Thursday, February 18, 2016

This week’s MENU - PR Blurbs Jordan Harvest Report, Marc's Table, Revving Up Rosé Festival, Corn Bread with Jalapenos, Morgenhof 2002 Cabernet, Coming events

This magnificent visitor to our southern countryside, a sable antelope bull with his young companions, in a Boschendal field

To get the whole story with photographs, please click on the paragraph title, which will lead you there. At the end of each story, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to MENU.
PR Blurbs     We are sent a large number of public relations bulletins which ask us to tell you about a new wine, winery, restaurant – essentially asking us to regurgitate a PR blurb about something we have not experienced and possibly never will. We find this somewhat disrespectful, to us and to you, especially when the agency involved never invites us to their events in case we might be too critical. When we write about something, it is to inform and, hopefully, entertain you and to encourage you to try something which we have experienced and give you a pictorial insight. We will never pass on stuff we have not experienced.
Jordan Harvest Report     We spent a lovely day on Jordan wine estate, tasting the new just picked juices of several grapes, the newly fermenting wine and listening to the undisputable facts of the effect on global warming, El Nino and drought on wine farming. It is not all gloom and doom and Gary Jordan has plans in hand to stay in business planting grapes that will adapt to the rise in temperature and the lack of water. We followed this with a delicious lunch on the deck at The Bakery. Read on
For those of you in the wine industry Gary has forwarded the link to this article. The impact of climate change on the global wine industry: Challenges & Solutions  
We find a new local restaurant, Marc's Table     We don't often find a place that is completely new to us and which has been open for a while. Marc's restaurant is in a hotel that, quite frankly, when it was painted a lurid pink and given the name of Sugar, we concluded (wrongly!) that is might be slightly disreputable. It is now painted white, still called Sugar (why?) is perfectly respectable and on the corner of Boundary Road and Main Road in Green Point. The menu has interesting choices, the prices are reasonable for fine dining and the food was good. Both the hotel and restaurant are owned by chef Marc van Rooyen. Read On
Revving Up Rosé Festival at Rickety Bridge on Saturday     Some festivals are just smarter (in both senses of the word) than others and this one outshone many others. Held in the grounds of Rickety Bridge in Franschhoek, there were plenty of tables, chairs and umbrellas, an intelligent limited lunch menu and some great and interesting, mostly Franschhoek, Rosé wines and MCCs. We took our foreign visitors and had a wonderfully relaxed day. Well done, Darielle. Read On
Food Fact: Burnt food is not good for you. The black burned bits are pure carbon and this is a known carcinogen. So cut the black bits off or put the food in the bin.
This week's recipe is something we had never tasted before. It was served at a lunch party friends gave at the new home of their daughter and son in law who have just returned from working in the USA. We absolutely loved this easy to make bread and apologise to all of you who are Banting for subverting you. You need to use yellow corn meal and we did find it in the health section of Dischem. You could use polenta, but you will get a smoother, less chunky bread. As it is made with baking powder, it doesn't keep very long. You could portion leftovers (if there are any remaining), wrap in foil and freeze. You can leave out the spicy jalapenos, if you must.
½ cup plain flour - 1½ cups yellow cornmeal (not fine texture) - 1 teaspoon salt - 1 Tablespoon sugar - 2 teaspoons baking powder - 1½ cups grated strong cheddar cheese and a little more for the top - 410g can creamed corn - ½ cup plain Greek yoghurt - 4 eggs, lightly beaten - ¾ cup melted butter - (optional) ½ cup sliced jalapenos, drained
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Lightly grease a heavy bottom round skillet or frying pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir well. then stir in the cheese, corn, jalapeños, yoghurt and eggs, just enough to blend, and finally add the melted butter. Sprinkle the top with some grated cheese.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes then cool on wire rack.
Our Wine of the Week: Morgenhof 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon     This has been nestling in our cellar for a few years and we wanted something classic to accompany some good rump steak dowsed with truffle oil. This classic Cabernet is full of cassis and other red berry flavours, still has some chalky tannins and is soft, juicy and still has a few years left in it. One of those wines that shows what we can do and that we should age our good reds. Thank goodness we have another bottle in the cellar.
Here is a list of coming events up to the end of February. There may be more, but we will add them as we receive them. We will be at the Stellenbosch Festival on Friday and at Franschhoek Summer wines on Saturday and we hope to see many of you.
Friday, 19th February     Maison Ruinart Champagne Dinner at Benguela on Main, 206 Main Road, Somerset West R1400 per person. For details, contact or email  Phone: 087 357 0637
