Luddite Shiraz – a wine worth mentioning

For those who know me, know my love for wine.  For those who don’t know me…invite me over for a bottle or two of wine and we will surely become great friends.

“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.”

Luddite Shiraz

My husband arrived home one night baring gifts of wine (the best kind of gift), he had been given a bottle of Luddite Shiraz by Neils, the winemaker at Luddite Wines just outside the tiny town of Bot River in the Western Cape, South Africa. Having never heard of the Farm before, I got all excited as it was a new adventure for me.  I jumped onto the internet and started looking for the meaning of “Luddite” I came across some interesting answers…

merriam-webster.com says

Definition of LUDDITE: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying labor saving machinery as a protest; broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change.

oxforddictionaries.com says

noun

a member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, which they believed was threatening their jobs (1811–16).

derogatory a person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology:a small-minded Luddite resisting progress

Wait…how does this apply to wine? I was also very confused…so I Googled some more and came across the following at Wine Folly

The Luddite

“Just say ‘No’ to screw caps”

The Luddite is unblushing in their love for the old way. Things like screw-caps, wine-in-a-box and fancy plastic aerators make The Luddite shiver in their boots. They can be found wandering down the French, Italian or Spanish wine aisle in search of terroir. They love real books with real pages. Places like Argentina or Napa Valley are far too young –even at 150 years– to earn The Luddite’s approval.

So having finally opened the bottle to enjoy with family over the marvelous lamb shanks, I can definitely recommend this wine to anyone who enjoys a complex wine with a hearty wintery meal.

Visually, the bottle is just stunning, simple design yet striking, I love the hand written details on the side of the label; we had bottle number 12039 or 23000. Followed by the deep red colour with hues of purple when poured, my heat skipped a beat from the visual allure of this wine.

The best part was yet to come. The rich velvet mouth feel on the palate was so decadent, with hints of wood, fruit and slight spice. I was in heaven. Paired with the weighty lamb shank, it was a match made in heaven.

No at no point do I claim to be a wine expert, I simply enjoy wine, and can really appreciate a good bottle of wine.  This wine, I would unquestionably recommend.

You can learn more about  Luddite Wines on their website - http://www.luddite.co.za/

Onion Marmalade

I have been away, traveling around KZN, a part of South Africa I have never experienced, so my blog posts have been few and far in-between, however, I am back now. Watch out for the fun adventures I had in KZN, namely, I experienced the traditional bunny chow which I will definitely post about.  But that’s for another day, today I am going to get right into a recipe I have been asked to post a few times. Onion Marmalade, now this recipe I don’t really follow any kind of measurements, I just cook with a feel, knowing when, how much and how long to cook it for, so I am going to guide you as best I can.

Cutting and slicing onions is all a personal thing, we all have our special way of doing so.  With this recipe, I cut the onions pole to pole, onion slices cut pole to pole will break down more completely as they cook, producing a more uniform texture and flavor in the finished dish.

Onion Marmalade

1kg red onions, cut pole to pole
1 bottle red wine
1 cup brown sugar – you can use white, but I find brown gives it a nice caramel flavour
2 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
5 – 8 whole cardamom pods
1 whole cinnamon stick
pinch of salt

Place all the above ingredients, expect the red wine into a large enough deep pot.

Pour in red wine, enough to just cover the onions, turn heat up to high and bring the liquid to a rolling boil.  Drop your heat and let gently simmer, this will take some time. Stir sporadically.

When the liquid has reduced and formed a sticky like consistency, this will be close to the end.  Watch while reducing further until thick and really sticky.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Remove the whole spices.  Use on sandwiches, salads, as extra topping on a pie…this is so versatile.  You can keep onion marmalade for a fair amount of time in the fridge, just ensure that it is stored in an airtight container

onion marmalade

Mixed Berry & Granola Smoothie and wonderful ladies night out

I love surprises, and wow did I receive one last night. About 2 weeks ago, myself and J were invited for dinner, I found it rather strange but none the less accepted, last night when we got to our hosts house, I didn’t smell any food cooking nor see any tables set, and when I walked in, a great big SURPRISE was called out. All the ladies decided I needed my first “wives” dinner out. Sadly I didn’t get any photos as I didn’t take my camera with, but it was such a wonderful evening.

We went to Five Elements, and again, I really enjoyed every moment. It is the fine dining restaurant in the area, and given not a restaurant you can go to every week, it is definitely a must for any special occasion ( boy oh boy do I find special occasions!)

The atmosphere is wonderful, do pop on over to the website and have a squiz.

Again, no photos, but I can tell you what I had!

I started with a dish called Fire & Ice – seared Szechuan peppered tuna with Japanese radish and cucumber sorbet. The flavours were a magical dance in my mouth. This dish was definitely a top favourit. The sweetness and the pepperiness was such a wonderful combination, with the cooling subtle cucumber sorbet.

