Refreshment and shelter from the heat at Oak Valley’s Pool Room

In this week’s MENU:

 Vergenoegd, we are well satisfied

 Creation Pinot Palate tasting

 To Newton Johnson to taste their wines

 White Water Farm

 Klein Rivier Cheese factory

 Gordon Manuel at The Pool Room

* This week's recipe: Nutty Coleslaw   

* February events

To get the whole of each story, with photographs, please click on the link above or the paragraph title, which will lead you there. At the end of each story, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to MENU.

We are in the middle of our hot summer season and it is also Harvest time in the vineyards. We have been very busy working and entertaining our friends from overseas who are coming here in droves this year, so we are getting out and about quite a bit.  Great for the economy!

Vergenoegd, we are well satisfied      Vergenoegd Wine farm is just off the N2 on the R44 - right across the road from the Cape Town Film studios with their Black Sails galleons, This farm, famous for its huge flock of Runner ducks, was sold last year and we were invited to visit and see what the new owners have done to the farm. We were mightily impressed with all the offerings and think you will be too. We think they might be candidates for this year’s Klink awards. Chef Ryan Shell (who was at Haute Cabrière restaurant) has moved here and he produced a really exciting, fresh, family style lunch for the media. One you will be able to experience too.

The farm organised transport for the media from Cape Town and from the winelands for which we are very grateful. Tasting wine and then drinking with lunch or dinner and driving is just not clever and we wish more organisations would get the message. Read On ......

Creation Pinot Palate tasting      The Hemel and Aarde holds a weekend celebrating Pinot Noir each year and we were invited to come to Creations part of it. John was booked to do some photography for them and we had a marvellous morning tasting some older Creation Pinot Noirs matched with some same age Burgundies and each matched pair had its own food pairing. It was delightful and Creation really showed how good their Pinots are, they held up their heads so well when matched with the Burgundies. Read On .....

To Newton Johnson to taste their wines     We had to drop in at to Newton Johnson to return a friend's wallet which, inadvertently, had been left at Creation. Their Pinot Noir tasting was underway and we did not want to gate crash that but were very kindly offered a tasting of the Newton Johnson wines in the tasting room. Of course, we took some photographs. Read on .....

White Water Farm     Rob and Alex were our wonderful and much missed neighbours in Sea Point until they bought White Water Farm in Stanford a year ago. The farm’s name refers to its history as a distiller of illicit “witblits” moonshine in the 19th century. As we were in the neighbourhood, this was the perfect opportunity to take up their invitation to come and visit. Set up the valley from the Klein Rivier Cheese Farm, it is in an idyllic spot alongside the river and nestled next to the mountain reserve. They have 7 commodious cottages and Rob is a trained chef, so they run a good country restaurant called The Garden Grill.  Now, when you visit Stanford to explore the new wine route, you have another lovely place to stay.  Read On .....

 Klein Rivier Cheese factory     On our way out of Stanford, we popped into the cheese factory to buy some cheese. The shop is closed on Sundays, but the picnic venue is not and you can buy a picnic basket or put together your own selection from the huge choice available and then enjoy it in their garden picnic area. It is a great place to take children.  Read On .....

 Gordon Manuel at The Pool Room      Wending our way home on a very hot Sunday, we decided to see if The Pool Room at Oak Valley had a table for us. Yes, we know we should have booked but, after a good breakfast, we were not sure if we would want lunch. For Lynne, it was a solution to not having to make supper when we got home! The day was very hot. They did manage to find us a table inside and we ordered a lovely charcuterie platter to share. Chef Gordon Manuel then very kindly sent us one of his duck combinations to sample. All was washed down with a glass each of an excellent Oak Valley wine. Read On .....

This week's recipe is something very simple, but very suitable for the sort of hot weather we are having.  It will keep in the fridge for a day or so.

Nutty Coleslaw

2 cups of shredded White cabbage -  2 cups of grated carrot - 1 cup of finely sliced celery - 1/2 a cup of sliced pepperdews - 1/2 cup of roughly chopped mixed nuts - Salt and freshly ground black pepper - 2 T good mayonnaise - 2 T double thick Greek Yoghurt.

Mix all the ingredients together and dress with the mayonnaise and yoghurt.  Season to your own taste.  You might like to add a freshly squeezed lemon  or orange juice to the carrot to keep it bright.  

Broken barrels     We are planning to use wine barrel staves as the covering of a pergola, If any of our wine farmer readers have old barrels which have outlived other uses, we’d love to have them. Please let us know.

