A rainbow over Cape Town – is that the Pot of Gold?

We’re in that strange time of the year when winter tries to nudge summer out of the way, succeeds for a short while and then gets banged back. We've had a little rain and, suddenly, weed seeds which have lain dormant in the barren soil we used to call a garden are poking green shoots through the soil. Wine farms are in the middle of harvest and are stuck in that schizophrenic position of being grateful for the rain but wishing it would hold off until they’ve finished picking. It has been a little quiet on the PR front, but we have been to a restaurant which we liked and had the privilege of a wonderful wine and food experience on an iconic estate. Scroll down and have a look…

It's that time of the year again, where to go for our Anniversary dinner? We chose one we have been meaning to visit for ages but, because of the Cycle Race and everyone (still!) carbo loading, we were turned down. John thinks it's because we were only two and they make more money from bigger tables. Anyway they run a two tier system, so they are off the list. We do NOT want to eat at 6 and be out by 8 unless there is a really good price incentive, nor do we want to get our main course later than 10 pm. So Lynne remembered that she had seen some really good reviews on a site she follows in Facebook: Cape Town Restaurants - the good, the bad and the nastyyyy ... And so a reservation was made at Bones Kitchen and Bar in the Palms Centre in Woodstock. It’s a safe centre behind a barrier, with its own paid parking. And what a great time we had with lovely food and excellent service…

You know how many good new wines and wineries we introduced to you over a year; all that new innovation, so different, so much hype and excitement? Yes those renaissance wines, those experimental wines... Well what is after the renaissance? Here is more big news. The classics are those we should pay attention to again…

We are growing herbs in pots this year and watering by hand. Some have been really successful like our basil and thyme, while others have turned up their toes and died like the oregano which was planted with the thyme. Because the basil was starting to go to seed, Lynne decided to make a pesto this week and this is how the recipe evolved. See the whole recipe here…

This really impressive Stellenbosch wine has vanilla oak, rich fruit: berries and cherries, wood supports and there is no mint. Soft, sweet, seductive berry fruit, raspberry, red cherry & mulberry, with nice soft grippy tannins. Enjoyable now and just in waiting for the future reveal. A different clone from the previous Thelema Cabernets. R275 on the farm

Events for you to enjoy

Saturday, 16th March The annual Cape Town Carnival returns to the Fan Walk with the theme ‘Vuka Ukhanye’ – ‘Arise and Shine More info here

Tuesday, 19th – Sunday, 31st March The Mother City Comedy Festival. More info here

Friday, 29th – Saturday, 30th March The Cape Town International Jazz Festival at The CTICC More info here

Sunday, 31st March Groote Post Country Market between 10h00 and 15h00. For further information on the Groote Post Country Market Contact I Love Yzer: 022 451 2202 or info@iloveyzer.co.za www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za · Facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket · @GPCountryMarket

Thursday, 15 August          Nedbank CWG Auction Showcase Cape Town

Tuesday, 20 August           Nedbank CWG Auction Tasting Pretoria*

Wednesday, 21 August     Nedbank CWG Showcase Sandton

Wednesday, 2 October    Nedbank CWG Development Trust Dinners

Thursday, 3 October         Nedbank CWG Sports Day

Friday, 4 October             Nedbank CWG Final Pre-Auction Tasting*

Saturday 5 October          Nedbank CWG Auction   Enquiries about CWG events to bookings@capewinemakersguild.com * Events in red are by invitation only

Celebration and relaxation with your friends and family!

We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wineCathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here

The Hurst Campusan accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, has a variety of courses. See the details here

In addition to his Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here

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We have been producing MENU for 15 years, in which we have written about many interesting things. You can find them all in the Blog Archive in the right hand column of our blog page and in the Previous MENUs page on our website. Entering a word in the “Search this Blog” window on the blog site should bring up everything we have ever written which relates

We want to use wine barrel staves as the covering of a pergola which we wish to build on our deck, which has no protection from the sun. If any of our wine maker readers have old barrels which have outlived their original purpose, or even loose staves from old barrels, we’d love to have them. Condition is not important, we just need the staves. Please let us know

We keep talking about rain and the scarcity of water in our blessed, beautiful province. We are still in trouble. 2018 has seen the lowest rainfall of any year since 2010. We measured a total of 477mm for the year, which compares poorly with a "normal" annual average of 600mm

It is not difficult to be careful; just be aware of what you do with water and look after this precious resource. Don't leave the shower running while you soap, use grey water to flush, don't run the dishwasher until it is full..... We're in crisis. Think about it! Your garden may, like ours, become a desert. Sad, but necessary and a minor sacrifice in comparison to queueing at a hose for your daily 25 litre allowance. We are planting succulents and other water-wise plants which will tolerate the conditions and still give us pleasure

So don't think that it's OK if it's raining; the trouble is that it is not raining enough. The dams are only, on average, not sufficiently full. We need to try harder. It is no use hoping that more rain will come. If it does, it will be a blessing, but the long term forecast still does not encourage optimism. Tapping into aquifers and installing desalination plants will help in the long term, but we must face up to the fact that water will always be a scarce, precious commodity in the Western Cape. The world's weather is in trouble. Europe is experiencing temperatures that we are used to here in Africa. Vineyards are being planted in England. It might be normal in Spain, but when we hear stories from chilly Scotland and often icy Norway about temperatures in the 30s.....

14th March 2019

All verbal content and photographs used in this site are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor and Bacchus, unless otherwise specified

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