Friday, November 30, 2018

This Week's MENU. StreetSmart, Aristea, Magic of Bubbles, DC Winemaker of the Year, Simonsig Grapesmith, Chocolate gateau

Wasn't that fun? Penguins emerging from the sea at Boulders Beach, Simonstown

The year is drawing too swiftly to its close; the older one becomes, the swifter the passing of time. So in a little over a week, we will slow it right down and, after publishing the last MENU of 2018, will go up the West Coast to look at the sea, our navels and a selection of good reading. But, enough of that. We’ve been to some wonderful events this past week and here they are for you to see…
Time for the Annual StreetSmart Cape Town Handover Event with Thank Yous to the restaurants, accommodation venues and wine tasting venues in the Western Cape, Garden Route, Gauteng and KZN, the volunteers, workers and the many other people who have contributed to the R1.7 million rand raised nationally this year. It is an amazing amount, raised by just adding R5 to your bill so, if you contribute, the Thank You is also for you. StreetSmart ensures that every cent donated by you goes towards social and educational upliftment projects for street children, helping them to rebuild their lives. StreetSmart raises its own funds for administration…
An invitation from Luke Krone to join him and taste the new release of his Aristea wines over dinner at the Alphen in Constantia. Aristea is a partnership of three friends who each already have their own wine brands/wine ventures and many years of accumulated winemaking experience. Their aim was to make exceptional South African wines that would reflect each of their individual identities and passion for wine, Luke, a 12th generation winemaker from South Africa who sources the grapes and makes the wine, Martin Krajewski who is British and owns Clos Cantenac in St Emilion and in 2016 bought Château Séraphine in Pomerol and Frenchman Florent Dumeau, a renowned Burgundian winemaker, who has extensive experience of winemaking and vineyard management, as well as considerable expertise in France, Italy, Greece, Hungary, South Africa, Turkey,China and Serbia. Together, they strive to produce exceptional wines in the Cape that encapsulate the wild spirit and raw beauty of this wonderful land and that make people smile. For the full story, go to https://www.aristeawines.com/
Oh joy, it was time to taste real French Champagne this year at Wine Concepts' "Finer Things in Life” International Sparkling Wine & Champagne Affair Celebration at the Vineyard Hotel last Friday night. No driving long distances into the winelands for 10 coupons, only to find that it will cost you five of them if you want a small taste of real Champagne, but the chance locally to taste all of the 34 different French champagnes and a few Cavas and Proseccos. And all this for a R500 ticket, which includes canapés and a champagne glass. Oh, and a free raffle based on the number on your ticket. You can take an Uber home without bankrupting yourself or, if you are feeling celebratory, take the Vineyards special offer of a room, dinner and breakfast.. Hope to see you there next year...
It was time for the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year and Young Winemaker of the Year awards, held again this year at La Residence in Franschhoek. It is always a glittering Black Tie occasion. This year’s Winemaker of the Year Finalists were Arco Laarman (Laarman Cellar Services at Avondale Wines), Ronell Wiid (Bartinney Private Cellar), Clayton Reabow (Môreson), Andries Burger (Paul Cluver Estate), Carl Van Der Merwe (DeMorgenzon) and Murray Barlow (Rustenberg Wines). The category was Chardonnay…
Simonsig is celebrating 50 years of wine making this year, so we were delighted to be invited to the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel for a launch of something new: The Grapesmith wines, Die Kluisenaar and Mediterraneo. What else would be the welcoming drink…

part of their new Grapesmith range, a blend of 57% Roussanne, 37% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc and 1% Verdelho. There is sweetness on the nose, warmth and perfume of peaches and white plums, spice and light smoke…
An alternative to Christmas pudding is this luxurious and truly decadent dessert. It is so rich that it will serve at least 12 to 15 people, as you really cannot manage more than a small slice. We have to confess that we veered away from this recipe because Lynne has been hoarding slabs of Lindt 85% and 90% dark chocolate to make a dessert like this for John’s birthday this week. And she used salted butter; we think a little salt with dark chocolate makes it taste better. If you are using 85 or 90% chocolate do taste the molten chocolate mix and if it is not sweet enough, add a spoonful or two more of caster sugar to the mix, stirring well. It should not be bitter, but also not too sweet…

30th November 2018


© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2018
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information

Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169

Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005

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 our website and ancillary works are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are often 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, pleaseclick here to send us a message and if you wish to be  removed from our mailing list

