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A once in a Century event, Blood Moon. Lunar eclipse, Sea Point, Cape Town 22h27 27th July 2018, from our deck

An indigenous Strelitzia reginae flower, aka crane flower or bird of paradise

In this Week's MENU

      It never rains but it pours, and we’re not talking about the weather – we wish we were. A few weeks ago, it was a very quiet time and we were wondering how we would have enough stories to tell. Suddenly, there are almost too many events on our calendar. We have tasted some magnificent wines, with more to come and enjoyed some wonderful food. Some of it is in this week’s issue, more will follow in the next few weeks. We hope you’ll enjoy seeing them

      If you are not already a subscriber, 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 many 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
      An invitation from Overhex wines to taste and experience their new range of wines called Mensa. A first in South Africa is the interactive labels. Scan them with your phone and the secret story of the wine is revealed. And there is no barcode in sight. The wine is named after grandmother Emmarentia Cornelia, whose nickname it was, and it has no connection to the organisation for high IQ people. 

      Who could refuse an Invitation to taste the range of current and vintage wines at Kanonkop? This high flying cellar has always produced classy wines, wines that sell, wines that are respected and wines that win international and local awards. They wanted to give us an opportunity to taste older vintages so we could understand the style of wines they produce, and understand why they make and stay with these styles

      An invitation to Diemersdal to taste their newly released Sauvignons Blanc. Cellarmaster Thys Louw (a confessed Sauvignon Blanc addict) now has 10 Sauvignon Blancs in his range, all different and good.

      TV and Radio chef and big personality, Jenny Morris is famous for her good cooking, her ebullient nature and sense of fun. Durbanville is in for a treat; she has now opened a second branch of her restaurant Yumcious (the first is in the Cape Quarter in Cape Town) in the De Ville shopping centre on the corner of Main and Wellington roads. We were invited to come for lunch on Sunday with some other media and bloggers


      Venison or game meat like springbok is relatively inexpensive in the winter when it is in season and the sausages are very reasonable. This lovely one pot dish is easy to make, does not take long and tastes delicious. You could spice it up with a little chilli if you want to, we added a splash or two of Tabasco. If you don’t have the redcurrant or cranberry jellies, add a spoonful of honey. You need the sweetness. This feeds four. Click here or on the photo or title to see the whole recipe

      The wine we enjoyed with this week's recipe was from our cellar, but Lynne spoke to Izelle van Blerk, the winemaker, and it is still available from the KWV Emporium

      Light smoky oak, ripe cherries and berries, incense and minerality with pepper and cinnamon spice on the nose. Silky on the rich palate, complex with beautify bruléed fruit, black pepper warmth, some herbal notes and a long finish with dark coffee wood on the end. All the grapes are from Paarl and the wine spent 18 months in oak. A classy wine perfect for venison and other rich spicy dishes

      There will be several great wine tasting events in the next weeks. Scroll down to check 

      Dates for Your Diary for details of Nedbank CWG, Wine Concepts and other special events Click on the links below


       In MENU Next Edition

      Lunch at Chef's Warehouse, Constantia

      Top 10 Pinotage Awards

      Cape Winemakers Guild tastings

      Vineyard Hotel wine bottling

      DeWetshof Limestone Hill launch

      Stanford, Klein River Cheese, Raka, Jean Daneel, Strandveld Vineyards, Whitewater Farm

      Benguela Cove

      2018 Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Tastings

      Cape Town - Thursday, 16 August

      Pretoria - Tuesday, 21 August

      Sandton - Wednesday, 22 August

      Wine Concepts Grape Escape Wine Festival, Friday 17th August

      Simonsig Vintage Day, Saturday 24th August

      All tickets through, the Simonsig Tasting Room or at the estate on the day

      Diemersfontein Pinotage on Tap, Saturday 1st September

      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.....


      16th August 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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