Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This Week's MENU - Turkey & Greece, Elgin Cool wines, De Krans at Mount Nelson, Taillard Family Wines, OM Trophy Judges’ Feedback, Wade Bales Wine & Whisky Affair, Rhône blends with Ken Forrester, Eedes Cab report, Coming events, Scotch broth

Autumn vines, apples and olives at Hannay, Elgin

In this week’s MENU:
* Off to Turkey and Greece
* Scotch broth
* Coming events
* 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 story with photographs, 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.
MENU is late this week because last week was so full of extraordinary and interesting tastings and meals that we simply did not have any time to write it. Lynne was down with a bad head cold and wanted to keep it from turning to bronchitis, as it so often does for her, so she was trying to take it easy (!) and missed out on two evening events. She wants to be fit and well for our next odyssey. To top that, her computer died as we were preparing to send this. After a few hours in an efficient workshop, it is back in operation and her contributions can be completed.
You will not receive another MENU until the second week of June. We are off to explore Istanbul and then Greece – our first proper holiday in several years. We will be posting photographs and blogs. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@MAININGMENU)
Yes, we are going to be tourists and visit all the historic monuments, taste the food and the wine and experience the markets, but we are also going to try to have a well earned holiday. The itinerary is Istanbul, Athens, Santorini, Naxos, Athens, Corinth, Daikofto and the Peloponnese, including Nemea and surrounding areas. Back on the 4th June and straight back to PR appointments. Yassou!
So here is the last fortnight’s story, at last:
Elgin Cool wines     The day started cool, drizzly and misty in Cape Town on Saturday but by lunch time in Elgin the sun was out and we had a lovely festive day. We met some lovely people and tasted some very good wines. We began at Hannay Wines with Catherine Marshall doing a tasting of both their wines followed by huge hamburgers.   Read on....
Then it was off down the road to see the Wallaces at Wallovale farm to taste their wines and some chocolate from Rococo. Read On....   
Finally, we finished the day at Lothian in the most amazing house we have seen for some time, tasting their wines and watching the sun disappear over the mountains. It was a fine day. Read on....
De Krans at the Mount Nelson     We are sad to hear that there will be no Port Festival in Calitzdorp this year (they will be holding special events during the month of June) but delighted that De Krans brought their wines to Cape Town to show them to the media and the trade. On Tuesday we met for a guided tasting, with Boets Nel in the Planet restaurant, of both wines and port and tasted some really interesting and some really delicious wines. This was followed by a tour de force matched tasting of exceptional canapés by Executive Chef Rudi Liebenberg with some older De Krans wines and port. You don’t realise how much you are eating when the canapés are so deliciously matched to good wine. Read on....
Taillard Family Wines by Teddy Hall     A one hour bus drive into the country took us and several other journos and trade to the Voor Paardeberg area to this farm nestled under the Kanonkop Mountain. Teddy Hall has been making their wines for them since 2014 and this was our chance to sample the wines with a pairing lunch laid on for us by chef Gustaaf Boshoff of Stir Food  Read on....
Old Mutual Trophy Feedback session     This is almost one of the most exciting events of the year for the media, and those people who have entered wines. The judging has finished earlier that morning; the judges usually still have very blue teeth! We won’t learn who the winners are until the awards lunch on the 27th May. It is time to hear the opinions of the local and international judges of the wines they have tasted blind since Monday morning. They still do not know what they have tasted or what has been entered. Has the Cabernet group improved; are Chardonnays showing well; what about the Red blend class? The wines are tasted in grape variety or blend groups by judges experienced in their category. And each year there are surprises, growth in quality, disappointments and successes in the categories. Read on....
Wade Bales Wine and Malt Whisky Affair    There was enough time after our excellent lunch at the Grande Roche to deliver Lynne back to the house and drive into town to this very good tasting at 15 on Orange  Read on....
A Decathlon of decadent Rhône blends, bands of Gypsies and Renegades with Ken Forrester     And indeed it was. How to describe Ken Forrester? A passionate, knowledgeable rebel wild child who has the advantage of the wisdom of age – something we all aspire to - and a great winemaker to boot. It was with great excitement that we joined other media and trade people for this tasting on the farm last week, followed by lunch at his restaurant, 96 Winery Road. Read On....
The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2015 was released at Burrata Restaurant in The Old Biscuit Mill precinct in Woodstock this afternoon. Read on for the rest of the story The full report can be seen here
This week’s recipe is a sustaining winter soup. It was rather cold and damp over the weekend, Lynne had a cold and this brought on a soup craving. We had people for supper, so this was our starter. We used the lamb bone and left over lamb from our Sunday roast, but you could add some cut up lamb or even another meat from a roast.
Scotch Broth
1 large onion – 2 t canola oil – 10g butter - 3 leeks – 2 parsnips - 3 carrots – 1 turnip – 1 cup soup celery, finely chopped – a large handful of chopped parsley – a bouquet garni of 2 bay leaves, three sprigs each of rosemary and thyme, a sprig of basil tied up with some string - about 2 cups of finely chopped lamb, plus any lamb bones from the roast – 2.5 litres of good lamb or chicken stock – 100g barley – salt and freshly ground black pepper
