A Clifton sunset

Of huge interest to the South African culinary environment is the news that a chef we visited and who excited us couple of years ago has made it into a well-deserved beam of limelight. Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat (Wolf’s Lair) restaurant in the small West Coast fishing village called Paternoster has achieved a double distinction at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris, coming away with not only the Restaurant of the Year Award, but also the award for best restaurant in the Off-Map Destination category. His restaurant is tiny, seating only 20 patrons, but the innovation and imagination in his use of very local ingredients were very exciting. Our story of our visit to his restaurant is below

This has been a week in which the term “interesting times” becomes more relevant. More of the worms are coming out of the woodwork and our Finance Minister delivered his Budget Speech today in which he shot a few arrows at his colleagues in the cabinet, promising that the ill-favoured chickens they have hatched are coming home to roost. At the same time, more of the corruption that has bedevilled us in the last decade is being laid bare and there are signs that appropriate action will be taken against the culprits. The evils which have corrupted our electricity generation and distribution are being brought into the open with promises that the long road to fixing them is being opened. We’ll see…

It is lovely to be on the receiving end sometimes. Last week some friends from Australia took us and some of their friends from Australia on a wine tour with lunch to Franschhoek. We began at Anthonij Rupert with a tour of the Motor museum and then moved to the historic Manor house. Note: You do need to make appointments at both, should you want to visit…

We were invited to join Jane Ferreira-Eedes for dinner at Between Us Restaurant at 176 upper Bree Street in town this week. A first visit for us. Run by twin sisters Jesse and Jamie Friedberg in what used to be an antique restoration building, it has a terrace and a large spacious interior with a bar…

Late Saturday morning saw us having Brunch at a fairly new venue in Sea Point, The Industry café, which is right opposite the Adelphi Centre and Pick n Pay on Main Road, Sea Point…

We were delighted to hear the news that Kobus van der Merwe’s Wolfgat Restaurant in Paternoster has been awarded the distinction of Restaurant of the Year at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris as well as the award for best restaurant in the Off-Map Destination category. We visited him at his previous premises at Oep ve Koep in Pasternoster a couple of years ago and were “blown away” by the flavours and his imagination in using foraged indigenous ingredients. See our story here…

This is one to make right now while the fruit is still in season, We had a dinner party and this is what we had so Lynne made another of our favourite Tart Tatins. It is a very good mix of fruit. Warning: Apricots do produce a lot of juice so be careful when turning out to have a serving dish that can take it. See the Recipe…

The ripe Chenin Blanc grapes from 30 year old trellised vines in Piekenierskloof are air dried on straw for 2 weeks to concentrate their flavour, then fermented and matured in a Solera system of old barrels where new wine has been added every year since 2007. Full, rich and very sweet with an immense concentration of dried apricots and honey, it has a great balance of acidity, just as it should…

Things to do

Sunday 24th February  Groote Post's February 'Made with Love" Country Market  For further information Contact I Love Yzer: 022 451 2202 or info@iloveyzer.co.za  www.grootepostcountrymarket.co.za Facebook.com/GrootePostCountryMarket • @GPCountryMarket

Friday & Saturday, 1st & 2nd March      RMB Starlight Concert at Vergelegen. Details and tickets at http://www.capetownopera.co.za/production/rmb-starlight-classics/

Friday, 1st March    The American Express Cape Wine Barrel Auction at the Norval Foundation

Saturday, 2nd March       The Cape Wine Auction sponsored by Nedbank Private Wealth at Buitenverwachting

For more information on the Cape Wine Auction, contact CWA director Darielle Robertson at darielle@thecapewineauction.comFor more information on the Cape Wine Auction Trust, contact Andi Norton at andi@thecapewineauction.com

Saturday, 2nd March       Harvest Festival at Muratie Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.  For further information and bookings contact Nina Martin at Muratie on 021 865 2330/2336 or info@muratie.co.za

Saturday 2nd March       Perdeberg’s Harvest Celebration from 09h00 - 17h00 at Perdeberg Cellars. For more information contact Johan at +27 21 869 8244 or info@perdeberg.co.za

Wednesday, 6th March    A night at the Italian Opera 18h00 for 18h30, Café del Sol Botanico, Bryanston, Gauteng Tickets are available at R650 per person, the three course dinner and wine are included. Limited spaces are available so e-mail marketing@cafedelsol.co.za to be part of this exclusive event.

Friday 8th March    Wine Concepts Craft Festival at The Vineyard Hotel 17h00 – 20h00 Cost: R200.00 per person – includes tasting glass, tastings and light snacks. Tickets via www.webtickets.co.za or at 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, 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

The CAPE WINE ACADEMY has the following courses commencing


  • 25 February & 4 March @ De Grendel Wines – TWO evenings
  • 1 March @ Morgenhof Wine Estate – DAY course


  • 28 February - 2 May @ King David Mowbray Golf Club – Evening
  • 7-9 March @ Morgenhof Wine Estate – 3 Day


  • 2 March @ Morgenhof Wine Estate – Day course


  • 21 February @ Private Hotel School, Stellenbosch (evening)

FAULTY WINE TASTING (presented by Prof Wessel Du Toit, from the University of Stellenbosch)

  • 6 March @ L’Avenir Estate – Evening lectures
Should you wish to receive further information or register, please contact Shené Pekeur by return mail at shene@capewineacademy.co.za

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We enjoy sharing our experiences with you and are so pleased when you tell us that we’ve given you some pleasure

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

Coming in Future Editions of MENU

Jordan Assyrtiko grapes

Constantia Glen book launch

Muratie Harvest Festival

Starlight Concert

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, It's raining, the trouble is that it is not raining enough. The dams are only, on average, just about half 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. The world's weather is in trouble. Europe is experiencing temperatures that we are used to here in Africa. It might be normal in Spain, but when we hear stories from chilly Scotland and often icy Norway about temperatures in the 30s.....

20th February 2019

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