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Just a note that if you wish to read more about my adventures in wine, be sure to hop over to our other site WineWhiskers.co.za

Most of my time will be spent there with keeping the content fresh and up-to-date.

It was great writing for you in these last couple of years, but it is not the end.

Thank you for all the support and thank you for reading.

Cheers!

Werner

http://winewhiskers.co.za/

 

Oopsie Mini Buns

oopsies

An alternative to normal breads (for when you want to stay away from or cut down on the carbs) is a the Oopsie bread.

Oopsie breads are made from eggs and cream cheese, so it is gluten free and very versatile.

I made Oopsie mini buns, which is the perfect guilt free snack for when you are on the run.

For 12 Oopsie muffins you’ll need:

  • 3 x large eggs
  • 100g low fat cream cheese
  • Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon of seed mix
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
  3. Mix the cream cheese, baking powder and seed mix with the egg yolks.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk until the whites are stiff.
  5. Fold and mix the egg whites with the yolk but try to keep it as fluffy as possible.
  6. Spoon in to a muffin tray.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes until the Oopsies are golden brown.

Can be served with any filling of your choice.

Quick and easy!

blondies

White chocolate brownies or blondies as they are known is a tremendously easy to make and is a delicious alternative to the classic chocolate version.

You’ll need:

  • 1 Cup of butter
  • 2½ Cups of flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1½ Cups of light brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1½ Cups of white chopped white chocolate chips

Method:

Heat the oven to 180°C

Use a medium-sized baking tray and line with baking paper.

Butter the baking paper.

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder

In a second bowl mix the eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar until smooth and creamy.

Combine the flour with the egg mixture and add the chopped white chocolate.

Spread the mixture in the baking tray and bake for 40 minutes. Test the blondies by sticking in a knife. The blade should come out clean.

Allow the blondies to cool completely.

Hold the baking paper and lift the blondies out of the baking tray.

Cut into squares.


nobility-rank-coronets-nobility-crowns

Who is the Big Six in the wine world? Who is the Hale Berry of wine berries, the George Clooney of Grapes or the Naomi Watts of Wine?

Well in the wine drinking world, there is an A-list of grape varieties better know as The Noble Grapes.
These A-Listers are famous culturally and historically and are internationally known and grown, constantly producing quality wines year after year (that is if they are planted in the right type of soil, climate and “directed” by a capable wine maker).

Let’s look at the who’s-who of wine:

Sauvignon Blanc:
Known for its crisp, grassy, gooseberry and citrus flavours. Depending on the growing climate, Sauvigon Blanc can range from the really green, bone dry style to the vibrant tomato vine, gooseberries and green pepper style.
Some Sauvigons are blended with a small amount of Semillon to make the classic Bordeaux style whites while other Sauvignon Blancs are wood matured in French oak barrels to give a distinctive smokey character.

Chardonnay:
Some love Chardonnay, while others hate it, but no one can deny it. It is an easy growing vine that yields good quality fruit, which makes it a favourite with grape growers. It is also one of the three main varietals used in Champagne (or MCC, if you are in South Africa). It is a versatile grape and can produce a style of wine that’s fresh with lemony notes when it is unoaked or rich creamy style which can remind wine drinkers of buttered toast, almonds and honey.
Unfortunately there are other Chardonnays on the market that are so excessively wooded that the subtle fruit characters are overpowered and flavours and can be unappealing.

Riesling:
This varietal causes quite a bit of confusion in South Africa, because in the past wine drinkers could choose between wines labelled as Rhine Riesling, Weisser Riesling, Paarl Riesling or Cape Riesling.
Current legislation requires that the original Riesling varietal planted in South Africa can be labelled as Riesling where as the wines labelled as Cape Riesling is in fact Crouchen Blanc.
The good Rieslings that you will find can range from wines that are refreshing and racy with a steely acidity, while others can have a more lime and orange pith characters.

Cabernet Sauvignon:
Personified as a very “masculine” wine and is internationally admired. The trademarks of a good Cabernet Sauvignons are the deep dark red colour, the full-bodied character and taste of blackcurrant combined with a good tannin structure. Maturing the wine in oak barrels adds tobacco, cedar wood and chocolate characters which make the wine more complex.
Cabernet Sauvignon or predominantly Cabernet-led blends are the flagship of many wine producers.
Sadly, the poor Cab’s out there have stalky-green characteristics that are not appealing at all.

Merlot:
This is a super popular grape varietal with a large spectrum of wine drinkers. Described as a “feminine” wine, it is a little bit softer and rounder than Cabernet with juicier ripe berry flavours which makes it more approachable. For many wine drinkers, when faced with a choice of wine, Merlot is the go to varietal since it difficult to really get a “bad” one. Merlot also blends well with Cabernet making a good “marriage” between feminine and masculine grape types.

