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Simonsig Wine Estate

Simonsig Wine Estate

The restaurant Simonsig Wine Estate

Simonsig is a legendary wine estate and home of the first Méthode Cap Classique in South Africa – Kaapse Vonkel, which was made over 40 years ago. Nestled at Koelenhof in Stellenbosch overlooking the Simonsberg Mountains, I was thrilled to be invited as a guest this week to not only try their latest bubbly vintages, but to sample their summer menu at Cuvée. All the wine was delicious – not only the sparkling, and I fell in love with their 2014 Chenin Blanc. Maybe because they started picking the grapes on my birthday last year, or maybe because it won double gold at Veritas, or maybe because at around R40 per bottle its rediculously good value, regardless, I have come home with a case but already wishing I had bought 10 2

The food was delectable and can be described as sophisticated Winelands dining, but without too many airs and graces. The menu is fairly short – which I prefer, and one that showcases all the best the season has to offer. It changes every few months. I had a small taste of the carrot risotto with white chocolate and will be begging the chef for this recipe. There is a bit of a story behind it involving Eric Lanyard which I’m hoping to delve into a bit deeper. I had the Yellowtail as my main course which was fantastic, but was eying the pork belly which was even more delicious. The desserts were all perfect and I can’t recommend this restaurant highly enough.

Simonsig Wine Estate

The restaurant at Simonsig

Harvest was in full swing on the farm and I found it so interesting to see a load of Sauvignon being picked and trucked to the cellar. Its well worth seeing how hard the labourers work hand picking the grapes in the blazing heat. It makes you appreciate what goes into making a wine and the value it holds. 

Here are a few of the pictures I took on the day, and all I can say is visit Simonsig. You will be very happy that you did. Continue Reading →

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ostrich fillet kebabs with zucchini tzatziki

ostrich fillet kebabs with zucchini tzatziki

ostrich fillet kebabs with zucchini tzatziki

Today is International Organic day so this recipe could not be more appropriate. The ostrich fillet is sourced from a farm in the Karoo where the birds run fairly wild and graze on the delicious vegetation of the area. You really can taste it in every bite. It makes a healthy and interesting alternative to beef kebabs, and I’ve prepared a marinade in a Greek style.

Wednesday is national braai day in South Africa, so consider using free range meat when making your purchase decisions.

Organically grown does not only apply to food, but to wine.  The vineyards in the West Coast Darling area produce the Earthbound range of 100% organic wines, which also happen to be Fairtrade certified.

I shot a few images for Earthbound recently, and to celebrate today, and they are giving away a massive hamper of organic products to one lucky (South African) reader of Drizzle and Dip. The value of the hamper is R2000. Take a look at it here. Continue Reading →

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pasta with tomato, spinach and mozzarella

pasta-tomato-spinach-mozarella

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I used farfalle to make this delicious and super easy pasta recipe with spinach and fior di latte mozzarella. The sauce takes the same amount of time to make as it takes to boil the pasta, so its kind of ideal to do for a quick midweek vegetarian supper. The cheese melts into the other ingredients creating those delectable long strands as you eat, and it feels like a warm caprese salad with silky pasta and spinach.

The other reason I made this pasta was because it so colourful and I’m here today to celebrate colour and wine in all its glory. You might wonder what colour has to do with wine? Well that is the fun part. Continue Reading →

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what to eat when you are drinking the fizz

Lily Bollinger was asked “When do you drink champagne?”, and she replied:

I only drink champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.
When I have company, I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am.
Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.

But I’m not here to talk about when to drink it, quite frankly it should be drunk whenever and as often as possible. I want to talk a bit about what to drink it with.

Bubbly is so versatile and is the only wine that is socially acceptable to drink with breakfast, and most of the time I find that ‘eating is cheating’ with it, and I simply love it on its own.

But who am I to say, so I asked a few food and wine experts that I know to tell me what they like to eat with their bubbles. This is really good and you may find a few surprises here.

Neil Pendock

The hottest pairing for bubbly in Manhattan is with pizza
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/dining/reviews/pizzas-bubbly-companion-the-pour.html?_r=2&hpw&

Eric Asimov makes a good case “First, we must get over thinking of pizza as just a fast food. Of course, too many pizzas are made of poor industrial ingredients, rushed in a sodden cardboard box to your door. What goes with those pizzas? A burning sensation on the roof of your mouth.

But good pizza, that’s an entirely different issue. Fine ingredients like pure flour, San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, sea salt,
fresh basil and great olive oil can result in near perfection. A good pizza margherita, made just with those ingredients, is a platonic
ideal, elegant in its simplicity. Why not with Champagne?

If you don’t believe me, try it. I would choose a good nonvintage Champagne, something sturdier than a blanc de blancs, something with some oomph to it, like, say, a Bollinger Special Cuvée, which will echo and amplify the savory, sweet and yeasty flavors of the pizza.” Continue Reading →

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