Thursday, February 05, 2015

150205 Main Ingredient's MENU - Hartenberg Riesling Rocks, Creation Pinot, Delheim Harvest fest, Herb Oils, The AfrAsia Bank Auction

The sunset at Babylon’s Peak, seen from Creation in the Hemel en Aarde Valley

In this week’s MENU:
* This week’s products: More Spanish delights
* The AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction
* This week’s recipe: Herb oils
* Learn about wine and cooking

We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit.
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      Still in Spain this week, we have the difficult to find Smoked Spanish Paprika in tins - it comes as sweet or hot and costs R70 a tin and the best authentic Spanish saffron in 1 gram boxes for R95, great value and  marvellous for paella or exotic fish or seafood dishes. Find them here
What a weekend that was!     We know we do push the envelope a bit sometimes but, as Lynne said on Facebook, we are getting old(er) and we are determined to pack as much as possible into our lives and enjoy it to the maximum. And tell you all about the experiences, of course, so you can try some of them for yourselves.
Riesling and Rarities Rock     We started on Saturday at Hartenberg on the Bottelary Road for this annual gem of a festival. They only sell 500 tickets, so we always feel honoured to be invited, and they sold out again. It is held in their beautiful gardens and, this year, they added some wines made from grape rarities (in South Africa) to the Riesling and there were some really interesting wines to taste. Lots of food was available to buy and we were provided with two very generous picnic boxes. Read on
Sadly we had to leave at 3 to get to our next appointment in the Hemel and Aarde by 5!
Creation Pinot Noir Panache     The entire Hemel & Aarde valley celebrates Pinot Noir each year for three days in February. You really have to be in the know however, as they only sell 150 tickets but for the princely sum of R1800 you get to spend Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday at farms tasting Pinot Noir, attending comparative, vertical, horizontal and foreign tastings and eating superb food. We did hear it said that they would like to widen the audience in the future and we hope they do. We certainly would like to experience more Pinot Noir but were delighted to be invited to Creation’s event on Saturday evening, where we tasted four vintages of their 4 different Pinot Noirs and had an excellent dinner Read On
A night in Hermanus     As we were not prepared to drive back to Cape Town, we managed to find some good self catering accommodation for the night on in Hermanus and enjoyed a good night’s rest. We also had a superb breakfast in Spur! They offer bargain breakfasts for R24.95 and, with the addition of bottomless coffee for R14.95, we don’t think you can go wrong. Read on
Delheim’s Harvest Festival     Then it was time to go back the way we had come on Saturday, back to Stellenbosch to attend this very real harvest festival, where they also have fun and games for the children – it is a really child friendly farm, lots of swings and a climbing frame We were welcomed with a glass of Pinotage grape must (the newly picked and just beginning to ferment juice with traditional mosbolletjies, a soft bread made with the yeasty must as its rising agent. Then there was a lovely buffet lunch, accompanied by their good Pinotage Rose and Chenin Blanc wines, after which we watched the hilarious grape stomping competitions. Read on
SA Wine Industry raises its GDP contribution, generates more jobs     On Tuesday this week we attended a press briefing HOW THE SA WINE INDUSTRY IS CONTRIBUTING TO GDP AND JOB GROWTH. You might find these facts and figures very interesting or very dry and complex. We are happy to attach them to a blog for those of you who want to see how the Wine industry is affecting our national GDP, it is a very interesting picture but, for those of you not very interested, we wanted to distil some of the information into facts that might be of interest.
To quote the report: “The industry, that remains one of South Africa's leading agri-exporters, accounted for 1,2% of the national GDP in 2013. In that year it contributed R36,1bn to the economy, (including wine tourism) via agriculture, manufacturing, trade and hospitality, while generating direct and indirect employment for close to 300 000 people”. Did you know that you can help to grow employment in the country by drinking wine? The employment growth is not just directly in the vineyards or on the estates but in the peripheral parts of the industry in your own areas, like your local wine shop or bottle store, in distribution, hospitality, sales and marketing. It is the age old trickledown effect. Yes, the Western Cape does contribute the most to the wine industry, followed closely by Gauteng, but it is encouraging to learn that growth in wine and spirit consumption in all the other provinces does help grow their employment too. The briefing was held at Cassia restaurant complex on Nitida wine estate in Durbanville. See the venue and snacks here
Magda Naude, wife of Francois Naude, winemaker at L’Avenir for many years and now associated with Rhebokskloof and other entities, died last week after a long illness. She was a wonderful cook and a lovely person. We will miss her and wish Francois and their son Francois strength while they come to terms with their loss.
This week’s recipe:  Herb oils     It’s a simple one and now that it is high summer and the soft herbs in the gardens are rampant, this is the time to make them and freeze them for use in the winter. You can soak herbs in oil but we find they can go cloudy, start to ferment or go rancid very quickly. We had lots of basil last year and Lynne froze small pots of this and used it in pesto, salads and with mozzarella cheese all winter and it keeps perfectly. You can do mint, marjoram, oregano, parsley, chervil, tarragon or the herb of your choice which is not around in abundance in the winter like thyme and rosemary. The herb keeps its fresh flavours and aromas. Drizzle oregano on pork, or mint on lamb, marjoram on chicken and roast. Yum.
You will need good olive oil and handfuls of fresh herbs (washed under a running tap but then left to dry off in a tea towel so you don’t mix water with the oil). In a liquidiser or using a stick blender, blitz them together so you end up with thick green oil – a ratio of 1 cup of oil to 2 cups of herbs is about right. Don’t season, just pack into very small containers. Addis make small inexpensive 120ml containers with lids that are perfect. The oil defrosts quickly and you can refreeze if you don’t use it all. It does also keep for a while in your fridge once defrosted. We don’t recommend that you do garlic, it can be dangerous.
The AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which set a philanthropic precedent in the South African wine industry when it raised an astounding R7.045 million for education in the winelands, at its inaugural 2014 event, is set to raise the bar this year when 34 ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ lots go under the hammer at the historic Boschendal Estate on Saturday 14th February. With only 350 Auction tickets available at R3 000 per head, the 2015 Auction’s sophisticated online bidding platform, through Gavel&Grand, will extend the bidding to international wine aficionados and philanthropists, creating a new high-water mark for a charitable fundraiser. Anyone in the world will be able to place online bids in the weeks leading up to the Auction, from 15th January until 13th February: 12h00 South Africa (CAT), 05h00 New York (EST), 10h00 London (GMT) and 18h00 Hong Kong, and then via telephone on the big day.
All the proceeds from the Auction, without offset or deduction, go to educational charities in the South African winelands. Charity beneficiaries to date include the Pebbles Project, the MAD Charity, the Click Foundation as well as 10 other charities. To join the excitement of The AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction and to make a difference, place your online bid at
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
Nad├Ęge 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.

5th February 2015
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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