Flying off, West Coast cormorants

A scramble, that’s our life right now. Many stories to tell and final preparations for boarding an Emirates flight at midday tomorrow. And so another MENU adventure begins. This time we will start in Edinburgh, with the Tattoo being a hugely anticipated treat. Then up to Banff and Rothes at the start of Speyside. Across Scotland and down through the Midlands to Devon and Cornwall before we end our journey in London and some South African owned vineyards in Sussex. We will publish a travelogue on Menu after our return giving comprehensive stories, as we have done after our previous journeys. In the mean time, we will constantly publish snippets in Instagram and Facebook, so please follow our progress there. We plan to do a lot of interesting things in interesting places. Watch as we go and join us on the journey, if only vicariously…

A huge thank you to all our generous readers who have paid a voluntary subscription to MENU into our Paypal account. It works well for readers outside South Africa, but is not great for those of you who would like to pay in Rand. So we have opened a local PayFast account which works in Rand. Thanks are due to all of you who wrote to ask for an alternative payment vehicle

Subscribe

and a Sea Point Sunset

MENU has appeared nearly every week since March 2003, initially as a free newsletter from our shop, Main Ingredient, and has been sent to our subscribers by email. Many of our subscribing readers have followed us from our earliest days and we appreciate your support

It is also published as a blog, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and gives our personal view of events relating to food, wine, accommodation and travel in photo stories, as well as weekly recipes and wine reviews

We have never charged a subscription fee, and MENU has never made us any money. But our expenses are putting pressure on our pensions, so we are taking a bold step and asking our readers for a voluntary subscription to help us to cover our expenses. MENU is produced, on average, 45 weeks per year. We leave it to you to decide the amount of your subscription. We suggest a voluntary annual subscription of R100 (roughly the price of a mid range bottle of wine), which is less than R2.50 per week. In International currencies R100 is approximately £5.80/€6.30/$7.10

 Click on the Yellow Subscribe button for PayPal and the Red Subscribe Now button for PayFast

We were invited to Meerendal for the ABSA Top 10 Pinotage Finalists Blind Tasting event. Our task was to review 20 wines that the selection panel had judged to the best Pinotages of the year. We were to taste and decide which wines we thought should be on this year’s Top 10 Pinotage list. These wines would then be judged for the awards by the judging panel…

The ABSA Top 10 Pinotage Awards lunch was held in the recently inaugurated Olive Press venue at Boschendal last week. Canapés were served on the stoep where all the 20 best rated wines were on the tables for tasting and the winemakers, who were distinguished by white Panama hats, were there to discuss them…

An invitation to taste a range of current and vintage wines at Kanonkop was rapidly accepted. A rare occurrence; we so enjoyed our last tasting there and we were eager to repeat the experience. This was to be followed by a light lunch and that is always a special tradition at Kanonkop…
Our wine club meeting this month was at Constantia Glen with winemaker Justin van Wyk. Welcomed with a glass of RoseMarie and Funa MCC, we began at 6 pm in the Conservatory and it was still light…
We were off to the Elgin Market last Friday night to help them celebrate Winter Wine and Words at the Elgin Market. We are only sorry that we could not stay longer to enjoy the rest of the weekend, but work called. We got there at 6 just as things were beginning…
Nicky and Paul Wallace very kindly put us up in one of their beautiful cottages on Wallovale in Elgin for the night after the Winter Wine Festival on Friday. Icy cold outside, warm and comfortable inside. We were given a warm welcome by Benjie the spaniel…

An invitation to attend the guided tasting of some of this year’s Cape Winemakers Guild Auction wines is something we covet each year and are happy to accept. We managed to time our holiday around this. Held in the ballroom at the Westin Grand Hotel it is always well attended…

While Winter prepares to give way to Spring, it always puts up a struggle and we have been blessed with some real Cape wet winter weather – perfect weather for a rich stew. This one has an interesting addition which gives a little added piquancy…

At a tasting at Constantia Glen we tasted winemaker Justin's van Wyk’s own 2018 Syrah from his Van Wyk Family Wines and were so impressed. The grapes come from cool Elgin and have produced a rich Syrah, with beautiful fruit, elegance, power and incense wood on the nose. On the palate, cherry, berry fruit with depth and purity. Soft and juicy, it then shows some umami flavours, with a hint of white river stone minerality on the end; so interesting, so enjoyable. R260

 

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


17th August 2019

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

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 and even though 2019 looks as though we're having good rainfall, we still need to be careful; we don't know what the future holds. 

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.....

Advertise here

Ask us about our rates