Thursday, October 30, 2014

141030 Main Ingredient's MENU - Jordan lunch with Guala closures, Stellenbosch Hills at La Mouette, Season of Sauvignon, Chenin Showcase, Platter launch, lunch at Borage

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A red bishop surveys the young vines in a vineyard
In this week’s MENU:
* Guala Closures lunch at Jordan
* Stellenbosch Hills at La Mouette
* Season of Sauvignon at Durbanville
* Summer Chenins at Meloncino
* Platter Launch
* Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2014
* Lunch at Borage
* Elgin Chardonnay Tweet Up
* This week’s recipe: Gravadlax
* Important festivals this month
* 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 onREAD 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     Product of the week: Crème de Marron is a wonderful sweet chestnut puree from France sold in small 78g tubes and which costs only R>> per tube. It has been produced since 1882 and still has the same classic packaging. You can eat this on toast like Nutella, sandwich macaroons with it or put it on meringues and serve with fresh sliced strawberries. It is an essential ingredient in a Mont Blanc dessert. If you have had this once, you will never forget it. We do also have larger tins..  See them here
Guala Closures lunch at Jordan     Are you still feeling the “Romance of the Cork”? Or are you realistic about how many bottles of wine closed with cork can potentially fail because of the cork? Thursday saw us at Jordan for lunch and a presentation by Guala closures on the use of aluminium closures on wine. We came with a little knowledge as, when we visited Excelsior on Monday, we saw their bottling line in action and watched and learned as the screw cap closure machine swiftly did its job. It is fascinating. There were three presentations, one by Guala Closures themselves, who told us how the closures work and their low impact on the environment, as all these cap closures can be recycled an infinite number of times. And they are easy to open and close again, should you not want to finish the bottle. Billions of screw caps are used world-wide, mostly on soft beverages and beer, with more and more in the wine industry, mainly in the New World. We were told that 75% of all aluminium ever produced on the globe is still in use.
We had two very amusing presentations. One from Michael Fridjhon who used the analogy of coating an expensive car with a fragile paint made from rare molluscs and a video from Ken Forrester, both supporting the use of screw caps. To quote Ken, “A random piece of cork can ruin all the hard work in the vineyard and the cellar”.
We then had a very good (as expected) lunch prepared by Chef George Jardine and his bevy of talented chefs and assistants. This was accompanied by excellent wines from different producers, all from screw capped bottles. Read on
Stellenbosch Hills at La Mouette     Stellenbosch Hills invited us to a wine-paired lunch at La Mouette in Sea Point. After we had all gathered and tasted their new Polkadraai Pinot Noir Rosé semi-sweet Sparkling 2014, aimed at the younger market, and eaten some rather good canapés, we were treated to a 7 course pairing menu, which was served with other Stellenbosch Hills wines. It is a co-operative winery, which was known for most of its existence as Vlottenberg and is now 69 years old. The grapes come from 16 different producers in five Stellenbosch wards: Polkadraai, Lynedoch, Vlaeberg, Vlottenberg and Stellenbosch Kloof. Read on
Season of Sauvignon at Durbanville     We really wanted to go and see what everyone had planned. We must admit that the programme this year didn’t exactly grab our attention, but we love the area and its wines, so off we went and had a great time in lovely sunshine. We started at Durbanville Hills and found it pumping and full of people enjoying themselves. And it was the same at all the farms. There was live music, lots of food for sale, things to keep children happy, wine tastings not only of their own wines, but Sauvignons from all the other 11 farms involved in the Season of Sauvignon and “The Twelve”, the bottle containing grapes from all 12 farms. We managed to squeeze in four more farms before wending our way home at 4.30 Read on
Disappointed   A farm in Stellenbosch also had a festival over the weekend, a “Secret festival”. So they hung posters in the Durbanville area. This is called Ambush Marketing, guys. We didn’t see any in Sea Point. Read on.....
Summer Chenins at Meloncino     There are some tastings we always look forward to and the Chenin Blanc Association’s Summer Chenin Showcase is one of them, as we are great fans of Chenin Blanc. Invited by the Sponsor, Standard Bank, to Meloncino in the Waterfront at 10.30, we knew we were in for a good showing of Chenin. There were 5 flights of wines from this versatile grape and it was followed by a very good lunch. The first flight was titled. Minerality - mixed vintage; and included such gems as Beaumont 2014, DeMorgenzon DMZ 2014, Villiera 2014, Raats Original 2013 and Remhoogte 2013 – nice to start with a bang! And it only got better. Lynne’s two top scores went to Spionkop 2013 and Rijks Touch of Oak 2012, but the quality overall was very high. And the prices of many (not all !) are still very affordable.  Read On.....
Platter Launch     How to top off a very good day? Follow a good tasting and lunch with the excitement of the Diners Club Platter Wine Guide launch at the Mount Nelson. This year there were 50 five star wines and one five star Brandy and, following the well organised award ceremony, we had the opportunity to taste all of these five star wines. It was very exciting indeed and we love seeing happy beaming wine makers. Winery of the year was Swartland based Sadie Family Wines - the only winery to get three 5 star wines. White Wine of the year went to De Morgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013 and Red Wine of the Year to David Trafford for the De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2012, his most affordable red. There was a very large crowd and some killer wines. But not all suit all palates, nor should they. Vive la difference! Read on.....
Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2014     The finalists of the prestigious Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2014 are Jacques Erasmus (Spier Wines), Alicia Rechner (Backsberg Estate Cellars), Alvi van der Merwe (Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar) and Bryan MacRobert (The Hughes Family Wines). Both Jacques Erasmus and Alvi van der Merwe have been nominated for two of their wines – the Spier Creative Block 2 2014 and 2013, and the Alvi’s Drift AD CVC 2011 and 2012, respectively. This year’s category for the Winemaker of the Year is Dry White Wine Blends and the winner will be announced at a black tie gala dinner at the La Residence Hotel in Franschhoek on 15th November. For more information, visit
Lunch at Borage     You may not know it but this is Restaurant Week, when for 10 days each October you get to eat at some good restaurants for a special price.  A 2 course lunch costs R95 and a three course dinner is R175. Restaurants can add further stars and each adds another R50 to the bill.
Although we are busy, we wanted to try this new restaurant in town of which we have had good reports. Chef Frank Marks worked at La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club and Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, so he has a good pedigree! The restaurant is on The Hans Strydom Avenue face of the new blue Portside skyscraper which fills the block bounded by Buitengracht, Bree, Mechau and Hans Strydom. We had a lovely meal and hope to go back soon. Read On
Elgin Chardonnay Tweet Up     Lunch was followed by another Elgin Tweet-up, this time we tasted 12 Elgin Chardonnays. And very different some of them are.  There was a huge range of styles and flavours and depth, but the usual suspects tend to rise to the top in this cooler area which is producing such good fruit and wine. Favourite wines of the tasting were the Paul Cluver, the Kershaw Clonal Selection and the Iona. The latter two are Five Star Platter wines. But they were followed closely by Oak Valley and Almenkerk. It is such a good area for Chardonnay. Prices are mostly over R100 a bottle and upwards. The Kershaw sells for R305 and this price caused some controversy but, as Richard says, he gets it from his market.
Cellar Door
Corder Cool Climate Chardonnay
R 90.00
Joris van Almenkerk
Winters Drift Chardonnay
R 97.00
Koen Roose
Lothian V'yards Chardonnay
R 140.00
Stefan Gerber
Oak Valley Wines Chardonnay
R 150.00
Pieter Visser
Almenkerk Chardonnay
R 180.00
Joris van Almenkerk
Iona Chardonnay
R 175.00
Werner Muller
Kershaw Clonal Selection Chardonnay
R 305.00
Richard Kershaw
Paul Cluver Chardonnay
R 150.00
Andries Burger
Thelema Sutherland Chardonnay
R 100.00
Rudi Schultz
Elgin Ridge Chardonnay
R 110.00
Brian Smith
Oneiric Oh! Chardonnay
R 112.50
John Seccombe
Elgin Vintners Chardonnay
R 100.00
Kevin Grant

