A lotus flower and seed pods, De Morgenzon wine estate, Stellenboschkloof

A fairly quiet but interesting week. A lot of our time has been spent with friends, but we have two great restaurant experiences for you and a visit to a beautiful farm with excellent wines. Please read on... 

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On the way to lunch at Jordan, our friends asked to revisit De Morgenzon. They loved the tasting they had there last year and are in awe at the gardens and the featured vineyard, where Baroque music soothes the vines

This has become an annual event, as our friends from Holland just love having lunch at this restaurant on Peter's birthday, which occurs while they are here for two months. We are huge fans of George Jardine's food, so we too always enjoy the day

Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch is famous for producing Zinfandel. Once a year they allow the media to taste one of their iterations of this interesting grape. This year, the 10th Blaauwklippen tasting, it was a vertical of the sweet Noble Late Harvest from 2007 to 2014. Blaauwklippen have also been making Brandy, Eau de Vie & Grappa for several years; now they have ventured into Gin, which is currently undergoing a huge renaissance in South Africa and abroad. The tasting was held at the Cape Grace Hotel this year

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Lynne has done quite a lot of cooking for our visitors over the last few weeks and has tried out some new recipes and some old favourites.

Last week, we were served Ottolenghi's Green Gazpacho in McGregor. This week, Lynne found the recipe, made some adjustments and this is what we had as a starter for dinner last night. Lynne halved this recipe, so it does make a lot. She used a liquidiser. You might need to make this in batches unless you have a very large liquidiser. It does sound like a lot of ingredients, but once you liquidise it, it is made. So easy after assembly. It is based on a Turkish Tarrator. You can use other nuts, like walnuts (in the original recipe), or ground almonds if you don't have blanched fresh. Lynne took the garlic down to 2 cloves (from 4) as it does show quite prominently. Do add more if you like. It is perfect for the hot muggy weather we are having at the moment

 2 celery sticks (including the leaves) - 2 small green peppers, deseeded - 1 peeled cucumber (350g in total) - 3 slices stale white bread (120g in total), crusts removed - 1 fresh green chilli (or less if you don’t want it too hot) - 2 garlic cloves - 1 tsp sugar - 150g blanched almonds - 200g baby spinach - 1 whole peeled ripe avocado - 25g basil leaves - 10g parsley - 4 Tbsp sherry vinegar - 1 cup/225ml olive oil - 40g Greek yoghurt - 450ml iced water - 250g ice cubes - 2 tsp salt (or more according to your taste) - white pepper

How to Make It 

Roughly chop up the celery, peppers, cucumbers, bread, chilli and garlic. Place in a blender and add the sugar, almonds, avocado, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yoghurt, most of the water, half the ice cubes, the salt and some white pepper.

Blitz the soup until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to get your preferred consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate

Lastly, just before serving, add the remaining ice and pulse once or twice, just to crush it a little. Serve with crusty garlic bread or crisp croutons.

With thanks to Yottam Ottolenghi


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Lynne loved this wine enough to buy it when she tasted it at the farm tasting room last week. We had it at supper last night with a warm aubergine and butternut curry. A perfect match. It is full of wild dark liquorice and rhubarb flavours, some spice, with good wood and tannin for structure. Good aging potential too. It sells for R127 per bottle from the farm. Platter has not reviewed it, yet

 In MENU Next Week

Being tourists in Hout Bay

Chenin & Pinotage at The Vineyard

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

Information about interesting wine, food and related events happening in the Western Cape and, occasionally, in other areas. It is as up to date as the information we have received from the various organisers. Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents. Some of this information comes to us in hugely verbose communiqués which we have to précis to make it easier for you. We will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, however caused.

If you'd like us to publish news about an event, please send us the basic details: What, where, when, price. If we have to cut it down to the size which we'll publish, it may take us too long to fit it into our very busy programme

Coming Events:

Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents. Some of this information comes to us in hugely verbose communiqués which we have to précis to make it easier for you. We will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, however caused.

Wednesday, 22nd March Stellenbosch Street Soirees Warmer weather and longer days echo the return of the ever-popular Stellenbosch Street Soirees - bi-monthly street parties bringing together wine farms, restaurants, locals and visitors in the vibrant streets of the City of Oaks. The Stellenbosch Street Soirees will take place every second and last week of the month for a hip crowd to immerse themselves in the inimitable food and wine culture of this forever young town, with live music adding to a cool and casual vibe. For more information contact Tel: 021 886 4310, visit www.wineroute.co.za, follow the Stellenbosch Wine Routes on Twitter @StellWineRoute or like them on Facebook at STBStreetSoirees. #VisitStellenbosch

Friday, 24th March 17h00 – 20h00 Wine Concepts Chenin Blanc & Pinotage Celebration at The Vineyard Hotel, Colinton Road, Newlands. Cost: R200.00 per person – includes wine glass, tastings and light snacks. Tickets can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za,   or at any of the Wine Concepts branches. Telephone Newlands at (021) 671 9030 or Kloof Street at 021 426 4401. Email: admin@wineconcepts.co.za or at the door on the evening subject to availability. http://www.wineconcepts.co.za

Thursday, 30th and Friday, 31st March FNB Eastern Cape Wine Show in East London.  Queries: 011 482 5936/5/4. Website: www.easterncapewineshow-el.co.za. Tickets: Ticket sales are open and can be purchased at www.computicket.com

Saturday, 1st April Cluver Family Harvest Day Book directly through www.webtickets.co.za.  For more details on what you can expect visit www.cluver.com

Wednesday, 19th – Friday, 21st April  WTM Africa. CTICC http://africa.wtm.com/en/visit/

Saturday, 22nd April Bot River Barrels & Beards showcase. Get tickets at www.quicket.co.za For enquiries and pre-bookings contact Wilmari Geyer, email: info@bartonvineyards.co.za and mobile: 084 231 8930

Thursday, 1st to Sunday, 4th June 14th annual Wacky Wine Weekend proudly hosted by Robertson Wine Valley. www.robertsonwinevalley.com/

Wednesday, 20th September Michael Crossley will be hosting an international wine dinner at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban For more details, please contact crossley@reciprocal.co.za

It has information about interesting wine, food and related events happening in the Westerm Cape and, occasionally, in other areas. It is as up to date as the information we have received from the various organisers. Accuracy in the descriptions of events listed here depends on the information given to us by the organisers or their publicity agents. Some of this information comes to us in hugely verbose communiqués which we have to précis to make it easier for you. We will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies, however caused.

It you'd like us to publish news about an event, please send us the BASIC details: What, where, when, price. If we have to cut it down to the size we'll publish, it may take us too long to fit in to our very busy programme

Classes in culinary arts for kids at The Table Bay. Following the super success of the cooking workshops for kids in 2015, The Table Bay’s Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams, will be hosting monthly classes in culinary arts for emerging young cooks in The Table Bay’s Atlantic at 12h30 on scheduled Saturdays. The cost to participate is R300 per child April to November 2016. Mini Chefs will get to work side by side with Myers-Adams for two inspiring hours while learning some special tricks of the trade. Each two hour Mini Chefs class is an interactive learning experience that gives children between 5 and 12 years of age the opportunity to develop a life-long love for the culinary arts, whilst celebrating South Africa’s rich culinary heritage. Each month, the children will prepare something different based on a theme which is aligned with the seasons or a special occasion. They will be assisted by Myers-Adams and a dedicated minder, and will get to take home what they have prepared. More in the Events Calendar

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

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 March 2017

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