Tuesday, November 03, 2015

This week’s MENU: Durbanville Season of Sauvignon, Prescient Chardonnay Awards, Lunch at Benguela on Main, Launch of the 2016 Platter South African Wine Guide, Lunch at The Deckhouse Crab Shack and BBQ, Salmon fishcakes

Grace in flight - a grey heron comes in to land
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A quieter week... has given us time to do a few useful things around the house, but we have still been included in some wonderful activities. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about them. We have been able to taste some spectacularly good food and wine.
Season of Sauvignon     This annual festival heralds the new releases of the Sauvignons blanc from the Durbanville Valley. We went on Saturday and we started at the furthest farm, Phizante Kraal, where we were given a tasting of four bubblies from the area, two made from Sauvignon blanc, in the media lounge. They had also laid on brunch, but we were rather tardy after our long Karoo trip and there was not much left when we got there, entirely our fault but we had eaten breakfast.
 Each farm had organised its own tasting, its own entrance price, its own deposit on glasses and its own entertainment. So those farms who could afford to go to town had a lot of visitors, more than the others. At previous festivals people circulated from farm to farm much more than we saw this time. We managed to get to 8 farms but didn't manage to taste at all of them. And a 9th was just too popular and we were not allowed to go in. We had a good lunch at Hillcrest. See the farms we visited...
Prescient Chardonnay Awards     Prescient Limited is the new sponsor of these Chardonnay Awards run by Winemag.co.za. They promise to be around for many years to come. 60 top Chardonnays are invited to enter. This is not a top 10 competition, but a certificate is given to every Chardonnay (29 of them) entered that scored 90 points & over (out of 100). We were able to taste all the wines that scored over 92 at the awards ceremony at Momo gallery in Buitengracht this week. There are some fire crackers. Public tastings are to be held in Johannesburg on 4th November at 18h00 at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel and in Cape Town on 11th November at 18h00 at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Waterfront Tickets cost R225 and are available from Winemag.co.za. Photographs from the event
Lunch at Benguela on Main     Benguela Cove winery is on the hillside overlooking Walker Bay, on the road between Bot River and Hermanus. Owner Penny Streeter OBE has now opened a fine dining restaurant nearer to Cape Town on Main Road and Coronation in Somerset West. We experienced the great food and newly released wines there on Friday. See it here
Launch of the 2016 Platter's Wine Guide     Invitations to this launch are always hard to get, but fantastically rewarding when you are invited. You can taste all the just awarded 5 star wines and chat to their winemakers informally, as you and they taste all the wines. There were some surprising results as usual and some expected winners. 8 000 wines tasted this year. 83 wines, three brandies and one husk spirit rated 5 Stars (wines scoring 95 or more out of 100, so rated superlative). Best White wine of the year went to Warwick for their 2014 The White Lady Chardonnay. Best Red wine to Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines 2013 Iron Syrah; they also won the award for the best Dessert wine with their Olerasay NV Straw Wine. They also received 5 stars for the 2013 Straw Wine and their 2014 Granite Chenin Blanc, our favourite of the bunch and therefore took Winery of the year, a tour de force. The red ink entries are back to everyone's delight - they denote 4½ Star and 5 star status. Read on for photos and the Five Star list
Stormy Weather Surprise at The Deck House Crab Shack    Our plan on Sunday was to drive through to Kalkies for great fish and chips in Kalk Bay. A big storm hit us at 08h11 on Sunday morning and, after consultation, we decided it would be more sensible to go closer to home, but we still wanted to eat fish and we wanted to try one of the many new restaurants that have been popping up all over Cape Town in the last few months. See it here
Salmon fishcakes    We had some hot smoked salmon left over and a small piece of fresh salmon in the freezer so Lynne decide to make some Banting fish cakes for supper. But how to make them without any or just a few carbohydrates? This was her solution. You could use any fish you like, fresh or left over. You can adjust the flavours to your own liking. Adding chopped spring onions might be one option. Do not make the fish mixture too wet or you will have to add some flour or breadcrumbs to hold it all together and this would rather defeat the object.
