Lifestyle

A few Tips for Wine Newbies

Here are just a few basic pointers to help you along your wine way:

 

Don’t fill your cellar with the wines you like at the moment. The temptation may be strong to buy cases and half-cases, but your tastes will change.

 

Attend as many tastings as you can. Taste and learn. But remember to spit!

 

Remember to take the opinions and advice of wine ‘experts’ with a pinch of salt. If any wine ‘expert’ is worth listening to, they’ll be humble enough to acknowledge that they are fallible and that their expertise can by necessity only cover certain areas.

 

Get good advice on what to try, either from a merchant who you trust, or from a critic whose palate seems to match with yours.

 

Keep notes on all the wines you try. At first you may not be very sure of what you are writing, but gradually your confidence will grow. It is also interesting to see how your perception of certain wines changes with experience!

 

Read as much as you can. There are many excellent reference works around.

 

If you get the chance, visit the wine country. There is nothing like visiting the vineyards where the grapes are grown — putting wine in its natural context — to bring a wine to life.

 

Finally, join an online wine discussion forum. Lurk for a while at first to get a feeling for the place, and then join in.

 

The most important wine tip is to enjoy the company, the setting and of course – the wine!

Arniston Bay has a wide range of wines which suites every palate and is ideal for all wine lovers.

 

Source: wineanorak

Escape to Arniston Bay

At Arniston mother nature has ensured that you can ‘get away from it all’. Whether you enjoy sun tanning on unspoilt white beaches, watching whales breaching in the bay or more active pursuits such as hiking or exploring the countryside, Arniston has something to offer everyone.

Arniston Bay Wines are inspired by the sunny skies and pristine beaches of this quaint fishing village. This unpretentious wine is ideal for those carefree, alfresco dining or easy drinking wine occasions – anywhere, anytime.

The range has a multitude of offerings ranging from easy-drinking entry level wines to more sophisticated wines for discerning palates.

Accessible and unconventional, Arniston Bay wines have become the favourite among contemporary wine lovers. Arniston Bay provides a range of lifestyle wines for every occasion, whether socializing with friends or just enjoying a laid-back afternoon on your own.

Picnic Recipe: Bacon and Broccoli Salad

Here’s a very quick recipe for a nice summer picnic meal:

 

Ingredients

 

  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine bacon, broccoli, raisins and sunflower seeds; set aside. Mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Stir before serving.

 

Recommended Wine. The Arnsiton Bay Rosé will be the ideal wine with this picnic meal.

 

Have a great picnic!

 

Source: allrecipes.com

 

 

 

Recharge your soul with a picnic

Every now and again life catches up with us and you need a breather. One of the easiest and most relaxing ways is to go on a picnic.

A picnic you might ask. Yes, it’s that simple. One of the reasons it’s so cleansing, is the lack of restrictions. A picnic on the greenest of grass is inviting, but so is one on the beach. If you’re living in an asphalt jungle, the rooftop would more than service. Just about anywhere you can lay dawn a blanket.

 

One can also get creative when it comes to the food. Take a wide variety with. You have your chip and dip, triangular shaped sandwiches, friendly sausages and anything else you can think of.

It’s also a gift to be shared with anyone. Be romantic and surprise your partner, bring the family together, enjoy it with friends, or all three.

 

What better time to practice guitar, finish that book you’ve been reading for three months now, or have a chat about everything and nothing.

So with no dress-code, kick off your shoes, relax, tune out anything you want and embrace the wondrous marvel that is – The Picnic.

 

The Arniston Bay Rosé is the a fantastic versatile wine, ideal for picnic and to recharge your soul.

 

 

The Romance of Wine and Chocolate

In the romantic month that is upon us, it’s essential to embrace our senses. Walking through a market, we are overwhelmed by the smell of flowers, brand new teddy –bears and helium filled plastic hearts.

 

How to truly appreciate ones senses, is to pair the two most important things in life – Wine and Chocolate. Some might think the pairing should be handled only by experts, but it’s easy and fun to do it yourself.

 

So, if you want a quick escape from this month’s busy festivities and do a wine and chocolate pairing from the comfort of your own home, here’s what you do.

Firstly keep in mind, you won’t necessarily find the perfect matches straight away, but that’s the best part. You have to keep on experimenting, which means more wine and chocolate.  A general tip is to match lighter chocolate with lighter-bodied wines and the stronger the chocolate, go with a more full-bodied wine.

 

Here are a few simple hints to get you started.

 

Try a Sherry with a nice buttery white chocolate.

 

A Pinot Noir or the medium bodied Arniston Bay Merlot will compliment milk chocolate, a creamy mousse or even a chocolate accented cheesecake.

 

Muscats do wonders with mild milk chocolates.

The Arnsiton Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Arnsiton Bay Cabernet Sauvignon is a marvelous match with dark chocolate.

To end things off, appreciate a well aged Port with a dark chocolate dessert or a truffle.

That’s the basics. So invite someone over, get creative and enjoy your pallet.

 

Quote of the day

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” - Robert Henri

Festive season traps

The holiday looms, and so does Christmas. All you want to do is chill out after what’s been a hard year. But that’s not always the easiest thing to do – you know the bit about life being “the thing that happens while you’re making other plans”.

For some, chilling out may mean booking a camping site 20 km from the nearest village a year in advance. Or going into a Trappist monastery until the festive season is over.

But most people will have a more sociable time – either at home, visiting relatives, or at the seaside somewhere. Who knows, you might need to get back to the office in January to get some rest. In order to get the most out of your break , women24.com suggest that you try and avoid the following festive season stressors.

Guests galore. You have a big house, and over Christmas it fills up with aunties, grannies, nieces, uncles – you name it. Instead of looking after four people, you are now looking after twelve. This is no holiday for you, as you are the unofficial entertainment committee, the caterer, the conflict resolution specialist, and the local cleaner. If you live in a popular destination, you might have to put your foot down. Or at least put together a duty roster for the cooking and the cleaning. And, for heaven’s sake, don’t feel you have to be the unofficial tour guide. Take a day or two off and let the guests entertain themselves.

Feeding frenzy. Food, food, food. It’s all over during the Christmas season and it’s lying in wait for you everywhere, and we’re not talking about celery sticks either. It’s chips, cakes, cheese snacks, chocolates, to name but a few. And, after all, you’re on holiday. So why not? That’s fine, but just don’t get into a new habit. Most people end the festive season with quite a few kilos that were not there in November. Don’t become a festive season fatty.

Booze bonanza. From the office party to friends’ homes, to family barbecues – booze is no stranger to the festive season. And often, other people are paying for it. By all means have a beer or two, if you’re not driving, but don’t binge on booze. Drinking too much is something that carries its own punishment with it, a bit like eating that second helping of hot Indian curry. And do remember, that everyone likes you to have a drink or two, but nobody likes having a social embarrassment at their parties. Fall down drunk, or insult one of the other guests, and you can be sure you’ll be off the party list. Forever.

I’m so lonely. Some people wish everything could be a little quieter. Others wish for a break from the peace and quiet and they dream of the phone ringing or a horde of guests arriving. The secret is to arrange a few things in advance. Invite people for supper, get a friend to go with you to a movie, or organise a day or two away in a different place. Don’t wait until the festive season is upon you before doing something about your social calendar. It’s not going to happen by itself.

