Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This Week's MENU - Doolhof at La Mouette, Laborie, Muratie mini Port fest, Rhebokskloof

A squirrel surveys his territory from an old oak on Laborie in Paarl

In this week’s MENU:
* 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.
Doolhof throws a wine and food extravaganza to showcase their new releases This was held at La Mouette restaurant in Sea Point on Friday. Media and wine trade people had a lovely time inside at long tables warmed by the fireplace tasting through the wines and eating a delicious 5 course meal paired with them. Read on
Laborie Winter special      We learned about this superb winter special when we visited in February and thought it would be great to bring our wine club here for the weekend. Sadly, Zelda Oelofse-Cornthwaite, the General Manager informs us that the offer is now completely sold out, so you will have to wait until next year to experience this great offer. Or just pay full price and go after September, it is so worth it. We had an amazing time, starting with dinner at Harvest restaurant on Friday evening Read on
Mini Port Festival at Muratie      We heard about this festival recently and, knowing our wine club members well, this seemed the perfect way to spend some of Saturday tasting port and wines made by the port producers showcasing their wines on Muratie. Read On
Rhebokskloof      After we checked out from Laborie, we drove down the longest main road in the world which is in Paarl and went to have a wine tasting and a light lunch at Rhebokskloof. It was again a beautiful day and our small group had a lovely wine tasting with Tasting Room Manager Henrico van Lill. We shared some cheese and charcuterie platters but on Sunday they do have a huge buffet on offer and children are welcome at the farm. Read On
Double Cream Yoghurt? Read the labels!     Since we returned from Greece, Lynne has been buying various brand of Double Cream yoghurt, as she finds a daily dose of this delicious food has improved her general health enormously and puts some of the missing calcium back into her diet that she can't get from milk, to which she is allergic. Banting has also make the demand grow. These come in 1 litre containers. Many dairies are now making these, but we wanted to let you know that they are NOT all the same and they are not all as they seem. They all contain sugar, which for plain yoghurt is nonsensical. We think that if this is naturally occurring lactase, they should say so. We strain our yoghurt overnight to get rid of much of the whey, which is the sour watery bit. It also makes it thicker. None of the brands declare the bacillus used; knowing that they are using live and active cultures would be appreciated. Most of them thicken with starch and declare the sugar. We would like to see the unnecessary starch, which seems to be there to thicken the yoghurt, removed.
Prices in Cape Town vary from R19.50 to R25.95. according to the brand or supermarket specials. The only one we have seen with a higher price than this is from Woolworths at R32.50, which is why we haven't tried it. Its oval container looks the same as the Pick n Pay brand, so we suspect it's the same dairy.
Taste and Texture Award of the week goes to Pick n Pay for its ultra cream yoghurt, which contains both full cream milk and cream and has a Glycaemic carbohydrate (GC) content of 6g per 100g.   Sadly, 2.8g of this is sugar. They use an antifungal called Pimaricin which apparently is also an antibiotic. Stabilisers but no starch.
Fair Cape also has cream in it and declares Unsweetened on the label but has a GC of 6.7g per 100g of which 5.9 is sugar. Preservative is Potassium Sorbate and they do add modified starch (which is an added carbohydrate) and milk powder. Crystal Valley have both cream and full cream milk, skimmed milk powder, modified cornstarch (added carbohydrate), a vegetable based stabiliser. The one we like the least is Lancewood, which has no cream in it, also says unsweetened and has the grainy texture of cottage cheese or quark and is not at all creamy. It has a GC of 6g per 100g of which 4.6 is sugar. It has Stabiliser, whey powder, slimmed milk powder, caseinate, whey concentrate, whole milk powder, carbonate, citrate and a preservative, Natamycin, which our research shows is the same as Pimaricin. One of the other yoghurts we have not bought apparently has added gelatine to thicken it, which vegetarians cannot eat but might not notice.
How do they make thick yoghurt in Greece? They reduce full cream milk and then add the bacillus. Nothing else, it is kept at blood temperature until it sets thick, then refrigerated. If we had the time, we would make our own, but we don't. Preservative may be very necessary for a commercial product, but we would hope that they don't use anything that is suspect.
Coming Events:
Thursday, 30th and Friday, 31st July, 17h00 to 21h00 FNB Free State Wine Show at Emoya Hotel and Conference Centre, 7 Kleynhans Avenue, Groenvlei, Bloemfontein. for a full list of exhibitors from end of June. Ticket Price: R150 (includes unlimited tastings and wine tasting glass); no under 18s, nor babies and prams. A complimentary show guide includes producer information and informative notes on wine variety characteristics, food matching and serving temperatures. Tickets can be purchased via, Money Market counters in Shoprite Checkers stores and at the door, subject to availability. Enquiries:   011 482 5936/5/4
Friday 31st July 19h00 for 19h30  The Drift Farm Food & Wine Pairing Dinner at Azure Restaurant at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. R545 per person (includes wine, water, tea and coffee) Bookings are essential: contact restaurant reservations on 021 437 9029 or
Friday, 31st July, 18h30 for 19h00. Avondale’s “Once in a Blue Moon” La Luna Dinner with Bertus Basson. A superb 6-course meal paired with Avondale’s wines. Dress: Smart. Cost: R950 per person. RSVP to Caelli on or 021 863 1976 best before 10th July
Monday, 3rd August, 18h00 to 19h00  Sip and Sample at The Vineyard Hotel with wines from Dornier in The Garden Lounge. Producing a large selection of wines - ranging from Merlot to Chenin Blanc - these family wines are backed by a philosophy of uncompromising quality. A representative from the estate will host the hour-long tasting. The tasting is free of charge. For more information, please call 021 657 4500 or alternatively visit
Friday,  7th  August  7p.m for 7:30 p.m.   Mediterranean Extravaganza at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, a Mediterranean food and wine pairing extravaganza offered by Chaine des Rôtisseurs chef Ghenwa Steingaszner of GHENWA’S LEBANESE COOKING CLUB and Henry Kotze, cellar master of Morgenster Estate. The event will take place in the “Seventeen07” dining room and will feature intermittent entertainment provided by singer and musician Dara Steingaszner (daughter of chef Ghenwa). Cost: R 550   Space: limited to 35  Dress code: smart casual. Erinvale Hotel offers free parking and attractive special rates for guests wishing to stay for the night. For reservations & hotel bookings please contact Genine Bruce, Conference Coordinator at +27 21 847 1160 or
Saturday, 8th August from 11h00 to 12h30   Ladies of Leisure at Le Bonheur. Join winemaker Lauren Behrens in celebrating Woman’s Day. Ladies are encouraged to arrive with a group of friends and enjoy a morning of wine and treats. Six wines will be paired with sweet and savoury delicacies at the magnificent Le Bonheur Manor House. The event costs R125 per person. Advanced booking is advised. Call 021 875 5478 or email to make your booking now.
Saturday 8th August  Barrel lunch at Beaumont Family Wines. Starting at 11:30 with a short demonstration by Sebastian on the art of pruning a vine and then heading back to the barrel cellar for a delicious lunch paired with Beaumont wines. Menu @  R410 per person Bookings & Contact hereontact
Sunday, 9th August  10h30 to around 15h00. Celebrating All Things Beautiful on Women’s Day at Nederburg. Meet new Nederburg cellar-master Andrea Freeborough for a luxurious ladies’ feast of the senses in the Winelands. Book your seats at R350 a head from Webtickets  For additional information, please contact Nederburg on 021 877 5155, or send an e-mail to
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

29th July 2015
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.
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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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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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