Friday, September 29, 2017

This Week's MENU. WineMag Pinot Noir, Woolworths Mullins wines, Hemel en Aarde, Ataraxia Synergy, Asparagus soup

The view over Creation wine estate in the Hemel en Aarde Valley from the deck at Ataraxia's Greek chapel tasting room
After a lovely, relaxing long weekend, we’re back with our noses to the grindstone. We visited one of our favourite places in all the world, more about which below. We’ll tell you more about it next week, along with stories about a black tie awards affair, SA’s best wine auction, a biodynamic wine farm and more, so read this week’s stories and come back next week...
The Tonnellerie Saint Martin Pinot Noir Report 2017    
What does the future of Pinot Noir in South Africa look like? Very bright, given the results of this competition. This difficult grape to grow is the fragile diva of the wine world; she refuses to be tamed and keeps changing her clothes. If correctly handled she can be superb. The judges in this competition termed it "The most romantic grape". We do have to take into account that Pinot generally needs a cooler climate; she is thirsty and we have a drought. But we were so impressed when we tasted the top wines in this competition this week. More here....
Six new Signature Wines Launched by Woolworths      
We have some good news. We were invited to join renowned Cape Wine Master and wine buyer for Woolworths Allan Mullins and the rest of the team at the launch of the six all new Signature wines - selected and blended by Allan in conjunction with six of our best wine makers/wine farms. They are all superb and will be available in Woolworths in mid October. The whites will be R129.99 and the reds R159.99. We were very impressed and will be in the long line on the day they are released. Read on....
Heritage Weekend in the Hemel en Aarde Valley. Escape to Heaven!    
We took off four days last weekend. It was Heritage Day on Sunday and thence a long weekend, so we escaped to the Hemel and Aarde valley with good friends to relax, eat good food, try out some fine wineries and just kuier. Oh, and catch up on some sleep. Kind friends who are travelling abroad had lent us their cottage. The weather was not good, it was mostly bitterly cold with a little sunshine on Sunday; we burnt a lot of wood on the open fireplace but came home very ready to get back into the mad media season.  See it all...

MENU's Wine of the Week. Ataraxia Serenity 2015    
Kevin Grant at Ataraxia makes this interesting red blend which he calls Serenity. We have been fans for many years and bought many bottles, some still in our cellar. But until now Kevin kept us all guessing as to what was in the blend....

On the MENU this week: Asparagus Soup
Winter seems to be lingering this year, so soup is not off our menu yet. When we have fresh asparagus, Lynne snaps off the harder stalks and saves them in a box in our freezer. When we have enough, she makes this soup. It is easy and quick and delicious. If you want to make this much richer, cook it in milk rather than stock and add a stock cube
1 large onion, finely chopped - 1 stick of celery, finely chopped – 1 T butter - 1 T olive oil - 1 T flour or corn flour - 1.5 to 2 cups asparagus stalks, defrosted - 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock - salt and freshly ground pepper - a dash or two of cream - Flat parsley or chervil to decorate
Fry the onion and celery in the butter and oil till soft and transparent, do not brown. Add the garlic for the last minute. Add the flour and stir well to incorporate it. Then slowly add the stock and stir well. Then finally, add the asparagus stalks. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered. Allow to cool slightly then liquidise or blend with a stick blender till smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Sometimes the stalks are a bit woody, so you  need to put the soup through a sieve. Serve hot with a swirl of cream in each bowl and top with a sprig of flat parsley or chervil. Lovely with a good chilled Sauvignon Blanc

22nd September 2017
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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