Exercise inertia. Most people give their exercise regimes a break during the festive season. It is, after all, the end of the year. Problem is, many people overindulge completely on the food front at the same time, and coupled with a fortnight of couch-potato-ism, your waistline might be expanding at the rate of knots. Go for a walk with the family, run along the beach, play volleyball. Do anything to burn up those extra calories. And get back into it early in the new year.

Credit card crisis. The last of the Big Spenders. If that describes you in the shopping centre with your Christmas bonus and your credit card, you’re obviously a sucker for all those Christmas ads. And you’re going to be stony broke in January, and depressed in February when the credit card statements start arriving. Point is that you can probably buy just as nice a present for R100 as you can for R200, or R400. You just need to plan it well. It’s the thought that counts, not the size of the present.

Sunburn stress. The sun in the southern hemisphere is vicious , and skin cancer is a real danger. And remember that the damage is cumulative. Burning yourself to a crisp or having a whimpering and sunburnt child on your hands, is no way to spend Christmas. Speak to your pharmacist and get a high-factor sunblock before you head for the beach. And speaking of the beach – watch out for bluebottles or pieces of broken glass in the sand.

Crowd control. Think of Christmas, and what many people see are teeming masses of people in a shopping centre, all of them with a mission, and accompanied by at least two unwilling and exhausted kids. It can be avoided – do your gift shopping in November and do a bulk grocery shop before 18 December. Milling crowds can be exhausting, and elicit everything but the Christmas spirit in you. In fact, it can bring on a bout of trolley rage.

Gift of the grab. Frantic last-minute gift-buying is a killer – not only don’t you get what you are looking for, you also spend a fortune on it. Rather than give unwanted and expensive presents, go for gift vouchers – at least people will appreciate them, even if they are not the most personal of offerings.

Family fest. Family. You get them, you don’t choose them. And never is it more obvious than at Christmas time when Uncle Freddy is holding forth on all his achievements, or Aunt Doris is slurring after her third beer. Or your cousin’s kids are running around screaming, chasing your poor cats. Then there are the endless questions about when you are going to tie the knot, have babies etc. Family get-togethers seldom do much for your self-esteem. Just repeat the mantra, “It will soon be over for another year.”

Arniston Bay has a wide wine range that will suit any palate for all the festive season occasions.

Source: women24.com

 

 

Health drinking this season

The festive season is famous for bringing family and friends together. This will undoubtedly result in more social eating and of course drinking. Here are some principles to apply this season:

Know your limits:

Safe and healthy alcohol intake levels are 30g/day for men and 20g/day for women (women generally have less of the enzyme that helps break down alcohol in the body).

This means that one unit of alcohol a day is considered safe and healthy for an adult female and two units for a male. One unit = 340ml beer, tot (25ml) spirits, 50ml port, sherry or muscadel or 120ml wine.

Moderation is key:

Spread your weekly alcohol allowance as evenly as possible over seven days. Infrequent bingeing on alcohol can bring on attacks of gout or pancreatitis, and may cause abnormalities in heart rhythms and increases your risk of cancer.

Stretch your intake:

Use plenty of ice, water or soda water in spirit drinks or white wine (to make a spritzer); this dilutes the alcohol while increasing the volume so you drink less. Ensure your first drink is some other liquid e.g. a mineral water or a cooldrink – your alcoholic beverage should not be used as a thirst quencher.

Arrive alive:

On average it will take the liver about an hour to break down one unit of alcohol. So even after a night’s sleep, if you have had six cans of beer or two bottles of wine, you could still be over the legal limit the next day. Remember that, when driving.

Being fitter makes no difference to the rate of absorption. But, the absence or presence of food and the type of fluid that accompanies the alcohol does. Alcohol consumed on an empty stomach is more rapidly absorbed. Water and fruit juices mixed with alcohol slow the absorption process, whereas carbonated drinks (because of the carbon dioxide) will speed it up. Warm alcohol is absorbed quicker than cold alcohol.

Weight gain:

The calorie content of alcoholic beverages (which depends on the percentage of alcohol, the type of beverage and the type of mixture) plus the behaviour associated with drinking all have their part to play in the effect it will have on your weight.

When drinking alcohol, you tend to snack more, especially on the high fat foods, often available in social drinking environments. Eating high in fat take-away food (e.g. pies or burgers) late at night is another typical problem which arises after drinking, especially in students and young adults.

If you are watching your waistline, consider that one unit of alcohol is roughly equivalent to a slice of bread. It is then prudent to occasionally substitute a carbohydrate during the day to compensate for a drink or two that night.

Apply the 24 hour rule for training:

Avoid alcohol in the 24 hours prior to exercise. After exercise, once you have rehydrated and refuelled with carbohydrates, enjoy alcohol (and here I must include the ‘in moderation’). However, if you have any soft tissue injuries or bruising, abstain from alcohol for another 24 hours.

Fake it:

My personal favourite – a Rock Shandy (soda water, angostura bitters, ice and a slice of lemon) gives the impression of being an alcoholic drink, but hardly contains alcohol and calories – a sneaky option when friends continuously want to buy you a drink when they spot you standing empty handed.

Did you know?

Using thinner, taller glasses (especially wine glasses) can help you reduce your consumption. Research shows that people consume more alcohol when drinking out of shorter, wider glasses.

Read more on  iafrica.com

 

 

Arniston Bay Launches ‘The Coast’ Wines At Sizzling Summer Prices

Just in time for summer, Arniston Bay has launched ‘The Coast’ range of wines for the first time in South Africa. Already popular in the UK market for their exceptional value, the range is available in White, Red and Rosé, at the amazing price of just R19,99 a bottle.

 

From every day occasions to picnics or poolside celebrations, it’s the perfect time to go out and get yourself a bottle of Arniston Bay’s The Coast wines. If you’re a white wine fan you can look forward to a crisp, uncomplicated blend filled with tropical fruit flavours, while lovers of rosé will enjoy easy-drinking strawberry flavours, and last but not least, red wine devotees will savour this mellow red that’s simply bursting with ripe berry fruit.

 

Winemaker Abraham de Villiers explains, “Arniston Bay wines are enormously popular around the globe and deliver exceptional value. But you don’t have to take my word for it – three of our wines will also feature in the 2012 Best Value Guide.”

 

He continues, “I believe that wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be enjoyable, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality for price either. That’s why quality is so important to my entire winemaking team, and this year alone Arniston Bay wines were recognised with a dozen medals from the likes of the Decanter World Wine Awards, the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the Veritas Awards.”

 

Available exclusively at Pick-n-Pay shops throughout the Western Cape for just R19,99 a bottle, Arniston Bay ‘The Coast’ wines offer refreshing Summer Fun in a glass at a sizzling price that just can’t be beat. Look out for our Arniston Bay Facebook promotion where you could win fun summertime prizes or even the Grand Prize – a relaxing boat cruise! Plus, if you like Arniston Bay The Shore wines, look out for our other popular wines – like the Arniston Bay Chenin Chardonnay, or the Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc – also available at Pick-n-Pay.