Recipe      This week’s recipe is the Gravadlax mentioned above
We last gave this recipe in 2010 and since then there have been some more modern variations and we have adapted our recipe slightly. Modern chefs often briefly marinate the salmon in beetroot juice which gives a beautiful dark red jewel like stain to the outside of the salmon.
It is really not very complicated to make. If you don’t have Aquavit you can use plain Vodka or leave out the alcohol, but the taste will be different. A good South African Aquavit can be obtained from Roger Jorgensen in Wellington. You can make some small cuts on the skin side to allow the rub to penetrate.  If you are worried about parasites in raw fish, briefly freeze the salmon first.
Gravadlax (Buried Salmon)
1t = 1 teaspoon 1T = 1 Tablespoon
One side of fresh salmon, deboned completely, but leave the skin on the base of the fillet
Rub: 3 T flake salt - 1 t ground white peppercorns - 1 t ground allspice - 2 T pale brown sugar - 2 T finely chopped fresh dill - 50 ml Aquavit/gin/vodka
Mix well, you can do this in a food processor, then spread on all sides of the salmon.  Cut the side into two pieces, spread on the marinade, sandwich flesh sides together and put it into a large container like a plastic ice-cream container, covered it with cling film or baking paper (don’t use foil, it gives a metallic taste), then put another similar container on top and fill this with heavy jars to weigh it down. You need to flip it daily and keep it refrigerated.  Marinate for between 3 and 6 days. When ready, remove from the marinade, wipe down and thinly slice and serve.  If doing two sides of salmon, double up on the rub and place them together with the skin on top and bottom, flip it every day.  Serve with a creamy mustard sauce and thinly sliced full seed brown bread.
Tastings and Festivals     The World Is Your Oyster. Vertical tasting of 12 Oysters with MCC and Champagne at Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront. Oysters and bubbly are a match made in heaven. We take the nuptials a step further by pairing different sizes (i.e. different ages) of oysters with different ages of Methode Cap Classique wines: cocktails with non-vintage, medium with vintage and large with Grande Marque bubbly and French champagnes. Strictly No Under 18. 12 oysters with champagne tasting - R250. Saturday, 1st November from 11h00 to 15h00. BUY TICKETS HERE
Bosman Release Celebration on Lelienfontein estate on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November. Bosman Wine Club members each receive two complimentary tickets. Tickets can be booked online through Webtickets. Additional tickets for family and friends can also be booked at R150pp. Ticket includes access to both days, a wine glass and a R50 voucher redeemable with your first purchase of six bottles of wine on the day. Tasting journey through the 250 year old cellar. Children under 12 enter free of charge. Food is sold at an additional cost of R50 per station. Live entertainment.
Wine Concepts will celebrate their thirteenth year of staging their “Finer Things in Life” Champagne Festival with the theme of Ebony & Ivory on Friday 21st November. They will be offering more than 30 cuvees for tasting from premium and boutique Champagne Houses to tantalize your taste buds. Expect names like Taittinger, Piper Heidsieck, Drappier, Mumm, Ruinart, Montaudon, Jacquart, Philipponat and many more. Tickets cost R380.00 if purchased from Wine Concepts stores or online on Tickets will be on sale for R400 at the door on the evening.
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

30th October 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.
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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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