Thursday, April 18, 2019

This Week's MENU. Meerendal Pinotage 50 years, WTM Africa, Pinotage & Biltong, Crispy Chilli Squid Tempura, Bellingham Pinotage

An autumn evening view from Meerendal’s original Pinotage vineyard, over Durbanville to the mountains

Without any effort on our part, the main focus this week is Pinotage. We have always believed that it shows at its best with some age, not always an advantage when the average bottle is consumed within a short time after it left the shop. We had the opportunity to taste some great vintages and tell about them here, and about some others, much younger and designed for earlier consumption

It’s the holiday season in South Africa, with this long weekend being followed by public holidays on April 27th and May 1st, so many of you will have taken the opportunity for a holiday which is extended by adding the official holidays to your leave. And then, a day off for the election on May 8th... We wish you all well for this period; drink wisely and drive safely. To all who celebrate the religious holidays, we wish you a Happy Easter and Passover. 

An invitation from Bennie Howard to join him and his colleagues at a celebration of Meerendal's 50 years of making Pinotage just had to be accepted. And yes, we did get to taste this 1969 vintage and others. It was a fantastic evening… 

Our visit to World Travel Market Exhibition at the CTICC had to be on the last day Friday as we had work on the preceding two days. It was quite quiet when we arrived mid morning. Sadly the free tote bags had all gone by then so we had to manage handling any information we were given. Made life quite difficult…

Pinotage and Biltong Festival at Perdeberg Winery
We were invited to attend this year’s Pinotage and Biltong Festival at Perdeberg winery and went on Sunday. We travelled through a huge rainstorm, but the weather when we got there was good and we were able to sit outside to eat some lunch. Because of the bad weather expected, they moved the stands inside the barrel cellar this year. Not needed on Sunday, but Saturday, we were told, was wet…

On the MENU. Crispy Chilli Squid Tempura
Something easy to make for the holidays if you are having guests

500g small squid rings and tentacles (Cut up larger rings into bite sized pieces) – 500ml milk – 1 egg – 210ml ice cold sparkling or soda water – 1/2 t salt – 25g corn flour – 75g flour – 4 ice cubes – 2t chilli flakes or 1 to 2 (depending on your taste) finely chopped fresh red chillies, seeds removed – approx 500ml canola oil for frying – good sushi mayonnaise or Hellman’s diluted with a little milk to make it more runny

Soak the squid in milk for at least an hour (this tenderises it), then drain and pat really dry. Heat the oil in a wok or a wide deep pan to 370°C. Do not leave the oil alone. Mix the water with the egg and then stir in the flour, salt and chilli flakes and ice cubes. Quickly mix up the batter; it does not have to be smooth. Immediately toss the squid into the batter a spoonful at a time to coat well and then deep fry for just a couple of minutes until it is really crisp and beginning to turn golden. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Then serve with the mayonnaise drizzled over it. You can also drizzle over a sweet chilli sauce

MENU’s Wine of the Week. Bellingham Pinotage 2017
We tasted this at the Pinotage and Biltong Festival last weekend. This lovely wine is perfumed with roses and dark berries, incense wood, showing the Pinot Noir parent of Pinotage. On the palate, plums, mulberry, raspberry, black cherry fruit, very juicy, layered fruit, good supportive wood, some vanilla, with a hint of salt and crisp tannins. Then it mellows into long, soft, full flavours, very satisfying, with dark fruit remaining on the palate. The Cinsault parent shows there

We had a glass at home later with some dark chocolate and it is such a good match. Chefs and Sommeliers, do try this, we don’t think we have had a better red wine with chocolate. Good value at R83 on-line and Pick n Pay have it on special at the moment, but do check that the vintage is the same

18th April 2019
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2019

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

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