 

How to plan for a beach picnic

Picnics are wonderful, but can be even better with the sun warming your face and ocean sounds in the background. Here’s some tips on how to make it a day to remember.

1) Choose a scenic and wind-resistant venue for your outdoor meal. Try a place between two rock faces or farther from the water than you’d usually like to sit.

2) Although beach parties are generally informal, you may send invitations a week or two in advance so guests can plan ahead.

3)  Plan a menu based on the amount of people and the load you can carry. Ask friends to bring certain items to lighten your responsibilities.

4)  Outfit yourself with the necessary equipment. A picnic basket filled with plates, utensils (don’t forget the bottle/can opener and corkscrew), cups, plastic containers and napkins is recommended. Pack trash bags to carry away any disposables.

5)  Pack your food. Place the heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on the top.

6)  Remember to bring a hat and/or an umbrella to shade your perishables and your face from the hot sun. Also pack plenty of ice, which you’ll need to keep your food chilled in the sun.

7) Toss in a blanket and/or folding chairs for your sitting and dining comfort.

8)  Bring torches or lanterns for nighttime picnics, or in case your daytime adventure carries on into the night.

9) The wine. A chilled Arniston Bay The Coast  Rosé will pair well with most of the picnic dishes and will also be a refreshing drink.

Source:  eHow.com

The different shapes of wine glasses

The shape of a wineglass directly affects the flavour of the wine that is served in it, altering both its air exposure, and how the wine lands on the palate when it is sipped.

Effects

The size of the bowl affects the degree to which the wine can be swirled, which changes its exposure to the air. The shape and thickness of the rim affects where the wine lands on the palate, and how its flavour is experienced. The diameter of the glass’ opening controls how quickly the aroma escapes the glass, altering the wine bouquet.

Tulip

The tulip is a goblet that narrows as it approaches the rim. The design has ample space for swirling, but a narrow mouth, to restrict the bouquet’s escape.

Mini-tulip

The white wine glass, or mini-tulip, is smaller to restrict the serving size of a wine. It is designed for serving white wine, which has fuller flavour when thoroughly chilled.

Pinot Glass

The pinot or Burgundy glass is the wine glass design with the largest bowl. It is designed for maximum air exposure when serving closed wines.

Flute

Flute glasses, sometimes called a champagne glass, have a tall, thin design. Their narrow shape minimizes surface area, to limit exposure. Arniston Bay has a wine for every occasion ,and in this case, a wine for every glass. From the Arniston Bay Sparkling Brut for the flute glass to the fantastic Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon for the Burgundy glass.

Source: eHow.com

Planning a Beach Picnic

Picnics are fantastic, but can be even better with the sun warming your face and ocean sounds in the background. With a little planning and preparation you can ensure that your picnic runs smoothly and that everyone enjoys the event. Here are a few tips and guidelines to remember.

  • Line the bottom of your picnic basket with a towel or plastic to catch any spillage along the way.
  • Bring your towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, insect repellent and extra clothing layers, along with your beach toys: flying disc, badminton set, snorkeling gear, surfboards, squirt guns, portable radio and so on.
  • Picnic backpacks are good replacements for picnic baskets and, generally, great for lugging anything around.
  • Remember wine: The Arnsiton Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay is the perfect picnic wine.
  • Choose a scenic and wind-resistant venue for your outdoor meal. Try a place between two rock faces or farther from the water than you’d usually like to sit.
  • Although beach parties are generally informal, you may send invitations a week or two in advance so guests can plan ahead.
  • Plan a menu based on the amount of people and the load you can carry. Ask friends to bring certain items to lighten your responsibilities.
  • Outfit yourself with the necessary equipment. A picnic basket filled with plates, utensils (don’t forget the bottle/can opener and corkscrew), cups, plastic containers and napkins is recommended. Pack trash bags to carry away any disposables.
  • Pack your food. Place the heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on the top.
  • Remember to bring a hat and/or an umbrella to shade your perishables and your face from the hot sun. Also pack plenty of ice, which you’ll need to keep your food chilled in the sun.
  • Toss in a blanket and/or folding chairs for your sitting and dining comfort.
  • Bring torches or lanterns for nighttime picnics, or in case your daytime adventure carries on into the night.

Wind is your worst enemy on a beach picnic, so pay special attention to your choice of location and pick the least windy spot. You don’t want to fight with your blanket and keep sand out of your potato salad all day. If it’s too windy and cold and you’re already at the beach, make the most of a not-so-perfect situation: Look for a picnic table and reliable shelter.

Source: meals.com

ARNISTON BAY TO SUPPORT THE DAR ES SALAAM GOAT RACES

This year, on 24 September, Arniston Bay will show its support for the Charity Dar es Salaam Goat Races – an annual fundraiser, which has raised a staggering 437,000,000 million shillings for charitable causes since it was established in 2001.

As you may have noticed, the event involves goats. Goats that race – to be exact.

The wacky, fun-filled nature of the event has made it one of the largest, and most loved, charity events in Tanzania. Some say it’s even become a Dar rite-of-passage.

Here’s how it works. Goats are sponsored, usually by a team of fans. Goats then race, cheered to the finish by their loyal following of fans. Fans dress to the 9’s, throwing in their hats (so to speak) to the Fancy Dress & Hats Competition. VIPs get to take in what must be some of the most interesting people-watching scenes in the world from the Members Enclosure (which happens to be right next to the Goat Pen, but I suppose at the Goat Races this must be a coveted position), while nibbling on Tanzanian, Indian and Middle Eastern delicacies. Visitors who journey for a walk around the track can quench their thirst with ever-refreshing Arniston Bay wines, which will be served under the Red ‘n White banners.

Three cheers to fun times that make a positive difference in the lives of others – and best of luck to everyone (and every goat) for tomorrow!

To learn more about the Goat Races, and how you can sponsor a goat at a future event, visit www.goatraces.com, or phone 255 755 555 900. If you’ll be in the area, please join us tomorrow at The Green (on Kenyatta Drive), Msasani – Peninsular, where Arniston Bay wines will be served under the Red ‘n White banners. Gates open at 12 noon and close at 17h15.

Want to celebrate with Arniston Bay Wines after the Races? There are several outlets in the Dar es Salaam area to choose between, including:

Baygon Supermarket   /    BP  Mini Supermarket Kimara   /   Game Discount World(T)LTD   /   Itonyage General Supplies   /   J.J. SHOP   /   Kereth Grocery   /   K.Grocery   /   Lake Chale Min-Supermarket   /   M Grocery   /   Premium Product Supermarket   /   Seba Min Supermarket – Mbagala   /   Shoppers  Supermarket Ltd – Masaki Branch   /   Shoppers Supermarket Ltd-Mikocheni   /   Shoprite & Checkers   /   Shrijee Traders-Slipway   /   Silver Min Supermarket   /   Transit Military Shop Ltd   /   Trasten Spirits & Wines   /   Uchumi Supermarket (TZ) Ltd   /   Village Supermarket Ltd

Guidelines to make food and wine matching a breeze

When paring wine and food, the main rules are firstly to enjoy yourself and secondly, the food and wine must both taste great on its own. If you remember this and follow these guideline food and wine matching will be a breeze.

