This magnificent peacock was strutting his stuff at Shannon wine estate in Elgin

Off up the coast      We are looking forward to taking a break and this will be the second last MENU for 2016. It has been a very busy year, sometimes quite frantically so and we need to take some time off to recuperate and gird our loins, as it were, for 2017, a year which promises to hold much excitement for South Africa and, indeed the World, 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

Keermont’s Vineyards are beautifully maintained, produce very good wines and are up, up, up high in Paradyskloof (Paradise Valley) with vineyards 250m to 400m above sea level. They realised that it is often difficult for the wine trade to get to them, so they came to town last week and brought their new releases with them. They held a small open tasting all day in their Kloof Street offices and we grasped this opportunity to taste these classy wines

In 1997, Abrie Bruwer, owner of Springfield in Robertson, made a vintage of his Mèthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon. When it came time to release this wine, Abrie said it was not ready. He has been cellaring it ever since, waiting for it to mature. They even went so far as to experiment with ageing 600 bottles under the sea, corks sealed with wax, for 3 years, to see if it would speed up the maturation process. Now, after all this time, nearly twenty years, they are releasing the wine. A limited quantity is available and we were invited to taste it at a new venue in Wale Street in Cape Town. We know that South African wines can age for much more than 20 years

Earlier this year we were at the Amorim Awards ceremony for the top MCC's in South Africa. This was a chance to formally taste them. It was held last week at the Taj Hotel by the Cape Classique Association

Woolworths works very closely with excellent Cape vineyards to make special selections of wine available to Woolworths' customers. We often buy them; these special selections often win major wine awards and are top quality. The wines were to be tasted in Riedel glasses. So we were very keen to taste some of these at a function arranged at Villiera, who produce many great MCCs for Woolworths. John had a wine tour that he was booked for months ago, so Lynne took advantage of the transport Woolworths arranged,

This is always a crowd puller. Where else can you taste so many good French champagnes at once for a reasonable amount of money, with canapés circulating during the evening. There is a raffle with superb prizes and oyster, chocolate and sushi to buy. The theme this year was Cats and there were some amusing renditions. The Champagnes can be bought at a discount on the night and if you missed it,

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This wine would be lovely with a festive meal. It comes from France and is made by Villiera on their estate Domaine Grier in the Roussillon region in the South of France. You will find it only at Woolworths and it is very reasonably priced for a French wine with age. It is elegant, intense, perfumed on the nose with some savoury notes and layers of soft mouth-filling dark red berries and cherries with some spice and liquorice. It is delicious. R99.95 from Woolworths

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Apparently, this is one of the most popular dishes in the USA. The ingredients were what we had in the fridge, so Lynne Googled chicken and broccoli and this is what happened next. A quick and reasonably healthy supper dish if you are in a hurry. You can use cooked chicken if you have it. The secret of wok cooking is to prepare everything and have it ready to hand before you start stir frying. This is quick

2 chicken breasts, cut into 3 cm cubes - 1 teaspoon of corn flour and 1 Tablespoon - 3 spring onions, sliced at an angle - 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated - 2 cloves of garlic, grated - 1 T light soy - 2 T sugar - 1 T Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry) - 1/2 T sesame seed oil - 1/3 cup water - 3 T peanut or coconut oil - 1 large head of broccoli broken up into bite sized florets - slices of the broccoli stem (keep separate) - 1 T Hoisin sauce - 1 T white sesame seeds – optional, 3/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes - salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a glass bowl, marinate the chicken with the spring onions, half the ginger and garlic, soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon corn flour, the rice wine, sesame oil and 1/2 t salt for 15 minutes at room temperature. You can marinade for longer. The corn flour tenderises the chicken beautifully.

Heat your wok to a high heat and add 1 T oil. Add the broccoli stems and stir fry for half a minute. Add the rest of the broccoli, the remaining ginger and garlic, 2 T water and some pepper. Stir fry until the broccoli is bright green and still crisp. Remove and set aside. Reheat the wok, add the rest of the oil then add the chicken and the chilli flakes if you are using them. Stir fry until the chicken begins to Reheat the wok, add the rest of the oil take on some colour, about 3 minutes. Add the Hoisin sauce and return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat together. Add the reserved corn flour in water and bring to a boil to thicken. Then add the rest of the marinade. Thin with a little more water if very thick. Taste and season with black pepper and a little salt if necessary. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with Jasmine rice. Serves 4

 In MENU Next Week

Marigold Indian restaurant, Jordan Summer Festival, Flagstone, Elgin, Asara, Nederburg and more

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 November:

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, 30th November Warmer weather and longer days echo the return of the ever-popular Stellenbosch Street Soirees - bi-monthly street parties bringing together wine farms, restaurants, locals and visitors in the vibrant streets of the City of Oaks. The Stellenbosch Street Soirees will take place every second and last week of the month for a hip crowd to immerse themselves in the inimitable food and wine culture of this forever young town, with live music adding to a cool and casual vibe. For more information contact Tel: 021 886 4310, visit www.wineroute.co.za, follow the Stellenbosch Wine Routes on Twitter @StellWineRoute or like them on Facebook at STBStreetSoirees. #VisitStellenbosch

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. 

28th November 2016

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