Friday, September 16, 2016

This Week's MENU. HogHouse Game of Wines, Riscura White Hot Wines, Blaauwklippen Blending Competition, Picanha beef, Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir

Winter has gone. Families playing at the water’s edge, Three Anchor Bay
Cape Town is a winning city      We have to boast! This week, The Conde Nast Readers’ Travel Awards 2016 in category “The Best Food Cities in the World”, chose Cape Town as Best Overseas City for Restaurants and Bars. We so agree. AND the globally-recognised travel magazine also named Cape Town as a runner-up in the category of Favourite Overseas City on September 1st
Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said “It must be noted that tourism in the city is a major driver of the economy to the Western Cape, providing job opportunities to thousands of residents, and the attention earned by such awards aids in the growth of this sector”
UK Daily Telegraph readers named South Africa amongst their three favourite countries alongside New Zealand and the Maldives
Game of Wines at The Hoghouse - A Pretty Pinot Quiz      The HogHouse in Pinelands invited us to join them and take part in this wine quiz which is held once a month. We had no idea what we were in for, drank some good wine, did extraordinarily badly at the quiz but met some great folk and had much fun. Their resident sommelier Kimi Blackadder sent us the invitation and he sets and runs the quiz. This time it was five Pinot Noirs, one Pinot Meunière and three white pinots, some local, some international. If you want to attend one of their events, check out their website  Their next event will be Hogtoberfest on the 8th of October, which sounds like a lot of fun, given the great beers they brew and sell
Riscura White Hot Wines Awards for white blends      These are blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon and produce elegant dry white wines which show a lot of depth, length and quality. That may all sound rather vague but when you taste a good white blend you know you have something special in your glass. The combination of these two grapes is a magical one, the wines keep and get better as they age. The Semillon softens the Sauvignon and it's an almost perfect marriage. If we could only convince South Africans to drink more of them, they would deservedly become more popular. In France they revere them. If this blend is grown in Bordeaux near the Gironde River in North Western France they are simply labelled with that appellation. 35 entries from 31 producers were tasted by the judges Christian Eedes, James Pietersen and Roland Peens. The lowest score (they use the 100 point scheme) was 86. This year there were certificates given to 14 wines that scored over 90. Three wines scored 94, the highest. To see the entire list click here:
The 33rd Blaauwklippen Blending Competition     This annual blending competition, which is now in its 33rd year and can be entered by wine clubs nationwide and overseas, had its awards ceremony this week on the farm. We love to go and meet the finalists over lunch and find out how their wine clubs work, how often they meet and how they approach the blending of the wine. During lunch we tasted the winning wine and, this year, we were surrounded by all four of the finalists. We had fun asking them if they recognised their own blend
You might have noticed this aged triangular roast in your supermarkets and wondered what it is. The name is Spanish and it is a cut of meat used in South America where it is regarded as one of their top cuts. It is actually the point of the rump and Lynne cooked it for the first time last weekend. We discovered not only how incredibly well flavoured and tender it is, and very easy to cook but it also turned out to be rather economical for a family of 2. It made us three very different dishes over three days. We will have guests next week and are going to cook this on the braai.
Cooking it is very simple. We had a roast of almost exactly a kilo. Traditionally, all you do is cover it in flaked salt and leave it to sit for a couple of hours, brush off the salt and cook. We had some South American Gaucho spice so Lynne used that as well. You then heat up a ridged skillet and, starting fat side down, sear the meat all over, including the one cut end. You leave it fat side up on the skillet and put into a hot oven at 170⁰C for about 35 to 40 minutes. We used a meat thermometer. When it gets to 50⁰C and no more, remove it from the oven and set aside to rest under foil for 10 minutes. Remember that while resting under foil the meat will continue to cook for a bit and it will also throw off some good meat juices to use as gravy. This produces perfectly pink steaks. There is contention about whether to cut across the grain or with it but whichever way you cut it, you will have beautiful, tender flavourful steak. And for those of you Banting, the fat is absolutely delicious. (John - who abhors all fat, is shuddering). Cook for a slightly longer time if you do not like rare meat or less if you like yours blue. Searing the fat for longer produces a wonderful crisp outer skin. We cut of two 3 cm steaks, leaving two thirds for the next day
On Monday with a third of the meat, Lynne made an Asian beef salad, using lots of different vegetables, seeds and a good dressing (recipe next week) and on Tuesday she used the remaining third in Beef Stroganoff (recipe next week). It is a great discovery
We drank Phizante Kraal Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 with the steaks, Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir 2016 with the Beef Salad and De Krans Wild Ferment Unwooded Chardonnay 2014 with the Stroganoff
On the Wine MENU this week: Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir 2016     Summer has arrived with this newly released wine. Well, if you are not convinced, all you have to do is open a bottle of this week's wine and you will feel the sun on your face. It is so reminiscent of the rosés of Southern France. A blend of noble varieties, it is full to bursting with strawberries, raspberries, a good bite of juicy white peach and sunshine. So good with food. If you tasted this blind you might think it was a serious red, but its light, fruity floral nose and beautiful lipstick pink will convince you otherwise

15th September 2016
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