Thursday, October 02, 2014

141002 Main Ingredient's MENU - L’Avenir Pinotage & Lodge, Joostenberg Spring menu, Seductive Sauvignons, Franschhoek Uncorked, Foliage, Winchester Mansions Brunch, Plaisir de Merle launch, Elgin Pinot Tweetup, Victoria Sponge Cake

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L’Avenir’s resident grey heron surveys his domain
In this week’s MENU:
* L’Avenir Pinotage Vertical Tasting
* L’Avenir Lodge
* Joostenberg Spring menu
* Seductive Sauvignons at The Vineyard
* Franschhoek Uncorked
* Lunch at Foliage
* Jazz Brunch at Winchester Mansions
* Plaisir de Merle wine launch with lunch
* Elgin Pinot Noir Tweet up
* Another little Rant from Lynne on Copyright
* Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake
* 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    Truffle season has been and gone, so any of you who want fresh truffles need to wait till next season. However, we do have preserved black truffles, white and black truffle oil and truffle salt and some other truffle related products to enhance your dishes.  See them here
L’Avenir Pinotage Vertical Tasting      To have the opportunity to go back to 1996 and taste all the eight L’Avenir Pinotages which have reached the top 10 in the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage competition over the last few years was a very special opportunity. We were very fortunate to have Mauritian-born former owner Marc Wiehe with us. He bought the farm in 1992. It had been growing grapes for Nederburg in Paarl. Pharmacist Francois Naude, who had more passion for making wine than for pushing pills, was hired as winemaker and a legacy was born. By 2004, no Pinotage had been named in the top ten as frequently in the annual Top Ten Pinotage Competition as L'Avenir, with seven out of eight vintages in the Top Ten.
Marc Wiehe sold the farm in 2005 to French winemaker, Michel Laroche of Chablis. In 2010 Laroche merged with the Jeanjean family and L'Avenir became part of the AdVini group, one of the largest wine producers in France.
We started the tasting with the 1996, which still shows soft fruit, soft tannins and has the Pinot parent peeping through, more than the Cinsaut. It still has some time to offer! It’s an old style, but has lovely fruit. We then tasted through 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2011. All these Pinotages were made by Francois Naude, who guided us through the tasting, with the exception of the 2011, which was made by the current winemaker Dirk Coetzee. You can see the progression of these wines as the vines aged and matured and the change in style as the years went by and more was learned about how to treat this difficult grape, in the vineyard, in the cellar and in the bottle. L’Avenir produces great Pinotage.
The tasting was held in their tasting room and it was followed by supper on the terrace – thankfully with lots of space heaters. The food had been catered by Bertus Basson’s staff and was delicious. READ ON
L’Avenir Lodge     L’Avenir had wanted us to stay at their Lodge for a while and this was the perfect occasion to do so, as driving back to Cape Town after such a tour de force of wine, which finished rather late, was not an option. We were given one of the best rooms in the Lodge and had a superbly comfortable stay. READ ON
Joostenberg Spring menu     After breakfast at L’Avenir’s Lodge we did some cheese shopping at Parmalat’s Simonsberg cheese factory shop in Stellenbosch and then drove through to Joostenberg, where Susan and Chef Christophe Dehosse had invited us to join them for lunch to try out their new menu in their recently refurbished restaurant. It was lovely to discover that Hartenberg cellarmaster Carl Schultz and his wife Karen had also been invited, as well as co-owner/winemaker Tyrrel Myburgh’s wife Anette. Tyrell was in the USA, marketing their wines. We had a very gemütlich lunch with lovely food, good wine and wonderful company – all the ingredients of a wonderful meal. READ ON
Seductive Sauvignons at The Vineyard     Then it was a quick trip home to unpack the car, fetch a friend from Europe who was staying at the Winchester Mansions and tohare off to The Vineyard Hotel for Wine Concepts’ Seductive Sauvignon wine show. Were we tired? Hell no, when faced with over 107 wines to taste. Many farms showed both Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. And there were many seriously good wines to sample READ ON
Franschhoek Uncorked     On Saturday, we took our friend Terry to this Franschhoek festival. We collected our tickets and glasses from Babylonstoren which gave us a chance to show him their amazing gardens. Unknowingly, we arrived at the perfect weekend to see their collection of over 5000 clivias in full bloom. It was a superb site. You can walk through the clivia wood and admire those planted plus a good display of other unusual and beautiful hybrids in pots. Then it was off into Franschhoek in time for our lunch booking at Foliage. After lunch we called in at Haute Cabrière, who had such a fun event going on in their marquee. We tasted their wine and bubbly, had a bit of a bop to the band and threw some balls at a rubber ring in the lake to try to win a bottle of Ratafia. No, we didn’t get one. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday. READ ON