What’s on the MENU this week. Chocolate Nemesis


An alternative to Christmas pudding is this luxurious and truly decadent dessert. It is so rich that it will serve at least 12 to 15 people, as you really cannot manage more than a small slice. We have to confess that we veered away from this recipe because Lynne has been hoarding slabs of Lindt 85% and 90% dark chocolate to make a dessert like this for John’s birthday this week. And she used salted butter; we think a little salt with dark chocolate makes it taste better. If you are using 85 or 90% chocolate do taste the molten chocolate mix and if it is not sweet enough, add a spoonful or two more of caster sugar to the mix, stirring well. It should not be bitter, but also not too sweet
Below is the classic recipe for you to try. Lynne used a loose bottomed cake tin; it is easier to get the ‘cake’ out when it is set. Make sure you seal it well. You will need to use an electric beater for this recipe or your arm might tire when whipping the eggs
340g 70% Dark bitter chocolate – 225g unsalted butter – 5 organic eggs – 210g caster sugar
You will need a 25 cm cake tin. Grease it with extra butter and line the base with parchment paper. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it with the butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Alternatively, pulse it in the microwave at 30 second bursts, stirring between each one. Beat the whole eggs with a mixer or hand mixer with 70g of the sugar. Beat until the volume of the eggs quadruples; you want them light and fluffy
At the same time, heat the rest of the sugar with 100ml of water until dissolved to a light syrup. Then pour this syrup into the melted chocolate and mix well. Allow it to cool slightly
Turn your oven on to 125°C (it works very well if you have a convection oven as the temperature will be constant)
Add the chocolate mix to the eggs, beating slowly until it is combined properly. Pour into the tin and put the tin into an ovenproof dish a few inches larger than the cake tin. It might help to put a folded tea towel underneath the tin to keep it in place. Put it into the oven and then fill up the bain marie with hot water, so that it comes three quarters of the way up the sides of the tin
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes until set and make sure to leave the cake in the bain marie to cool. Then refrigerate and when you are ready to use it, very carefully turn it out face down onto a suitable dish, and slowly remove the lining paper. Decorate with fresh berries or some edible Christmas decorations. See the 2 pictures

MENU’s Wine of the Week. Mediterraneo 2016 from Simonsig

part of their new Grapesmith range, a blend of 57% Roussanne, 37% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc and 1% Verdelho. There is sweetness on the nose, warmth and perfume of peaches and white plums, spice and light smoke
Full on the palate with amazing layers of fruit, & warm alcohol. It stays and develops into a superb wine with long flavours of white peach, plums, apricots and nuts which coat the whole of one's mouth. Lime and lemon remain on the end. So refreshing and leading you to food. It begs for a creamy sauce or Mediterranean food. This is our wine of the week this week. R240 on the farm

Simonsig launches the Grapesmith and celebrates 50 years of wine estate status with lunch at the Mount Nelson

