Friday, April 15, 2016

In this week’s MENU: The Hoghouse, TvM tasting at Auslese, Spinach & Leek Quiche, Vriesenhof Grenache 2014

God in his wisdom made the fly and then forgot to tell us why (Ogden Nash)
This little hovering fly was about 3mm from wingtip to wingtip
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.
We spent the end of last week at the World Travel Market trade show at the CTICC, making lots of new and interesting contacts around the country for future exploration. Some are inspirational, like a return trip for John to Botswana, where he lived as a small boy; others more achievable and you will see us cover these as and when they happen. Lynne has to find a winter special venue in the winelands to which we will take the ± 24 members of our wine club for a weekend to explore that area of wine and food. She already has some interesting quotes. Last year we took them to Paarl and stayed at Laborie and the previous year to Wellington for a stay at Ridgeback. Where to this year? If you have any suggestions, please let us know.
Tracy Von Maaren’s Trade wine show at Auslese     Why are we telling you about a trade wine show you probably will never be invited to? Because it showcased some really excellent wines and some amazing food pairings by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt at Aubergine and we think you should know about them, as it might give you some constructive ideas and some good wine suggestions. Tracy represents an excellent range of wine farms and, this year, there were a couple of new ones. See them here....
Dinner at the Hoghouse     It is always fascinating when a chef changes his style diametrically. We have seen it before; a classically trained French style chef goes to the Far East and is enchanted by the wonderful array of Asian produce and spices. Or a chef realises how negative his impact on our world is and changes to greener, locally sourced foods produced with care and respect. PJ Vadas is one such chef who has changed direction. He is well known and lauded for his excellent, innovative gourmet food when at The Round House and then at Vergelegen, where he has delighted us. His about turn has taken him to barbecue foods and craft beer and, on Wednesday night, we went to see what he is now up to. It is a very positive move. See the food and the beer....
WINE OF THE WEEK: Vriesenhof Grenache 2014. This wine was served with tender herby roast lamb and added just the right amount of wildness to sparkle up any Sunday lunch lamb. It is intensely fruity, full of raspberry and cherry notes but with a streak of wild green rebellion and a kick of salt.
Food Fact: Eggs in South Africa come in three sizes: the large egg must weigh more than 51 g, the Extra large more than 59g and Jumbo more than 66g. Why can we not have eggs date stamped with the date they are laid? The eggs in supermarkets have very inadequate sell by dates and they are never fresh. We love to buy eggs in the county with golden yellow yolks and fresh as daisies. We find the names illogical. What is wrong with the terms small, medium and large? Which is what they are.
Tuna and Leek Quiche      This was made in great haste for our monthly wine club meeting and all we had to purchase was the cream and the roll of cheese and herb pastry from the supermarket. You are welcome to make your own pastry, but the bought one works really well and saves a lot of time. If you have left over trimmings, they make very good cheese straws which you can bake at the same time; just add strong grated cheese. We recommend 5 large eggs - in South Africa these are approximately 51/53g each.
1 T butter - 2 or 3 leeks - 1 roll of Cheese and Herb puff pastry - 1 T French mustard - 2 tins of flaked tuna, drained - 50g grated cheese, cheddar or gruyere - 5 large eggs - 250 ml double cream - salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grease the inside of a 23 cm quiche tin with some of the butter. Turn your oven to 180⁰C. Cut the leeks into 1 cm pieces and, in a small frying pan, melt the butter and fry the leeks gently till soft, approx. 5 minutes. Don't forget to season them. Roll the pastry out to fit the tin, carefully place it and trim off the edges but do allow a 2.5 cm overhang as it may shrink. Line the tin with a cartouche of baking paper and blind baking beans. Put into the oven and bake until nearly crisp but not brown. Remove the paper and the baking beans. Allow to cool slightly, then spread the mustard thinly over the pastry. Take the fried leeks and spread them across the pastry. Add the tuna on top. Grate over the cheese. Mix the eggs with the cream, salt and pepper and pour over the contents. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until the custard is almost set, but leave a little wobble in the middle. It will set as it cools
SEE YOU THERE? We will be at the Pinotage and Biltong festival on Sunday. It will take place this weekend, the 16th and 17th of April, on L'Avenir Estate in Stellenbosch. Book your tickets now, they are selling fast. It’s a great festival with some really good Pinotages which will be paired with Joubert and Monty's biltong.