There are no rules The first and most important rule. There are no rules that work for every situation and every person so relax and don’t waste your time worrying about breaking them.

As long as you and your guests are having fun then your food and wine matching has been a success, regardless of what the traditional rules would have us believe.

The food and wine must both taste great on their own This is the second rule which and can be seen as the rule of thumb for wine matching. You can’t expect for a juicy steak to improve the taste of a bad wine. The same goes for the food, if it’s not going to taste any good on its own, it is very unlikely that your wine match, no matter how delicious, is going to make the food taste better.

Match wine with people first Just as some people always have and always will hate anchovies, some people just don’t enjoy certain styles of wine, regardless of the quality of the vino. Sometimes this may be based on a bad experience with a poor quality example, and if the person in question did actually try a decent Sauvignon Blanc they may find that they love it. But forcing people to try new things may do more harm than good.

Respect that everyone’s palate is different. Think about your guests and their wine preferences first and think about the food matching second.

Weight is important Lighter, more delicately flavoured food generally works best with lighter style wines. Heavy tannic reds tend to be best with more robust meaty dishes but of course there will always be times when a light wine could team marvellously with a heavy rich dish

Wine and food can contrast one another Contrast is something that we personally love to play with. Using a light acidic wine like a Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc to cut through the oiliness of fried fish and chips is always a winner. Unless of course you’re with someone who hates acidic wine (see rule ii).

Wine and food can complement each other Sometimes finding flavour similarities can result in a harmonious food and wine matching experience. The earthiness of mushrooms in a mushroom risotto can work a treat with a funky earthy Pinot Noir. A fresh, Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon to compliment classic roast lamb with mint sauce can also be a flavour explosion.

Trust your own instincts. Like most things in life, if it feels like it’s a bit dodgy and it isn’t going to work then you’re probably on the right track.

It isn’t the end of the world if the food and wine are more at the divorce end of the relationship spectrum as long as you follow rule number three, you’ll be able to enjoy each on their own. A judicious sip of palate cleansing water in between mouthfuls can make all the difference.

Source: mylifemynews

Cash in on Unbelievable Value at the Arniston Bay Spring Sale, 1-4 September!

It’s official – it’s time to Spring Clean those cupboards and stock them with sunshine. Spring Day is just around the corner! To celebrate, we’re throwing caution to the wind with our annual wine sale, offering unbelievable value to locals on Arniston Bay wines, which enjoy a near-cult following in the UK.

Dates: Thursday 1-4 September 2011

Venue: Welmoed Cellar door.

Directions to Welmoed

The following wines will be on sale:

Click here for more info about the wines and the sale

Tips on finding value-for-money wine while dining out

These days, anyone who goes out to eat — and certainly anyone who orders wine at a restaurant — are looking for value. Here are some tips that will help you find value in wine at restaurants. Obviously, there are many exceptions to every one of these suggestions, but if we were going to give some overall advice geared to the moment, this would be it.

1.  Do not order the second cheapest wine on list.

Restaurateurs know that the customers do not want to be perceived as cheap by ordering the cheapest wine on the list. So they opt for the second cheapest one. The least expensive wine is actually a pretty good deal at many restaurants.

2. Avoid wine by the glass.

The restaurant owners like to make enough on a single glass to pay for the whole bottle. This is great for them but not so good for you. And it wouldn’t be so bad except that so many wines by the glass are poured from bottles that have been open for too long and mistreated after opening.

3. Avoid the “when in doubt go for Sauvignon Blanc” theory

It seems that when in doubt, South Africans generally opt for Sauvignon Blanc.  Restaurateurs know this and add a little to the price of these wines. In many cases there is much better Chenin Blanc, blends or even Chardonnays on the list.

4. Do not ignore house wines

Many restaurateurs take pride in their house wines and this can be your best bet.

5. BYOB – Corkage

More restaurants than ever, eager for business, are relaxing their rules on BYOB and lowering corkage fees. Check around for restaurants that allow you to bring your own wine. And if there is a restaurant you know well, ask if you could bring your own wine and pay corkage. Remember that the point here isn’t just to save money, but to have wines that the restaurant doesn’t offer or that you might otherwise postpone opening.

6. Have it your way

You must enjoy the night. No wine, at any price, is a good value if you don’t enjoy it. Don’t be shy.  If you think the red wine is too warm, ask for an ice bucket. If you want the waiters to stop pouring so much into your glass, tell them — nicely, of course. We are all in this economic mess together and everyone understands — or should understand — that a night out these days needs to be relaxing and personal.

Sure, there are many other ways to find value on a list, but we have tried to focus here on simple stuff and things we actually do ourselves. Just remember that, in good times and bad, wine always tastes better when it’s a good deal.

Do you have any tips or suggestions you’d like to share?

Arniston Bay has a wide range of wines which will suit any wine lover’s palate. Source: WSJ

Wine and cheese pairing – Follow the guidelines and your instincts

Wine and cheese have enormous ranges of aromas and flavours, some bold and others subtle. The fun thing about pairing wine and cheese is that they can work together to bring subtle flavours to the forefront, thereby opening up an entirely new world of aroma and taste. By focusing on the elements of wine and cheese that work together, the ones that provide each other the right balance, you’ll find ways to open up these heady doors. When pairing wine and cheese:

  • Match the body.
  • Pair the complexity.
  • Balance the primary flavours.

When wine and cheese are balanced, they both finish well. That is, you won’t detect any bitterness, or too much saltiness, or those strange off tastes at the end.

Follow your instincts. Everyone’s palate registers flavours with different intensities, enabling them to recognize certain flavours but not others. That’s the best argument there is for following your own instincts, because no matter what anyone else says, if you detect flavours that please you, you will like what you eat.

Read more…

The perfect treat for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil dad and treat him to a fantastic meal. This also makes buying the gift easier as the perfect wine pairing with this meal will be the perfect gift.

Father’s Day Recipe: Beef Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15kg boneless chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups good-quality beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in oven over medium-high heat. Season the boneless chuck with the salt and pepper and sear on all sides until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the beef and set aside.
  3. Place the onion and garlic in oven and cook, stirring, until brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, then add the tomatoes and bay leaf.
  4. Return the beef to the pot, cover tightly, and transfer to oven until the beef is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  5. Remove the beef to a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil. Transfer the pot to a burner over moderately high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Remove from heat.
  6. Slice the beef and spoon extra cooking liquid on top.

Recommended Wine: The Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon will be the perfect wine to complete this Father’s Day meal.

Source: realsimple.com

Wine may help to shed a few pounds…but beware

A recent study found that consuming a glass of red wine before dinner may help shed a few pounds by increasing a woman’s sense of fullness.

But some dieticians indicate that wine may also hurt a weight loss program because the wine reduces the ‘focus on appropriate eating’. In other words, after a little too much wine, the bag of potato chips may become irresistible.

Read more on winemag.com

Variety is the spice of life

South Africans are spoilt for choice when it comes to a diverse wine variety. Yet, many consumers are resistant to change and avoid steering away from their tried-and-trusted to experience something new.