Simonsig is celebrating 50 years of wine making this year, so we were delighted to be invited to the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel for a launch of something new: The Grapesmith wines, Die Kluisenaar and Mediterraneo
What else would be the welcome drink than a glass of Simonsig's Cuvée Royale MCC
A bit of sparkle lifts the spirits
Outside on the terrace at the Pink Lady. The venue was in the Green Park Room and Terrace
Matt Dietchmann, FNB Manager of the Vineyard Hotel
with Simonsig's CEO and viticulturist Francois Malan
Cellarmaster Johan Malan, The Grapesmith, and his wife Diane
Sales manager Jacques Jordaan got the party started
Johan explained that his father Frans Malan (an esteemed pioneer in the South African wine industry) planted many varieties of vines on Simonsig. Now that the drought and approaching global warming are beginning to take its toll on our vineyards, Johan decided to start a new project to see if some of the more southern Rhône varieties that they had, that are tolerant of drier conditions, might be used to make some different wines. We must look down the road to a drier future, he says. There is always something new and innovative at Simonsig. He began last year with a wine called Die Kluisenaar 2016, a blend of Roussanne and Marsanne which he submitted for the Cape Winemakers Guild auction in 2017. This is now the first Grapesmith wine; a new brand and a new range of wines for Simonsig, Johan's project taking them in a new direction.. He got the word Grapesmith using the same context as Wordsmith. The Afrikaans word Kluisenaar means Hermit in English, and the connection is with Hermitage in France where many of these grapes are used, and in the blend of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
It is not about primary fruit in these grapes, but secondary flavours, texture and minerality;
as they age they develop viscosity and glycerols. They keep their freshness
with beautiful acidity and concentration, which self adjusts with time
The lunch menu was paired with the two wines
Chatting while we taste the wine and wait for the first course to be served
The very professional serving staff
Tinashe Nyamudoka, head sommelier at The Test Kitchen
chatting to Martelize Brink of SABC Radio Sonder Grense
The girls from Die Burger
Die Kluisenaar 2016 is a blend of 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne made in 12 to 7 year old oak. It has the fully integrated warm country wine nose, with nutty, sesame seed notes, even some olive oil, golden apples, loquats and perfume from Armani. Lovely entry; crisp, perfumed, the mouthfeel is gorgeous, limes, lemons, citrus full on with some marmalade wood on the end. It cries out for food. R240 on the farm
And it was served with all Lynne’s favourite seafood on one plate with salad leaves, including some local dune spinach. Smoked salmon, seared tuna, a perfect scallop, avocado and an avocado lime mayonnaise and a large peeled prawn topped with seaweed, which brings out the sweetness of the prawn. A marriage made in heaven
Perfection from another angle
beautiful colour
Johan telling us how he made the Kluisenaar
A smiling Sales Manager Jacques sitting with journalist Fiona MacDonald
Head sommelier at The Twelve Apostles, Gregory Mutambe. Greg is also Chairman of BLACC
Next was Mediterraneo, a blend of 57% Roussanne, 37% Marsanne, 5% Grenache Blanc and 1% Verdelho. There is sweetness on the nose, warmth and perfume of peaches and white plums, spice and light smoke. Full on the palate with amazing layers of fruit, & warm alcohol. It stays and develops into a superb wine with long flavours of white peach, plums, apricots and nuts which coat the whole of one's mouth. Lime and lemon remain on the end. So refreshing and leading you to food. It begs for a creamy sauce or Mediterranean food. This is our wine of the week this week. R240 on the farm
And it found its perfect match in the main course of Crown roasted chicken breast - the most tender and moist piece of chicken both of us have ever had. The leg had been made into a sage stuffed roulade and there were flavourful roast chicken tortellini, a celeriac purée beneath with wilted spinach and exotic mushrooms. The chicken jus was perfect too and the dish made the wine sing even louder.
You can see how moist the breast meat was
The Mount Nelson's Executive Chef, Rudi Liebenberg
To accompany the dessert, our favourite Brut Rosé from Simonsig. Crisp and full of raspberry flavours
Divine dessert! A Raspberry and Chocolate Delice entremets with 6 layers. Lynne detected a crisp nutty biscuit base, a layer of almond marzipan, an almond cake, caramel, a raspberry mousse topped with a raspberry jelly? Topped with raspberry and blackcurrants. So professional. This was served with a rich tonka bean ice cream and went so well with the raspberry flavoured Brut Rosé MCC
And they gave John a surprise Birthday plate as well, with fruit jellies, fudge and coconut ice
Thank you! Two marvellous wines, and a fantastic meal to go with it - thank you so much Simonsig and Chef Rudi

The Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Awards at La Residence, Franschhoek

It was time for the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year and Young Winemaker of the Year awards, held again this year at La Residence in Franschhoek. It is always a glittering Black Tie occasion. This year’s Winemaker of the Year Finalists were Arco Laarman (Laarman Cellar Services at Avondale Wines), Ronell Wiid (Bartinney Private Cellar), Clayton Reabow (Môreson), Andries Burger (Paul Cluver Estate), Carl Van Der Merwe (DeMorgenzon) and Murray Barlow (Rustenberg Wines). The category was Chardonnay
We found fellow journo Norman McFarlane seated with a glass of bubbly on the verandah
Arco & Madeleine Laarman
Rose and Michael Jordaan, Angela Lloyd, Carl and Kathleen van der Merwe
Elizabeth and Wade Roger-Lund of Jordan Wines
Wade was Young Winemaker of the Year last year
Braveheart Bobby Wallace in full kilt and caboodle
Barcha and Rüdger van Wyk
The 2018 Diners Club Young Winemaker contenders and their ladies. They are Juandré Bruwer (Diemersdal Estate), Philip Viljoen (Bon Courage Estate), Rüdger van Wyk (Stark-Condé Wines), Philip Theron (Glen Carlou) and Bobby Wallace (Iona Vineyards)
PRO Posy Hazell and Ariane Rossouw
That Wine Girl, Leanne Beattie & her Pa, Graham
In the long hall, waiting for the awards to begin
Platter Wine Guide publisher JP Rousseau was the MC for the evening. He told us that the judges were Michael O’Connell – International judge, Carrie Adams, Debi Van Flymen, Michael Crossley, Nomonde Kubheka and Ntsiki Biyela. Also that the winning Winemaker receives R50 000 while the Young Winemaker wins R25 000. Both winemakers get two return air tickets on Delta Airlines to any wine producing region in the USA
Diners Club MD Lesego Chauke-Motshwane takes the podium. She said we were there to celebrate a love story between the makers and their produce. And to announce the winners of the Winemaker and Young Winemaker of the Year
This year's category for Winemaker was Chardonnay and the Young Winemaker category was Red Wines. These are the Young Winemaker finalists and their submissions:
  • Bobby Wallace – Iona Vineyards – 2017 Pinot Noir
  • Juandré Bruwer – Diemersdal Estate – 2017 Shiraz
  • Philip Theron – Glen Carlou – 2017 Merlot and 2017 Curator’s Collection Malbec
  • Philip Viljoen – Bon Courage Estate – 2015 Inkara Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rudger Van Wyk – Stark-Condé Wines – 2016 Stellenbosch Syrah