200g hot smoked salmon - 200g cooked fresh salmon - 300g sweet potato, boiled and mashed with butter - 1 egg - salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1 T fresh dill, finely chopped or parsley - a quarter teaspoon on chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
Flake the fish and mix everything together well, form into fishcakes and set aside in the fridge to firm up for about 20 minutes. This should make 6 to 8 fishcakes
One egg - 150g ground almonds - 2 T white sesame seeds - lots of seasoning - another shake of cayenne pepper  - coconut fat for frying
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl beat the egg. Dip each firm fishcake into the egg and then into the dry mixture. Fry gently on each side until nice and brown. Lynne served this with courgette spaghetti and a good mixed salad. It can be accompanied by a tartar sauce (use thick Greek yoghurt with finely chopped capers and pickled cucumber), lemon wedges or horseradish added to thick cream. Serve with a rich unwooded chardonnay like DeWetshof Bon Vallon, Glen Carlou or Groote Post.
Coming Events:
NOVEMBER
Until end November   Franschhoek Art in Clay For more information and accommodation bookings, please call 021 876 2861 or visit www.franschhoek.org.za
Thursday, 5th November at 19h00 Top12Wines tastings series: Pinot Grigio at MOLO LOLO LODGE 27 Hudson Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town www.molololo.com R220pp inclusive of meal & Cheeses from Ile de France The format is as usual, a blind tasting 12 of the best SA Wines in the category of the day, all winners of awards and top reviews, competing against the public! You will rank the wines in order of preference, with old friends and new friends alike. Expect amazing quality wines. Info: +27 81 799 3899 info@top12wines.com - www.top12wines.com
Saturday, 7th November From 09h00 to 13h00 The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Movember - #WaitersRaceCapeTown Camps Bay High School Sports Fields. We would like to invite hotels and restaurants to participate in our 3rd annual #WaitersRaceCapeTown - and encourage members of the public to join the action as spectators, free of charge! All proceeds of the day will be donated to Movember SA. READ MORE The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay 8005, CAPE TOWN, South Africa Telephone: +27 21 437 9029 Email: restaurants@12apostles.co.za
Thursday, 12th November at 19h00 Top12Wines tastings series: Gewürztraminer at MOLO LOLO LODGE 27 Hudson Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town www.molololo.com R220pp inclusive of meal & Cheeses from Ile de France The format is as usual, a blind tasting 12 of the best SA Wines in the category of the day, all winners of awards and top reviews, competing against the public! You will rank the wines in order of preference, with old friends and new friends alike. Expect amazing quality wines. Info: +27 81 799 3899 info@top12wines.com - www.top12wines.com
Saturday, 14th & Sunday, 15th November  Bosman Release Celebration on the Bosman family estate, Lelienfontein in Wellington. The day begins at 11h00 and ends at 16h00. The tasting journey is open from 12h00 to 15h00 in the cellar. This event marks the release of new vintages from their Fairtrade De Bos Handpicked Vineyards and signature Bosman Family Vineyards wines. Exclusive releases for Bosman Family Wine Club Members will also be launched on the day including a Weisser Riesling, a Pinot Gris and, for the first time in South Africa, a Nero d’Avola. A festive food market will be set up on the lawns. Live music. Trained crèche staff will look after smaller children. Wine maker theatre sessions can be booked on a first come first serve basis during 12h00 to 15h00. Tickets at R150 per person include access to both days, a wine glass and a R50 voucher redeemable with your first purchase of six bottles of wine on the day. Children under 12 enter free of charge. Food sold at R50 per station. Space is limited, so book now at http://bosmanwines.com/tickets/ to secure your place. For more information please contact Neil Büchner at neil@bosmanwines.com or call 021 873 3170
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
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.





4th November 2015
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