Saturday, 20th February  10am – 2pm Beaumont Federweisser Day. Celebrating our Chenin harvest at Beaumont Family Wines Werf. At the early stages of harvest, once our delicious Chenin juices start fermenting, we celebrate this short but sweet period of feathery white, aromatic wine – The Federweisser. Come and taste this unique stage of our Chenin Blanc and compare this to the finished Chenin’s from last year. As tradition demands it we will be pairing these lightly alcoholic nectars with our home-made Flammkuchen, an Alsatian style flat bread with crème fraiche, onions, bacon and chives. Tickets: R100 per adult / R50 per child. The day will include a tasting of our Federweisser, tasting of our grapes, tasting of the Beaumont Family Wines range as well as one Flammkuchen per person. Vegetarian options are available so please let us know any dietaries when booking. Activities for the kids include tasting of the juices, the opportunity to stomp some grapes as well as the use of our farm play ground. Wine, produce and our home-made ice creams will be available for sale on the day.  To book please email us at or phone the office on 028 284 9194
Saturday, 20th February           Brooklyn Bubbles. Summer’s in full swing and so are the bubbles at Brooklyn Mall. Don’t miss out on the chance to sample over 15 of SA’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques at this year’s Brooklyn Bubbles on Saturday, 20th February (11am to 4pm). Tickets cost R200 per person and include entry to the event, a complimentary tasting glass as well as tasting coupons. Additional coupons can be purchased. Pre-book directly via to avoid disappointment.
Saturday, 20th February  Annual Grande Provence Harvest Day, Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, Franschhoek. Celebrate the grape harvest with Grande Provence in the Franschhoek valley, with barrels of fun the order of the day. The annual Grande Provence Harvest Festival kicks off at 09h00 with coffee and muffins, before embarking on a tractor ride, followed by grape picking, stomping, wine tasting and a cellar tour. Live music and a lavish harvest feast prepared by Grande Provence Executive Chef Darren Badenhorst will end off a day of festivities. Tickets for this traditional Franschhoek harvest celebration are R650 for adults and R350 for children under 12. Booking is essential, so be sure to contact Barbara at 021 876 8600 or e-mail For accommodation enquiries, phone 021 876 8600 or e-mail
Sunday, 21st February     The Backsberg Centenary Picnic Concert Series kicks-off on with a performance by Gerald Clark & the Deadmen. Come and enjoy your Sunday afternoon by relaxing on the lawns with a glass of wine whilst listening to some great SA music. Tickets are R120 from and R150 at the gate. Students pay R60 and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. Delicious food and snack boxes will be available on the day. Snack boxes can be pre-ordered at at a cost of R160 for two persons. Gates to Backsberg Estate Cellars open at 15h00.
Thursday, 25th February          Summer Sounds at Haute Cabrière, featuring Morne Meyer, from Wellington, who has recently worked in Dubai as an entertainer for Regal Plaza Hotel with guitar, vocal and live music. He is talented in multiple genres including Jazz, Blues, Funk and Pop. This is the perfect way to enjoy a delicious light meal paired with great wines. The breathtaking views and sunsets provide a splendid setting for the entertainment on the Terrace area at Haute Cabrière with seating on the Terrace and the lawns which overlook the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. Booking is essential as each event has a maximum capacity of 60 people. Please note only the Terrace menu is available at these events and no cover charge applies. For reservations and enquiries e-mail or call 021 876 3688
Saturday, 27th February  Constantia Fresh Fine Wine and Food Festival. Local produce, gourmet canapés and over 200 wines are ripe for the picking at this popular annual event. The fresh green lawns of Buitenverwachting Wine Estate are where you’ll find foodies and wine enthusiasts for the seventh annual Constantia Fresh Fine Wine & Food Festival. Over 200 wines will be available for you to swirl, sip and savour, while you nibble on gourmet canapés prepared by some of Constantia’s most talented chefs (Peter Tempelhoff, Christian Harbeck, Brad Ball, Edgar Osojnik, Annemarie Steenkamp and Garth Almazan, among others). Your ticket includes a festival glass, tasting of over 200 wines, as well as the gastronomic extravaganza on offer. Live music will be part of the afternoon’s entertainment. The event runs from 15:00 to 19:00. Tickets cost R495 each, and available from or participating wineries. For more information, visit, e-mail or phone 083 265 2405
Saturday, 27th February at 15h00        Muratie presents Robin Auld in an evening of music, wine and plenty of fun!  R100 per ticket. Please book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. For further information contact Jean-Mari Strauss at Muratie on 021 865 2330 or
Saturday, 27th & Sunday, 28th February       Durbanville Wine Valley’s Feast of the Grape. Kick off your shoes for some squishing and splatting at this year’s Durbanville Wine Valley’s Feast of the Grape, a weekend of harvest fun hosted by 12 wine farms in the Valley. The festival will take place at D’Aria Wine Farm with an abundance of seasonal wines and entertainment to enjoy. The 12 farms coming together from the Durbanville Wine Valley to take part in the grape festivities are: Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, D’Aria, De Grendel, Diemersdal, Durbanville Hills, Groot Phesantekraal, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Meerendal, Nitida and Signal Gun. Tickets costs R120 and include entrance to the festival, a wine glass and tasting coupons. Tickets will be available via For more details and the festival programme visit
Sunday, 28th February    The Backsberg Centenary Picnic Concert Series continues with a performance by Blues Broers. Come and enjoy your Sunday afternoon by relaxing on the lawns with a glass of wine whilst listening to some great SA music. Tickets are R120 from and R150 at the gate. Students pay R60 and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. Delicious food and snack boxes will be available on the day. Snack boxes can be pre-ordered at at a cost of R160 for two persons. Gates to Backsberg Estate Cellars open at 15h00.

18th February 2016
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