Friday, June 15, 2018

This Week’s MENU. Siris Vintners Trade tasting; Latest wine releases by David & Nadia; Wine Concepts Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Celebration; MENU's Iberian Exploits. Jerez de la Frontera, Córdoba; Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup; Backsberg Family Reserve White 2017

A courtyard in the Sandeman winery, Jerez de la Frontera
We apologise to those of you who are not wine fanatics. We’ve had a week of wine tastings and we’ve even held two over until next week. But we do have two more Spanish stories for you, Jerez and Córdoba, two lovely places in the Spanish south which started to ease the tensions which developed in Portugal with visa issues, misguided Satnav and, of course, stolen equipment. On a lighter note, we are having some beautiful rain; still not enough to take away the pressure, but the dams are starting to fill and, if we have a wet July (a lot of our problem is because we had a dry one last year), we might see the drought broken

Siris Vintners Trade tasting at the Mount Nelson    
Once a year, Siris Vintners holds a trade tasting for their commercial customers. This year, it was held in the Ballroom at the Mount Nelson so there was plenty of space for the many brands they represent

Latest wine releases by David & Nadia    
A trip to the Swartland this week to taste the wines of David and Nadia Sadie at their (soon to be opened) new venue in Malmesbury called Bill and Co. which will become a market when the building works are finished

Wine Concepts 8th Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Celebration 
Last Friday evening saw us at Wine Concepts' annual celebration of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, held at the Vineyard Hotel. We decided that it was time to emulate the Burgundians and begin with Pinots Noir and then go on to taste the Chardonnays. They say Chardonnay muddies ones palate for Pinots. It was a good exercise for us, as we normally don't have time to taste many Pinots after so many Chardonnays. And there were a lot of wines to taste in the three hours we were there; we could only do a selection

MENU's Iberian Exploit 9. Jerez de la Frontera    
If you are planning to travel in this area you need to know that from Seville to Cadiz, our next stop, it only took one and half hours driving. We wanted to see this famous port on the coast, but our experience can be summed up in just a few words from Lynne's notes: motorway tolls, SatNav doesn’t work, reverse, reverse, reverse, green roads, too many roundabouts, council estates, no access, dizzy, stress. They do have a seafront like Sea Point, but not a single café or place to have lunch. We left and headed straight for Jerez, where we had booked an AirBnB for a night - 3/4 of an hour away. We eventually found these 2 competing cafés, five minutes’ walk away, to have some sherry and some supper! One had food, the other football, it was Liverpool 2, Roma 0

MENU's Iberian Exploit 10. Córdoba    
The next city on this adventure was Cordoba and our apartment was unusual but lovely. The streets in this old area of Cordoba are narrow, cobbled and ancient. They have very confusing one way systems which are almost impenetrable to those who are not familiar with the area but using our phone we managed to find the place, guided by the voice of our landlady, Arantxa

Quite an easy soup to make and great for dinner parties. One thing that is different about this is that it doesn’t contain any milk or cream. You can add some at the table if you wish.

1 tbsp canola oil - 1 medium onion , finely chopped - 1 stick celery, finely chopped - 1 leek, sliced - 1 medium potato, diced - 1 knob butter – 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock - 1 large head broccoli , roughly chopped, core and stalk removed, chopped and put aside - 140g of good blue cheese, crumbled

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and then add the onion, and fry gently on a medium heat until golden. Add the celery, leek, potato and a knob of butter. Stir and allow to sweat, covered with a lid, for 5 minutes. This really improves the flavours. Remove the lid.
Pour in the stock and add any chunky bits of broccoli stalk. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until all the vegetables are soft.
Add the rest of the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes. Don’t cook for too long or you will loose the lovely green colour. Carefully transfer to a blender and blitz in batches, until very smooth. Be careful, hot soup can be dangerous in a blender, don’t overfill. Stir in 100g of the blue cheese and liquidize till smooth. Season with black pepper and serve. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
We accompanied our soup with three things, bagel croutons, the other 40 g of blue cheese to sprinkle and crisp dried onions. We served a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009 from KWV’s The Mentors range. The Strandveld Sauvignon Blanc would also be a perfect match

Menu’s Wine of the Week. Backsberg Family Reserve White 2017    
This wine won the Grand Roche Old Mutual Trophy for the best white blend. It is an intriguing blend of three grapes, two very well-known: a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc, more often found as single varietals, and nestled in the middle of those two is a Roussane, a grape probably unfamiliar to many, found in the Rhône valley in France, often dry land and very rarely used alone, as it is a very good blending wine. They use it in Crozes Hermitage and in the red Chateauneuf du Pape.

Roussane pulls the other two together and adds something very special. Fresh fruity, layered and with a summery attitude, do try it with food or just on its own. An excellent companion to duck or other poultry, rich creamy sauces or with soft, complex cheeses. We hope it will delight and charm you as much as it did us. With aromas and flavours of rich ripe peaches and apricots, vanilla oak and some spice, it is a wine that just keeps on giving, and will do so for a long while

15th June 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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