Serve with a salad. You can also add any leftover ham or chicken or other cooked meat you have or left over vegetables. Serves three to four.
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

29th August 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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Friday, August 29, 2014

DGB Trade Show at the Protea President, Sea Point

The latest in a series of trade wine tastings, The Douglas Green Bellingham trade show was held at the Protea President Hotel in Sea Point.
Lisa Keulder and Jacques Roux of Graham Beck
Graham Beck MD Chris du Toit enjoying the evening with Lezanne Kriel and Lisa Keulder
Sumari Kotze with the Douglas Green Saints range
Bronwynne Mooney of Makro Cape Gatewith Brian Smth of KRP Wines
Janine de Roubaix & Timothy Witbooi of Lourensford
Lizelle Gerber, who makes Boschendal's white wines
with Andre van Rensburg, Vergelegen cellarmaster
Diedre Taylor showed us Kanonkop's wines
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

Top 10 Chenin blanc Awards at Delaire Graff

Chenin Blanc could be the wine that defines South African wines worldwide and seeing the huge advances in quality, style, sophistication and good marketing of the winners this year, it is possible to believe that this might happen soon.  IF ONLY we had government support to promote SA wines overseas.  Standard Bank are the involved sponsors of these awards and do a very good job to see that their support goes not just into the awards but into the community.  Each of the top 10 wines were awarded R20,000 with the proviso that this money is used in their local community for upliftment.  And there are some very good initiatives. 
The Awards were followed by an excellent lunch produced by Exec Chef Christaan Campbell who gave us 5 courses, each perfectly matched to two of the winning wines.
Arriving on a really stormy day
We assembled in the Lounge
Drinking some bubblies made from Chenin Blanc and standing next to a lovely roaring fire
Canapes came around. These were small choux buns filled with a butternut puree
General Manager of Delaire Graff Johann Laubser chatting to Christine Rudman and Lacea Smit of Spier
Another tray of delicious canapés. These delicious deep fried rosti balls were stuffed surprisingly with lovely smoked trout
The crowd swells
These were the Bubblies we were drinking, all made from Chenin blanc by the Methode Cap Classique
Another very interesting canapé.  A firm cone stuffed with beef tartare and topped with sour cream  Some found this a little difficult to eat
Journalist Norman McFarlane with David Sonnenberg, owner of Diemersfontein
Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell with Ilse Distin, DGR Restaurant Reservations Manager
Shanté Hutton in her snood with Mike Bampfield Duggan
Chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association, Ken Forrester opens proceedings
We are all awaiting the names of the top 10 Chenins
Winnie Bowman CWM with Mark Norrish, Ultra Liquors Wine selector
A table full of winners and media
These were the interesting accompaniments to bread: a thick Mushroom paté, fresh labneh cheese, flake salt and black pepper and beef dripping with, possibly, a truffle aroma
Christian Eedes announces the awards
The mainstay of the Chenin Blanc Association, the person who quietly and with great assurance makes things happen, Ina Smith
All the award winners in a group shot
The very interesting menu could then be handed out because it contains the list of the winners; two of each were served with the five courses
A cold smoky umami broth containing balls of very fresh raw tuna, a pineapple mousse and herbs.  This perfectly picked up the nuances of the two supporting wines even if the cold broth was not universally appreciated.   We had tasted the Perdeberg this week, before the awards and we knew when we did that this was an award winning wine.  It performs far, far above its class.
With the glasses required for every course, our tables became quite crowded. Most people only sip the wines but you do want to return to them later, to see how they have opened up or how they go with different dishes
A perfectly cooked piece of rare and tender quail on a bed of creamy millet accompanied by a quenelle topped with toasted almond. We almost never see millet these days so this was refreshing and has inspired some of us to find some.
The next course was of cured oysters served with fresh de-skinned peas and broad beans, with pea shoots and flowers in an oyster broth

Lynne’s alternative was a beautiful thick slice of smoked salmon served in a similar way
Simonsig wine maker Hannes Meyer
Our table companions were Reinhilde and her husband winemaker Christaan Visser, both of Villiera
Craig Polkinghorne Head of Business Banking at Standard Bank told us what the winners were going to do with their awards to improve their local community.  Many were contributing to the Pebbles Project which works with children affected by alcohol. Others were supporting local schools and crèches and renovating workers restrooms, supporting local schools with container classrooms, computers, printers, buses and trucks to get kids and supplies to school, after school homework and other projects and Villiera are supporting a school leavers project to make sure they get trained and get jobs.  The money is obviously being used wisely and carefully
Johan van Wyk, Western Cape Provincial Director at Standard Bank Group
Ken Forrester thanking the sponsors, Standard Bank
We don’t have a photograph of the main course of Happy hog pork belly and neck served with apple, pear and parsley but of special note were the small compressed green apple balls which added so much perfume and flavour to the dish and cut through the lovely rich pork so well
And finally dessert . And cleverly, because we did not have any sweeter Chenins, Christiaan served a savoury ‘dessert’. A Huguenot cheese brulée with salted pecan nuts and flavours of minneola oranges as a purée dotted on the plate
The Chef and the Organiser! Both talented people
Although the weather was awful and we were hit with a huge storm during lunch the views were superb
Sunlight and rain hitting the mountain and vineyards of Thelema across the valley
And as we left, the sun came out,  highlighting the new spring bud break on the vines. A lovely event

The Top 10 wines are listed below, followed by the cellar door price and an extract from the panel’s tasting report:
·         Bellingham The Old Orchard's 2013 (R95) – “Rich and ripe”;
·         Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2013 (R141) – “Very stylish”;
·         KWV The Mentors 2012 (R160) – “Concentrated and pure”;
·         Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Barrel Fermented 2013 (R73) “A powerful but well balanced wine”;
·         Remhoogte Honeybunch Reserve 2013 (R150) – “A good line of acidity ensures balance”;
·         Rijk’s Cellars Private Cellar 2009 (R130) – “A blockbuster”;
·         Simonsig Chenin Avec Chêne 2010 (R110) – “Really well executed”;
·         Spier Woolworths Private Collection 2013 (Woolworths price: R109.95) – “Totally seductive”;
·         Stellenrust 2014 (R44) – “Really flavourful”; and

·         Villiera Traditional Barrel Fermented 2014 (R94.50) – “Shows real finesse and balance
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014