Here is a list of coming events up to and including Valentine’s Day. We will be at the Stellenbosch Festival on Friday and at Franschhoek Summer wines on Saturday and we hope to see many of you.

Friday, 5th to Sunday, 7th February   Stellenbosch Wine Festival – A Feast for the Senses. Celebrate the harvest season in style at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival, presented by Pick n Pay. Taking place at the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds in Stellenbosch, visitors can look forward to sampling even more delicious wines than before, with an incredible 77 wine farms and 10 boutique wineries participating in the festival. If you’re keen on sampling some of the “rarer gems” from smaller producers, then make sure you visit the festival on Sunday 7 February, when boutique wineries are scheduled to make a special appearance. This year the line-up includes: Audacia Wines, Bartinney Private Cellar, Deux Frères Wines, Keermont Vineyards, Kings Kloof Vineyards, Mostertsdrift Noble Wines, Post House Vineyards, Rudera  Wines, The High Road and Usana Wines. The Gourmet Lane will once again offer signature treats from wineries and restaurants responsible for the region’s culinary reputation, including Beyerskloof, Eaglevlei Wines, Vagabond Kitchen, Big Steve Charcuterie, Wild Peacock Food Emporium and Bistro 13. And no South African festival would be complete without biltong – fresh and delicious, it will be available from Pick n Pay’s biltong stand. Celebrity chef Tiaan Langenegger will team up with winemakers to explore the magic of food-and-wine pairing during daily sessions in The Tasting Room. Langenegger will pair delicious canapés with wines from Blaauwklippen, Ernie Els Wines, Kaapzicht, Kleine Zalze, L'Avenir, Mooiplaas, Spier, Villiera, Waterford Estate and Waterkloof. Sessions last half an hour and are limited to 40 guests. Booking is essential and tickets can be bought on the day at the festival for R25. Those in possession of a Smart Shopper card can enter free of charge. Daily festival tickets cost R180 for adults and include a tasting glass. Tickets are now available online from www.webtickets.co.za.  Children under 18 enter free. Festival opening times:  Friday from 15h00-21h00, Saturday from 10h00-18h00 and Sunday from 10h00-18h00. Tastings finish an hour before closing time. Visit the festival website www.stellenboschwinefestival.co.za for a full event schedule. Follow the Stellenbosch Wine Festival on Twitter @StellWineFest, Instagram @Stellenboschwinefest or sign up for regular updates on Facebook at StellenboschWineFestival.  

Friday, 5th to Sunday, 7th February   Fleur du Cap wines paired with tasty morsels enriched with artisanal salts at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival at Coetzenburg Sports Grounds. Fleur du Cap wines can be purchased at the festival at cellar door prices. Friday from 15h00-21h00, Saturday from 10h00-18h00 and Sunday from 10h00-18h00. Tastings finish an hour before closing time. For more information on Fleur du Cap visit www.fleurducap.co.za, join the Fleur du Cap community on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @FleurduCapWines

Saturday, 6th February   Franschhoek Summer Wines at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards. Come and taste the Franschhoek Vigneron’s choice for summer. White, rosé or Méthode Cap Classique – all will be revealed on the day! Tickets are available from www.webtickets.co.za at R150 per person.  This includes a wine glass and a tasting of all the wines on show between 12pm and 5pm.

Thursday, 11th February          Summer Sounds at Haute Cabrière, featuring Morne Meyer, from Wellington, who has recently worked in Dubai as an entertainer for Regal Plaza Hotel with guitar, vocal and live music. He is talented in multiple genres including Jazz, Blues, Funk and Pop. This is the perfect way to enjoy a delicious light meal paired with great wines. The breathtaking views and sunsets provide a splendid setting for the entertainment on the Terrace area at Haute Cabrière with seating on the Terrace and the lawns which overlook the magnificent Franschhoek Valley. Booking is essential as each event has a maximum capacity of 60 people. Please note only the Terrace menu is available at these events and no cover charge applies. For reservations and enquiries e-mail restaurant@cabriere.co.za or call 021 876 3688

Saturday, 13th February  Nederburg welcomes The Galileo Open Air Cinema. Begin the afternoon with a relaxed stroll through Nederburg’s manor house and the winery’s lush gardens. Then share an evening underneath the stars with a loved one, or a friend, to a screening of Shakespeare in Love. Pre-order a picnic basket for R500 per couple from The Red Table. It includes delicious fresh salads, cured meats, artisanal cheeses, crackers and bread, grilled tiger prawns, asparagus spears wrapped with Parma ham, tartlets, and finally, decadent chocolate brownies with strawberries, a bottle of Nederburg Première Cuvée Brut as well as still mineral water. Pre-ordered picnic baskets must be pre-paid in full. On the night there will also be stalls offering food, mineral water, soft drinks as well as coffee and tea. Booking is essential. To book tickets for the screening of Shakespeare in Love, starting just after dark on Saturday, 13th February, please contact The Galileo on 071 471 8728 or hello@thegalileo.co.za. Go to www.thegalileo.co.za for more information, or to view ticket options and pricing. Visit www.nederburg.co.za for more on the brand.

