Wednesday, August 02, 2017

This Week’s MENU. Vriesenhof at Auslese, Rhebokskloof, Bellevue, Sommeliers’ Awards, Muratie Flavours of Winter

Winter rain brings green to the landscape

After a fairly slow period in the middle of winter, the pace of events is accelerating and we are having to juggle the pages of the diary to fit in the things we want to do, in addition to the invitations we receive. This week we tell the story of several wine events in different environments, all of them enjoyable and interesting in their different ways

An invitation this week to attend a tasting of Vriesenhof wines at Auslese, with the wines paired with food prepared in Chef Harald Bresselschmidt's kitchen sounded really exciting. He is rather good at this

We had an invitation from Rhebokskloof to join them for a tasting of their new releases, followed by dinner. The event was an opportunity to thank their loyal customers, who are the highest purchasing members of their Loyalty Club

We don't drive home in the dark after events like this, so we booked an AirBnB room in Paarl on what must have been one of the coldest nights of the year! Cellar tasting and dinner....

We have not visited Bellevue wine farm in Bottelary for a while. John does take wine tours there to taste the superb Pinotages; it was where the original commercial plantings of Professor A. I. Perold's Pinotage were made in the early 1950s. The first Pinotage, made and bottled by P K Morkel was grown on Bellevue. Pinotage is a cross of Cinsaut and Pinot Noir and is a truly South African grape. Dirkie Morkel saw our write up of Kaapzicht and invited us to come to the farm to taste some wine. So, as we were in the area after our dinner at Rhebokskloof, we made a date for 11 am the next day... 

These annual awards of places in the coveted Sommeliers Wine list are now in their 3rd year. The ceremony, attended by representatives of many wine farms and the media, were held in the beautiful Hofmeyr Hall in Stellenbosch. The sommeliers, who chose the wines, do not categorise wines by cultivar on the list, rather grouping them into flavour and economical categories....

When we are invited to something at Muratie, we go. They are authentic; they really know how to arrange a good day of tasting wine and great food, very good company and feeling relaxed. And there is some good music. They want you to have a great time and you do. This time it was their winter festival which incorporated a mini Port festival....

This once popular grape, used in a blend in many older South African wines, is now being credited with their longevity. On its own, it is getting a lot of attention as old vineyards are being found and exploited at last by many of the younger winemakers who are producing such interesting wines. So the grape is now rather fashionable

Bellevue has using it in blends for a long time, but has been making it as a single varietal wine for just a couple of years. It is dusty on the nose, but shows lovely raspberry and strawberry flavours and is long and soft, not harsh and tannic as some we have experienced. We think this wine has a potential to age too. R70 a bottle on the farm is great value. We bought a case

This is an Indonesian dish, often seen as part of a Rijsttafel. But it is easy to make and tastes delicious. It uses pork, which is cheaper than most other meats at the moment. I don't know if you can use beef, but I don't see why not
2 onions, finely chopped -3 t coconut oil or peanut oil - 600g lean pork (steak, chops or leg meat) - 1 t ground coriander - 1 t ground cumin - 1/2 t chilli, fresh or powdered - 1 t fresh grated ginger - 2 cloves of garlic, chopped - 2 t tamarind paste - 3/400 ml chicken stock - 5 T Ketjap Manis (sweetened soy sauce from Indonesia) - 1 t rice wine vinegar - Salt & pepper

Finely chop the onions. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces. In a casserole with a lid, fry the onions in the oil. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Add the spices and the tamarind, ginger and garlic. Stir in the stock, Ketjap Manis, and vinegar

Cover with enough stock to cover the meat and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 2 to 3 hours on a low heat. Do check and give it a stir regularly, the sauce will thicken considerably to a nice dark syrupy consistency. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Serve on simple boiled rice, with a salad, and sprinkle with roasted peanuts and coconut flakes

2nd August 2017

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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