Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This week's MENU - Du Toitskloof, CWG Auction tasting, La Colombe, Beaumont, JC Le Roux MCCs, Pulled pork

Evening rush hour on a rainy N1, returning to Cape Town
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.
How do we do it?      A question many people ask us. We wonder sometimes, especially in a week like this latest, where almost every day has had a story for us to tell. Often, we come home from an event with a huge number of notes to go through and photographs to edit. Bedtime happens much later. Why do we do it? Because we love it, not because we earn much from it. BUT, it does help if you click on the advertisements down the side of our blogs. When you do, the advertisers pay us. Please click!
A week of great wine and food, but some stumbles which cost us quite dearly but were worth it. Always check your facts!
Tasting Du Toitskloof new releases     On a Quest... The week since our last MENU began with a visit to Du Toitskloof for a tasting of their new releases, including their new premium Quest range, followed by lunch at the new Melissa’s restaurant attached to the winery. Many people don't know how much the quality of wine in this area is improving. They have superb and varied terroir, an even climate and good winemakers at Du Toitskloof. At a recent blind tasting of very good value wines at our wine club, the Du Toitskloof Cabernet Shiraz scored top marks and that was for the box wine, which had been decanted into a bottle to fool us. Read on.....
Tasting great CWG Auction wines     Next day, we enjoyed what is possibly the best tasting of the year, to which we always feel privileged to be invited, the Cape Winemakers Guild guided tasting. Held this year at the Taj hotel, we speed tasted through 40 of the auction wines, with another 15 (hence all the auction wines) on a table afterwards. It is going to be a superb auction, and sadly with the current dramatic fall of the Rand, probably great for overseas buyers which will mean a lot of the wine going overseas. We plan to be there, with a paddle.  Read on.....
And more Auction wines     and we continued with the evening Public tasting of the CWG wines at the CTICC. We went to taste the other wines the winemakers brought along: older auction wines, and some of their own treasures. We enjoyed the evening very much and it is a very social occasion with a chance to discuss the auction wines with their makers and meet lots of old friends.
A quick supper at Gibson’s     Then came the first stumble. After so much wine, we needed a quick and filling supper. John had a message on his cell phone that the Greek Fisherman in the V&A Waterfront had a winter special of all their Tapas at half price. We tasted these last year and vowed to go back for more, so this seemed the perfect opportunity - and it was close both to the CTICC and home. Sadly what the SMS didn't tell us was that the offer is only served between 11 and 7 pm till 31st August and we got there at 8.30 pm. Rather deterred by the menu prices, as we only wanted something simple, we left and went around the corner to Gibson’s, where we enjoyed a good quick meal before the Waterfront shops shut down for the night. John had a double burger and Lynne the Pork Ribs. If you are Banting you might want to know that you now can order crisp sweet potato chips with your burger or ribs. They are great.
An Alice in Wonderland moment     And culminated with Lynne's birthday lunch on Friday at La Colombe. And the second stumble. John had booked and we were so excited to go to try out their winter special which is R295 for 3 courses (till 30 September) We figured we would include a bottle of wine or a couple of glasses so budgeted on R400 pp. Their menu is normally beyond our budget and we have heard such great reports of the food and service. It was a lovely, sunny day and they gave us a great table with a view of the back of Table Mountain and the valley below. Then we discovered that they don't do the special on Fridays. Ooops. Oh well, the Barclaycard came out and we had a splendid meal and a great experience, but it just cost about two and a half times more than we had planned. Always check your facts! Read on.....
Beaumonts push the boat out     Now this is the way to do a trade tasting of wine. Hire a venue in the centre of town with plenty of parking - The Union 110 Bree Street on Heritage Square. Put up a sail in case of rain - it didn't. Have an inside venue "in case" (not needed). Have lots of tables and seating. Pile them with lovely things to nibble while you taste the wines. Food after all is what wine normally accompanies. Invite lots of interesting people. All of which is what Beaumont did on Monday night. The quality of their wines is never in question, we knew they would be worth tasting and enjoyable. As Platter puts it, they produce individual wines. Read on.....
MCC tasting at JC Le Roux, Devon Valley, Stellenbosch    We must confess that it has been many years since we ventured down to the end of Devon Valley, to this winery which concentrates on making wines filled with bubbles. They have recently spruced it up and the tasting room is large and commodious, with private tasting rooms on the side. The gardens are lovely. We were invited to visit, do a tasting and sample some of their restaurant’s food, which we did on Tuesday. Read on.....
This week's recipe is Pulled Pork, Mexican style     This is the dish in fashion at the moment, overseas and here; if you turn on the TV food channels, it is everywhere. Lynne wanted to try making it and it was rather successful. This is her adaptation of the recipe for you to try. You do need Jalapeno peppers, preferably in the smoky adobo sauce. We stock Mexicorn Chipotles in adobo, which cost R65 a jar. But you could also buy a jar of pickled jalapenos from the supermarket and add some smoke with a teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika. If you like food extra spicy, add two chipotles or jalapenos. You serve this with soft tortillas or with rice. We added a guacamole to cool it down. You could also add a yoghurt and cucumber dip.
