Friday, April 29, 2016

This week’s MENU: Diemersdal Wild Horseshoe Sauvignon Blanc, Ken Forrester's Dirty Little Secret, Lunch at The Conservatory, Cellars Hohenort, Bellingham's Homestead Wine Range, Diaz Tavern, Bertha's, Simonstown, Niël Groenewald's Bobotie

Cormorants, seemingly unconscious of the crashing winter waves
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.
Another long weekend looms. At least, this year, one of the public holidays is at the end of the weekend. In most years they fall in the middle of the week, giving the country a long, unproductive, mostly free holiday when our fragile economy doesn’t need it. We are looking forward having fun and tasting good wines at Elgin’s Cool Wine & Country Food Festival. Full details can be seen at
Diemersdal Launch of the Wild Horseshoe Sauvignon Blanc     Lynne asked Cellar master Thys Louw if he had ever considered adding any Semillon to his excellent Sauvignon Blanc. "Heavens, no", he said ..."then I would have 10 Sauvignons!". The Wild Horseshoe is his 9th iteration and it is a cracker. It's their first skin-fermented natural wild yeast Sauvignon Blanc; fermented on the skins for 96 hours and kept on the lees in 3rd and 4th fill barrels for 10 months. It tasted disgusting until they transferred it into tank and then it got itself together and changed in style to produce this clean crisp elegant wine. (Our wine of the Week this week) All Diemersdal wines are grown on the Estate and Sauvignon Blancs make up 50% of their production. The grapes come from a vineyard planted in 1982, older than Thys. The launch was followed by a wonderful lunch, at a restaurant to add to your list to visit. Read on.....
Ken Forrester's Dirty Little Secret     This was revealed last week as his latest block buster Natural Chenin Blanc of which only 3,500 bottles have been made and which will sell on the farm for R950 a bottle. And they will sell. Ken always pushes the envelope in quality and in price. And chutzpah and charm. He can, he has proved it. He introduced his first Old Vine Reserve in 1994, then the FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin) in 2002 at a record price of R160 a bottle, it sold out immediately. With this wine he has shown the young guns that older experienced wine makers can also do fabulous Natural wine from the Swartland. He needed to find a new Chenin vineyard with the same character as Stellenbosch and this is it. The grapes are from old vines planted in l965 in Piekenierskloof. Read on.....
Restaurant week lunch at The Conservatory, Cellars Hohenort      Restaurant week has run for 10 days from the 21st of April this year. We were keen to book for some of the top restaurants but were certainly not successful for La Colombe. Lynne went on line the moment the site was up and failed; all the seats were sold out in an hour. Perhaps due to the fact that they only had one table for 2 for lunch on each of the days - not really a great way to entice new customers? We did get a booking at another of our choices for lunch at The Conservatory at Cellars Hohenort and it was a good experience, despite the severe Cape storm that day. Read on......
Bellingham's launch of the Homestead Range at the Bellingham homestead      Bellingham Estate in Franschhoek was founded in 1693 but was made famous by vintner Bernard (Pod) Podlashuk, who bought the farm in 1943. With his iconic wines like Johannisberger in its classic green bottle shaped like the Klein Drakenstein peak behind the farm, and the first dry Rosé, Premier Grand Cru and Shiraz in South Africa, he made history and positive change to a stagnant industry. These wines were breaking new ground in the South African wine industry in the 1950s. His wife Fredagh remodelled the homestead into an extraordinary house filled with precious antiques and oddities, art and artefacts, dust gatherers and valuable objet d'art. We were invited this week to come and taste the new range of Homestead wines with lunch and to tour the house. It was quite an occasion. Read on.....
The Diaz Tavern has been a part of Cape Town's culinary landscape for many years. John has been a happy patron for a mere 30 or so years. It is always busy but, somehow, we have always managed to get a table, even if we haven't booked. The Portuguese menu is simple and consistently excellent. John's brother, on his first visit, said that the peri peri chicken was the best he'd ever had. The fish dishes are legendary and the trinchado, John's favourite, is still the best. See the photographs.....
A light lunch at Bertha's, Simonstown      Last Sunday, John took a group of clients on a Peninsula tour. They wanted a light lunch, so he booked a table at Bertha’s in Simonstown. The Navy was holding its open day, so there was no parking anywhere in the town. The management at Bertha’s were most helpful and “made a plan” with the nearby parking attendant, who let John double park in the small parking lot at the side of the restaurant and then called him when the trapped car needed to move
The food was uncomplicated, well prepared and presented and the service friendly and efficient. Prices are competitive, as you can see on the menu below. A pleasant surprise was that Bertha’s gives a free meal to drivers and guides who bring clients for meals. Read on.....
Recipe for the week is Bellingham winemaker Niël Groenewald's Bobotie. This comes from a cookbook issued by Bellingham and it is a classic South African dish, very easy to make. If you can't get Mrs Ball’s chutney, use a fruit chutney you like. If you like your food with a bit of heat, use one with chilli. Bobotie can be made using lamb or beef or a mix of both
2 slices white bread, crusts removed - 100ml milk - 30 ml olive oil - 1 kg minced meat - 1 onion, finely chopped -1 large carrot, grated - 40 ml mild curry powder - 10 ml turmeric - 30 ml apricot jam - 30 ml Mrs Balls Original chutney - 30 ml raisins (optional) - juice and grated rind of one lemon - salt and freshly ground black pepper - 3 eggs - 200ml cream - 3-5 bay leaves
Preheat your oven to 180⁰C. Soak the white bread in the milk and set aside. Heat half the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat until it is brown. Scoop out and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and fry the onion, carrot, curry powder and turmeric until the onions are translucent. Add back the meat and let them cook together for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the soaked bread and milk, apricot jam, chutney, raisins, lemon juice and rind and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into a greased ovenproof dish. Beat the eggs with the cream, season with salt and pour over the minced meat mixture. Place the bay leaves on top of the cream mixture (let them sink into the mixture) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Serve with yellow rice and home-made beetroot.
Food Fact: Did you know that almonds are one of the best nuts for you, but not roasted. They need to be raw and in their skins. A few a day will help stave off hunger, constipation, and will promote weight loss. They contain healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E and B2. A small handful, 25 to 28 grams a day contains about 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates. And almonds are a good source of antioxidants
Wine of the Week Diemersdal Wild Horseshoe Sauvignon Blanc     It is shy but sophisticated on the nose. This silky fruit driven wine is crisp and green, with minerality and some wood notes; long flavours remain and delight. Rather French in style. And a wonderful food wine. Only 1500 bottles made, so it is sold in the Diemersdal Tasting room only
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 and SMS 32845

29th April 2016
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