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Festive feast with the bubbly lady LISE BEYERS Elunda Basson, winemaker at South Africa’s leading house of bubbles, has become somewhat of a household per­ sonality after the spectacular television advertisement of her in a vineyard were grapes were depicted by bubbles. Tucked away at J.C. Le Roux in the picturesque Devon Valley, Elunda, also known as “the bubbly lady,” masterfully creates the sparkling wines that have be­ come a household name. Elunda studied viticulture and oenology at Stellenbosch University, which also included a study tour to Italy. Being the bubbly brain behind the sought after J.C. Le Roux Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) and sparkling wines has been the highlight of Elunda’s career. Her career started off working har­ vests as an assistant winemaker at Rick­ ety Bridge Vineyards in Franschhoek with David Lockley and then with Boela Gerber. She also spent a harvest at Dry Creek Vineyards in Sonoma County in Califor­ nia. At Nederburg Wines, Elunda worked as assistant winemaker with Hennie Huskisson and after a year she was

appointed red winemaker in 2001. For Elunda, some of the greatest pleasures in life are good wine, good food and good company. One the even of the festive season, Elunda and her family will once again take time off and head for the secluded West Coast. She admits however that she is not a connoisseur in the kitchen. “I wish I could say I’m a flamboyant chef in the kitchen, but that would be a lie. I can do the basics to keep my family healthy and happy, but it’s not a place where I spend much of my free time. “Normally when we entertain friends at home, my husband will do the food, and I do the entertaining. “If I have to pick one thing that I’m good at, it’s interesting salads. I love to try new recipes and ideas to make a salad out of unexpected combinations.” So what is on Elunda’s Christmas menu? “We will be camping at the beach on the West Coast, feasting on lobster, salads and some meat on the coals” Despite the mouthwatering options, Elunda’s favourite festive recipe remains her sticky honey­soy chicken wings (nice and easy).

Bigger and better Stellenbosch Wine Fest

The bubbly lady of the House of J.C. le Roux, Elunda Basson. You’ll need your chicken wings, soy sauce, fresh grated ginger, some chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, two tablespoons of butter, honey and sesame seeds for garnish. Mix all the ingredients to make a mari­ nade and coat your chicken wings. Refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours.Put in an oven dish and grill in the oven until sticky and delicious (turn wings regularly and take care not to burn marinade too much). To finish off, Elunda is hoping for her mothers berry and cream trifle.

Mom’s berry and cream trifle 1 packet boudoir biscuits 500 ml mascarpone cheese 500 ml cream Sherry Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries or any of your favourite berries 1 jam roll Mixed nuts Whisked the cream and then fold in mascar­ pone cheese.

Layer a deep glass bowl with boudoir biscuits at the bottom and sprinkle with sherry. Then coat with a thick layer of cream cheese mix followed by a layer of mixed berries. Layer the rest of the bowl using slices of jam roll (also sprinkling each layer with sherry), topping the jam roll with cream and berries until you end with a layer of cream. Decorate the top layer with more berries and mixed nuts and refrigerate. Yummy!

The Stellenbosch Wine Festival pre­ sented by Pick n Pay is back from 24 January to 2 February and prom­ ises visitors a glimpse into the heart of the Cape Winelands. This hugely popular wine lifestyle event showcases the crème de la crème of the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes, which has recently been nominated for the in­ ternational Wine Region of the Year title. According to Annareth Bolton, chief executive officer of the Stellen­ bosch Wine Routes, the 2014 festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. “The festival is not only about wine, it is about the Stellenbosch life­ style. It is therefore very appropriate that the festival coincides with the an­ nual harvest. This is a unique oppor­ tunity to experience what Stellen­ bosch is all about – the history, the people, the wines and great food. It is also about engaging with local communities and giving something back to these communities.” The jam­packed festival line­up in­ cludes a harvest parade, a street fest in the historic Church Street, speciali­ ty tastings and tours, cultivar show­ cases, dine in the vine encounters, art exhibitions as well as winery ex­ periences and restaurant promo­ tions. The 10­day wine spectacular culminates in a three­day wine expo in the centre of town. The Stellenbosch Wine Festival Wine Expo will once again be hosted on Die Braak in the heart of the city

