It was at a dinner with Katie Friedman of Urban Lime that I heard about the opening of Victoire, a French Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro in the newly redeveloped Speakers’ Corner building on Church Square in Cape Town. I attended the opening, as well as had breakfast at Victoire the following day. Continue reading →
Last Monday I attended The Sommeliers Selection 2018 tasting of the top-scoring wines at Tokara Delicatessen, driving through from Cape Town on a rainy day. My two favorites I tasted were Arra Shiraz 2015, as well as Trizanne Reserve Syrah 2017. The top wines in the tasting were selected by top Sommelier members of the South African SOmmeliers Association, and the Black Cellar Club. Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended the Chenin Blanc Showcase, a tasting of a selection of 50 Chenin Blanc wines, at the Cape Grace Hotel. Chenin Blanc is a cultivar growing in popularity, and we tasted the different styles of Chenin Blanc. Continue reading →
The 41st Nederburg Rare South African Wine Auction raised a record R6,2 million over the past two days, in what is one of the highlights of the wine industry events calendar. A total of 67 wineries, four being new (Anura, Axe Hill, Bloemendal, Pella) this year, participated in the Auction.
The second highest average price per liter was achieved this year, says Nederburg Auction Manager Dalene Steyn. The trend of last year to achieving premium price continued this year, the largest number of private buyers ever creating strong competitive bidding, with an average price per liter of R576. Record price per liter was achieved for the Fortified, Cap Classique, Port, and Dry White wine categories. UK wine judge Tim Atkin said that our local wines are still undervalued, especially Continue reading →
Yesterday the second Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge was held at the Cape Grace, with the Top 10 Chenin Blancs selected out of a total of 145 wines entered. The banner in the pre-lunch venue summarized the stature of Chenin Blanc, with the pay-off line ‘A South African National Treasure‘!
Canapés of pastry cases with salmon and hollandaise sauce were served with Sparklehorse Chenin Blanc MCC made by Ken Forrester Wines. Ken Forrester is the Chairman of the Continue reading →
* Edelweiss Air will offer two return flights per week between Cape Town and Zürich during the Cape’s next summer season, in new-look interior aircraft. New seat configurations and an in-flight entertainment system with touch screens will be available.
I had heard that Craft had opened in the space from which Apprentice operated for a number of years earlier this year, having been a ‘test kitchen’ for the students of Letetia Prinsloo’s Institute of Culinary Arts. An unfortunate association with Le Chocolatier owner Daniel Waldis led to the closure of the restaurant. In its place is a dual restaurant and bar, separated only by a bar counter, but the difference in attitude of the two managers is massive. The two Crafts are owned by Francois Jooste, who also owns Java and Apres Bistro, all close to each other in a tourist rich area of Stellenbosch.
I visited on Monday, entering on the left, at Craft Wheat & Hops, which I did not immediately associate with a bar specialising in beers. Once one enters, it is very clear what it serves, with 16 beers on tap offered, and a similar number of beers displayed on shelves. I recognised the voice of the friendly lady behind the counter, and she reminded me that she was the Chef and Manager of The Stall in Franschhoek when it first opened eighteen months ago. Marilie van Niekerk left when she had her baby. She made a menu available for me immediately, without having to ask for it, it being such a pleasure to experience her excellent service. The bar had not yet been set up, tables having been placed on top of each other, as the bar only opens at 15h00 on week days. Interestingly Craft Wheat & Hops offers food as well, but with only two options. Flammkuchen is prepared in what look like a massive pizza oven inside the bar, seven options offered in a price range from R40 (for Caprese) to R52 (smoked salmon, red onion, rocket, and caviar). An extensive list of Tapas dishes is offered, ranging from R29 (crumbed mozzarella sticks with berry compote) to R45 (roast chicken and cheddar quesadilla served with homemade salsa, guacemole and cream cheese). Other tapas include lamb meat balls, ‘corn dogs‘, chorizo and mozzarella crostini, mini mushroom burgers, and ‘beer brats wrapped in bacon‘. Continue reading →
* Catharina’s at Steenberg: Seafood Menu platter R1750 per couple; 5 course Valentine’s Set Menu R750 per person; and Vegetarian Valentine’s Menu R750 per person. All three options include a glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Rosé 2011. Tel (021) 713-2222
* The Restaurant at Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek: 4 course dinner R495, or R650 with wine pairings. Nadine performing. Tel 083 444 7088.
