Thursday, September 10, 2015

150910 This week’s MENU: Riscura White Hot Awards, Postberg Spring Flowers, Blaauwklippen Blending Competition, Seductive Sauvignons, Uva Mira & Guardian Peak, Waterford trade day

A carpet of Spring flowers at Postberg, West Coast National Park
In this week’s MENU:
*  Dinner with Bertus Basson on Vondeling
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.
Riscura White Hot Awards      The awards are for the best white Bordeaux blend in South Africa. This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The ceremony was held at Tjing Tjing Torii in town and we were able to taste all of the winners. They are all, without exception, great wines. The top wine, the Mulderbosch Faithful Hound made by Adam Mason, is multi-layered, elegant and a clear winner. The prices vary a lot, but most are still available and all are ready for drinking now. They are scored out of 100, which is a method of scoring used overseas and here, but which we ourselves don't use, preferring the one we were trained to use, which is out of 20. Here is the list of winners, with some photographs.
Glorious Spring Flowers everywhere     We heard that the spring flowers up the West Coast were magnificent and we had one day free last week, so we packed a picnic and off we went. If you get a chance to go on a sunny day (the flowers do not open if it is cloudy, so don't waste a trip), GO. It is absolutely superb. You do need to go right into the Postberg Nature Reserve to see them and you will be rewarded. Every spare inch of ground without bush is covered in flower carpets. We were told that there is free entrance to the park between the 9th and 14th of September. We also took the road to Darling, but that was rather disappointing. Perhaps those flowers will come out later in the season. Some of our photographs.....
Blaauwklippen Blending Competition     Each year Blaauwklippen invites wine clubs to enter this competition and each year they select the varietals which will constitute a blend which they want the clubs to make. There are now clubs in five countries that enter and this year they were required to make a blend which is made to last, from the five classic Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Bottles of wine are sent to all the participating clubs and they must come up with their own blend. We were invited to see the awards being presented last Friday on the farm, to taste the winning wine and to enjoy a really great lunch prepared by visiting Chef Craig Cormack. See what happened.....
Dinner with Bertus Basson on Vondeling      Craig Cormack has worked closely with Chef Bertus Basson and we thought you might like to know that Chef Bertus is doing three great Sunday lunches on Vondeling wine farm in the Voor Paardeberg area, which is only an hour from town. There are apparently still some places open and the dates are Sunday 20th September, 8th November and 20th December. We certainly plan to be at one of these and would recommend you book soon. The cost is only R245 per person and we know the food and wine will be worth the visit. If you can't make the Big Sunday lunches, Vondeling are also having a Summer Family and Wine festival on 31st October. Contact Vondeling directly at 021 869 8595 or info@
Seductive Sauvignons     We love this festival held every year by Mike Bampfield Duggan and his talented Wine Concepts team at the Vineyard hotel. Where else can you taste through some of the best Sauvignons, white and red this country has to offer? There were also a couple of MCC bubblies made from Sauvignon and it was a great evening, with some small taster dishes served throughout the evening while you walked around sampling the wines. A pity if you missed it. Their next superb festival will be the Champagne Festival later in the year. Check the Wine Concepts website for current tastings. See more.....
Uva Mira & Guardian Peak     Our wine club outing this month was a drive right to the top of the Annandale Road near Stellenbosch, to the heady heights and wonderful views of Uva Mira to taste some of their wines after which we headed a little way down the hill to Guardian Peak for a really nice relaxing and good value lunch. More about which here....
Feeling at home at the Waterford trade day     Waterford Estate is one of the most elegant wine farms in the Cape. It is owned jointly by Jeremy Ord and his partner, Cellarmaster Kevin Arnold. To quote from their web site: “The winery was designed by architect Alex Walker and created from quarried local bedrock, stones from the vineyard and timber grown on the estate. It was styled along the engaging terracotta design of the classic Bordeaux chateaux of France”. The centre piece of the magnificent courtyard is the Waterford fountain which features on their wine label. It is a very welcoming place and we love to visit. The tasting room is more like a huge comfortable lounge in a luxury country hotel, especially when you can collapse into the soft sofas by the roaring fireplace on a chilly Spring day, with a glass of the Kevin Arnold Shiraz in your hand. This week, they held their trade open day with lots and lots of different ways to taste their wines. We loved it. Read on.....
Chasing the canapés     Suddenly, we are finding that most functions are being held mid morning or early evening at cocktail time. Obviously, the cost of lunches and dinners has outstripped the budgets. While there are great exceptions, it can mean a rather unsatisfying event for us, as you literally have to chase servers as the canapés zoom past one, often at head height. This can be quite amusing but, if you are having to taste a lot of wine and need something to help soak up the alcohol, it is rather infuriating and unsatisfying. Training of staff about serving canapés is badly needed, and so is their fair distribution across a room. We vote for a spread on an accessible table in a corner of the room.
