Tag Archives: wine

Review: Nederburg goes nose to tail

3 Sep

Razvan Macici and Pete Goffe-Wood welcome us with an explanation of the menu and the wines (photgraphy by Christine Meintjes)

Nederburg recently launched a new member of their Heritage Heroes gourmet wine selection: The Beautiful Lady, a 2012 Gewurtztraminer. I was invited to join in the celebrations at Kitchen Cowboys Canteen in Woodstock, “home” of MasterChef South Africa judge Pete Goffe-Wood. We were in for a very unusual and special treat in the shape of a six course “nose to tail” lunch, paired with some of the wines in the Heritage Heroes range.

I was totally keen to get my very first taste of meat cuts like veal sweetbreads and pork cheeks – items that I’ve just never had the opportunity to eat before. Pete and his team did a phenominal job on serving us course after course of absolutely delicious terrines, jellies, roasts and barbecues, all bursting with umami and deep complex savoury flavours. Paired with the right combination of wines by wine master Razvan Macici, this experience was simply unforgettable.

I also have to mention that Pete’s vanilla brulee custard was probably the best custard I’ve ever tasted – I could have finished the whole jug (meant for the table). I was fortunate enough to be seated next to my friend, the phenomenal photographer Christine Meintjes – co-founder of The Pretty Blog, and she agreed to send me some of the pictures that she took on the day. Thank you Christine!

Here is the full menu of Nederburg’s Nose To Tail lunch, as part of the launch of The Beautiful Lady, a 2012 Gewurztraminer:

Sauté of veal sweetbreads, pancetta, capers and sage beurre noisette,

served with The Young Airhawk 2012, a wooded Sauvignon blanc

 

Jellied ham terrine and sourdough toast

served with The Anchorman 2012, a wooded Chenin blanc

 

Barbecue short rib of beef, sweet corn custard and salsa

served with The Beautiful Lady 2012

Roast pork belly, mash, prune and peppercorn sauce

served with The Motorcycle Marvel 2010, a Rhône-style blend

 

Pork cheeks

served with The Brew Master 2010, a Bordeaux-style blend

 

Strawberries of a Thousand Leaves with brulée custard

served with the award-winning Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2012

Thank you very much to Nederburg for a truly memorable event.

(All images courtesy of Christine Meintjes – click to view larger photos)

Review: Vintage Wine and Venison at La Motte

7 Aug

Chef Chris Erasmus, me, and Cellar Master Edmund Terblanche

Last week I was invited to attend a Vintage Wine and Venison evening at La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek. I had the pleasure of sharing a table with the cellar master Edmund Terblanche, his wife Hetta (culinary consultant at La Motte), as well as Michael Olivier and his wife Maddie. I also finally got to meet Chef Chris Erasmus, one of South Africa’s most respected chefs and a master of Cape Winelands heritage cuisine.

With about 70 guests seated at the Pierneef Restaurant at La Motte, Chef Chris Erasmus told us more about South African venison, and his favourite ways to cook different cuts of meat. He spoke about the best traditional ways of preparing venison in South Africa: from marinating it in buttermilk to serving it with quinces. Then cellar master Edmund told us more about the vintage wines that we were about to enjoy with the venison dishes – 2 wines with each course. It was a rare opportunity to be sampling wines that were so gracefully mature, some even dating back to 1989.

The feast began, and we were served 4 amazing courses: from a delicate Kudu consommé to a fragrant Impala curry and a robust berry roasted Wildebeest loin. Here is the full menu for the night, along with the wine pairings:

VINTAGE WINE & VENISON MENU at LA MOTTE, Thursday 1 August 2013: (R490/person)

Braised Kudu shank consommé with root vegetables

paired with 2004 La Motte Shiraz

and

1997 La Motte Limited Release Merlot

 

Cape Winelands Impala curry with pomme puree

paired with 2004 La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier

and

1997 La Motte Millennium

 

Berry roasted Wildebeest loin, pomegranate glazed red cabbage, honey roasted sweet potato and buttermilk jus

paired with 2004 La Motte Millennium

and

1995 La Motte Shiraz

 

Pumpkin tart, quince, nuts and spices

paired with 1989 La Motte Noble Late Harvest

and

La Motte Straw Wine

(click on the images below to view a larger picture)

The dessert was an absolute delight – especially with the different textures on the plate, and their Straw Wine remains one of my all-time favourite dessert wines. The food and wines were all outstanding, and the evening was a royal treat! It seems that La Motte will be hosting this event annually, so get in touch with the restaurant management to find out more (pierneef@la-motte.co.za). This dinner cost R490 per person, and some of the vintage wines were on sale after the event.

