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A flight of blue cranes, near Bredasdorp, Southern Cape

In this Week's MENU

      The buzz continues. Robertson twice in a week. Last week, we told you about our time at Wine on the River and our visits to some wine estates. This week, we were back for De Wetshof’s Celebration of Chardonnay, one of those “Don’t Miss It” events of the year. Plus the full story of the Platter launch and some other events you can look at, below this. Pressure of time has meant that, yet again, we’ve held some over till next week. Scroll down to see this week’s stories. We hope you'll enjoy them….

      This year is ending with some spectacular wine-tasting opportunities which will let you share in some of our action. Please go to our Dates for your Diary below the Wine of the Week on this page, have a look at them and make your booking 

      If you are not already a subscriber to MENU, and wish to subscribe to the email reminder which we send out each week, please go to the "Contact us" page and send us the request. If you have a problem with the link, please click here Please subscribe me to MENU to send us an email

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

      Click any of the headings, photographs or green buttons below to look at a complete story. When you reach the end of a story, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to MENU

      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 websiteEntering a word in the “Search this Blog” window on the blog site should bring up everything we have ever written which relates

      A invitation last week to visit Keermont owner Mark Wraith's Cape Town offices in Kloof Street to taste the new release of the Single Vineyard Series. We used to sell these wines in our shop, so we know the quality they produce on the farm

      The 2019 Platter Wine Guide by Diners Club was released last week at the Table Bay Hotel. There is always great excitement in the wine trade when this occurs with producers hoping that a wine has been awarded 5 stars. We love going to the presentation; 

      We were invited by PRO Caroline van Schalkwyk to visit Paserene wine farm in Franschhoek. Owned by Cellarmaster Viticulturist Martin Smith and his business partner Ndube Mareda, who say that their aim is to produce world-class wines with creativity and passion. They are close friends. And, at Paserene, there is Martin's passion for making the wine. A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, the order of "travelling and free" birds which includes swifts and swallows. it gets its name from the Latin passer, which refers to 

      This celebration is held every two years at De Wetshof in Robertson and it is one of those events to which members of the industry fervently hope to receive an invitation. There is certainly a lot of celebration in our house. This year, De Wetshof paid homage to icons and legends. We tasted the wines made by the people who have played leading rôles in pushing Chardonnay forward as a serious South African wine varietal, both locally and internationally. Chardonnay was only established here just four decades ago and it has certainly garnered

      The 2019 Platter Wine Guide by Diners Club was released this week at the Table Bay Hotel. Here, Publisher Jean-Pierre Rossouw holds up the new guide in its colour called Amphora, a mutable peachy pink that seems to change colour according to the light in which you view it. 

      If you are making Christmas cakes you might want to know how to make proper Marzipan. No cooking required and it makes all the difference to that awful bought stuff that puts children off until they are 40! And now that ground almonds are so popular because of Banting, they are no longer difficult to find…

      Our Wine of the Week was tasted at the Elim Wine festival and has since won another award. You will read about both of these events next week. From Strandveld Winery in Elim, it is a good blend of Sauvignon and Semillon grapes…

      16th November 2018


       Coming in MENU Next Editions

      Overnight at Kranskop

      Elim Festival

      Winemag Savignon/Semillon Report

      Leeu Manor House menu

      Wednesday 14 November. Port Elizabeth. Veritas Double Gold and Gold public tasting, Wellington Room, Garden Court Kings Beach Hotel, Port Elizabeth. 17:30 for 18:00. R120 - Sit-down tasting of a selection of award-winning wines, including a light snack. Tickets  available from Jacques van der Merwe, cell 083 406 3354

      Knysna. Wine and food lovers in and around Knysna will have the pleasure to enjoy a selection of Veritas Double Gold and Gold award winning wines with the culinary delights of Kilzer's Kitchen, with celebrated chef Albin Kilzer preparing the delectable dishes and Bennie Howard, Vice-Chairman of Veritas, presenting the wines

      Thursday 15 Nov, 18:00: Sit-down tasting, followed by light refreshments. Cost R160.00 pp.

      Friday 16 Nov, 19:00: 4 course menu paired with Veritas-winner wines. Cost R390.00 pp.  

      Venue for both events: Kilzers Kitchen, No 3 + 5 Roos Bolton Crescent, Knysna Heights. Limited seats are available, please book early with Jenny: 082 572 7986 or 

      These countrywide tastings are proudly sponsored by Deloitte

      Saturday 17 November Paserene Open Day. Celebrate the newest Franschhoek wine farm Tickets from

      Friday 23rd November. The Magic of Bubbles, Wine Concepts “Finer Things in Life” International Sparkling Wine & Champagne Affair. Tickets for the Affair cost R500.00 and can be purchased from Wine Concepts stores, online on or at the door on the evening

      Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 DecemberThe fourth Eastern Cape Wine Show. Ticket sales open on 15 October via Computicket and cost R190.00. Early Bird prices, valid for sales until 18 November R160.00. Visit for more information

      We keep talking about rain and the scarcity of water in our blessed, beautiful province. We are still in trouble. This July has seen the lowest July rainfall since 2011. Maybe August will be better... 

      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 will, 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.

      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.....


      We want 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. Condition is not important. Please let us know

      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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