Saturday, 13th February at 18h30 for 19h00   Plaisir de Merle Winemaker’s Table. A culinary feast prepared by well-known chef and restaurateur, Dawid Kriel, paired with wines selected by Cellar Master, Niel Bester, will be served in the cellar. Tickets are available at R595 per person, five course dinner and wine included. Limited spaces are available so call 021 874 1071 or email info@plaisirdemerle.co.za to be part of this exclusive event.

Saturday 13th February from 10am until 6pm          Rosé Festival at Rickety Bridge Estate. FLOW OF THE DAY: 8.30 until 10am: The day will start at 8.30am with The Rosé Run (5km, 10km or 20km) and The Rosé MTB Ride (20km, 40km or 60km). Entry to these events will include a Festival ticket. Showers will be provided as well as a Rosé Breakfast of Salmon and Egg Bagels. 10am until 4pm: Wine tasting, Rosé-friendly food stalls, pre-booked picnics, Paulina’s Restaurant will be open 4pm until 6pm: Wine tasting closes, wine sales continue, cocktail bar and Paulina’s Restaurant stay open. Guests will be able to enjoy tapas and live music and watch the sunset. Entry costs R120 per ticket for a glass and tastings. From www.webtickets.co.za and at the door. Food will be available from Rosé-friendly food stalls. R150 per person for a pre-booked picnic. Paulina’s Restaurant will be open all day. Wine sales: By the glass and by the bottle. Music:  There will be live music throughout the day. For more information please visit www.ricketybridge.com and www.dnaevents.co.za. To enter please visit www.webtickets.co.za or get your tickets on arrival

Saturday, 13th February  Celebrate the Weekend of Love in style at the Lanzerac Hotel & Spa with an intimate and romantic dinner for two at R420 per person. Included in your special evening is a complimentary welcome drink. Gorgeous views, gourmet food and superb estate wines. The perfect gift for that someone special. Adding extra romance to your evening the Lady Anne Courtyard, reminiscent of a Spanish sidewalk, will be transformed into a Tango Fiesta for the evening, as the sensual Dance of Love captivates you. This passionate walking-embrace symbolizes a close and sensuous connection between partners, and promises to be the highlight of what can only be described as the ultimate romantic evening. Let us treat you to an enchanting evening of delicious Spanish inspired food paired with superb wine, amidst an elegant and relaxing setting. For bookings contact Denise Bezuidenhoudt on banqueting@lanzerac.co.za

Saturday, 13th February  Valentine’s Dinner at Benguela on Main, 206 Main Road, Somerset West R600 per person. For details, contact http://www.bengueladining.com/capetown or email  onmain@benguelacove.co.za  Phone: 087 357 0637

Saturday, 13th February at 15h00        Muratie presents The Swingsetters, an evening of music, wine and plenty of fun!  R150 per ticket. Please book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.  For further information contact Jean-Mari Strauss at Muratie on 021 865 2330 or taste@muratie.co.za.

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day inspired picnic and movie night or brunch at the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate. Whether it’s a candlelight dinner or a sunset picnic, Valentine’s Day is known for these two things. It’s about spending time with that someone special whilst enjoying a glass of chilled MCC. With the dominant colour being red, the L‘Ormarins Brut Rosé 2013 is perfect with its delicate salmon colour. Completing the picture would be spoiling your loved one to a Valentine’s Day inspired picnic and movie night or brunch at the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate. What better way to enjoy this superb MCC from one of SA’s leading producers. For details contact 021 874 9041 or tasting@rupertwines.com.

Sunday, 14th February    The Backsberg Centenary Picnic Concert Series kicks-off on with a performance by The Plastics. Come and enjoy your Sunday afternoon by relaxing on the lawns with a glass of wine whilst listening to some great SA music. Tickets are R120 from www.webtickets.co.za and R150 at the gate. Students pay R60 and there is no charge for children under the age of 12. Delicious food and snack boxes will be available on the day. Snack boxes can be pre-ordered at restaurant@backsberg.co.za at a cost of R160 for two persons. Gates to Backsberg Estate Cellars open at 15h00.

