Nip the chill with a glass of fine red
Cape Town - Cold and wintry weather has hit country towns in the Western Cape.
When snow powders the Swartberge, it adds a nip to the air at Calitzdorp where visitors to the recent annual Port and Wine fest had plenty with which to counter icy temperatures.
In the Riebeek valley, snowcapped peaks around Tulbagh add ethereal beauty to the view from the Swartland’s oldest wine farm, which features a warming range of reds and a port wine made from Portuguese varietals. Allesverloren, with its melancholy name and sad history, joined the South African Portuguese community this week in celebrating their Dia de Portugal, a national holiday commemorating the death of renowned poet Luis de Camões.
Talented chef Nic van Wyk was approached to develop a menu of Portuguese-style dishes with a South African twist to complement the reds from the Allesverloren cellar.
It was a task that Van Wyk tackled with enthusiasm, combining salt cod and snoek into stylish fish cakes, teamed with the farm’s Tinta Barocca rosé, and following with his take on the classic trinchado. He replaced beef with venison, added roosterkoek on the side and paired the dish with the 2012 tinta barocca.
Portugal’s rich custard tarts, pasteis de nata, are popular with South Africans, who are sure to savour Van Wyk’s version, in which rooibos and honey add indigenous touches. Allesverloren’s vintage port makes a fine accompaniment. Find the recipes at www.alles verloren.co.za/venue/events.html.
* The best Cape port and table wines produced from Portuguese cultivars made the entries for the Cape Port Producers’ Association Challenge, and the names of this year’s winners were announced recently. Boplaas Family Vineyards excelled, as they often do, taking both the CAPPA Challenge trophy for the Cape Vintage reserve 2011 and the Reserve champion prize for the Cape Tawny vintner’s reserve. Slanghoek was the winner of the Cape ruby class, and Peter Bayly took gold in the museum class for his Cape Vintage 2004.
In the “other ports” category Axe Hill Cape late-bottled vintage 2009 was victorious.
* The announcement of results of the 2014 Old Mutual Trophy show are always a highlight on the wine calendar, the climax to the most prestigious South African contest. This year the red wines came in for high praise from the judging panel, a notable change from the past few years which saw whites garnering accolades. Impressive overall quality saw judges unanimous in their decisions to award more medals than last year. KWV walked off with the coveted Fairbairn Capital trophy for the top performing winery. Having won in 2012 and finished as runner-up last year, this is praiseworthy performance indeed. Nederburg took second place in a competition that saw 1 040 entries being judged by local and international experts. Along with KWV, the following wines scooped trophies:
Mulderbosch chardonnay 2013;
Mount Sutherland syrah 2012;
Baleia Bay chardonnay 2013;
Nederburg NLH muscadel 2011;
KWV The Mentors chenin blanc 2013;
Altydgedacht weisser riesling 2013;
Delaire Graff Coastal sauvignon blanc 2013;
De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2011;
Jordan cabernet sauvignon 2011;
Steenberg Magna Carta 2011;
Nederburg The Brew master; Able Bay MCC blanc de Blanc;
Spier 21 Gables pinotage 2011;
KWV The Mentors semillon;
Delheim Edelspatz NLH 2013
and Orange River red muscadel 2012.