Thursday, June 21, 2018

This Week’s MENU. Morvino tasting; Old Mutual Trophy tasting; Iberian Exploit – Granada, Valdepeñas; Chicken Waterblom bredie; Bellingham Roussanne

A bee in the rosemary flowers

We are celebrating some lovely rainy weather, which was put into context by an image on Instagram showing the week’s forecast in the south of England with not a cloud in sight. We are not swimming yet, but the Western Cape dam levels are now at an average level of just over 40%, with Theewaterskloof, our most important reservoir, having reached 29% from being almost empty in early April. From water to wine, the wine tasting season continues. There have been some lovely highlights, both at the small Morvino trade tasting and at the Public Tasting of the Old Mutual Trophy winners at the CTICC. We continue our Spanish narrative, this week telling you about our time in Granada and Valdepeñas. So click on the links below and read the stories
There were all the Trophy wines to taste, then the Gold Medals, and the Silvers. But there is never enough time to taste that many wines.  Where do you start? Well, after lots of hellos and hugs and congratulations, with the Trophy wines of course. The wines are laid out alphabetically around the room, so this entails a lot of dotting about. And we started with the 2011 Laborie Blanc de Blanc which won the Trophy for the best Méthode Cap Classique and has always been right at the top of our list of favourite Blancs de Blanc

This small and rather classy Pop Up tasting of the products of some of of Morvino's smaller clients was "to take away the noise" of the big farms and let the trade see how good these smaller brands are. It certainly worked for us. We were very impressed with some of these brands

More Castles in Spain this week as our journey continued from Cordoba to Granada through beautiful countryside. We needed to stop for lunch and it was this castle that drew us to the small town of Alcaudete in the province of Jaen. We stopped in this flower meadow high above the town for the best view

John wanted us to stop in Valdepeñas in Spain to taste some of their wines, this being one of the largest wine growing areas in the country. It was an adventure, but we were not successful in tasting any wine. They have not yet discovered wine tourism; you can buy wine at the wineries (well priced) but not taste any before you buy. There was no AirBnB or Booking.com accommodation available for the night we needed, but Lynne did find a roadside motel in Santa Cruz de Modela on Hotels.com (we like them because you rack up a free night for every 10 bookings you make). We had stopped there for petrol and then discovered that it was where we would be spending the night. However, this place did not initially look very salubrious. And it was right on the side of the busy motorway. You enter through the truckers' American style diner, as there is no m/hotel reception and you have to wait while the dismissive manageress serves the customers
It’s Waterblom season at the moment with the dams filling up. We bought a pack of nice plump waterblomme this weekend and Lynne made this easy Bredie. It’s spicy, but not too hot. Don’t cook all of them at once, you want different textures.

8 thigh portions - 1 T olive oil - 1 onion, chopped - 1 leek, sliced - 3cm ginger root, grated - 2 cloves garlic, crushed - 1 fresh red chilli - 2 small dried pepperoncino chillies - 1 t cumin - 1 t coriander - 3 cloves - a good grating of nutmeg - 175 ml verjuice or dry white wine - 400 ml chicken stock
2 carrots - 1 t corn flour - 500 g waterblommetjie - salt & pepper

Remove all the fat and skin from the chicken thighs, Fry the onion and the leek in the oil till soft and transparent then add the chicken to the pan and brown slightly. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the spices and chillies and fry for a minute, then add the verjuice, the stock and the carrot to the pot and cover with a lid. Simmer for half an hour then add the chicken, pushing the thighs down into the stock, and half the waterblomme. Cook for 15 minutes, then add the rest of the waterblomme. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add the corn flour and cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with flavoured rice and a good Chenin Blanc

Menu’s Wine of the Week is from Bellingham. The Bernard Series 2017 Whole Bunch Roussanne. Made by Niel Groenewald before he left to become the Head Winemaker at Distell.

Roussanne is certainly capturing our attention at the moment. This white wine was much discussed and enjoyed at the Old Mutual Trophy wine tasting last week by other wine makers and trade.  Suddenly the SA plantings are becoming noticed.  It certainly captivated Lynne with its floral notes and hints of herbs and tea. Its depth and length with hints of tropical fruit, peach and a little honey on this dry wine made it something to explore and enjoy now, as it has the freshness of youth. It has the legs to indicate that it will reward being kept for a few years. A white wine that should be on restaurant menus as it is very versatile.

21st June 2018


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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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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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