Friday, September 02, 2016

This Week's MENU. CWG Auction tasting, Bottling Vineyard Hotel wines, Pruning vines at the Vineyard, Young Wine Awards, Smak, Chenin Blanc Top Ten, Vinimark Trade Tasting, Catherine Marshall Pinot, butter

Ducks on the dam at Waterford Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Last week was extremely busy, as you will see below, and we faced a few challenges. We still don't have our car back, it's been more than a month but are eternally grateful for friends Pamela and James who have lent us a car while James is travelling. The rand is again in freefall due to bad judgement and management by our Government and we see inflation knocking at the door, with recession threatening soon after, if something is not done to stem the flow. Lynne popped into Shoprite this week to buy two things: 500 g of ordinary local butter and 3 cloves of garlic. She came out reeling, they cost R75. So if you add a good loaf of bread, garlic bread for dinner will now cost you R100. WHAT! Garlic bread a luxury? We will be planting some garlic this week. Now, are milk cows allowed in city gardens?
Last week was extremely busy, as you will see below, and we faced a few challenges. We still don't have our car back, it's been more than a month but are eternally grateful for friends Pamela and James who have lent us a car while James is travelling. The rand is again in freefall due to bad judgement and management by our Government and we see inflation knocking at the door, with recession threatening soon after, if something is not done to stem the flow. Lynne popped into Shoprite this week to buy two things : 500 g of ordinary local butter and 3 cloves of garlic. She came out reeling, they cost R75 rand. So if you add a good loaf of bread, garlic bread for dinner will now cost you R100. WHAT! Garlic bread a luxury? We will be planting some garlic this week. Now, are milk cows allowed in city gardens?
2016 Cape Winemakers Guild tutored tasting and Auction Showcase     This is, without doubt, always our best wine tasting experience of the year. We had the opportunity to taste 38 of the 54 Guild 2016 Auction wines and one brandy, at speed, hear what each winemaker has to say about the wine he or she is entering in the auction, make notes, empty a glass for the next wine and move on quickly. Some winemakers are great and talk up their wines giving the tasters time to do all the above. Others just say the name of their wines and move off at speed, which adds to the frisson of the event, but leaves us breathless
The wines are extraordinary. If you love and buy wine, register now to attend this year's auction which will be on the 1st of October at Spier. It is open to the public. Registration for the Auction and sales of VIP Lounge tickets will close on Wednesday, 16 September 2016. Contact CWG for details. http://www.capewinemakersguild.com/auction We will see you there
Bottling the Vineyard Hotel wines and tasting four vintages with lunch at Waterford     This year, we were also invited to Waterford wine estate for a tasting of the last four years of the wines that have been made. Waterford, who are one of the four wine farms which sponsor a row of vines, vinified the 2015 vintage. We were to taste the wines and have lunch together
Pruning the vines at the Vineyard Hotel      Once a year, we are invited by the management of The Vineyard Hotel to join them and help prune the vines in the small vineyard on the side of the Liesbeek river in the gardens of the hotel. They have, kindly, made us custodians of one vine. As some of the other people who have been granted a vine are unable to come, we often find that we do a good part of a row, which we enjoy immensely
It is great to be taught a little more technique on pruning methods each year by a different winemaker or viticulturist ,although some do differ widely in their methods. Last year, after we had pruned, one the viticulturists came and did a really hard prune back which may have resulted in the smaller crop in 2016. This year, we were told that the intention was to be not quite so rigorous
The South African Young Wine Awards at The CTICC     Why do we love going to this awards presentation? It's not really to taste the young wines; they are still very young and need to develop their spurs but at these occasions we get to meet the young winemakers who are involved in making these wines and they are the future of the wine industry.
A birthday breakfast at Smak     We don't often get out for breakfast, much as we would like to. Mornings at home are precious, especially after a long week of work, and some late nights. But last week a dear friend had a birthday and we decided to take her out for breakfast to celebrate. She chose to introduce us her favourite breakfast restaurant, SMAK in Bree Street. A first for us; she and her husband have grown fond of this newish venue, opened by two young entrepreneurial chefs Devin Hogan and Katia Scherf in February 2016
They bill themselves as a delicatessen, patisserie, restaurant and coffee bar. It’s light, modern and open six days a week for breakfasts and lunch and take-aways. They are closed on Sundays
Chenin Blanc Top Ten Challenge Awards at Delaire Graff     This annual awards ceremony was held at Delaire Graff this year. We always know that we are going to taste some amazing Chenins with lunch and what a good lunch it was. If you want to see who is in the top 10 this year, click on this link www.chenin.co.za. This is the third year in which the awards have been held and seven of this year's winners have previously been winners, showing how consistent some of these farms are at producing superb Chenin Blanc
Vinimark Trade Tasting     Back in the Ballroom at the CTICC for the third time in a week, this huge trade tasting is overwhelming in its depth, variety and scope of the wines available to taste. There is no way you can consciously even contemplate tasting all of the wines, we usually manage a wine or two at about a third to half of the farms. And it is a very social evening as they also invite some of their customers and we know many of them.

This gentle fruity Pinot has evolved into one of the most delicious Pinot Noirs currently available. It was the talk of two recent trade wine tastings we attended and we so agree. It is Cathy in a glass, friendly, complex, strong, independent but wonderfully feminine. Drink now or squirrel away for special occasions. About R210 at good wine outlets. or direct from Cathy http://cmwines.co.za/range/

Yes, we are serious.
2 cups (500 ml ) double cream will make one cup of butter, leaving you with 1 cup of buttermilk. You need cream with a butterfat of at least 35 %. Chill a sieve in the fridge.
Put the cream into a food processor and blend. You need to continue until you have overbeaten the cream and keep going. The cream will start to clump and give off some liquid. That's the buttermilk. When the cream clumps together in one mass, turn off the processor and using the cold sieve drain off the liquid. Keep it, you can use buttermilk in your cooking. What remains in butter.
Now wash the butter in cold water until it runs clear. Transfer it from the sieve into a bowl and using cold hands (run them under a cold tap) or a spatula, knead it to remove any water. Pour that off and add a little salt, this helps to preserve the butter. You only need about a quarter to half a teaspoon, according to your taste. Form into a roll and wrap in parchment paper. Store in the fridge. You can of course add flavours like herbs, paprika, garlic or lemon if serving with food or bread.
1st September 2016
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