The other day at a dinner party one of my guests insisted that he only drinks Sauvignon Blanc and none of the other white wine varietals. This rigidness is typical of many South African wine consumers – and many simply opt for a crisp Sauvignon Bland when in doubt.  

But South Africa has another very versatile cultivar, namely Chenin Blanc.

According to the John Platter Wine guide, this white cultivar accounts for 19% of SA vineyard area.

American wine columnist, Edward Deitch, wrote: “Chenin Blanc is to South Africa what Chardonnay is to California”.  He added that “there is no better source for good, inexpensive Chenin Blanc than South Africa.”

So the Americans perceive SA to make great (value for money) Chenin Blancs, yet South African wine consumers are still stuck in their rigid white wine preferences. Also, with tough times ahead economically, consumers will probably tend to be more conservative and stick with what they know.

My simple suggestion to South African consumers is to try something new every once in a while. There is an abundance of great Chenin Blancs, Rosé wine and other unusual blends on the market, so why not give it a try.

The famous quote goes “Life is too short for bad wine”.  I would like to amend it slightly: Life is too short to only drink one kind of wine.

Arniston Bay has a wide range of wines which will suit every wine lover’s palate. To view this amazing range visit our website

Chicken and Pepper Stew With Olives

This robust dish is perfect on a chilly day, with briny olives and golden raisins lending salty-sweet flavours to the tender chicken and sauce. It also freezes well, so make a big batch and save the leftovers for a night you don’t feel like cooking.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
  • salt and black pepper
  • 16 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2.5kg), halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups pitted olives
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. In batches, brown the chicken, turning, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate as it browns and add more oil as necessary.
  3. Add the bell peppers, garlic, ½ cup of the broth, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the peppers begin to soften, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add the olives, raisins, and the remaining 1½ cups of broth and bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken in the vegetables and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Twenty minutes before the stew is done, cook the rice according to the package directions. Serve with the stew

Recommended wine: The Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc Semillon will pair very well with this dish.

Source: realsimple.com

Picking the right wine for any occasion

For some people the indecisiveness when choosing the wine for an event is sometimes unbearable.  Picking the right wine for any occasion is easier than you think. Just be logical and think a bit about the dynamics of the event and the people that will attend.

The first thing about selecting the wine is to relax and to realize that this is a live or death decision. The wine choosing process is supposed to be fun and part of the enjoyment of the event.

The second thing that you must take into account is the dynamics of the social event or when and how will the wine be enjoyed. Is it for a dinner and the wine will probably be discussed? Or is it a party or an informal gathering where the bottle will only be one of a few that will be opened by the guests? In the latter case it would we unwise to buy expensive, rare or unique wines.

Dinner with snobbish business partners (or your boss) will call for a different wine budget than a casual evening with friend or family.

What do you do when you are “Stuck in the middle”? This is where you cannot decide which wine, because the guests are diverse or you do not know their wine preferences.

The trend is your friend so go for the most popular choices within your budget. In a South African context I will go for Cabernet Sauvignon (maybe Merlot) for red wine and Sauvignon Blanc for white wine.

Just remember to relax and make a decision because indecisiveness creates unnecessary stress.

The Arnsiton Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot is a great wine and is sure to delight at any occasion.

Source: modbee

Funky yet healthy dish for Mother’s Day

 

Mother’s Day menu are usually associated with a breakfast in bed or maybe a sweet treat for dessert. But a breakfast in bed can be an administrative nightmare and a disaster waiting to happen especially with the kids running around the bed. 

So this year, what about a funky yet healthy dish which will be the perfect meal for mom? 

Recipe: Salmon with Potato salad   Ingredients 

  • 500g  new potatoes (about 10) ·        
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 4 180 g skinless salmon fillets 
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 scallions, sliced 
  • 1/2 small bunch watercress, thick stems removed (about 2 cups) 

 

Directions 

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. 

Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters. 

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 

Season the salmon with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes per side. 

In a large bowl, combine the horseradish, vinegar, scallions, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 

Add the potatoes and watercress to the dressing and toss to combine. Serve the salad with the salmon. 

Recommended wine: The Arniston Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay will be a perfect match with this meal. 

Source: realsimple.com

Billy Joel and Rosé Wine: Core versatility

Question: What does Rosé wine and Billy Joel have in  common? The answer: Versatility. 

Over the years Billy Joel has shown how versatile of an artist he really is with numerous songs and music styles. 

Recently Rosé wines have also proven itself to be one of the most versatile wines with regards to wine and food pairing. It seems that a dry Rosé wine can be served with all kinds of dishes from seafood, vegetarian and even red meat dishes. 

So, for a Versatility dinner what about your favourite meal served with an Arniston Bay Pinotage Rosé and the Best of Billy Joel CD playing in the background?

 

Choosing a picnic wine

Picnics are all about the food, company, and of course, the perfect wine to pair with all of that.

Picnic fare is all about the variety, ease, and “travel ability”. The food has to survive the time it takes to get to the picnic area, handle not being too cold for a long period of time (unless you want to lug around a cooler) and not be too messy. These tend to be foods that are lighter: the cold fried chicken, veggie trays, lunch meats, and fruit. Crisp, delicious white wines are a must in these situations. You can buy those freezer sleeves that can slide over bottles to keep them cool so you don’t have to worry about carrying too much ice with you. I think Sauvignon Blanc and crisp wines like it are a good choice. Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Semillon  are among my favorite varietals too. They are bright, acidic, and loaded with crisp citrus fruit and minerality. Lighter white wines like this make the food come to life while refreshing your palate.

The Arnsiton Bay Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon is a perfect beach picnic wine.

Rosé wines are so versatile that they are a must-pack with your picnics. They are served chilled, just like white wines, so slide a freezer sleeve over this wine, too. It’s also acidic, but the red wine it’s made from offers a little more melon/strawberry/red fruit qualities that pair well with many food types.

The Arniston Bay Pinotage  Rosé is a great versatile wine for your picnic basket.

Source: wine.lovetoknow.com

Picnic tips: Simplicity is the key to a good picnic menu

Simplicity is the key to a good picnic menu. It doesn’t pay to be too ambitious or to assume that recipes which work well at home will be just as good in the open air.

Delicate flavours can be lost eating al fresco. Fresh gutsy flavours make the meal more exciting.

Remember that people seem to have larger appetites outdoors!

Simple fare , but lots of it, is better than anything too rich.

Provide picnic food which is easy to eat too – especially if you’re reclining on a blanket on the ground! Finger food is best or something which just requires a fork.

Pack simple food but not too many choices – you don’t want to be constantly passing things round. A picnic should be a relaxed affair with an easy to recognise, wholesome, menu.

If time is at a premium you can take advantage of the vast range of ready-prepared foodstuffs available in the supermarkets and local delicatessens.

They can certainly help you create a quick picnic. You can put together an entire meal just from their selections of pies, terrines, cooked meats and antipasta.

Add a bag of pre-washed salad, some pre-cut crudités, and a nice crusty loaf of bread and there you have it.

South Africa  (and Arnsiton Bay )is renowned for lovely weather, beautiful scenery and great wines. These aspects collaborate to make picnic a part of life and enjoy the great outdoors.