* Frères Bistro: 3 course dinner with complimentary glass of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne R 395 per person. Tel (021) 418-1609
* Diemersdal Farm Eatery, Durbanville: Tapas platters and desserts as well as complimentary glass of MCC R 550 per couple. Tel (021) 976-1810
* Azure at the Twelve Apostles: Welcome drink, rose, and 4 course candlelight dinner R 795 per person, includes chance of winning half carat diamond from Uwe Koetter valued at R15000. Tel (021) 437-900
* The Kraal at the Twelve Apostles: Kir Royal welcome drink, picnic basket includes a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer, R1500 per couple. Tel (021) 437-9000
* Mondiall, V&A Waterfront: Oysters and glass of bubbly, 3 course dinner R350 per person. Tel (021) 418-3003. Continue reading →
While the weather was not very co-operative in offering Cape Town a sunny summer’s day yesterday, it was a fun and friendly tasting of 21 wines for the Chenin Blanc Association Summer Showcase of fresh and fruity Chenin Blancs at the Cape Grace hotel.
Twice a year the roughly 50 Chenin Blanc producers meet to showcase their two styles of wine, rich and ripe in winter, and fresh and fruity in summer. The functions are kept small, with an almost equal number of winemakers and writers invited, allowing a quality interaction between the media and wine representatives. The producers have a passion for Chenin Blanc, which is the largest wine varietal produced in our country at about 18%, yet is not yet well known locally and even less so internationally. Through the work of the Association, the standing of Chenin Blanc is improving, and its benefits of offering value and being an excellent food wine are increasingly becoming known.
In the absence of Chenin Blanc Association Chairman Ken Forrester, described as ‘resident winemaker in the USA’, and Vice Chairman Jeff Grier, who had just arrived for his harvest in France, the most charming Bosman Family Vineyards winemaker Corlea Fourie led the tasting of the wines. She represented Chenin Blanc to me – blonde, soft, sweet, understated, and gentle, yet tough when she needs to be! She fed back that 30 Chenins had been made available for tasting at ‘The Beautiful South‘ wine tasting of South African, Chilean, and Argentinian wines in London last month. Each producer had submitted their Chenin Blanc(s) to be evaluated by Continue reading →
* Café Chic, Gardens: 5 courses R290. Tel (021) 465-7218
* Richard’s Supper Stage, Sea Point: Glass of sparkling wine, Show, 4-course buffet dinner and a rose. R400 Tel 076 1444 809
* Richard’s Bistro, Sea Point: 3-course lunch with glass of sparkling wine R150. Tel 076 1444 809.
* Five Flies: 3 course menu plus glass of bubbly plus glass of wine R360 Tel (021) 424-4442
* Diemersdal Farm Eatery: 8 tapas dishes plus bottle of Diemersdal Rosé R250. Tel 079 917 2797
* De Grendel Restaurant: 4-courses R550 excluding wine, and R650 with wine pairing. Includes a complimentary bottle of De Grendel Rosé Tel (021) 558-7035
* Pepper Club on the Beach, Camps Bay: Glass of sparkling wine, and 4 course dinner R405. Tel (021) 438-3174
* Sinatra’s, Pepper Club Hotel: Glass of sparkling wine and 3 course dinner plus movie R375. Tel ()21) 812-8888
* Five Flies: glass of sparkling wine, wine with main course and 3 courses R 360. Tel (021) 424-4442
* La Mouette: 4 courses R350/R550 with wine. Tel (021) 433-0856
* Signal, Cape Grace: ‘Feast’ R385. Tel (021) 410-7099
* Bay Hotel, Camps Bay: 4 course dinner and live music R 395. Tel (021) 430-4444
* Bardelli’s: 3 course meal and glass of bubbly R160. Tel (021) 423-1502 and (021) 683-1423.
* 5Rooms, The Alphen hotel: 3 courses R295. Tel (021) 795-6300
* Reuben’s: 5 course dinner R320 Tel (021) 876-3772
* Noble Hill, R45: Picnic basket to share for lunch, with complimentary bottle of Mourvèdre Rosé R295. Free pink strawberry cake for main course lunch ordered. Pairing of pink salmon blinis and Blanc de Blancs R265 for two. Tel (021) 874-3844.
* Grande Provence: 4 courses with extras plus a glass of wine on arrival R495 Tel (021) 876-8600
* The Franschhoek Kitchen, Holden Manz: Glass of Colmant MCC on arrival, 3 courses R 350. Tel (021) 876-2729
* The KItchen at Maison: 4 course dinner R425. Tel (021) 876-2116.
* Waterkloof: 6 courses R 500 without wine pairing and R650 with wine pairing. Tel (021) 858-1491
* Hartenberg: Picnic plus glass of Villiera Brut Rosé and a bottle of wine R 190. Tel (021) 865-2541
* Cuvée, Simonsig: 6 course dinner paired with wines R 385. Tel ()21) 888-4952
* Wild Peacock Emporium: 3 course dinner paired with L’Avenir wines R320. Tel (021) 887-7585
* Wahnfried: classic Merchant Ivory love story ‘A Room with a View’ – cost R0, including a glass of MCC.
Tel 072 601 1616
* Creation: 7-course tapas menu, each paired with a Creation wine R100. 11h30 – 19h00. Tel (028) 212-1107
* Cornutti: 3 courses R320. Tel (044) 533-1277
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter;@WhaleCottage