Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Week's MENU. Lunch at Glenelly's new Bistro, Hemel-en-Aarde Chardonnay Celebration, 2016 Diners Club Winemaker of The Year, AirBnB, Landskroon Shiraz, Pepper Steak Pie

A Cape white-eye (Zosterops virens) in a white strelitzia in our garden
Off to the country      It has been another rollicking week in the media. It has been a very long and busy media season this year, starting in May and now continuing into December, with a flurry of end of year events. So many, too many to contemplate, stretching time to include in our diary but some just have to be given priority. So it was this last weekend. We had been invited to lunch at Glenelly's new Bistro in Stellenbosch on Friday. We had also committed to attending the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in Franschhoek. And then we were invited to the Hemel and Aarde Valley's Celebration of Chardonnay, also on Saturday, but during the day in Voëlklip near Hermanus. Could we do it all? Was travelling those quite large distances to fit it all in even possible? Well, you know we are a little crazy, so we did it. It took careful planning, two AirBnB bookings and a mad last minute dash from Hermanus to Paarl on Saturday, so please read on... or click any of the following links to look at a story
Lunch at Glenelly's new Bistro "The Vine" with a tasting of the wines      Christophe Dehosse has recently opened his Bistro at Glenelly and we were invited for lunch to see what he is doing, sample the food and taste the Glenelly wines with Cellarmaster Luke O'Cuinneagain. Glenelly is owned by Lady May-Éliane de Lencquesaing who fell in love with South Africa on a visit and subsequently bought the farm. She wanted to start from scratch and aims to make the best wines the land can produce, using only grapes grown on Glenelly. She was previously the owner and manager of the esteemed 2nd growth Wine estate Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac in Bordeaux, which was sold in 2004 to Louis Roederer. She trained in Oenology at the age of 35. She is now 91 and amazing for her age. She is one of our icons
A Celebration of Chardonnay from the Hemel and Aarde Valley      South African Chardonnay has been though ups and downs in popularity and quality over the last 20 years and, thankfully, now seems to be firmly entrenched as one of our best producing noble varieties, as long as wood is used judiciously. But is it better grown in some areas of the Cape than others? We were invited to this Celebration last weekend and certainly is does shine in the Hemel and Aarde Valley with quality, great purity of fruit and finesse. Regardless of which part of the valley it is grown in, it thrives and produces great wines if handled correctly and this the valley is doing
Diners Club 2016 Winemaker of the Year Awards      Diners Club is the sponsor of this prestigious annual event and each year they set the categories of wine to be entered for the Young Winemaker of the Year and the Winemaker of the Year. This year, they asked for a red blend from the Young Winemaker of the year (under 30 years of age) and a Chenin for the Winemaker of the Year. The gala dinner and awards ceremony was held, again, at La Residence in Franschhoek. It was a sparkling evening full of anticipation, joy and celebration
AirBnB in Voëlklip and then a mad dash to Paarl and our overnight accommodation there      Lynne didn't want John to have to get up at the crack of dawn to drive to Voëlklip for the Celebration of Chardonnay at 10 am and then have to drive to Franschhoek, so we booked a tiny room in Voëlklip for Friday night. The drive there after lunch in Ida's Valley was lovely, we stopped off at the magnificent Woolworths Waterstone Mall in Somerset West and bought some picnic snacks. Then, to avoid the Friday night traffic, we drove along the coastal route to Hermanus, passing Gordon's Bay, Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Bot River and onwards. Hardly any traffic and such a lovely road. And a simple picnic by the sea for supper. OK, the wind was blowing, so we did sit in the car, admiring the surfing and the view before an early night
You can never time the end of an event, especially if it is enjoyable, they continue and it is very hard to drag oneself away. We meant to leave the Celebration of Chardonnay at 3, after lunch; we finally hit the road at 3.30. We had booked another AirBnB in Paarl, which was affordable at R580 for the night. There was nothing in Franschhoek under R2 500 a night, so on our pensioners budget, Paarl was the best option. But the drive there is long and winding and takes you around the woefully empty Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp and, following the trail the elephants took centuries ago, up and over the magnificent mountain pass to Franschhoek. We were very stressed when we arrived in Paarl at 5.35 and had 10 minutes to shower and change (it was Black Tie formal) and then get back in the car to return to Franschhoek for the event at 6. We arrived there at 6.15
Wine of the week - Landskroon Shiraz      We have had some really amazing wines this week, not all of them are still available and some are rather pricy. This is one that impressed us a lot - we buy it and keep it for a couple of years as it improves wonderfully and is very reasonable. While we are enjoying the 2010 from our cellar, the current vintage is 2014. From the farm R62 a bottle. It is friendly, soft and spicy, full of good sweet, dark berries and goes so well with this week's recipe
The MENU Recipe of the Week: Pepper Steak Pie      Something traditional this week. This is our choice of pie flavour when we are out and about and need a quick lunch “on the hoof”. But Lynne decided to see if she could make a large one for supper during the week. Serves 4
1 kg beef steak, cubed - 1 T plain flour - 1 t flaked salt - 1 t ground black pepper - 1 large onion, chopped - 1 peeled carrot, chopped into 1/2 cm dice - 1T coconut or canola oil for frying - 3 T brandy - 1 cup red wine - 1 cup of good beef stock - Freshly ground black pepper to taste - 1 t fresh thyme leaves - a roll of flaky pastry - 1 egg yolk
Mix the flour with the salt and pepper and toss the meat in it to cover well. Brown the meat in the oil, then set aside. Add the onion and a little more oil if necessary and cook slowly with a little salt until it is beginning to caramelise. Put back the beef with any juices and deglaze the pan with the brandy, then add the wine stock, the carrot, seasoning and thyme. Add some black pepper, about a teaspoon, cook, simmer covered on the top of the stove for half an hour and then add more to your taste, some might like it more peppery than others. Turn your oven on to 220C. Roll out the cold pastry into a circle. Spoon filling into a 20 to 22cm deep pie dish, grease or butter the rim. Cover the pie with the pastry. Cut a cross in the centre to let the steam escape, use a pie funnel if you have one. Crimp the edges of the pastry on the edge and decorate the top if you want to. Lightly whip the egg yolk and brush the pastry with it. Put into the oven to bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden and cooked through. Serve with creamy mash or cauli mash and lots of fresh vegetables. And a good robust red wine. The Landskroon Shiraz, for example
In MENU next week: Keermont new releases, Cap Classique Association public tasting, Springfield Lost Vintage, Woolworths Wine Event, Wine Concepts Champagne, Jordan Summer Festival and more

28th November 2016
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Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

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