Lunch at Foliage     Foliage Restaurant was opened recently by talented Chef Chris Erasmus, formerly at La Motte. As he puts it, the cuisine is “From farm and forest to the plate.” We have wanted to try it out since he opened, so the festival seemed the perfect occasion to book. We had two courses each and loved the food and the house wine choices. READ ON
Jazz Brunch at Winchester Mansions     This has become an institution at the Winchester. Once a month in the off season, more frequently in the summer, you arrive a 11 and stay till 2 and in the process listen to jazz, eat breakfast, morning tea, sushi, and finish with a full Sunday lunch and dessert. And all for a very reasonable charge of R350 per person. They provide a glass of Miss Molly Bubbly to start the morning and the Sunday Papers READ ON
Plaisir de Merle wine launch with lunch     Plaisir de Merle invited us to join them at the launch of their new Petit Plaisir red, a Shiraz-driven blend with lunch at The Dining Room in Woodstock, owned by the talented Karin Dudley. Petit Plaisir means small pleasure, but this is anything but small. It is a lovely, sweet and soft blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a scant 0.7% Viognier, which shows its presence despite the small amount. It is easy to quaff and great with food. We suspect we will be seeing this on wine lists all over the country soon. READ ON
Elgin Pinot Noir Tweet up     This “Tweet Up” was held at Cork and Chalk Pizza place in Kloof Street and we tasted and tweeted our opinions of 12 Elgin Pinot Noirs, while in Elgin the farms’ winemakers met to do their own tasting, tweeting and watching the tweets we were sending. All the tweets from both venues are projected onto screens in each venue. It is a good way for the producers to get an idea of what people think of their wines. And there were some really impressive Pinot Noirs on show. Our high scorers of the twelve wines tasted were from Catherine Marshall, Elgin Vintners, Iona, Lothian, Oak Valley, Paul Cluver, Paul Wallace and Shannon.
Another little Rant from Lynne on Copyright     Since my last rant the results have been encouraging. John has had some good orders for his photographs from professional organisations. We say “Thank You”. BUT why do some people think that using someone else’s image on social media doesn’t require payment or permission? You are getting worldwide coverage using someone else’s labour, which doesn’t come for free. And you have to pay for that. If you can’t take a usable photograph yourself, realise you are paying for expertise. If you can’t fix your car, you need a mechanic. The same logic applies. Don’t steal images; the copyright does not belong to you. And its use without permission is a crime, which is enforceable by law.
This week’s recipe was requested by a friend in the media who, like Lynne, has been devoted to the BBC Programme Great British Bake Off, which finished this week and will be sadly missed. She wanted a good recipe for a classic Victoria Sponge. It is a long time since Lynne made one, but this recipe from The Constance Spry Cookery Book is simple and has sensible instructions, geared to easily measurable proportions.
Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake    
Ingredients: 3 eggs. Their weight in each of butter, castor sugar and self raising flour (or 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and plain flour). Raspberry or strawberry jam. Icing or caster sugar for dusting the top. Whipped cream is an option.
Set your oven to 180°C. Cream the butter until it looks like whipped cream. Add the sugar and beat until white. Add the eggs, one at a time, with a good spoonful of sifted flour. Beat thoroughly. Sift the baking powder with the remaining flour, stir quickly into the mixture. Turn into two tins, 7 inches across (17 or 18 cm will work) that have been well buttered and floured. Bake in a moderate oven 180°C for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn out onto a rack. When cool, sandwich well with a good jam. Powder with icing sugar or castor sugar. You could also add some whipped cream on top of the jam.
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, has a variety of courses. 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.
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

2nd October 2014
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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 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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