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Posts Tagged ‘Stellenbosch’

False Bay Rosè with Lasagna Senza Carne

Preparation Time: 60 minutes Cooking Time: 60 minutes Yield: 4

It’s hard to not believe in serendipity when the perfect wine for a dish you’ve just crafted lands on your doorstep.

In the very week that I created this recipe, a gift pack of False Bay wines from the nearby Waterkloof Estate arrived.

False Bay is Waterkloof’s entry level range, which consists of three whites, a rosè and two reds. They’re all affordable quaffers, at around R55 per bottle at the cellar door, and although they’re not made from grapes grown on the farm, cellar master Werner Engelbrecht affords their making the same attention as he does the Peacock Ridge, Circumstance, Circle of Life and Waterkloof wines. The Rosè turned out to be the perfect match with this dish, although we opened the Sauvignon Blanc to drink while cooking anyway! And so to the recipe….

The origin of the name of a dish is often the most fascinating thing to track down. Paella, that quintessential Spanish dish is one such. The name describes neither the dish itself, nor any one of its ingredients. Rather, it describes the pan in which the dish is prepared, and traditionally served. The paella is a large shallow pan with two handles, purpose designed for the preparation of the much loved Valencian dish.

Lasagna, my research reveals is also named after the utensil in which it was traditionally prepared. Legend has it that the Romans borrowed the Greek word “lasana” (trivet or stand for a pot) or “lasanon” (chamber pot) which became “lasanum” in Latin, and means cooking pot. And so over time, the utensil in which the dish was prepared became the name of the dish, which became lasagna in modern Italian. Read more…

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Is the grass really greener?

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Does it make sense to pursue potentially problem-fraught off-shore markets for South African wine,  when one of the largest US wine producers is entering our local market aggressively?

The Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, which is expected to retail at R49.95 per bottle.

About 100 people, mostly from wine estates in the area, sat and listened to a Wines of South Africa (WOSA) organised seminar in Stellenbosch last Wednesday about export opportunities into Angola and Nigeria. Neither of these markets is particularly large at present, but growth over the last couple of years appears to have been substantial.

Angola for instance, with an estimated population of around 19 million, has seen annual per capita wine consumption grow from 2.3 litres in 2003 to a projected 12.2 litres next year. Compared to most of the rest of the world, including South Africa, that’s pretty attractive growth. Even France has seen a dramatic decline in wine consumption, from a high of around 55 litres in 2006 to an estimated 48 litres in 2010. South Africa has seen a decline from 7.94 litres in 2008 to an estimated just under 7 litres this year. Whilst the numbers do differ significantly, the magnitude of consumption decline is pretty much the same at about 12-13%.

The picture gets more interesting when one looks at retail wine prices in Angola, which have risen from €1.23 in 2003 to €2.19 in 2009. At current exchange rates, that’s from around R12 (2003) to R20 (2009) a bottle. Now, with the excises, imposts, duties and “back-scratching” amounting to 60% – according to one of the speakers at the WOSA conference – of the cost of the wine, that makes the landed cost around R8 per bottle.  Not terribly much in there from the producer, now is there? Read more…

Carl Schultz on Shiraz

September 6, 2010 1 comment

Carl Schultz in the cellar at Hartenberg with a glass of his fine Shiraz

The first time I listened engrossed while Carl Schultz spoke about wine was about a year ago. The occasion was a dinner and tasting of 11 South African Rieslings. A notoriously difficult grape from which to make a good wine in South Africa, Carl’s discourse about the varietal, its origins, the difficulties a winemaker faces in working with it, its the peculiarities, what happens when it ages, and his reflections on the great Rieslings he has tasted over the years (it is evident from his reflections that he has travelled widely in pursuit of his understanding of Riesling), gave me the most remarkable insights. In short, I learned much that evening.

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