And some of the canapés can be minimal, in size and quantity. Sometimes, a bowl of soup might be a better option! It means that we have to go somewhere nearby to eat something afterwards, because driving on an empty stomach after alcohol is not going to happen and cooking at 9 o’clock is not an option. Yes, if we could be better organised and had more time, we could go home to a meal cooked earlier but, at this time of year, we have no spare time. Thank heavens for good fish and chips or our excellent local Chinese. And, no, we don't do convenience food.
The Nederburg Auction     We will be at the Auction this weekend and hope to give you a write up about it next week. However, the next week is going to be so incredibly busy with Cape Wine and functions organised around it that we do not know how or when we are going to find the time to produce MENU. But, somehow, we will. You can look forward to a bumper edition. Yesterday we visited Montagu, to experience a representative sample of Klein Karoo wines with lunch, more about which next week. Thankfully, we were taken there and back by bus.
Sorry, but there is no recipe this week. Lynne insists on researching, cooking and fine tuning all the recipes first to ensure that they work and, this week, we have not cooked anything at home other than breakfast.
Coming Events:
Friday, 11th and Saturday 12th September  The Nederburg Auction at Nederburg, Paarl. Once a year, over two days in September, Nederburg winery in Paarl becomes the highlight and focal point of the fine wine business, providing an appropriate backdrop for a prestigious showcase of South Africa’s best wines, culture and wine personalities. This event is the Nederburg Auction, the oldest auction in the New World of wine and a tribute to the endeavours of South African winemakers since 1975 to improve their wines. More here...
Saturday, 12th September  The second annual Wellington Fork & Cork wine festival at Kleinevalleij Estate, presented by Wellington and the Mutual & Federal Agri Wellington Wine Route. The festival promises to tickle the taste buds providing its patrons with the best local food, wine, art and entertainment the Valley of the Wagonmakers has to offer. Guests can look forward to a fresh produce and lifestyle market as well as a brand new wine theatre with five uniquely entertaining productions and great prizes to be won during each session. The festival also provides a supervised kids area where the young ones can romp around in the fresh Boland air. From 12h00 music lovers can enjoy music by the eight piece swing rock band, Swingsetters  and from 15h00 the Bootleggers, a six piece blues and jazz band will set the mood for the rest of the day. The five wine theatres at Festa Restaurant on Kleinevalleij Estate include: The People’s Chenin, Mighty Blends (Rooi Reuse), Sedgwicks and Andy Watts, Pinotage and Personalities, Wellington Quest for the Best Top 10. During the day’s festivities several lucky draws will take place with fantastic prizes to be won.  Prizes include hampers from the lifestyle market, wines from the valley, restaurant vouchers, accommodation, Zipline vouchers, tickets to the Tuin van Digtersfees and many more. Come and celebrate Wellington’s feat and experience why it was announced Western Cape Kwêla Dorp van die Jaar by sampling the best this Boland town  has to offer. Tickets are available at Computicket at R150 per person and include a glass, free tasting and entry to the wine theatres.  Children under the age of 17 enter for free. Festivities start at 10h00 and will continue till 18h00 – thereafter the party moves to the adjacent Festa. For more information and the full programme contact tel 021 864 1378, e-mail or visit
Sunday, 13th September  The PIWOSA ‘Wine Car Boot’ Fair. PIWOSA, Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa, comprising thirteen of South Africa’s top independent, boutique wine producers, will be hosting a day of fine wine and epic entertainment at Journey’s End Estate in Sir Lowry’s Pass. Tickets at R150 per head, including 12 tasting tokens, a branded glass and all entertainment, are available via Quicket at
Tuesday, 15th to Thursday, 17th September Cape Wine Premier Wine Show, Cape Town International Convention Centre. Cape Wine is South Africa's premier wine show, and the southern hemisphere's largest. But, despite its size and popularity, it's really about the intimate details and little-known secrets of our wines and the people behind them. Join trade visitors and journalists from around the world and take advantage of the ideal opportunity to get up close and personal with South Africa’s wines and winemakers.
Thursday, 17th September  From 7pm - 1am  BeOnBree. The Pebbles Project in conjunction with Cape Wine 2015 and generously sponsored by JF Hillebrand South Africa invite you to join us and #BeOnBree for the last night of Cape Wine. The annual ‘last night of the show’ and fundraising party will be held at La Parada on Bree Street, Cape Town. Tickets cost R600 per person and include, as usual, the entertainment and lots of food, drink and dancing. Book tickets on
Saturday, 19th September   Celebrate your Heritage with Lanzerac and The Giggling Gourmet. Treat your taste buds as Lanzerac Hotel’s Executive Chef, Stephen Fraser and world-renowned foodie, Jenny Morris (aka The Giggling Gourmet) whip up a feast of gastronomic proportions. The cost is R595 per person and includes a three-course lunch; welcome drinks and canapés, wines served with the meal, the live entertainment, as well as a goodie bag. For all bookings and enquiries contact Zelda Furstenburg at Lanzerac Wine Estate on or 021 886 5641.
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

10th September 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
We apologise if MENU caused your phone to bleep in the early hours. To send to our huge list of subscribers takes a long time and many of them receive it in the middle of the night. Might we suggest that your phone should not be activated to receive messages from us or from other sources in the witching hours? If your boss needs to contact you at that time, (s)he’s intruding on your valuable personal time.
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.

This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. We own our mailing software and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

No comments: