Summer coming in – a Southern Double-collared sunbird hen and wilde dagga

This is truly a silly season. We are running flat out to stay in the same place and, in truth to try and do all the necessary writing and editing after covering all the stories you’ll see in this issue, as well as a few which we’ll tell you about next week, and to have a few moments for ourselves, so please read on... or click any of the following links, headings, green buttons or photographs to look at a complete story. When you reach the end of a story, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to MENU

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You may, like us, have been to the Alphen restaurants in Constantia many times over the years under their different guises, there have been several over the years. The Five Rooms was the name of the previous restaurant in this historic building till September, now it has begun a new life as Blanko (an Esperanto word we are told). It is part of the group owned and run by restaurateur Paul Kovensky . He has initiated a new change: the Five Rooms have gone and Blanko has opened. The house has been transformed from historic into a modern all white, leather and glass space with lots of modern art from the Goodman Gallery. Gone are the antiques and the Cloete family art collection. We were asked to come and experience the place and the food. Group Head Chef, Amber-May Deetlefs, delivers Italian style food

It is obvious from various tastings we have experienced over the last few months that Pinotage is coming of age in a big way. And that it is doing well outside of the recognised terroirs. This was reinforced by a tasting of some the Durbanville Pinotages at Meerendal recently

Once a year the Sommeliers Association puts together their recommended list of wines, the wines they would like to see on a wine list.  We tasted these wines at a trade and media tasting, which was held this year at the MOMO Gallery in Buitengracht Street. This is always an interesting selection, showing some wild cards, some favourites and some new entries
Reciprocal has a very good selection of imported wines and spirits and, once a year, they come down to Cape Town so that their good customers, trade and media can taste a selection of these. This is a chance to taste before you buy and people were putting in orders for these iconic wines and enjoying this unique chance to experience these excellent foreign wines. We certainly were very pleased to be invited. You, too, can order these wines from Reciprocal. Check out their web site

This Annual Competition has been running since 1991 and is one of the largest wine competitions in South Africa, with 1 670 entries this year. Five overseas judges Joe Wadsack (UK), Thomas Lüber (Germany), Janåke Johansson (Sweden), Guido Francque (Belgium) and Denis Lahouratate (France) joined over 100 local wine experts to taste these wines blind over four day. We were invited to this year's Awards Ceremony, which is a black tie event with dinner in the Ballroom at the CTICC

Did you know that different glass shapes have been made to enhance different wines (and other beverages)? Millions have been spent by the top glass makers in research to find the perfect shape for each varietal to showcase that particular wine in the best way. For many years, German and Belgian brewers have used glasses shaped to enhance the flavours of their products. We have experienced several tastings over the years in these different glasses and started out being sceptical. But we have come to see how well this works. Graham Beck have now done their own research and hosted this event o show us the changes they are making to their glassware in order to help showcase their Methode Cap Classique bubblies. Flutes are out, here is the future


This wine is lively, zesty, green plums and elderflower with great minerality. It sings in the glass. Sip it before dinner and it will make you hungry, serve with seafood or fish and it will be the best compliment possible to a seafood recipe like this week's Prawn pilaff

Cellar door price is R462.00 inc 14% VAT for a case of 6x 750ml or R77 per bottle

which is a real bargain for a wine of this quality

This is an easy to assemble salad using left over-beef. You can add lots of other different things like blanched mange tout peas, or thin beans, baby corn, bok choy, baby spinach, pea shoots, radishes or whatever edible items you have in the garden or in the fridge. Lynne used spekboom, nasturtium, and huge oxalis leaves

300g cooked beef from a roast, cut in thin slices - Sesame oil - Ponzu sauce - Tamari sauce - watercress - rocket - carrot strips - celery thinly sliced - one small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced - 8 baby tomatoes , sliced in half- herbs and assorted foraged leaves from your garden - basil leaves, torn - pumpkin seeds - sunflower seeds - black and white sesame seeds - light soy sauce - sweet chilli sauce - hot chilli sauce - soba noodles

Dress the beef with a dessert spoonful of both Ponzu and Tamari and set aside

Salad dressing

1T Ponzu - 1 T light soy sauce - 1 T sweet chilli sauce - 1t sesame oil - 1 t freshly grated ginger - 1 t hot chilli sauce

Cook the soba noodles, drain and while still hot pour over a teaspoonful of sesame oil, 1T sesame seeds - 1 T light soy. Allow to cool.

When the noodles are cool, put them into a wide dish. Mix up the salad ingredients and layer them on top of the noodles, arrange the beef slices on top and when ready to eat, pour over the dressing

1 T = 1 Tablespoon 1t = teaspoon

 In MENU Next Week

Top 10 Sauvignons, Robertson Wine on the River, Ocean Basket, Chardonnay Report, Caroline's Review, Veritas, tasting, Nedbank Green Wines, Raya Kitchen

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

Events in October:

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, 26th October Stellenbosch at Summer Place. It’ll be a foodie’s delight on a single, star-studded night when Stellenbosch at Summer Place returns to Hyde Park on October 26. Now, all of the five celebrated chefs who’ll be leading this gourmet cocktail extravaganza, presented by Stellenbosch Wine Routes and Sanlam Private Wealth, have finally been announced. This year, the show features kitchen superstars: Michael Deg of The Restaurant at Delaire Graff Estate famed for its fresh and vibrant bistro chic cuisine; Gregory Czarnecki of Waterkloof Wines restaurant, a hillside-perched venue in wrap-around glass that offers spectacular views and a premier dining experience; Michael Broughton of Terroir, consistently rated SA’s best; The celebrated George Jardine of Jordan Wine Estate restaurant and his new signature fine dining eatery in the heart of Stellenbosch, Restaurant Jardine; Bistro 13’s Nic van Wyk, a chef making his debut at the event and who’s known equally for his sublime cooking as his appearances on some of SA’s most popular culinary TV programmes. Rarely does a single event boast a collection of chefs of this calibre. And they won’t be alone. Sprinkling even more razzle-dazzle to Stellenbosch at Summer Place 2016, these maestros of the menu will be accompanied by their most outstanding protégés. Among them will be Michael Deg’s Keanan Jaftha and Gregory Czarnecki’s Garth Raubenheimer. The combination ensures that excellence forged by Stellenbosch’s illustrious past and future is truly celebrated and showcased as a place where greatness shaped over centuries is merged with the visionary talents of pioneering youth. Stellenbosch’s fame as a centre of epicurean distinction goes on display with more than 100 of Stellenbosch’s best wines from a variety of vintages offered for tasting by winemakers and estate owners, and available for purchase. Alongside them will be sublime food creations prepared on display by these renowned chefs and their talented protégés who will demonstrate why Stellenbosch is considered by many as the gourmet capital of South Africa. The one-night showcase of some of South Africa’s finest wines, food and art provides an exclusive opportunity for lovers of the high-life to mingle with the country’s top winemakers and chefs. The Cape winelands are ranked internationally among the most beautiful and cultured destinations. The combination of distinguished heritage, magnificent landscapes, world-class restaurants and iconic wine estates has put the region on many a bucket list. With Stellenbosch at Summer Place bringing this reputation to Johannesburg, it’s a chance not to be missed. Prepare to embark on a journey of gastronomic ecstasy. This is the 7th year that Stellenbosch Wine Routes has partnered with Sanlam Private Wealth to host the event. Every year, Summer Place is transformed into a stylish winelands rendezvous that allows guests to indulge every sense at the luxurious cocktail-style affair. In addition, it provides the chance for wine-lovers to stock up on rare vintages in the run-up to the festive season and support a charitable cause – the Stellenbosch Wine Routes education fund. Satisfying artistic urges at this year’s Stellenbosch at Summer Place will be live music performances while art enthusiasts will also get the privileged chance to view rare pieces from the Sanlam Art Collection – one of South Africa’s finest and most extensive of its kind. Tickets for Stellenbosch at Summer Place 2016 cost R500 per person and include all the wine, food and entertainment on the evening. Early booking is recommended as tickets are limited and sell out early. Please note that this is not a sit-down dinner but rather a lavish cocktail affair. For more information or to buy your tickets contact Elmarie Rabe at tel: 021 886 8275, send an email to or book online at Also follow @StellWineRoute on Twitter.

Saturday, 29th October Pinotage on Tap. The Best Wine Event in the World! Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate. Wellington. Ticket Price R435 or R980 with a case of Pino! Bands: Zolani Mahola (from Freshly Ground), Cape Town Brass Band, Jazz Trio, Wynberg Boys High School Steel Drum Band, all under the direction of musical director, Richard Cock (creator of Starlight Classics). Your Ticket gets you Free-Flowing Pinotage on Tap, Lunch, Dessert. Live Music Bands + The Best Wine Festival Experience Ever! Tickets are available from Computicket

Saturday, 29th & Sunday, 30th October  The Season of Sauvignon Festival is back in the Durbanville Wine Valley over the weekend of 29th and 30th October. The month of Sauvignon Blanc festivities concludes with the social calendar highlight over the weekend of 29th and 30th of October, and includes the participation of the Valley’s 12 prestigious wine farms as well as offer visitors a wide selection of fun-filled festivities. Each winery has its own charm with superb entertainment for adults and children alike. This truly unique and festive experience has led to the Season of Sauvignon festival winning a Klink award in 2015 in the ‘Crowd Pleaser’ category for Best Wine Route Event. On offer this year is the opportunity to be amongst the first to taste and purchase the Durbanville Twelve Sauvignon Blanc 2016. This wine, produced by the Durbanville Wine Valley from a ton of grapes from each of the 12 farms, will be available during the Season of Sauvignon and afterwards for sale from each of the participating wineries. A detailed festival program and information on ticket sales is available on For more information contact Angela Fourie or 083 310 1228

Saturday, 29th October, 18h30.  Meet Summer’s entrancing orchestra. The Table Bay’s four part seasons-inspired sensory journey culminates in October with an orchestra of Summertime perfumes and a festival of vibrant seasonal flavours. Jaunt the delightful scents of the Cape’s bright Summer and the titillating tastes of the season’s indigenous gems in a three stage, sensory dinner experience hosted by Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams and bespoke perfumer, Tammy Frazer. Relish Summer. Be inspired. Cost: R450 per person. Bookings: Send an email to  or call: 021 406 5988

Sunday, 30th October from 10h00 to 15h00  Groote Post’s Country Market. Groote Post will again be a hive of activity, brimming with delectable and beautiful country offerings. Guests can expect artisan foods, arts and crafts, home-ware and décor, and of course, Groote Post’s well-loved wines as well as loads of kiddies’ activities. Local will always be lekker, with a divine selection of Darling gourmet produce including: Darling Mushrooms, Weskus Worswa, Udderly Delicious Cheese, Darling Pomegranate Products, Saucy Boys’ organic preservative-free chilli sauces, marinades and spices, Darling Brew and more. After browsing through the market, visitors will be able to relax under the trees while tucking into their delicious eats from the market. Groote Post’s award-winning restaurant, Hilda’s Kitchen, will be open, but please note that booking is essential. The kids, will be kept busy with a wide variety of kiddies’ activities - tractor rides, face-painting, water-balls, guided horse rides and, of course, the popular playground. Pets are welcome but all dogs must be on a leash at all times. Visitors arriving without their dogs on a leash will be given an option to buy one from the SPCA stall or hire one at the information stall.  Entry is free of charge. For further information, contact Eldré Strydom: 082 877 6677 or • • @GPCountryMarket

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. 

22nd October 2016

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