Thursday, August 27, 2015

This week's MENU - Boschendal 330, Vrede en Lust, Vineyard pruning, Big Bottle, Thelema Trade tasting

A misty spring day near Stellenbosch
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 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.
A Vintage day at the 330th Anniversary of Boschendal      Vines were first planted in the Cape in 1655 by Jan van Riebeek. Boschendal in the Franschhoek valley was established thirty years later in 1685. They invited us to join them in commemorating 330 years of wine at Boschendal last week. There was a special gala dinner on Wednesday 12th of August; we were invited, with other media, to a celebration lunch on Thursday 13th of August.
We don't mind dressing up for an event but when you get an invitation to a 330 year anniversary lunch and the invitation says "Dress: Vintage" we did have a few anxious moments wondering what we were going to wear. Especially as we were being collected at 10h45 from the Waterfront. To wear Jacobean dress? Would we fit in the bus? To go as peasant farmers of one of the periods since wine was planted in the Cape? We certainly didn't have anything suitable in our cupboards. Lynne slept on the problem and came up with the solution. We have our own vintages and so we dressed accordingly. It was a marvellous celebration. Read on…..
Vrede and Lust show us their wines      Back again to Franschhoek on Friday for a tasting of some new wines and a vertical tasting of one of Vrede and Lust's two flagship wines, The Boet Erasmus (Simonsberg-Paarl): a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. This was followed by a light lunch in Lust restaurant. This is one of the most energy efficient green farms in the Cape. The vineyards vie for space with solar panels. Read on…..
Planting a new vineyard at the Vineyard Hotel     Twice a year, or more, we are invited to come and tend the vine of which we have been made custodians in the Vineyard Hotel’s small vineyard. This is the time of year when we go to prune our vine (and others whose owners cannot attend) and each year we learn a little more of this art from very skilled people. Last Saturday, we pruned and then we were delighted to help them plant up a new small vineyard of Chardonnay, on a newly acquired property alongside the current vineyard. We were rewarded with a really lovely lunch and some special wines made by the vineyards that sponsor the vine rows. Read on…..
The Big Bottle Affair     And what a social affair this festival was. Held at The Cape Town Club in Queen Victoria Street, it is a chance to taste wines matured in big bottles from magnum size(contains 2 bottles) and upwards. You may not know that wine matures much better in a bigger bottle and of course they are very useful for parties and large dinners. The wine farms taking part had tables on both floors in all the available rooms and some of the top chefs from those wine farms prepared food to complement the wines. It was incredibly well attended, so it was a little crowded and, because we had a fantastic warm Spring day, it was rather hot. Air conditioning is needed. The wines were magnificent. Read on…..
Thelema & Sutherland Trade tasting at Auslese     The Webb family own both these brands, the Thelema wines are grown on the property at the top of Helshoogte pass in Stellenbosch and the Sutherland wines are grown in Elgin. This was a chance to taste the newly released or soon to be released wines and some of the older wines. Chef Harold Bresselschmidt, the owner of Auslese and Aubergine restaurant supplied some small dishes to pair with 6 of the wines. Read on…..
This week's easy recipe is Pork Fillet with Bacon Jam     We were given a jar of Bacon Jam with brandy as a gift when we visited Lush Bistro and Bakery at Vrede and Lust wine farm near Franschhoek and Lynne wanted to use it in a dish. This is remarkably easy, but first source your Bacon Jam. Other people do make this interesting condiment. It’s a rendering down of finely chopped crisp bacon, bacon fat, a kick of brandy and some slight sticky sweetness. Marvellous on eggs, or sandwiches or used as a relish with food.
Pork Fillet stuffed with Bacon Jam
1 fresh pork fillet, approx 200g - 1 jar of bacon Jam - 2 t canola or olive oil - 5 large cloves - salt and pepper
Using a sharp knife, remove any fat or silver skin from the surface of the fillet. Cut a small pocket in the fillet, but leave the ends closed. Season it inside and out. Put a generous amount of Bacon jam inside the pocket and seal up the loin with a skewer. Briefly brown the outside of the fillet in some oil or butter in a small pan. Cool slightly, then rub some more Bacon Jam on the outside and stick the five cloves into the top of the loin. Put the pan with the fillet in the oven for 10 minutes to roast; remove, cover with foil and rest for another 10 minutes. Remove the cloves and the skewer, slice thickly and serve. This goes well with baked potatoes, or try sweet potato, celeriac or butternut mash. Add lots of steamed vegetables and you have a very quick and easy meal with lots of flavour. You could add a simple meaty or wine gravy made from the pan juices and a spoonful or 2 more of the jam. Serves two.
Coming Events:
AUGUST
Friday,  28th August The Vineyard Hotel Tastes of 2015 continues with their series of fine Wine Dinners. This dinner will focus on a selection of the 2015 SA Shiraz Challenge Winners. This experience includes a five course dinner paired with a selection of fine wines from these premium Shiraz producers. The cost is R370.00 per person, which includes all wines and dinner. For bookings and more information please call reservations on 021 657 4500 or email eat@vineyard.co.za
Friday, 28th & Saturday, 30th August   Franschhoek Wine & Dine (Johannesburg) For more information and accommodation bookings, please call 021 876 2861 or visit www.franschhoek.org.za
Saturday, 29th August  Pinotage On Tap (Jhb) will take place at Val Bonne Estate, Modderfontein. For those of you who already have your tickets - we look forward to having an awesome festival with you! And for those who have not yet got their tickets.... What are you waiting for?! For more information, and details on Cape Town and Durban events, please visit our website at www.diemersfontein.co.za. Tickets available at Computicket
Sunday, 30th August from 10h00 to 15h00 Groote Post’s Country Market. Celebrate The Change Of Season with 1st September around the corner and the spring flowers beginning to bloom. Head out to the Darling Hills, for their first monthly market of the new season. Guests can expect artisan foods, arts and crafts, home-ware and décor, and Groote Post wines. Look out for their 2015 wines as this harvest is reputed to be one of the best ever. Must-haves will be the Groote Post Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and the Groote Post Rosé 2015, made exclusively for the monthly markets. An exciting line-up of entertainment will be on offer. Local band Klassik will be performing live, delighting all with their Swartland Shuffle. “Augustus”, a highly-acclaimed short play by a visiting Dutch theatre group at 11h30. Tickets cost R30 per person and booking is essential as seats are limited. To book, call 022 451 2202 or email eldre@iloveyzer.co.za. Entry is free of charge. For further information contact Eldré Strydom 082 877 6677 or eldre@iloveyzer.co.za www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za · Facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket · @GPCountryMarket. Directions: Follow the R27 West Coast Road towards Langebaan. Turn right onto the Darling Hills Road opposite Grotto Bay turnoff. After 10 km, turn right to the Groote Post cellar. Or take the R307 out of Darling towards Cape Town and turn off at the Darling Hills Road. After 7km turn left to the Groote Post Cellar. GPS Coordinates: S 33° 29’ 0.5” E 018° 24’ 35.0
Monday, 31st August18h00 to 19h00  Sip and Sample at The Vineyard Hotel with Oneiric Wines. Bordered by the iconic Kogelberg Biosphere, a world heritage site and home to the greatest variety of plant species in the world, ‘oneiric’ translates into “what dreams are made of”. This farm produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and their ‘Cousin Jack’. A representative from the estate will host the hour-long tasting from 18h00. The tasting is free of charge. For more information, please call 021 657 4500 or alternatively visit www.vineyard.co.za.
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





  27th August 2015
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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.
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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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