Saturday, May 26, 2018

This Week’s MENU. Wade Bales Wine & Whisky, Cabernet Franc Carnival at Avontuur, Stellenbosch, MENU's Iberian Exploit 3. The Lower Douro Valley, MENU’s Iberian Exploit 4. Return to Porto, RIP Giulio Bertrand and Jen-Luc Sweerts, Pão de Ló de Ovar, Fat Barrel OTB 2014

Beached boats at a boatyard on the north bank of the Douro, Porto

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We are settling back into our normal routine. We have stories about two wine related experiences and continue with our Iberian adventures in the Lower Douro Valley and return to Porto. The wine industry has lost two of its stars and John’s stolen cameras have been replaced. Two stories from this week will appear in next week’s issue as well as more Portuguese adventures. Please read on and enjoy. Click the story's title or the highlighted green box to open it…
The Wade Bales Wine and Malt Whisky Affair 2018    

This now very popular annual tasting was held last week at African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel between 6 and 9pm and there were some gems to taste. We began with the Avondale Armilla MCC, crisp and complex.....

Rain was promised for the weekend and luckily it did not rain on Saturday, although we do still need it desperately. So this interesting single varietal carnival was able to be held outside and was very much enjoyed by all who attended. There were some very interesting Cabernet Francs, some absolute classics, some high scorers, some wild children and sadly just a couple that bore little resemblance to this noble grape. Many thought one was a Pinot noir rather than a Cab Franc! It was so light and perfumed. For your R200 entrance you got a glass and could taste everything on show. We think this is the best way. Coupons and tick sheets restrict you and make you choose which means you might miss an interesting gem. And we didn’t see one incidence of over imbibing
On our first day at Pinhao, we set out to explore the area and to find two Quintas (Port farms) that Joaquim Sá of Amorim Cork had organised for us to visit. For the next few hours Google maps got us terribly lost and we could not get to the Quintas, no matter how hard we tried
MENU’s Iberian Exploit 4. Return to Porto    

We had booked another AirBnB apartment in Porto and this was a really good one, it had underground parking and we would leave our car there and just use Uber or the public transport. There is almost no parking in central Porto so this was a find. Our landlord Jorge was there to meet us and he was extremely helpful point out all the important local things, like supermarkets and then how to get to all the tourist things and give us instruction for the flat, which was spacious and modern. We were now in the Serralves Park area. Lynne is looking a bit bedraggled as we got caught in the rain and had driven all day from the Douro

RIP #1 Giulio Bertrand 

A great loss to everyone who appreciates good things to eat and drink, Mr Bertrand died this week at the age of 91 after suffering a heart attack. He came to South Africa from Italy, having been the fifth generation of his family to work in the family’s textile business. He acquired Morgenster estate in Somerset West in 1992 and undertook a major restoration, planting olive groves and vineyards and restoring the historic buildings. Morgenster, under his guidance has become a very important producer of high quality wines and olive oils. We were at the launch of his massive new olive oil production facility last year. He did wonderful things for the industry and is a great loss

RIP #2 Jean-Luc Sweerts 
A very good winemaker with a very eccentric touch, Jean-Luc worked with Achim von Arnim at Boschendal before moving to Avontuur where he made some great wines. After Avontuur, he worked at Grande Provence before starting his own business MC Square. We remember well his MC Square Chardonnays from the early 1990s which were excellent in their youth but had the ability to age much better than most other Chardonnays of those years. He, too, will be missed

On the Menu this week Pão de Ló de Ovar – A Traditional Sponge cake from Ovar in Portugal

This traditional ‘sponge cake’ - the recipe is more than 200 years old, bears its own EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). It is more like a soufflé than a cake; it is very simple and quick to make with only three ingredients and is delicious, rich and gooey with a crisp meringue like crust. This is perfect if you have been making meringues and have egg yolks left over. You are meant to have a fluted edge, so don’t try to be too perfect when lining your cake tin with the greaseproof paper

6 egg yolks – 2 whole eggs – 100g caster sugar – 50 g flour

Set your oven to 180 ºC. Add the sugar to the eggs and yolks and whip till really light and fluffy using an electric whisk or a mixer. This can take 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully sift in the flour, folding gently so as not to break up the whipped mixture. Pour into a baking tin lined with buttered greaseproof paper. Bake at for 10 to 15 minutes, allow to cool than carefully peel off the paper and serve. It should be soft and gooey in the middle with a light brown top.
Amazing if served with a sweet white or pink port.
Lynne has not made this yet; it is someone else’s recipe. But we have eaten this in Portugal and it was amazing. Hope it works for you and you enjoy it

Menu’s Wine of the Week - Fat Barrel OTB 2014, an Ode to Bor….deaux from Stellenbosch
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It has a lovely nose of herbaceousness and fresh red berries, with some vanillins and violets. Sweet berry fruit, a hint of toasted oak, good tannins and some chalk and minerality on the end. No faults. Lovely with food, especially rich meat dishes. And a snip at R55 from Get Wine (was R95)

Dates for your diary:
Friday, 8th June: Wine Concepts Pinot and Chardonnay tasting at the Vineyard Hotel  See here for details
Wednesday, 13th June: 2018 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show public tasting at the CTICC See here for details  

25th May 2018


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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

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