Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This Week's MENU. A tourist in your own city, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage at the Wine Concepts, Breakfast at Giulio's Café, Villiera Bush Vine Blanc Fumé, Aubergine & Butternut Curry

Flying off into the sunset
(A bit like our car, which is giving way to a new chariot)

Tourism and the wonderful people who come and visit our city are frequent topics in conversation, but how often do any of us who are Capetonians look at ourselves from a tourist’s viewpoint. Last week, we decided to take the MyCiti bus to Hout Bay with our friends who are visiting from the Netherlands. We also attended a very well organised tasting of South Africa’s signature wines, Chenin blanc and Pinotage and had a lovely breakfast....

We decided to take the bus to Hout Bay and behave like tourists this week. We love the MyCiti bus, it has transformed getting round Cape Town and the routes are growing daily. We topped up our cards (you need to buy them beforehand and they are available at various venues in your neighbourhood. Check out the website. We met our friends at a Sea Point bus stop at 10h55. Sadly, the timetable information Lynne was given on the phone by Enquiries was wrong and we missed the first bus by five minutes, but there was another along in 20 minutes. You can check the timetables online too, but we don't find them very user friendly. You can deposit money onto the MyCiti card and use it if you need cash. You can't board the bus without it. They don't take cash
Friday saw us at Wine Concepts’ Chenin Blanc and Pinotage Celebration at the Vineyard Hotel. A chance to taste new and older vintages of both of these South African varietals, to network and to meet and taste the wine of a few (to us) new producers. Chenin Blanc continues on its climb to the top of the local grape varieties. It can do so much, show a huge variety of different styles, it ages superbly and suits our climate, varied as that may be at the moment. The same could be said of Pinotage, although it receives less exposure, less lauding and, sadly, the amount planted seems to be in decline. Pinotage shows its stellar face when it has some age. Lynne concentrated on tasting the Chenins, John cherry picked both varietals. It was impossible to taste them all; there were 88 wines on show
Another good Saturday morning breakfast, another new restaurant for us; this time in town on the corner of Loop and Riebeek Street. This is familiar territory for Lynne who worked in PR at Safmarine when they moved into their new building on the opposite corner. It is where the Italian restaurant Massimo’s used to be.  Breakfast is served all day and they have good lunch options too. There is a Mangia salad bar, sandwiches and great pastries. And they are licensed. Opening hours Mon - Fri: 7am - 4pm; Saturday 8am - 12.30pm Public Holidays 8am - 12.30pm
Wine of the week     
Many years ago, back in the 1990's, Villiera used to make a Blanc Fumé - a wooded Sauvignon Blanc. It was a wine Lynne loved, often bought by the case and, at a Villiera function last year, she spoke to Jeff Grier about it. "Oh, glad you liked it!" he said, "we are about to relaunch it." She was delighted a few days ago when a courier arrived with a sample bottle. It was grown in an old, single Bush Vine vineyard on Villiera, planted with the Weather Station clone. On the nose it’s dusty and grassy with green pepper and granadilla notes. The smoky wood is there on the palate with nice rounded citrus flavours of grapefruit and fig with a long, lingering warmth. It is great with food, very palate cleansing and refreshing. It has been partially skin fermented in an egg shaped tank, had no malolactic fermentation and was racked into 50% new /50% 2nd fill oak barrels for three months. We can't wait to see this with a little age on it. http://www.villiera.com/
Lynne made this for vegetarian friends of ours recently. You may not need all the oil, aubergines do absorb a lot but it does make the dish lush and silky. Frying them first starts them cooking and prevents them becoming slimy. Lynne used coconut oil, you could use Ghee. You can adjust the chilli to your own taste. We used a Durban masala
2 medium aubergines - 1 T salt – 5 to 6 T oil – 1 large onion, finely chopped - 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced - 1 T grated fresh ginger - 2 t curry masala - 1 cup of butternut, cut into 2.5 cm cubes - 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced – 700 g fresh tomatoes, finely chopped or 700g tomato passata – 200 ml water - 1 t sugar – salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the aubergine into cubes of about 3 cm. Cover them with the salt and put into a colander and allow to drain for 20 minutes. Wash off the salt and dry with kitchen paper. Fry the onion in a little of the oil till transparent then add the garlic till soft and then add the ginger with the curry masala. Fry briefly then add the aubergine and the rest of the oil and fry until it is beginning to take on some colour. Stir in the butternut, chilli and then add the tomatoes and sugar and the water. Simmer until the aubergine and butternut are getting soft and unctuous but not falling apart. Season to taste; if the tomatoes are acidic; you may need to add a little more sugar. Just before serving with Basmati rice, sprinkle with garam masala








28th March 2017

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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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