Other events this month:
Thursday, 14th April to Saturday, 16th April, 18h00 to 21h30, Whisky Live showcase in Cape Town, at The Lookout V&A Waterfront. The Whisky Live Celebration is a smaller, boutique-style version of the Whisky Live Festival that takes place annually in Sandton. The Whisky Live Celebrations are intimate events that assemble some of the best local and international whiskies. Visitors can meet masters of the industry and learn how to make the most of each dram. General access tickets cost R180 per person and include entry to the deli area from 18:00 and entry to the tasting hall at 18:30. All tickets include a tasting glass, a 500ml bottle of Valpré spring water and 15 tasting vouchers. There’s also a designated driver ticket option, offered at R105 per person. It includes all of the above, except for the tasting glass and tasting vouchers. There is a limited number of tickets available for these events, and whisky lovers are encouraged to book their tickets online at www.whiskylivefestival.co.za or at www.ticketpro.co.za.  The Whisky Live Celebration promotes responsible drinking. No persons under the age of 18 will be allowed into the tasting hall.  In addition to the designated driver tickets, UBER will be on hand to ensure that everyone in your party is able to have a good time.
Saturday, 16th April and Sunday, 17th April 11h00 to 18h00 Biltong & Pinotage Festival at L’Avenir Wine Estate just outside Stellenbosch. Indulge in two of SA’s favourite delicacies on 2016 at the Biltong and Pinotage Festival, presented by Joubert & Monty Famous Biltong. A range of spiced biltong products will be paired with specific wines for each tasting,  including smoky sweet chilli, spicy BBQ, sweet red pepper and many more.   Fest goers can taste and buy some of the best red Pinotages or have fun with alternatives including Rosé’s, bubblies, blends and even a white Pinotage! The event is family-friendly with live music, food trucks, light meals and casual seating under the trees next to the dam or on the lawns in front of the cellar. The 18 participating wineries are:   Altydgedacht, Anura Vineyards,  Badsberg Wine Cellar, Beyerskloof Wines, Boland Cellar, Chamonix, Diemersdal Wine Estate, Diemersfontein Wines, Flagstone Winery, Kaapzicht Estate, Lanzerac Wine Estate, L’Avenir Wines, Mellasat Vineyards, Perdeberg Wines, Remhoogte Wine Estate, Rhebokskloof, Rijk’s Private Cellar, Tulbagh Winery. Our charity partner is Anna Foundation who will be present to entertain the kids and raise funds for their many worthy projects.  Visit www.annafoundation.com for more info. Tickets price is R150 pp and includes a branded wine glass and a pairing card for the Pinotage and Biltong tastings.  Bookings at www.plankton.mobi and selected Joubert and Monty outlets.  Visit www.joubertandmonty.co.za or J&M’s Facebook page to find the outlet closest to you.