Source: the-picnic-site.com

Pairing wine and vegetables

Wine and food pairing has many dimensions and in some instances it can be very confusing but it can also be very rewarding.

Pairing wines with vegetable-focused dishes – including vegan and vegetarian foods – is easy, but it’s also a way to flex your creative muscles. Honestly, choosing wines for these dishes can result in some of the most exquisite pairings if we understand a few basic principles:

1. Powerful flavours in food and richness call for powerful wines.

2. Lighter food flavours require lighter wines.

3. Spicy, salty, or smoky flavours in food welcome lighter, fruity reds, and off-dry to semi-sweet whites.

4. You can pair food with wine by creating complementary pairings, where the food tastes like the wine (pasta with fresh herbs, olive oil, and olives paired with fresh, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc). Or you can go the other direction with contrasting pairings, the food and the wine have opposite flavours and textures (an earthy mushroom risotto, for instance with a fruit-driven Pinot Noir).

One of the keys to enjoying a great wine and food match is to consider the cooking method you apply to a dish.

The Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine with a herbal grassy character, ideal for herb orientated dishes.

Source: winetimes.co.za

Serving wine at room temperature

Wine serving rules and traditions were developed centuries ago,  before air conditioning and central heating was part of our daily lives. This implies that serving wine at room temperature is probably the Western European room temperature of centuries ago.

The rooms in those were cold which means that serving wine at 17°C -20 °C is probably the right temperature for red wines. I suggest that on warm days you can put red wine in the fridge for while just to bring temperature down a bit.

White wine has more personal temperature preferences. Some people say that adding ice to white wine is an absolute no-no while others say an ice cold glass of white wine is the perfect drink.  My opinion is go for what works for you , just as long as you enjoy your glass of wine.

The Arniston Bay Shiraz/ Merlot  is a great red wine to be enjoyed at room temperature. This  blend is generous and complex with aromas of black cherries and plums.

Escape to Arniston Bay

  

At Arniston mother nature has ensured that you can ‘get away from it all’. Whether you enjoy sun tanning on unspoilt white beaches, watching whales breaching in the bay or more active pursuits such as hiking or exploring the countryside, Arniston has something to offer everyone.

Arniston Bay Wines are inspired by the sunny skies and pristine beaches of this quaint fishing village. This unpretentious wine is ideal for those carefree, alfresco dining or easy drinking wine occasions – anywhere, anytime.

The range has a multitude of offerings ranging from easy-drinking entry level wines to more sophisticated wines for discerning palates.

Accessible and unconventional, Arniston Bay wines have become the favourite among contemporary wine lovers. Arniston Bay provides a range of lifestyle wines for every occasion, whether socializing with friends or just enjoying a laid-back afternoon on your own.

Beach picnics- Food for the soul

 

Beach picnics are the ideal way to relax, unwind and to take in some soul food. But ironically choosing the right food can be stressful as you want food that fuels you up without weighing you down.

The perfect seaside meal is made up of foods that can last in the cooler all day.  

Here are some tips: Make sturdy foods that are great served chilled: Spicy Cold Chicken can stand up to the sand and the heat of waterside picnics.

To round out the meal, buy:  

  • 2 l of  lemonade
  • Guacamole and tortilla chips
  • Pre-sliced watermelon
  • Spiced Cold Chicken– Recipe to follow

 

Spiced Cold Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1.8 kg chicken , cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 200° C.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place in a large roasting pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, sugar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the olive oil. Rub evenly over the chicken and roast until cooked through, 45 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.

 

Recommended wine:

From the peaceful tranquil surroundings of Arniston comes a range of fresh uncomplicated and easy drinking wines. Capture a moment of stillness in the midst of the madness, sit back and unwind with a glass of Arniston Bay.

Source: realsimple.com

Arniston: One of the world’s best-kept hideaway secrets

Time magazine listed the remote fishing village of Arniston  as one of the world’s best-kept hideaway secrets.

Arniston’s whitewashed cottages with thatched roofs have attracted generations of artists and photographers who liked the idea of isolation, but also being less than a two-hour drive from Cape Town, one of South Africa’s most charming cities.

The village of Arniston gets its name from a British ship that sank in 1815. Of the 378 passengers, only six survived. Remains of the ship were located in January 1982. In terms of visual splendour, Arniston Bay wines have one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

Situated at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Arniston is a strip of breathtaking, unspoilt coastline where clear blue sea meets hot white sand under unbroken sunshine. The picturesque location is the inspiration behind the Arniston Bay range of wines which encapsulate the simple, unpretentious, carefree relaxed spirit of the bay itself.

The Arniston Bay wine range

Join us for a glass of wine

Join us for a glass of wine at the DF Malan Food and Wine festival in Bellville.

Click here for more info.

Escape to Arniston Bay

If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life,  the tranquil and relaxing Arniston is the perfect destination.

Arniston is a small fishing village that hugs a hillside on the southern tip of Africa. Humble, thatched cottages dot the shoreline, and rare shells like the Nautilus lie in the surf.

Arniston inherited its name from the transport ship H.M.S. Arniston which ran aground here in 1815. Only six of the 378 people on board survived. Many of the homes here boast a beam or two from the Arniston.

Arniston is the only town in South Africa with two official names. The village is also called Waenhuiskrans, named after a cave in the area which was big enough to house several ox-wagons in, and which could be explored at low tide.

Arniston Bay wines is inspired by this relaxing and tranquil region of our lovely coastline.

Source: places.co.za

Funky chicken and grape salad

Salads can sometimes be so dull and predictable and can make a meal seem boring. Here is great and interesting salad which is sure to impress your guests and is definitely not boring.

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of lettuce, torn into pieces 
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups green grapes, halved
  • 90g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 – 1.5kg  rotisserie chicken, meat thickly sliced

Directions

1.  In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, celery, onion, grapes, and 

blue cheese.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, ½ 

teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

3.  Divide the salad and chicken among plates. Serve with the vinaigrette.

Recommended wine: The Arniston Bay Pinotage Rosé will complement this dish. This is a beautifully aromatic Pinotage Rosé. The palate is youthful and vibrant showing a beautiful fusion of fresh red berry fruits.

Source: realsimple.com

Roasted Chicken without the clean-up hassles

 

Cooking can be loads of fun but this can be spoiled by the massive cleaning up session after the meal. If you don’t like cleaning up, try a One-Pot Recipe.This One-Pot Roasted Chicken Recipe is a lovely meal with no cleaning up headaches making life easier for the modern woman.

Ingredients 

  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1.2-1.4 kg chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small loaf country bread, warmed (optional)

  

Directions 

  1. Heat oven to 220° C. Using a vegetable peeler, remove strips of zest from the lemon. (Reserve the lemon.)
  2. In a large roasting pan, toss the tomatoes, garlic, olives, thyme, and lemon zest with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  3. Nestle the chicken, skin-side up, among the vegetables and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken and vegetables with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the hot roasting pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the roasting pan and add the wine. Gently stir, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan. Serve the chicken and vegetables with the pan juices and bread (if using).

Tip: Frozen chicken can be roasted without defrosting. Add 50 percent more cooking time. 

