I got a phone call last night from my Sister in Law, Anri. She is a second year at the University of Stellenbosch studying BSc. Agric Oenology, in short she wants to become a winemaker.
They had a Potjie and Punch evening at Heemstede, her dormitory, last night. I supplied her with the recipes for one of my favourites: a Oxtail and Banana curry pot and a litchi punch. Their section, Eternity won both categories. I will apparently now become a honoury member of the Eternity section in Heemstede for my small contribution. As reward I receive my own apron branded with the slogan “ start a party anywhere”. Cannot wait to add it to my extensive collection of aprons from all over the world where I have been involved in cooking and having fun in kitchens.
From us at Bellingham we want to say: Congratulations to Anri and her team, you made us proud!!
Anri is a familiar face at the Bellingham cellar, her cellar cloths and shoes already stained with the 2010 vintage red wines. My team is looking forward seeing her get dirty again over the next couple of weekends gaining some harvest experience.
According to Wikipedia: “In South Africa, “Potjiekos” literally translated “small pot food”, is a stew prepared outdoors in a traditional round, cast iron, three-legged pot (the potjie) which is found in the homes and villages of people throughout southern Africa. The pot is heated efficiently using small amounts of wood, charcoal or if fuel is scarce, twisted grass or even dried animal dung.
“Potjiekos”originated with the Voortrekkers, evolving as a stew made of venison and vegetables (if available), cooked in the potjie. As trekkers (pioneers) shot wild game, it was added to the pot. The large bones were included to thicken the stew. Each day when the wagons stopped, the pot was placed over a fire to simmer. New bones replaced old and fresh meat replaced meat eaten. Game included venison, poultry such as guinea fowl, wart hog, bushpig, rabbit and hare. Here is a link to the site where you can find the Oxtail and Banana Potjie recipe and many more.
Following the weather closely, me and Stephan decided to harvest the Rousanne yesterday afternoon. Rain was predicted for today and would dilute the flavours unnecessarily.
Rousanne is a new variety to South Africa and we have one of only two 100% Rousannes in the country. Our wine is called the Bernard Series Whole bunch Rousanne and a tribute to Bernard Podlashuk, original winemaker of Bellingham who bottled the first Shiraz (1957) and Rose from South Africa.
The Platter 2011 rated it with 4 red stars and I am very excited about the future of this variety. It is a brilliant food wine that gives you subtle flavours of Citrus, Litchi, Mango, Kiwi, spices and “fynbos”. The wine has an amazing mouth feel and rich texture balancing the flavour profile.
This 2009 Bernard Series Whole bunch Rousanne has received very good publicity local and internationally. I have inserted a few snippets:
UK wine Journalist Olly Smith
“Peach-tastic! A complex and thrilling wine with honeyed depth, citrus edges and vivid purity. Within this bottle lies a fleshy and sexy white wine infused with an aromatic elegance. “
Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar – South Africa
“A deeply individualistic wine with graceful wild Cape flowers, indigenous fynbos and herbal tea aromas supported by soft kiwi, tropical pineapple and peach kernel vivacity well-integrated with a subtly spiced finish laced with hints of honey richness. A unique white wine that delivers vibrant fruit and bracing freshness in youth, although still generous in structure to develop intriguing depth and dimension for up to five years in the cellar.”
Miss Bouquet – UK
“Dressed in a beautifully chic French boudoir style label it will look good in your basket and on your wine rack. The wine itself is full of kiwi fruit and gooseberry aromas with hints of herbal tea and peppery spices on the palate, lovely, crisp and dry on the finish. It’s a perfect example of creativity gone right“
The next vintage will be ready around mid July 2011. Hopefully Marti and I have found the house we are looking for and can look forward sharing the experience with friends around an “Oxtail and banana pot”, chilled Rousanne and lots of laughter.
Dare to be different, become a Maverick and try some Rousanne!!