Pinot Noir:
Also known as the “heartbreak” grape, Pinot Noir is probably considered as the Holy Grail of wines. Notoriously temperamental, Pinot Noir can produce a wine that is ethereal, elegant and complex with layer and layer of flavours…
unfortunately Pinot Noir is like the French nouveau art film actors and hardly produces good wines outside its native Burgundy. Many new world wine growing areas tend to blunder Pinot Noir, resulting in a wine that seems disjointed with either too much fruit, hard tannins or just not enough body. Only in the cooler areas of South Africa, does Pinot Noir do well.
Pinot Noir is also one of the three grapes used in Champagne / MCC.

This is not to say that grape varietals like Chenin Blanc, Pinotage or Shiraz doesn’t make as good wine as the Noble Varietals, just that the wines listed are the internationally known.

Any excuse pulling the cork on a bottle of wine, eh?

Merlot

Blog reposted from winewhiskers.co.za

Lentil Dahl

Ever found that you have a packets of lentils in your pantry and don’t know what to do with it?
Lentils are inexpensive, high in protein and very versatile. Apart from just using it in soups, it also makes a brilliant stew.

Brown Lentil Stew Recipe (serves 4)

You’ll need:

The spice mix

  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cm of ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup of brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Lentils

Rinsed lentils

Method:

Heat up the oil and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until translucent.

Add the rinsed lentils, spices and the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Once it started boiling, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Stirring often; also try to skim off any scum that forms on the surface.

Stir in the tomato paste and allow the cook until the desired texture is acquired. I prefer mine, thick and tender with the lentils still maintaining their shape.

Serve with flat breads.

Enjoy!

Wine Match:

I’ve found that the stew went very well with a lightly oaked Chardonnay.

After missus and I fought our way through the droves of desperate dames at a wedding fair, we definitely needed a glass of the good stuff to calm the nerves. As we have never been to Chabivin, we decided that today will be a good day to visit the farm… and we’ll tell you we are very glad we did!

Chabivin is a small boutique MCC house that is situated on a farm on the Blaauwklippen Road just outside Stellenbosch. Director and wine maker Hendrik Snyman together with Jean-Pierre and Brigitte Charbaut from France, opened Chabivin’s doors to the public in 2010 with a tastefully decorated tasting room as well as beautiful, tranquil garden with large cushions spread out on the grass for you to lounge on like modern-day Dionysus.

Chabivin boasts with two ranges of sparkling wines:

The Diary Series of Method Cap Classiques

  • Mademoiselle Mégane (Blanc de Blanc)
  • Cuvée Jean-Michel 2007 (Chardonnay / Pinot Noir)
  • Aclémée 2005 (Semillon)

Imported French Champagnes

  • Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay, 4 years on lease)
  • Brut Selection (Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay)
  • Memory (100% Chardonnay, 8 years on lease)
  • Millesime (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay)
  • Rose (100% Pinot Noir)

Originally wanted to taste a couple of Cap Classiques as well as the Champagnes that Chabivin imports but we’ve decided to skip the formalities and just enjoy a bottle of the Mademoiselle Mégane (a Blanc de Blanc that has been bottle fermented and matured for four years) as well as snack on a delicious combination platter that consisted of Brie, Gouda, Parma ham and Pastrami, with fig preserves, basil pesto, olives and cream cheese.

The Bubbly Tree

Everything was just perfect! It was a beautiful day in Stellenbosch, the Mademoiselle Mégane had beautiful biscuit aromas with a refreshingly limy citrus character. The platter that we’ve order was a wonderful compliment with the sparkling wine.

Chabivin has truly become one of my favourite sit-and-sip Cap Classique Houses.

Contact Chabivin on:
Tel: 021 880 1643
Email: info@chabivin.co.za
Website: http://www.chabivin.co.za/chabivin/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Chabivin
Twitter: @Chabivin

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Nothing keeps the freezing cold out like a nice hearty soup.
One of our favourite soups are from The Long Table Restaurant in Stellenbosch with their famous the Roasted Roma Tomato Soup.
Here is my version:

You’ll need:

  • 500g roma tomatoes (I’ve also used 2 normal tomatoes)
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • Garlic chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 table spoons fat free plain yoghurt
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

Put the onion, tomatoes and garlic mix on a baking tray and drizzle with brown sugar and olive oil.

Roast at 200°C until the mixture is brown.

Place the mix in a soup pot and add the stock, 1 teaspoon cumin and the tomato paste.

Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.

Blitz the soup with a hand blender and add 3 tablespoons of plain yoghurt and stir until the soup is creamy.

Simmer for a couple of minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with crumbed feta and chives.

Served with toasted pitas.

 Wine match:

Sauvignon Blanc or a lightly wooded Sauvignon Blanc if the soup is very creamy.

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