Recommended Wine: 

The Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc Semillon  will complement this dish. This wine has a powerful perfumed nose of sweet fruit with green pepper and grassiness. The palate is concentrated with a herbal grassy character and thick-textured fruit. A powerful wine of real personality. 

Source: www.realsimple.com

Add a sparkle to the Valentine’s dessert

When romantic Valentine’s dinners draw to a close the last thing to order/serve is the dessert.

Some sceptics believe that when the pudding is served the wine is  ‘not welcome’ anymore as rigid old pairing rules suggest that desserts do not pair well with wine.

This is not the case as many red wines are deemed to be the perfect partner for darker chocolate based puddings.

A great suggestion for the cherry on top for the Valentines dessert is a Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake served with a Sparkling Rosé.

The Arniston Bay Sparkling Rosé will add that extra sparkle to the Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake and to your Valentines dinner.

Win Arniston Bay wine prizes in our 2nd Valentine’s Competition

 

Win Arniston Bay wine prizes in our 2nd Valentine’s Competition.

All you have to do is become a Facebook fan and leave a comment / quote on the page.

Cheers!

Celebrate the month of love and win wine prizes

February is the month of love and next week we are giving away Arniston Bay wine prizes for the best quote / comment on our Facebook page.

All you have to do is become a Facebook fan and leave a comment / quote on the page.

I’ll keep you posted!

First grapes of the new harvest arrive

It’s getting exciting now as the first grapes of the new harvest arrive. We at Arniston Bay are looking forward to another year of great wines.

Here is a clip showing the arrival of some of the first grapes of the season.

What makes red wine red?

The most obvious thing about red wine is that it is red. How it got to be red is less obvious.

The juice of most wine grapes is clear, so how does red wine get to be red?  It’s the skin. Part of the red wine-making process is allowing the juice to remain in contact with the grape skins during fermentation. This prolonged contact allows not only colour, but many of the characteristics we associate with red wine to be extracted from the skin. This is responsible for the fundamental character differences between red and white wines.

One of the prominent substances coming from the skin are tannins. In order to mitigate the tannins in young red wines, winemakers blend less tannic varieties, like Merlot, with the higher tannin varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon. The French have been blending wines for hundreds of years. Bordeaux is a magnificent example.

A great example of well balanced red blend is the Arniston Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. This wine shows intense fruity aromas of black cherries and blackberries with delicious sweet spicy notes. This medium bodied and well-balanced wine has a wonderful velvety texture and ripe tannins.

Source: ourtribune.com

Add an impressive touch to a party- The Pink Lady cocktail

Entertaining guests? Why not try serving cocktails as they are  fun to prepare and will add an impressive touch to any party.

Here is a classic cocktail and great idea for a festive season drink

Recipe: The Pink Lady cocktail

Ingredients

Fresh berries

750 ml bottle Arniston Bay Sparkling  Brut

3 tots cherry liqueur (25 to 30 ml each)

Strips of lemon peel

Fresh mint

Directions

Place berries in a sparkling wine flute and fill three quarters of the way with sparkling wine. Add half a tot of cherry liqueur and finish with a long strip of lemon peel and a sprig of mint.

Source: food24.com

Stir up your Christmas – The wine pudding guide

For a great way to enjoy the festive season before making your New Year’s resolutions about getting into shape and losing the Christmas kilos, try some of these delicious puddings made with wine. These delicious recipes will ensure an unforgettable traditional Christmas meal as it’s all about indulgent decadence

 It’s important to remember that not only is wine the key ingredient in these recipes, but you also have to pair your puddings with the right wine. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the wine is sweeter than the dessert it will be accompanying. If you have a tart pudding, try an acidic wine to bring out the flavour.

It isn’t an easy task matching wine and desserts as the desserts have a diverse variety of flavours. Here’s a simple guide:

  • Custard – pair with a sparkling wine or MCC
  • Fruity – pair with a Sauvignon Blanc
  • Cream based tart or pie – pair with a spicy red like a Pinotage

Tip: Balance is key Acidity and sugar levels must be balanced in both the food and wine. If not balanced, the very sweet dessert will make the wine seem more tannic, less sweet and more acidic. Work with the aromas and flavours of the wine to get a good match for pairing desserts.

If you aren’t into pairing puddings and wines, here are some recipes that have wine in them so the job is done for you!

Fruit and wine: Fresh fruit simmered in wine

Ingredients:

  • Fresh fruit (pitted cherries, sliced strawberries, blueberries etc)
  • Red wine – try: Kumkani Pinotage
  • cinnamon sticks and cloves in cheesecloth sack
  • sugar to taste

Method: In a large pot, cover the fruit with the wine. Bring to the boil, the reduce heat to low simmer. Add the spices. Continues to simmer until fruit becomes slightly tender. Remove spices and serve warm or refrigerate overnight, then remove spices and serve cold. Sprinkle sugar on top to sweeten and taste for something decorative add sugar syrup to the plate and serve with wafer biscuit.

Blanched Almonds

Ingredients:

  • Finely ground almonds
  • powdered ginger spice
  • sugar
  • salt to taste
  • pastry dough
  • oil
  • honey
  • a slightly sweet white wine – try: Arniston Bay Reserve Chenin Blanc

Method: Mix almonds with sugar, ginger, and a little salt – this should be a sweet, slightly spicy blend. Roll out the pastry dough. cut out circles of dough, placing filling in the middle, and folding into a half-circle make sure the edges of the pastries are securely sealed.

Fry the pastries in hot oil until lightly browned; remove from oil and let drain.

In a pot, bring the honey to a soft boil, and then reduce heat. Skim off the residue as it rises. Add just enough wine to make a thick sauce. Thoroughly coat the pastries in the wine sauce, and then place on a baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven for several minutes. The pastries may be basted with additional sauce during baking or immediately afterward.

Serve with a dollop of cream.

Wine bread pudding (update on the classic bread pudding)

Ingredients:

  • Macaroons
  • sponge cake
  • 500ml white wine – try: Welmoed Heydens Courage White
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup of chopped walnuts

Method: Place sponge cake into an ovenproof dish (½ full). Add a few macaroons; heat the wine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix the cornstarch and sugar together and slowly add the wine. Beat the yolks of eggs and add to wine mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes. Pour over the cake and let cool. When its cool cover with the stiffly beaten egg whites and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 180ºC for 5 minutes until golden brown. Serve cold.

Wine prices: Welmoed Heydens Courage White – R38.99 per bottle Arniston Bay Reserve Chenin Blanc – R46.99 per bottle Kumkani Pinotage – R66.99 per bottle All wines available at Checkers.

Rosé wines: The versatile any season wine

In the past few years rosé wines has firmly established itself among wine lovers all over the world.

The UK and other European market saw steady increases in the demand for these beautiful salmon- or scarlet-coloured wines.

The reasons for this popularity increase are because these wines provide the refreshment aspects of white wines with some of the extra body and flavour from red wines.

Dry rosés are also deemed to be the world’s most food flexible wines which make it an any-season, any-occasion and any with any meal wine.

The Arniston Bay Pinotage Rosé with its youthful palate and beautiful fusion of fresh red berry fruits are an excellent wine with a wide array of dishes.

