Friday, October 10, 2014

141009 Main Ingredient's MENU -Vondeling, CWG Auction, Veritas Awards, Riesling & Rabbit, Season of Sauvignon, Fig, gorgonzola and biltong salad

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Table Mountain, 55 Km as the crow flies from the top of Kanonkop hill on Vondeling, Voor Paardeberg
In this week’s MENU:
* Vondeling Méthode Ancestrale
* A quiet lunch at La Bohème
* Huge gains at Cape Winemakers Guild Auction
* This year’s Veritas Awards
* Riesling and Rabbit at the Table Bay Hotel
* Launch of Michael Broughton’s new Terroir cookbook
* Durbanville Season of Sauvignon festival media launch
* Important festivals this month
* This week’s Recipe: Fig, gorgonzola and biltong salad
* 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 supermarkets are already filling up with Christmas decorations (was Easter only yesterday?) and Christmas will be here before we have blinked more than a couple of times. We can supply several things you will need and it might be best to secure them before they start to run out, one of the best of which is chestnuts for your very important stuffings. It’s amazing how much importance we attribute to one special meal! See them here
Have we had another busy week?      Of course. You tell us that you don’t know how we do it; we, ourselves, wonder sometimes. We do have enormous energy and love the food and wine and travel industry we write about, so going to all these events and functions comes naturally. The only really hard part is squeezing into our busy schedule the real work: editing all the photographs for John and doing all the writing for Lynne and getting it out to you by Thursday night.
Climb every mountain      Last week we went to Vondeling in the Paardeberg area to try their brand new wine, a Méthode Ancestrale made from 100% Chardonnay. To quote Jancis Robinson: “Méthode Ancestrale, sometimes called Méthode Artisanal or Méthode Rurale, very traditional sparking wine making method used chiefly in Limoux, resulting in a lightly sparkling, medium sweet wine, sometimes complete with sediment”. There is no sediment in the Vondeling wine, and it is beautifully dry and full. It is the first of its kind registered with the SA Wine and Spirit Board.
Where did we first taste it? Well they took about 20 journalists in 4x4s to the very top of their mountain, Kanonkop, and served it to us ice cold, with freshly shucked oysters and some killer smoked salmon sandwiches. It is a very steep and long track and we hear that it going to be part of the Cape Epic this year. Good luck to those crazy cyclists!
It was a beautiful day and we could see from Hangklip on the Indian Ocean, False Bay side, all the way round to the Piketberg mountains and the Atlantic in the north. The mountain is 750 metres above sea level, so you really did feel on top of the world. Then back down the mountain we drove, to lunch in the winery with a vertical tasting of their white blend Babiana and another of Erica, their Shiraz. It was a sensational event. Read On
A quiet lunch at La Bohème     There are several challenges served up to you if you run a restaurant and a religious holiday in an area containing many people of that religion can be very difficult for business. We had booked a table at La Boheme for lunch last Friday as it is always very busy, only to find it was Yom Kippur and we were almost the only people there. But we had a lovely relaxed lunch on the pavement terrace Read On
Huge gains at Cape Winemakers Guild Auction     This year was the first year we have been able to accept the invitation to attend the CWG auction as we were always working on Saturdays. It was a really thrilling experience. The lots went to such amazing prices that even though we had a paddle and had intended to bid on a couple of items, they went way above our estimates. We tried to bid on the silent auction but all our bids were topped. Everyone was in a spending mood.
It was really refreshing to see the happy faces of the winemakers in the lounge after their lots had been sold. Etienne Le Riche got a record breaking price of R7000 per 6 bottle case on the very first lot of the auction. Not all the potential buyers had such happy faces. And it just continued all day. Lynne was tweeting the average lot prices as they happened and logging the million marks as they were reached. Some were achieved in only 20 minutes and the auction made a record total of R11,929,600 (2013 total was R8.4 million) Read on
This year’s Veritas Awards     We had to rush home and change into our finery for this black tie event which was held on the same day as the CWG Auction. It was held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and we were all welcomed in the foyer with MCC bubbles and canapés, before going upstairs to the Ballroom for the awards and dinner. There were over 760 people at what must be one of the largest Cape Town functions. Read on
This year 1 767 wines and brandies were rated (1 792 in 2013) by an authoritative line-up of international judges, joined by local wine specialists. 1345 medals were awarded (1422 in 2013). The awarding of 155 Gold (165 in 2013) and 51 Double Gold medals (68 in 2013) this year was down on the previous year, as judging has become more rigorous, we were told. See the full story at