Some of the visitors at the last Stellenbosch Wine Festival enjoy a glass of bubbly. of oaks from Friday 31 January to Sunday 2 February. The venue will be transformed into an elegant, open­air lounge with over 60 winery stands offering tastings, a Pick n Pay Fresh and small producers market and live entertainment. For the duration of the festival, wine lovers will also be able to enjoy dedicated American Express winery experiences at close to 80 wineries in the region, while the American Ex­ press Wine and Dine programme will feature some of the top award­ winning restaurants in the Stellen­ bosch region offering special festival menus and promotions. Various ticket options are availa­ ble from www.pnptickets.co.za. Visit the festival website for ticket costs for American Express Winery Experi­ ences and American Express Wine and Dine restaurant promotions. For more information, visit www.stellen­ boschwinefestival.co.za.

Chef Jurgen Schneider

Horticulturist Hildegard Witbooi

Springfontein Cellar Open Daily for Wine Tasting and Sales. Closed on 25 December ‘13 and 1 January ‘14

Springfontein Eats 24 - 28 December ‘13 - Lunch & Dinner 29 December ‘13 - Lunch only Closed on Mondays

Susanne Schneider Hospitality

New Year’s Eve Menu @ R1 000.00 per person, 31 December 2013 from 7pm to 11pm Inclusive, Food & Wine Pairing, Hot and Cold Beverages. Winemaker Tariro Masayiti


WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY: STELLENBOSCH STREET SOIREES – The popular Stellenbosch Street Soirees are back in full swing from December until March. At these monthly gatherings the oak-lined streets will be transformed into a colourful hub of food, wine and live music where strangers become friends over a glass of vino stemming from the country’s oldest wine route. The lower part of Church Street is where all the action is (between Bird Street and Andringa Street) from 18:00 to 20:00. The dates to diarise are 15 January, 12 February and 12 March – weather permitting – with each gathering featuring winetastings from a different selection of cellars, live music entertainment and gourmets bites from participating eateries. For only R30 you get a wineglass and a ticket to taste as many wines as you like. Delicious street food will be on sale. For more information contact 021 886 8275 or visit www.wineroute.co.za.

SATURDAY 25 JANUARY: JASON’S HILL This family-owned wine estate in the beautiful Breedekloof will be the venue for a not-to-be missed concert by well known SA performers Robbie Wessels and Bok van Blerk (above). The show starts at 19:00 (gates open at 18:00). Delicious food and refreshments will be available to purchase. Tickets cost R160 per person., available at Computicket. For more information contact Jason’s Hill Private Cellar on 023 344 3256 or info@jasonshill.co.za.

SATURDAY 25 JANUARY: RIESLING ROCKS! Head for Hartenberg Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch Winelands where celebrated winemaker Carl Schultz, one of the country’s riesling masters, has invited SA’s top cellars to showcase their premium Weisser/Rhine Rieslings. Visitors to this fabulous foodand-wine celebration will be able to taste these flagship rieslings paired with gourmet deli fare in a garden-party setting between 12 noon and 17:00. Tickets of R120 a head, covering all tastings and a complimentary glass, are available directly from www.webtickets.co.za, or contact Hartenberg Estate on 021 865 2541, email info@hartenbergestate.com or www.hartenbergestate.com. SATURDAY 25 & SUNDAY 26 JANUARY: DELHEIM HARVEST CELEBRATION Starting at noon on both days, this fun-filled weekend includes a guided cellar tour and a grape-stomping contest with fabulous prizes up for grabs. Visitors can help themselves to the sumptuous buffet-style lunch and enjoy their picnic on the shaded lawn at the river’s edge, while childminders keep the little ones busy. Tickets cost R220 per adult (R110 per child under 12; kids under two years enter free) and include all the activities and food. Pre-booking is essential. Contact Juliet du Toit at 021 888 4600 or email pr@delheim.com.