Source: forbes.com

Beef up your salad

Some people see salads as a side-dish and not as the main course. But by adding some roast beef to a salad you can transform the ‘side-dish’ to a great meal.

The beautifully aromatic Arniston Bay  Pinotage Rosé will perfectly complement this meal.

Roast beef salad with goats cheese

  

Ingredients

 

  • -2 small heads lettuce, torn into pieces 
  • -350g sliced deli roast beef
  • -1 large  tomato, cut into wedges
  • -1/2 red onion, sliced
  • -120g  soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • -1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • -2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • -2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • -salt and black pepper

 

Directions

-Divide the lettuce, roast beef, tomato, onion, and goat cheese among bowls.

-In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle over the salad.

Sushi – Bait for the soul

The belly rules the mind is old Spanish proverb and I believe there is a lot of truth in this saying.

Exploring your own tastes and preferences is part and parcel of discovering interesting dishes.

Many people say that as a child their family’s menu consisted of two choices:  take it or leave it. Luckily as adults we have a choice.

Sushi is not everyone favourite and some people believe that it must be called bait and not food.

I disagree and love sushi. It is healthy, interesting and has an abundance of tastes. I have not mastered the art of making sushi as I’m still learning from some great online articles and clips.

Here’s a shortlist of some sushi variants:

Nigirizushi- The most typical is sticky rice flavoured with vinegar and topped with raw, or fresh, fish (sashimi). The rice is formed by hand in a clump and the fish or grilled egg is placed on top. Sometimes the fish or egg is secured by a strip of seaweed. Complimented by wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, most restaurants serve nigirizushi in pairs.

Makizushi – Rice wrapped in seaweed (nori) with vegetables or seafood make this a favourite.

Temakizushi – Literally this translates as sushi for your hand. Vegetables and fish are placed in a pocket of seaweed.

Inarizushi – Easy to eat, this rice flavoured with sweet rice wine is inserted in a pouch made of tofu.

Chirashizushi – This seasoned rice is served in a bowl with mushrooms, carrots, other vegetables, and strips of seaweed.

In general, sushi will pair well with dry white wines and The Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect choice. This wine has a powerful, perfumed nose of sweet fruit with green pepper and grassiness.

Source: recipes.lovetoknow.com

Escape to Arniston Bay

If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life,  the tranquil and relaxing Arniston is the perfect destination.

Arniston is a small fishing village that hugs a hillside on the southern tip of Africa. Humble, thatched cottages dot the shoreline, and rare shells like the Nautilus lie in the surf.

Arniston inherited its name from the transport ship H.M.S. Arniston which ran aground here in 1815. Only six of the 378 people on board survived. Many of the homes here boast a beam or two from the Arniston.

Arniston is the only town in South Africa with two official names. The village is also called Waenhuiskrans, named after a cave in the area which was big enough to house several ox-wagons in, and which could be explored at low tide.

Arniston Bay wines embody this relaxing and tranquil region of our lovely coastline.

Source: places.co.za

Salads- Finding the perfect balance

When deciding on a salad, the main challenge is to find a balance to get an exciting dish which is also easy to prepare. 

Sometimes salads can be boring as the same old recipes are regurgitated. But on the other hand some ‘new’ salads are so complicated with unusual and hard to find ingredients that it’s a nightmare to prepare.

I found this great and interesting recipe which is ‘fresh’ yet easy to make.

Green Apple and Watercress Chicken Salad

Ingredients

- 1/2 cup mayonnaise 

- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

 - salt and black pepper 

- 1kg rotisserie chicken , chopped 

- 4 cups watercress, thick stems discarded 

- 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced 

Directions

-In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 

- Toss with the chicken, watercress, and apple slices. 

Source: realsimple.com

Picnic- Food for the soul

The pace of life is getting to me as everything seems to be rushed and deadline orientated. So in order to get a grip, my suggestion is to escape for a while and enjoy a beach break.

Or alternatively, you can arrange a nice picnic with good food and wine.

Keep it simple and tranquil and try to relax as this will do wonders for your soul.

Picnic Idea

Prepare a main course and buy the rest as you do not want to slave away preparing for the picnic.

Buy:

-          Baguette and cheeses (brie, camembert etc.)

-          Potato chips

-          Cherry tomatoes

-          Fruit ( peaches, apricots, plums, naartjies)

-          Wine

Recommended wine: The fresh and versatile Arniston Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay will complement the dish and will be perfect for your picnic.

Recipe : Eggplant pasta salad

Ingredients

 3 tablespoons olive oil

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 eggplant , cut into 1cm pieces

400ml grape/ plum tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons capers

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

450g dried penne

 

Directions

  -1) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the celery and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and tomatoes.

-2) In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, vinegar, ¼ cup water, 2 ½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the sugar. Stir into the eggplant mixture.

-3) Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

-4) Remove from heat and stir in the capers, pine nuts (if desired), and parsley.

-5) Meanwhile, cook the penne according to the package directions. Toss with the remaining oil; let cool. Combine with the eggplant mixture and serve.

Source: realsimple.com

The Only Cin- Food blogger / recipe of the month

We have picked Cindy Taylor as our food blogger of the month due to her delicious Spaghetti Carbonara recipe.

Cindy is the editor of the hugely entertaining food blog , The only Cin, and her writing and recipes deserve this prize.

Here is her easy and mouth watering Spaghetti Cabonara   recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 packet  spaghetti
  • 6 baby marrows, cut into thin strips
  • 1 dash  olive oil, for frying
  • 1 packet  back bacon, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 3, finely chopped
  • 4 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 125 ml pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 1 pinch salt and milled pepper

 

Directions

Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Add baby marrows 2 – 3 minutes before the end of cooking. Drain and set aside.

Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and fry bacon until crispy.

Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Drain excess fat from pan and fry garlic for a minute.

Add pasta, baby marrows and bacon to pan and toss well.

Remove pan from heat. Quickly stir through the eggs, mixing until they begin to thicken, but not scramble.

Add cheese, season and serve.

** Pecorino is a hard rind cheese similar to parmesan, originally made from sheep’s milk.

Recommended wine:  The Arniston Bay Chardonnay will be the perfect pairing with this pasta dish. 

Cindy Taylor:

Source: theonlycin.wordpress.com

A salad with the ‘wow’ factor

Sometimes salads can lack the ‘wow’ factor and are too bland and unimaginative. But this shrimp salad is fantastic and functional as it combines simple ingredients to make a delightful  meal.

I’ll recommend the Arniston Bay Pinotage Rosé . This versatile and easy drinking wine will pair well with this meal .

Recipe:  Spinach, Shrimp, and Avocado Salad

Ingredients  

 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice 

 - 3 tablespoons olive oil 

- 1 tablespoon chopped capers 

- 1/2 teaspoon honey 

- salt and black pepper 

- 8 cups spinach 

- 500g cooked, peeled, and deveined medium shrimp 

- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped 

- 1 avocado, sliced 

Directions 

1.      – In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, capers, honey, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 

2.      – In a large bowl, toss the spinach, shrimp, tomatoes, and avocado with the vinaigrette. 

Source: realsimple.com

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