For mains I had a hard time decided exactly what I wanted. So many lovely choices, however, the duck jumped out at me. I had Duck Roulade wrapped in swiss chard with creamed mielies, white mushrooms & duck jus. The meal was very interesting, i have to admit I personally didn’t like the plating, but the flavours made up for it. The duck was wonderful, cooked to perfection with a play of allspice which just brought so many different aspects to the palate, you kind of all over the place, yet your flavour focus comes together in the end.

Dessert, I decided on a rooibos crème brulee, which I have to say was wonderful as well. The hard crack of sugar you break through was perfect, nothing more beautiful than that crack of sugar. Thats when I know I am in crème brulee heaven. The best part is the dessert was not overpoweringly sweet, all the flavours were subtle and worked wonderfully together.

So again, a big thank you to the wonderful ladies, it was exactly what I needed!

Today, I finally got to the Department of Home Affairs and have now officially changed my last name and applied for my new ID book. I have to compliment the DOHA in Humansdorp, what wonderful friendly service which I have never received from any officially government department. I walked in and 20 minutes later, with lots of smiles and laughs, I had dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s and I am now officially going by my married name, which I love!

And of course, with this, I give you one more Smoothie. I am so excited about the new challenge from Tandy over at Lavender & Lime. I am working on a great rawliciouse ideas!

Mixed Berries & Granola Breakfast Smoothie

1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp honey
1 apple roughly chopped
½ cup your favourit granola
1 tbsp chia seeds

Add all into a blender, the berries give a nice tang, just add a little more honey if you want to sweeten it up.

Mango Chili Salsa Chicken Wraps

It’s been a rather emotional week, I have my closure now, and I am ready to reset my mind and get my head back into the game…I thought I would make something light, yet flavoursome to go with a wonderful bottle of wine.

Chili Mango Salas Chicken Wraps

Tortilla wraps
Chicken breadts
Mango
Fresh chilli
Lavender infused honey
Paprika
Verlaque Chili Mango reduction
Fresh rosemary
Olive OIl
Salt & pepper

Dice the mango and chilli and mix together, deseed the chilli if you would like to take the major bite away. I used 1 tbsp reduction to ½ a tsp of honey, but again, I believe its to taste, and if you like it slightly sweeter, just add more honey. Mix with mango and chilli, and a pinch of paprika. Mix together and place in fridge, you want it to chill nicely, the flavours infuse.

Grill the chicken breasts in the oven, season with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and some fresh rosemary. Remove from oven and let cool.

Build your wrap now, and be creative, use what you like, I used mixed garden greens (from my own garden!!!!), tomatoes, cucumber, red cabbage, Danish feta. The creaminess and the spicy bite work wonderfully together with the fruity mango flavours.

With this, I enjoyed a glass of Like Father Like Son White from the Bon Courage Wine Estate, which is just absolutely wonderful!! We enjoy this wine so much, we even had it as our table wines at the wedding.

Some info on this great wine, courtesy of http://www.boncourage.co.za

A dry white blend with a fruity complexity. The Chenin Blanc compliments the fruitiness and the natural high acidity of the Colombard. Intricated nose of tropical fruit, guavas, peaches and a hint of gooseberries, which lingers on to the palate. Perfect partner to food, especially fish and white meat dishes. Goes well with seafood, pastas, and salads. Excellent as an aperitif on a summer day.

Sunday Roast and Place In The Sun Shiraz…

I think a Sunday roast is a luxury that we tend to take for granted. Having Sunday off, I thought that would be exactly what I would do, although I didn’t do a traditional roast as such. I made a deboned leg of lamb, with roasted vegetables, with a cous cous salad and green salad.

I have had this cut of lamb in the freezer for a while, slightly to big to just have for 2 people, so I have had to wait for the right occasion. Sunday roast sounded like the perfect occasion!

Deboned Leg of Lamb Roast

Leg of lamb

olive oil
rosemary
garlic
salt
pepper
lemon juice

Make a marinade from all the ingredients, and rub onto the meat. Place in fridge for about an hour, if you have the time, you can do this the night before and leave it in the fridge over night. Remove from fridge and let stand to come to room temperature before you place in oven.
Preheat the oven to 160° C
Place marinated lamb into a roasting pan, cover with two sheets of tinfoil and into the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from oven and take the lamb out of the roasting pan. Let rest on a cool surface until room temperature.
Take the all juices from the pan and place into a pot, and bring to boil, add a glass of red wine and let cook out over a medium heat.
Place lamb back into roasting tray with vegetables and potatoes. Drizzled vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs of choice, I used mixed herbs.
Place back into the oven at 180° C for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Remember to let lamb rest again before you start slicing it.

Cous Cous Salad

we all know my great love for cous cous, this one I just fine diced whatever I had in my fridge.
Tomato, pickled onions, peaches, feta, pumpkin seeds , Verlaque mango chilli dressing and fresh parsley.
We enjoyed this roast with my MIL & FIL, a small thank you to them for all the help they gave with the wedding.

We got a bottle of wine from friends for Justin’s birthday, it was a wine I didn’t know, so we thought we would open that too, and wow, was I blown away. What a lovely bottle of wine, called Place in the Sun. So I did some research on this wine, and I have to say, I am very impressed, will be drinking more Place In The Sun Wines thats for sure!