Tjeers!

Nou is die tyd om vrolik te wees

EMILE JOUBERT

Dis Kerstyd, die tyd vir gee, vrolik-wees en mededeelsaamheid. Maar hoe lyk dit met ’n geskenk aan . . .wel, jouself? Ek ken niks beter om myself mee te bederf as om in die wynlande te gaan soek na ons eie wonderlike wyne nie. Nommer Een-landgoed is Delaire Graff, boop die Banhoekpas. Hier is: die mooiste uitsigte, twee goeie restaurante,’n kunsversameling en, natuurlik, baie goeie wyn. Wat witwyne betref, staan Delaire Graff se Chenin Blanc en Chardonnay saam met die bestes in Suid-Afrika. Trouens, die Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc 2012 was die beste wat ek vanjaar oor my lippe gehad het, en daar is geen rede waarom die situasie in die komende oesjare sal verander nie. Die wyn is gehout, maar Delaire Graff se wynmaker, Morné Vrey, gebruik hout eerder om die struktuur en soepelheid van die vrug te bestuur as om jou ’n planksmaak te gee. Gevolglik het die chenin ’n lieflike skakering van vrugtegeure soos peer, rooi appel en kiwivrug, als onderstreep deur die smaak van fonteinwater en spoelklippe vanuit ’n fris rivier. Dit is werklik ’n lieflike wyn met ’n lang, talmende nasmaak in die mond. Die Chardonnay 2012 is ’n rojale weergawe van hierdie edelkultivar wat sy man langs enige van die Franse chardonnays sal staan. Weer eens, indien jy deur chardonnay afgeskrik is deur die soms oordadige houtgeure in die wyn, wees verseker dat Delare Graff dit anders doen. Gehout, maar jy proe dit nie. Jy proe wel ’n klassieke en byna volmaakte witwyn met trekke neut, botter en vars sitrusvrug. Diegene wat hulself as bobaas visbraaiers tydens die vakansie ag, moet weet dat hierdie wyn enige vis hemels sal laat smaak. Vir die verdere bederf ry ek af, rigting

Franschhoek, na Boschendal. Delaire Graff gee mens die gevoel van wat’ n visionêre wynplaas kan verrig, maar Boschendal sit jou terug in die geskiedenis met sy pragtige ou Kaapse geboue en statige boomlanings. En moenie van die wyn vergeet nie, en spesifiek nie die vonkelende soort nie. Lizelle Gerber maak Boschendal se wit- en vonkelwyne, en ek sorg altyd dat my kattebak hierdie tyd van die jaar gelaai is met die plaas se Méthode Cap Classique. Dis nou wyne gemaak in die styl van Franse sjampanje, met ander woorde, natuurlik gegis in die bottel wat die wynmoer se komplekse geure en ook die vonkel aan die wyn verleen. Die Grande Cuvée Brut is die een wat jy hier soek. Hy word gemaak van die klassieke kombinasie van Pinot Noir en Chardonnay en bewys my elke keer waarom vonkelwyn een van my gunsteling wyne is. Die borrels spuit koel, verfrissende wyngeure deur jou sintuie en ná twee slukkies is die wêreld gewis ’n beter plek. En só ’n vonkelwyn is meer veelsydig as ’n Franse agterlynspeler. Jy kan hom in die oggend geniet saam met ’n paar oesters, tydens die noenmaalse Kersete en wanneer daardie nadors teen laatmiddag toeslaan, is ’n koue glasie of drie net die ding. Dis gemaak vir jou om te verdien.

Emile Joubert is ’n genieter van wyn, iets waarmee hy hom heeldag besig hou in sy werk as wynbemarkingskonsultant en –skrywer. Sy gunsteling wynsoort is chardonnay. Hy glo ook Suid-Afrika is ’n onderskatte juweel van ’n wynwêreld.



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