1 large, finely chopped onion - 1 piece of shoulder of pork or neck weighing ±1.5Kg - 410g tin of chopped tomatoes - 400g tomato passata - 3 bay leaves, fresh if possible - 1 T fresh finely chopped fresh oregano or 1t dried - 2 crushed cloves of garlic - 1 T maple syrup - chopped chipotle in adobo sauce or jalapeno chilli - salt and freshly ground black pepper
If you are using a slow cooker, put everything in it, turn on to its high setting, cover and leave to cook for 6 or 7 hours. Stir and turn the piece of pork occasionally - about every hour. Check the seasoning and adjust. If your tomatoes are sour, you may need more salt and a bit more maple syrup. Eventually, the bones will come away completely. Cut off the rind and fat and remove. You are then supposed to shred the pork. Lynne broke it into rather large chunks instead and let our guests do the shredding on their plate. Or not. This goes a long, long way and is rich, meaty and tender with a nice kick of warmth from the chilli.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you need to cook in a covered casserole in the oven on slow until it is tender and the sauce has broken down and amalgamated. Check and turn the meat every hour to see that it is not drying out and sticking to the pot. Add a little water if it is.
Always better if made the day before. We served it with the new Du Toitskloof Nebbiolo, which was a very good match
Coming Events:
Thursday, 20th August at 18h30  An Evening of Vintage Wine & Venison with Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche and Chef Michelle Theron. Professor Johann Kirsten, mastermind behind the legal protection and certification for Karoo Lamb as well as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development at the University of Pretoria, will present a talk, focusing on the importance and conservation of regional food as part of our cultural and food heritage. Cost: R490 per person. Click here for the menu. Reservations are essential. To book a table, please contact us at 021 876 8800 or
Thursday, 20th August  Caroline’s Fine Wines presents Johnathan Grieve of AVONDALE. Johnathan will continue the story, during which time, we will taste seven of their outstanding wines.  R120 p/p  Book here
Thursday, 20th August at 18h30   Le Bonheur Winemaker’s Dinner. Winemaker, Lauren Behrens, will team up with foodie, Mari de Kock, from Delicately Different, to create a fabulous six course dinner. Each dish to be paired with a Le Bonheur wine. Exciting prizes will be included on the evening. The evening will take place in the Manor House and costs R395 per person. Advanced booking is advised. Call 021 875 5478 or email to make your booking now.
Friday & Saturday, 21st & 22nd  August, 15h00 to 20h00 5th Annual Big Bottle Festival. Friday evening with a one of a kind Champagne tasting presented by Champagne and MCC specialist Paul Gerber of Le Lude in Franschhoek  followed by a 4 course dinner accompanied by some of Italy’s finest wines. Tickets to the Big Bottle Festival Walkabout on Saturday, 22nd August can be bought online from at R450 which includes wine, food, music, glass and a fun-filled time. Master classes need to be booked separately in addition to a walk-about-ticket.  For costs and full details on the Champagne Tasting and Gourmand Dinner please refer to the website
Monday, 24th August18h00 to 19h00  Sip and Sample at The Vineyard Hotel with wines from Allée Bleue. Surrounded by the breath-taking scenery of the Franschhoek valley, this estate seamlessly combines world-class wines with warm hospitality and historic charm. 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
Wednesday, 26th August  Around the World with Ingredients at Durbanville Hills. Beat the winter chill with an interactive food- and wine-pairing evening with ingredients from around the world, led by chef, Louisa Greeff, and Durbanville Hills winemakers. Lovers of pasta can join in for the not-so-Banting menu that will include a demonstration of how to make the perfect ravioli and, in true Italian style, a feast of mezze-style snacks, ravioli, arroz tapado, gnocchi and chocolate pasta for dinner paired with a selection of wines from Durbanville Hills’ three wine ranges. The cost is R395 per person for the interactive demonstration, snacks, three course meal, wine and coffee. Booking is essential as seats are limited. To book or for more information, contact Simone Brown on 021 558 1300 or send an email to
Wednesday, 26th August, 18h00 to 21h00 Johannesburg Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase. The Atrium, Nedbank Head office, 135 Rivonia Road, Sandton. R190 per person including tasting glass. Tickets can be purchased via To find out more, visit:, email or call +27 +21 852 0408
Thursday, 27th August Caroline’s Fine Wines presents SADIE FAMILY's entire 'Ou Wingerd Reeks' 2014, plus Palladius and Columella 2013. R300 p/p - space limited as we only have one bottle of each to spare of these coveted wines. Book here
Thursday, 27th August Blu Bird Exclusive Winemaker dinner at Bistro Michel, Blubird Shopping Centre, Cor Atholl-Oaklands Road & Fort Street, Johannesburg.

James Downes from Shannon Vineyards in Elgin will lead guests through all the wines produced by Shannon Vineyards, while chef patron Thomas Maxwell will create a delicious 3 course dinner. Seats are limited to 30 only to ensure a social evening centered around good food and wine. To book, please contact Corlien on or 011 440 5498. Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first reply basis. 

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
Friday, 28th & Saturday, 30th August   Franschhoek Wine & Dine (Johannesburg) For more information and accommodation bookings, please call 021 876 2861 or visit
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 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 Entry is free of charge. For further information contact Eldré Strydom 082 877 6677 or · · @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
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

19th August 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.
If you like the photographs you see in our publications, please look at our Adamastor Photo website for our rate card and samples from our portfolio
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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