Before you start, finely chop all the vegetables. Do the onion first and put it into a large pan with the oil and butter and a little salt and cook until soft and beginning to colour. Add the leeks and fry gently for a couple of minutes, then add all the rest of the vegetables and stir. Let them sweat for about four to five minutes, then pour in the stock, add the bouquet garni, the celery, parsley and the lamb, with any bones you have. Simmer on a low heat for at least an hour or two. Remove the bones and the bouquet garni. Add the barley and simmer again until it is soft, adding more water or stock if the soup has reduced a lot. Season to taste and the soup will be ready to serve. Lovely with a mature Sauvignon Blanc and garlic bread
Friday, 15th May   Burgundy Festival     We hope to see lots of you at this superb festival, organised by Wine Concepts, being held on Friday 15th at the Vineyard Hotel. They will have a great selection of some of the best Chardonnays and Pinots Noir to taste. Now in its fifth year, it kicks off this Friday in Cape Town at The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands and in Johannesburg on the 28th May at The Wanderers Club in Illovo. Please visit their website www.wineconcepts.co.za for details
4th and 5th June  Fine Brandy Fusion 2015 will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 5.30pm to 9.30pm (no new entries after 9pm). Ticket price is R195 for entry, which includes a crystal brandy balloon, a booklet with 15 brandy taster coupons, three cocktail coupons, and two coffee coupons. Tickets are available from Computicket or at the door
29 and 30 May   Franschhoek Mystery Weekend. Each Mystery Weekend will be structured around something uniquely Franschhoek. With wine and food being the inspiration, the May Mystery Weekend is perfect for all the Wine Fundis and Gastronauts out there who seek a weekend of relaxation, delectable food and world-class wines. For just R3 500 per couple (self-drive), for the whole weekend, you'll experience the best the village has to offer. Bookings close on Monday, 18 May. For bookings or queries please contact Carmen Arendse on office@franschhoek.org.za. More detail at www.franschhoek.org.za
Friday, 29th May   Join Lanzerac Wine Estate winemaker, Wynand Lategan for an exclusive collaborative wine and food pairing dinner at The Demo Kitchen for an indulgent evening of superb Lanzerac Pinotage. The cost is R400 per person which includes four Lanzerac Wine Estate pairings, coffee and a goodie bag filled with gifts from Lanzerac and The Demo Kitchen. For bookings and info contact Ilse van der Merwe on 021 882 9895 or info@thedemokitchen.co.za
Saturday, 30th May   Feast of Shiraz & Charcuterie hosted by Hartenberg Wine Estate at Joostenberg Deli (12pm to 5pm). Sample some of SA’s finest Syrahs paired with delectable artisanal fare. Tickets are available directly from www.webtickets.co.za at a cost of R180 per person, and include your entrance fee as well as wine tastings. Joostenberg Deli is situated on the R304 just off the N1 in the direction of Paarl. For more information contact DnA Event Management on info@dnaevents.co.za or 021 874 9010
30th & 31st May   Delheim’s Wild Mushroom Hunts in the forest on the farm and on 3rd & 4th July. There are only 40 spots available per day. This exploration of the hidden world of the fungi starts at 10am and tickets cost R595 per person. A ticket includes an exclusive mushroom foraging basket or a Delheim bottle of wine and two glasses to take home, a lecture on mushroom identification, the forest forage, as well as the mushroom-themed three course lunch and a glass of Delheim wine. Pre-booking is essential and given the intimate nature of these events, no group bookings are allowed. For more information or to secure your spot contact 021 888 4607 or 079 7353 257 or send an email to restaurant@delheim.com
Thursday, 4th to Sunday, 7th June   Wacky Wine Weekend being held in the Robertson Wine Valley. Visit the Wacky Wine Weekend website. www.wackywineweekend.com
Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June   Karoo Lamb and Venison Experience at Muratie Estate in Stellenbosch. This is going to be a seriously good way to spend a winter’s day. We always rave about Muratie’s lamb shanks, the best we have ever tasted in the Cape. Now you can also sample some of their super cooking at this Experience. And of course it will be accompanied by Muratie’s showcase of great wines that match the food so well. Learn how to cut and prepare fresh organic Karoo lamb and venison, and how to cook the various cuts in order to bring out the very best flavours and textures. The workshop will be followed by a wine-tasting and a three-course lunch served with Muratie wines. From 10h00 until 14h00. Cost: R500 per person all inclusive. Bookings: by phone 021 865 2330 or Email: info@muratie.co.za We are going to be there.
Thursday, 11th June   Taste the Helderberg 2015. Limited tickets for Taste the Helderberg 2015 are available at the cost of R80 per person. The ticket includes an elegantly branded wine glass and access to tasting some of the best wines in the country. Numerous restaurants will tempt the taste buds with mouth-watering portions of their signature delights which will be on sale throughout the evening. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information visit www.wineroute.co.za or call 021 886 4310
11th & 12th July   Franschhoek Bastille Festival
13th August  Nedbank CWG Auction Showcase, Cape Town
26th August  Nedbank CWG Auction Showcase, Sandton
30th September  Nedbank CWG Winemaker Dinners
1st October  CWG Sports Day, De Zalze Golf Course, Stellenbosch
2nd October  CWG Final Pre-Auction Tasting, Spier Conference Centre
3rd October  Nedbank CWG Auction, Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch
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
In addition to his 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
Nicolette van Niekerk runs baking courses at La Petite Patisserie in Montague Gardens
George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here

13th May 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.
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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.
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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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