Thank you very much to the amazing staff, management and PR representatives of La Motte for this inspiring food and wine experience.

(All pictures courtesy of La Motte Wine Estate.)

Review: Winemakers Dinner at Lourensford Estate

31 Jul

Laurent function venue at Lourensford Estate.

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend the first Winemaker’s Dinner on the 25th of July 2013 at Lourensford Estate‘s Laurent function venue. This brand new initiative is a showcase of the estate’s best wines together with the inhouse food team from Stir Food. Chef Gustaaf Boshoff is used to catering for large upmarket functions in the Laurent function hall, and this was his chance to shine with a 7 course food and wine pairing menu that he designed in colaboration with winemaker Hannes Nel to knock the socks off the first group of guests.

If you have not been to Lourensford Estate before, prepare to be amazed by the majestic views and breathtaking spaciousness. They are one of the largest wine estates in the world, and the surroundings are simply spectacular. Their recently refurbished Laurent function venue is fit for a royal occasion, with pure white interiors and clean modern structural design.

The evening started at 17h00 for 17h30, with welcoming cocktails on arrival made from the estate’s exclusive honey liqueur. After the cocktails we were served 3 different canapés along with a glass of Lourensford’s Brut MCC 2009, and then we took our seats to start the 7 course food and wine pairing. This is what the elaborate menu looked like:

Arrival Cocktail

Lourensford honey liqueur “mojito” with lemon & fresh mint

 

Canapés paired with Lourensford Brut MCC 2009

 Oyster & beef tartar, sushi rice, nori, cucumber, radish, cupi mayo & caviar

Panko breaded quail egg, crispy pancetta & chives

Fish & chips with a twist, fresh lemon, sea salt

 

First course / Lourensford WMS White Blend 2009

Cured salmon, fennel ceviche & fresh avocado, cherry tomatoes, goat’s cheese, enhanced with a fennel veloute

 

 Second course / Lourensford WMS Chardonnay 2012

Wild mushroom risotto, pine nuts, parmesan crisps, fresh rocket & truffle oil

 

Third course / Lourensford WMS Viognier 2009 

Lightly smoked duck breast, cumin sweet potato puree, orange & star anise jus, enhanced with a saffron, lemongrass & cardamom emulsion

 

Fourth course / Lourensford WMS Merlot 2011

Springbok wellington, beetroot, fine green beans & baby carrots, juniper & cherry jus

 

Fifth course / Lourensford WMS Red Blend 2009

Beef fillet on vanilla parsnip puree, ground coffee, chocolate jus & chili oil

 

Sixth course / Lourensford Noble Late Harvest 2012

Foie Gras with dried apricot, camembert, baked cheese cake & preserve

 

Seventh course / Lourensford Honey 

Karoo mint chocolate, almond nougat, honey comb with dark chocolate

 

Coffee & Tea

The evening was simply fantastic: immaculate service, perfect ambiance, an atmosphere of indulgence and celebration. It was exceptionally well planned and executed and I have to compliment Gustaaf and his team from Stir Food on one of the best food and wine pairing menu’s that I’ve ever experienced. Every dish was carefully constructed and conceived, and every bite was just delightful. In terms of the wines, the winemaker Hannes Nel told us more about each wine with each course, comparing the wines to women – each with their own uniquely seductive qualities. We tasted some of Lourensford’s most exclusive wines, some of which were part of a very small limited edition. It was a rare opportunity for true wine lovers like me and my husband. All of the wines were on sale after the event.

This experience costs R500 per person, and includes all the wines. It was a spectacular evening, and I can surely recommend it to serious food and wine lovers. Looking forward to the next Winemaker’s Dinner at Lourensford in the coming Spring! Be sure to watch the press for details, or contant info@lourensford.co.za or 021-847 2333.