Four industry people received 2014 Living Legends scrolls of honour: Danie de Wet, Diaan de Villiers, Professor Diko van Zyl and Jeff Wedgwood. You can see all the results by clicking on this link. The public tastings of some of these wines will be held on 15th October in Cape Town and 25th October in Johannesburg, Durban on 5th November and Port Elizabeth on 11th November - see details on
Riesling and Rabbit at the Table Bay Hotel     It seems that many South Africans regard eating rabbit as taboo because of the “cute fluffy bunny“ association. If you have lived in Europe or Australia where they are a huge pest that decimates crops and grazing, you might not have those scruples. Rabbit is a delicious and nutritious protein, and it is very quick and cheap to produce. On Sunday, we joined Neil Pendock at this wine and food pairing which he had arranged at Camissa Restaurant at the Table Bay Hotel. Read on
Neil will be doing these interesting food and wine pairings regularly. His next one is going to be The World is Your Oyster in a Glass of Bubbles on Saturday, 1st November at Mondiall in the Waterfront at a cost of R350. Contact them on
Launch of Michael Broughton’s new cookbook at Terroir     Tuesday saw us bussed to Terroir on the Kleine Zalze estate for the launch of this new book, which follows Michael’s TV series about the restaurant. We were warmly welcomed by Michael and Kleine Zalze owner Kobus Basson with some of their bubbly. The event was held on the terrace at informal tables and we could buy copies of the book. From about 1.30, we were given samples of some of the food in the book, served, rather intermittently, as small tasting portions which came without any particular order. Lynne shared hers with Alan Mullins. John was rather busy taking photos. We are not sure that we tasted everything, some tables did seem to get more than others, but what we tasted was very good and beautifully presented. Michael told us that this is a distillation of his work at Terroir over the last 10 years. The recipes in the book are very precise and give several processes for each recipe, but they seem easy to follow and look delicious. The pictures are superb. And Kleine Zalze Chenin and Shiraz flowed throughout the afternoon, as the wine staff were very attentive. See more here
Season of Sauvignon festival media launch     The Season of Sauvignon festival, held each year in Durbanville, will be taking place over the weekend of 25th and 26th of October. We will definitely be there and we hope to see lots of you, as usual. It is the easiest festival to reach, as Durbanville is only half an hour from the City. Entrance on most of the farms is free and most of them have wonderful events organised and you will be able to taste wine and buy food and wine. It is very child friendly. Check out the details on
We were at the media launch of the festival yesterday, held at Phesantekraal (the only farm not open on Sunday 26th). We tasted the wine we helped to make by picking grapes at harvest time in February on one of the 12 Durbanville farms who each contributed a ton of grapes to the wine. It has been called Durbanville 12 and the wine displays lovely green apple, fig leaf and citrus flavours. It will be at launched at the Festival and it will be on sale there and thereafter at Ultra at R60 a bottle. Read on
Other important festivals this month     Elim Wine festival is happening this weekend and we will be there. It is being held on Black Oyster Catcher farm on Saturday. And we do need to remind you of Robertson Wine on the River which happens on the 17th, 18th and 19th of October. We will be there on Sunday 19th. Diemersfontein will host their Pinotage on Tap this Saturday, October 10th  and Caroline’s White Wine Review will be at the Table Bay on Tuesday, October 21st. Tickets for the latter are in short supply, so book as soon as you can.
This week’s Recipe: Fig, gorgonzola and biltong salad
Figs are suddenly appearing in the shops and we served this lovely quick salad as our starter at a dinner party we gave on Sunday evening. We have to admit that we copied the biltong addition from La Bohème. You can serve this as small individual salads or, as we did, just in a large wide salad bowl and let people help themselves.
A packet of mixed small salad leaves, well washed and drained – olive oil – a thick balsamic reduction in a squeeze bottle – lemon – salt and freshly ground black pepper - 8 ripe figs, cut in quarters – 200g good quality gorgonzola cheese, cut into rough cubes – 100g shaved biltong
Put the salad leaves into the bowl and dress them with a good drizzle of olive oil, and another of the balsamic reduction. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon or more if you like. Add seasoning and toss. Then scatter over the figs, top with the cheese and then strew with the biltong. Then give another drizzle of oil and balsamic reduction to the top of the salad.
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

9th October 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.
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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