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day Lunch at Benguela on Main, 206 Main Road, Somerset West R600 per person. For details, contact http://www.bengueladining.com/capetown or email  onmain@benguelacove.co.za  Phone: 087 357 0637

Sunday, 14th February    Celebrate the day of love at Boschendal with live music by romantic duo Palm Strings, who will entertain picnic visitors at the serviced Rhone Classic Picnic area from 12h00 - 15h00. Executive Chef, Christiaan Campbell and his team will add a romantic twist to the picnic baskets, while the full range of Boschendal MCC bubbly will be available to add that extra bit of “l’amour” to your day. Cost: R520 per basket to share. Includes 10% service fee, but excludes beverages. Enjoy a Valentine’s celebration with a difference by joining Food Garden Manager, Megan McCarthy for a Valentine’s themed Food Garden Tour from 10h00-11h30 and stock up on our bio-friendly veggies and herbs for a romantic dining occasion. Cost: R150 per person (Includes water, tour, veggie gift pack and glass of Boschendal MCC). Alternatively you can book a leisurely afternoon at our Werf picnics, The Werf Restaurant for an innovative farm-to-table menu, The Deli and Farm stall for a casual meal or Rhone Homestead for a lavish Cape Buffet. Bookings for the Picnic and Food Garden Tour are essential at reservations@boschendal.co.za or +27 21 870 4274. The restaurants’ bookings can be made on-line at www.boschendal.co.za.

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine's Day Lunch at Dornier Bodega Restaurant. Head Chef Lee-Anne du Plessis has created a beautiful four course menu for Valentine's Day lunch this February. Three of the dishes featured on the Valentine's Day menu include an array of Oysters served with Lime Salsa, Bloody Mary and Pesto Parmesan, Watermelon Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese salad, and Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna served on a bed of Marinated Angel Hair and Julienne Vegetables. Seating is limited, please ensure to make your booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made by contacting Bodega Restaurant at 021 880 0557 or bodega@dornier.co.za

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day picnic at Durbanville Hills Wines, only 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre. The first one is for you to stretch out under the olive trees on lush green lawns with a glass of wine and enjoy the contents of a delectable picnic basket for two. The picnic basket, which includes a bottle of Durbanville Hills Merlot Rosé, is available at R350. The baskets will be available between 11h00 and 15h00. Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting the cellar on 021 558 1300 or by sending an email to info@durbanvillehills.co.za

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day at Durbanville Hills Restaurant, The Best Restaurant in the Winelands according to the 2015 Restaurant Week South African Awards. Treat your partner to a four-course menu, each course paired with one of the wines in the Durbanville Hills range, for R425 per person. Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting the cellar on 021 558 1300 or by sending an email to info@durbanvillehills.co.za

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine’s Day at Lanzerac. The Governor’s Hall Restaurant will be clad with a touch of extra romantic finery on the day. Well-known for its Sunday lunches, the restaurant will be serving a Valentine’s inspired menu in celebration of the occasion. Pre-bookings are essential as seating is limited. For bookings contact Denise Bezuidenhoudt on banqueting@lanzerac.co.za.

Sunday, 14th February    The Red Table at Nederburg offers the ideal Valentine’s four-course menu, priced at R650 per couple and offered for lunch and dinner. Start with delicious salmon ceviche, watercress, radish and red onion salsa, followed by bacon-rolled chicken, goat’s cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach and toasted pine nuts.  Then enjoy the main dish of grilled beef fillet, baked parmesan baby potatoes, fine beans, young carrots and bone marrow jus. Seal the deal with caramel, dark and white chocolate tart, pistachio Turkish delight and fruit compote. A deposit of R150 per person is required to confirm your booking for lunch or dinner at The Red Table on 14 February. To book, please call 021 877 5155 or send an email to theredtable@nederburg.co.za.

Sunday, 14th February    Valentine's Dinner at Catharina's. This Valentine's Day, spoil your loved one with a special menu designed by Chef Garth Almazan for R895 per person. Begin with an Amuse Bouche of Balsamic and Beetroot Jelly with Rose and Beetroot Granite. Then journey through 4 courses of flavourful indulgence with Coffee & Friandise to conclude your evening. We have also designed a Vegetarian Menu for the evening as well as optional wine pairing. View the full menus here. For enquiries, please contact reservations@catharinasrestaurant.co.za or call 021 713 7178.

Learn about wine and cooking 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

Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here

Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia

Nicolette van Niekerk runs baking courses at La Petite Patisserie in Montague Gardens

George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here

We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit. 

 14th January 2016

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