Friday, September 07, 2018

This Week’s MENU. SA Young Wine Awards, John Collins Trade tasting, ABSA Cape Blend Awards, Duncan Savage's new Vintages, Chenin Blanc Top 10, Onion Flan, Villiera 2016 Monro Merlot

Watching the winter waves

We wish all our Jewish friends everything of the best 
for Rosh Hashanah and well over The Fast

We don’t want this to become a habit. So many stories to tell and an invitation to dinner on Thursday night means a delay in sending out MENU to our subscribers. Especially when we have Telkom here  disconnecting our internet while they upgrade our phone connection. Fibre connection is not far away. Thank you to those of you who wrote to us last week to say that they don’t mind if we are late, just as long as we send MENU to you. So here it is and we hope that you’ll find the articles interesting. Thank you for your patience and we hope you’ll enjoy the stories…

The South African Young Wine Awards
were presented in the Stellenbosch Town Hall this year. It is the oldest wine competition in the world having been started in 1833. It is always interesting to taste these wines in their very raw state and so, during the afternoon, preceding the award gala, we were invited to a hall at The Markotter Sports Centre at the Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch to taste the finalists. It can be quite heavy going as most of these are tank samples not yet ready for bottling. The judges must be able to see where a wine might go and what it might become at this early stage. You need a lot of experience in the industry to do this….

The Annual Trade tasting of John Collins’ list of wines,
held at a favourite venue, Den Anker restaurant in the V&A Waterfront. It was a superb evening of good wines, John represents a very good list of producers….

This year’s Absa Cape Blend Competition Awards,
run by the Pinotage Association, were presented at a lunch at Lanzerac in Stellenbosch. We were invited to taste the top 10 finalists first and then, at lunch, the trophies for the top 5 winners were presented and certificates were presented to the remaining five finalists. A Cape Blend has to contain a minimum of 30% and no more than 70% Pinotage, the other grapes can be any the farms select, which makes this competition very interesting. The event was held in Lanzerac's very smart Cellar Hall….

The launch of Duncan Savage's new Vintages     
It’s his 6th vintage release and we dropped in for a taste of them. Duncan already had several trade and media people there when we arrived and the "open door" policy meant the crowd kept changing. It was more formal the following day, when people could make appointments, with a limit on the number of guests. The cellar is not large. Duncan ably kept up the pace giving different people tastings at the same time with great explanations….

The annual Chenin Blanc Association Top 10 Challenge Awards
were presented at Ellerman House in their spectacular wine cellar. The challenge drew 113 wooded and 46 unwooded entries, all tasted blind by the five-member panel, with 27 wines shortlisted for the final top ten line-up. To quote Ken Forrester, chairman of the Chenin Blanc Association: "Chenin Blanc has come of age. The versatility of Chenin, its diversity of wine styles and its great food-friendliness, all point towards its rising acceptance among local consumers. This is in line with the growing international interest in the grape, increasingly seen abroad as South Africa’s calling card”. South Africa has more Chenin Blanc under vine….

On the MENU this week. Onion Flan    
For a prettier photograph, Lynne scattered a sprinkling of rosemary flowers and thyme

Lynne needed something good to eat for our Wine Club meeting this week, but didn’t have any time to go to the supermarket, it has been so hectic. So it had to be from the store cupboard. There was a roll of cheese and herb pastry in the freezer, she had cream from Sunday lunch. We always have eggs and lots of onions. So this was easy and quick. See the whole recipe here

MENU’S Wine of the Week. Villiera 2016 Monro Merlot    
We tasted this again at a very special dinner with the Grier family which we will write about next week and it so impressed us, that it has to be our Wine of the Week. South Africa is not known for its Merlots, we grow many in the wrong areas, we often pick the grapes too early and the wines can be tough and harsh. But when they are made carefully and well they are just beautiful. It is said to be a feminine grape and a wine that women prefer. We think this will impress both sexes.  Monro is their Prestige reserve wine label. More….
7th September 2018

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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2018
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Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169

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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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