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Trees and a meadow silhouetted against mountains and a cloudy sky. Idiom Wine estate, Somerset West

In this Week's MENU

      A week of more food and wine and, most especially, the triennial Cape Wine exposition, which occupied half of our, and most of the South African wine industry’s, week. Compared to the really big shows, like Vinexpo, ProWein and the big London shows, it is quite small but, for our industry, which is beginning to punch way bigger than its weight in international wine circles, it is a huge window on South African wine for the international trade. It coincided with Tim Atkin, a prominent wine critic, awarding unprecedented points to South African wines, notably a 100 point score given to Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer, a score very rarely given to any wine, regardless of its origin. We have divided our report into four sections, so you can pick and choose, in accordance with your interests or preferences. Enjoy…

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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

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      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
      To our distress, our favourite Sea Point Chinese restaurant, Dynasty, has recently changed hands and has been re-named. We were looking for an alternative. Lynne found an offer on Hyperli that was hard to refuse, so we bought our coupon and headed to Fortune House for lunch this week. It is on Main Road, near the corner with Hall Road, 

      Now this is what you’d call a good party! Held the day before Cape Wine 2018 began, the Chenin Blanc Association held their party on "the Beach" at the Grand Cafe next to the V&A Waterfront. We were invited to join the party, play and taste some of the best Chenins in the land. We were instructed to wear suitable beach attire and, in the grey and damp week leading up to the party, we wondered what woollen attire would be suitable (long johns with a snorkel were mentioned). But the Cape climate played ball 

      Cape Wine is held every three years and, this time, Cape Wine 2018 was held at the CTICC again for three days in September. We think that it was extremely professionally organised and there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm from our wine industry and from the eager buyers. Well done to Wines of South Africa (WOSA) 

      One of our preferred things to do at a large wine Expo like Cape Wine or Vinexpo is to attend seminars. Just walking around talking to people on stands is useful and sometimes informative, but can be exhausting. And you always learn something at these seminars. There was a good programme of them at this year's Cape Wine and 
      There was such energy and professionalism at Cape Wine this year and. amongst a lot of serious marketing and promotion, there was also some fun. We loved the approach made by the Bot River area calling themselves the Botriviera! 


      This recipe uses a Natural Sweet white wine. We used the natural Sweet White from the Four Cousins range made by Van Loveren in Robertson. It is non vintage. You’ll find it in Checkers for R40. While we sometimes enjoy a sticky, sweet wine after dinner, we do like cooking with it too. Lynne came up with the recipe for entertaining friends who will be coming back to our house after a Chinese meal together. The quantity of pears you use depends on two things: the size of the pears and how many people you are serving. A bottle of wine is enough for six pears with some syrup over for serving. Click here or on the title to see the whole recipe

      A classic Sauvignon Blanc with green peppers, elderflower and some passion fruit on the nose.  Crisp and tangy, the flavours echo what is on the nose with the addition of some pineapple and litchi, cleansing the palate and adding enjoyment to food.  Long flavours, this wine is forward and easy drinking…


       In MENU Next Edition

      Pinot noir Report

      Pajamas & Jam review

      Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, Saturday 29th September

      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.....


      21st September 2018

      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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