Last year’s winner, Wade Roger-Lund, waits to hand over the trophy to this year’s winner
And the Winner is .... 
A surprised, delighted and shocked Rüdger Van Wyk of Stark-Condé Wines
With his award, so happy. He was given a standing ovation
and made a short and sweet acceptance speech. Rudger was born in George in the Southern Cape. He studied at the University of Stellenbosch, where he completed a BSc Agriculture: Viticulture and Oenology degree. As a Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé, Rudger worked at several high-profile local wine estates, followed by a harvest in Burgundy before joining Stark-Condé Wines as assistant winemaker in 2016. Earlier this year Stark-Condé Wines was pleased to announce Rüdger’s appointment to the position of winemaker
Judge Carrie Adams of Norman Goodfellows
The wine of Rüdger van Wyk, 2016 Stellenbosch Syrah, was then served with our starters. It is an accomplished, elegant wine full of cherries and berries, violets and incense wood on the nose. Restrained fruit initially with dark chocolate coffee and wood, minerality and some tight tannins that relax in the glass. Mulberries and morello cherry fruit, it will age well
It might have been nice to sample the wines entered while waiting? Up till then we had been served only water.
The starter of grilled lamb loin, on a watercress salad with baby rainbow beetroots, root vegetable sprouts, intense and interesting dried kalamata olives and a lamb jus gras. The wine paired very well with the dish
After the first course it was time to watch a video about the Wine Makers of the Year
and to hear the announcement of this year’s winner. The tension and excitement in the room were palpable
Last year's winner Christiaan Groenewald of Eagles Cliff/New Cape Wines came to present the award
And here is the envelope ....
And the winner is: Clayton Reabow of Môreson!
Making his thank you speech. Clayton grew up in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. He completed a BSc Agriculture: Viticulture and Oenology degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2004. In between working some local vintages, he travelled to other wine producing areas such as Bordeaux in France and the Mosel Valley in Germany to broaden his horizons. On returning to South Africa, he applied for the winemaking position at Môreson in 2007 and has never looked back. In 2011 Clayton completed a Postgraduate Master’s degree in Wine Business Management, Cum Laude, at the UCT Graduate School of Business
With the award
Graham and Leanne Beattie
The winning Mercator Premium Chardonnay was served with our main course of Pan fried “Line fish” with spring vegetables, topped with an orange crisp. John's tasted like dense Kingklip, Lynne's like soft Hake and neither of them are line fish, but the dish went well with the Chardonnay
It has a golden nose with a faint wood smoke whiff. Lovely lively crisp lemons and limes on the palate and the wood follows as golden oak, not dark toast
We were encouraged to tweet and this young man won the prize for the most innovative one
He won a bottle of each winning wine
The wine served with dessert was Nederburg’s The Winemasters Noble late harvest 2018
Dessert was like a deconstructed Lemon meringue pie, without the meringue,
but with a rich granadilla and ginger gelato, a crumb and, most interesting,
a shard of the new Valrhona Ruby chocolate which is intensely fruity
The two winners get their air tickets from Delta Airlines
More photo opportunities with the Trophies
And a handshake. And then it was time for carriages home
We are very grateful for the cars that were sent to transport us there and back again