Thank you very much to photographer Claire Gunn for the use of her photographs (please click on images to view large versions).

Review: Lunch at Leopard’s Leap

11 Jun

A quick break in the weather helped to photograph the outside of Leopard’s Leap against the magical backdrop of the Franschhoek mountains.

I received an invitation to experience the rotisserie lunch at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek this past weekend. The invitation said that I could “bring my family”, so I strapped my 2 year old daughter in her car seat and asked my brother Dirk and his partner Frans to join us.

I had been to Leopard’s Leap once before for a wine tasting, and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of their wines (at really great prices). I noticed the rotisserie lunch offering (which also include a children’s menu), and vowed to come back for it soon.

It was a dreary, wet, stormy day in the Cape Winelands on Saturday. As we arrived in the parking lot at Leopard’s Leap, we were greeted by a friendly staff member who offered us umbrellas – what a nice touch! Inside, we each received a glass of sparking wine on arrival at the table. As if on cue, a live band started playing relaxing jazzy music on the covered stoep where we were seated. The interior of Leopard’s Leap is a very impressive space. With it’s high ceilings, industrial feel, and really large floor size, this place can accommodate quite a lot of people before looking busy. But despite the size of the place, there is a definite cozy atmosphere with clever textured elements, couch areas and fireplaces. The display of the rotisserie lunch buffet is truly mouthwatering, and it certainly makes you very hungry for great food! Add some breathtaking views of the Franschhoek mountains and the scene is set for a great family lunch.

Butternut and roasted pepper soup

We ordered a bottle of Family Vineyards Shiraz Mourvedre, and headed over to the soup station for our starter course. The chef on duty dished us bowls full of steaming butternut and roasted pepper soup, topped off with fresh chives and croutons. It was deliciously comforting and the perfect food for the dreary weather outside.

The rotisserie chef in action. (picture courtesy of Leopard’s Leap)

After the soup I headed over to the salad/vegetable buffet (all sourced from their own organic vegetable garden), where I helped myself to a selection of really great roasted vegetables, couscous with butternut and danish feta, tzatziki, curried potatoes and springbok pie. The selection was very large, so I only tasted these few dishes – there were plenty other! After weighing my plate, they asked me which of the rotisserie meats I was interested in. I opted for the lamb neck and the pork belly (I’ll have to go back for the chicken!), and drizzled the pork with some apple sauce.

Dirk, Frans and myself at the table with our rotisserie lunch plates.

The food was really scrumptious, and the crackling on the pork belly was some of the crispiest I had ever had. All of the meats and side dishes were really tender and flavoursome, and I can truly say it is superb family dining. Coupled with very friendly service and a really attentive team, this was one of the nicest family restaurants that I had been to in a long time. Leopard’s Leap is certainly doing things right, and they deserve to have their seats full all of the time.

The dessert buffet at Leopard’s Leap.

For dessert, we had a choice of cupcakes (each one individually plated and differently decorated – a hit with my daughter!), chocolate mousse (my favourite of the day), pecan pie, apple pie, chocolate brownies, marshmallow rice crispies squares (meant for the kids, but I had one and it was great), malva pudding, vanilla custard and cream. We had coffee before we hit the wet road again, and spent a total of 3 hours at the restaurant. It was such a relaxing, wonderful lunch experience, and I can certainly recommend it to families with young children (they also have a great outside play area and a huge lawn), or anyone that want to gather around a table in a casual atmosphere with abundant home-style food, top class service and well-priced wines. Amongst all of the immaculate fine-dining restaurants in Franschhoek, Leopard’s Leap certainly stands out as something refreshingly different – more laid-back, more family-friendly, but still a top quality experience.

Thank you very much to the team at Leopard’s Leap for making us feel so welcome and looked after! We’ll certainly be back for more.

A table full of friends, great food and excellent wine at Leopard’s Leap (picture courtesy of Leopard’s Leap)

More info:

The food offering is available from Wednesdays to Sundays from 11:30 to 15:00.

A tempting selection of culinary and wine related items, gifts and take-away delights is available from the shop.

For more information on Leopard’s Leap Wines and all the new activities at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, please visit www.leopards-leap.com or contact Harry at +27 (0)21 876 8002.

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