Saturday, 16th  April Franschhoek Wedding Showcase. It’s where wedding dreams become a reality. Offering the perfect, and without a doubt most romantic settings, find out why Franschhoek is one of the world’s favourite wedding destinations at this year’s Franschhoek Wedding Showcase. A centralised venue will be set up at The Franschhoek Cellar where you’ll get the opportunity to meet a selection of wedding suppliers. These include venues, dress designers, wineries, photographers and so much more. To ensure a stress free day for you and your guests make use of Franschhoek’s unique online wedding registry. This allows the bridal couple to select wedding gifts from specialist shops and wineries in the Valley. The showcase will be open between 10am and 3pm and costs R80 per person entrance fee. Tickets are available from www.webtickets.co.za or on the day at The Franschhoek Cellar. For more information contact Franschhoek Wine Valley on 021 876 2861 or office@franschhoek.org.za or visit www.franschhoek.org.za
Saturday, 16th April at 19h00 (Optional Cellar tour starts 18h30) Arendsig Winemaker's Dinner, Arendsig wine estate, Bonnievale. As the summer days start to shorten and we feel Autumn drawing near, we look forward to another spectacular wine and dine evening at Arendsig. Join the feast and festivities which include a 3 course meal with unlimited wine, amidst wine stories in an intimate cellar. Guests can enjoy a personal dinner with dynamic husband and wife team, Lourens and Lizelle van der Westhuizen and learn about the passion that exists behind this quality wine brand with an optional Cellar tour. The dinner includes unlimited wine and there is very limited seating available, so guests are advised to  book ahead to avoid disappointment. Price: R350 per person (with wine included) Maximum seats available: 30. Reservations lizelle@arendsig.co.za or call Lizelle 076 853 0605
Friday, 22nd April, 18h30 for 19h00 AN ULTIMATE FOOD AND WINE PAIRING EVENING LE FRANSCHHOEK The Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa invites you to the ultimate food & wine tasting experience. Enjoy a gourmet meal paired with a wide range of carefully selected wines from Quando Vineyards and Winery. R595 per person Wine & Dinner Only ENQUIRE TO BOOK. R2695 EAT & STAY per couple Includes: Dinner, room and breakfast. ENQUIRE TO BOOK. Booking is essential. Please provide your payment upfront to secure your booking because seating is limited.
Sunday, 24th April (10h00 to 15h00) GROOTE POST APRIL COUNTRY MARKET. Groote Post wine estate, near Darling, brimming with delicious and beautiful country offerings. Guests can expect artisan foods, arts and crafts, home-ware and décor, and Groote Post wines will be available for tasting and purchase by the glass, bottle or case, including the Groote Post Rosé which is made exclusively for the monthly markets. Local is lekker with locals presenting a selection of Darling gourmet produce including organic mushrooms, Weskus Worswa, divine breads, Udderly Delicious cheese, charcuterie, olive oils, pomegranate products and juice, organic preservative free chilli sauces,  delicious handmade toffees from Darling Sweet, popular craft beers from Darling Brew and much more.
Please note that although pets are welcome – all dogs must be on a leash at all times.  Visitors arriving without their dogs on a leash will be given an option to buy one from the SPCA stall or hire one at the Information stall.  The Groote Post Country Market is assisting the West Coast Way Twitter Blanket Drive - now in its second year - by inviting people to donate a blanket to this worthy cause.  The Groote Post Country Market will be a drop-off point for blankets – there be a crate at the entrance to the market for all blankets donated.  Last year 500 blankets were collected and this year they are aiming for 750. The West Coast Way Twitter Blanket Drive runs from Monday 4 April until Saturday 21 May. For further information on the Groote Post Country Market, contact Eldré Strydom: 082 877 6677 or eldre@iloveyzer.co.za Website: www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za. Groote Post’s award-winning restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, will be open as usual – however, booking is essential. And please bring a blanket to donate to the West Coast Way Twitter Blanket Drive for charity. Directions: Follow the R27, the 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. Alternatively, 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.
Saturday, 30th April & Sunday, 1st May Elgin Cool Wine & Country Food Festival. Full details can be seen at http://ecwcf.elginwine.co.za/index.php?page=programme-and-map. Early bird entry tickets to the festival cost R120 per person (over 18's) and can be bought online from www.webtickets.co.za and include your festival tasting glass, festival programme, access to participating farms, live entertainment and wine tasting of a selection of three (3) wines of your choice at any of the participating wine estates. Tickets may be purchased on the day at the Elgin Cool Wine & Country Food festival office at the Peregrine Farm Stall – these tickets are priced at R140 per person. Tasting glasses and guest passes must be collected at the festival office at Peregrine Farm Stall prior to visiting any of the farms. Please note: All children younger than 18 and accompanied by an adult may enter for free. Guests are advised to pre-book activities and meals as space is limited and payable separately. Wines will be available for sale at each farm, both by the glass and by the bottle. Wineries reserve the right to refuse service if deemed necessary.
The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships     During the month of April anyone can vote for their favourite steakhouse, via Facebook and SMS, and stand a chance to win fabulous prizes of The Wolftrap wines.
So please cast YOUR vote, and please spread the news to get the public voting like crazy, via www.facebook.com/SteakHunter and SMS 32845





14th April 2016
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