“24 August 2011”
On this date, winemaker Eric Saayman won the General Smuts trophy, South Africa’s most respected award for a young wine. It was also the first and only time a Viognier…slightly wooded…won this coveted trophy since 1952 when A.P. Conradie lifted this prestigious beauty for the first time.
The Riebeek Cellars talisman is all rock & roll, with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimmy Hendrix and CCR on his list of favourite bands. Looking at him, you will observe calmness when he is in focus while doing what he cares for. Eric is a straight shooter, a family man, a friend; and one of the most passionate winemakers in South Africa.
Walking into Eric’s home in Riebeek Kasteel, we heard Bob Seger from the kitchen, the sound was inviting…
“And I stood arrow straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and their schemes
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams”
This particular song, ‘Like a rock’, was something Lens & Ladle could identify in the winemaker of Riebeek Cellars, and was looking forward making lunch with him, @ home with his beautiful wife, Alta.
Pop! goes the cork… Pieter Cruythoff Brut, you beauty!
Let’s roll Eric!!
“You are doomed to make choices. This is life’s greatest paradox.”
A Ladle a day… keeps the hunger away…
Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a palate of ripe fruit and interesting spice.
Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavours of Christmas pudding… lekker!!
…our Lens & Ladle food guru
Cinnabuns makes my toes curl…,but when I saw this recipe in the ‘Taste Magazine’ I started to drool with excitement!!
Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf ingredients:
2 cups Milk
2.5 teaspoons Instant yeast
½ cup Canola oil
540g Cake flour
½ teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons Salt
120g Melted butter
100g Dried cranberries
300g Sugar for spiced sugar mix
5 tablespoons Cinnamon
Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf method:
Mix milk and instant yeast in a small bowl. Place the sugar, oil, flour, baking powder, ground nutmeg and salt in large mixing bowl and add the milk yeast mixture. Mix to form smooth dough (like you would make bread). Set aside to rise for 1 hour to double in size. Knock down the dough and roll out to make 50x25cm rectangle. Cut out 5 x 25cm long rectangles. Brush each rectangle with melted butter and scatter with cranberries. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and dust each layer with the spicy sugar mix. Place all the layers on top of each other and cut into 6 equal parts. Place them into a greased loaf tin, cut side up. Set aside to rise for another hour. Bake for 30 – 35 min at 180°C. Allow to cool slightly before removing from loaf tin.
To serve: mix 130g icing sugar with 1 shot freshly brewed espresso. Drizzle over the cinnamon and cranberry loaf.
OOOO my goodness!! You will want to repeat this culinary explosion every day!
Eric made this beautiful Grenache Rose’ from the vineyard of, and for Morne du Plessis, former Springbok captain and Riebeek Kasteel habitant.
Clara & Schalk
Bacon and Walnut stuffed deboned chicken
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Packet streaky bacon, chopped into small blocks
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g Brown mushrooms, sliced
4 Slices of white bread, toasted and cut into blocks
1 Large deboned chicken
Fry onions with oil until soft and starting to caramelize. Add bacon, garlic and mushrooms and fry until cooked. Add walnuts, bread blocks and egg.
Now to get your hands dirty….
Stuff the chicken and roll up and tie with string. Leave to rest and set for 1 hour.
Cook in Weber for 40 mins – 60 mins. I like a squeeze of lemon right at the end.
Based on a Ina Paarman recipe
“Woke up this morning I was all alone
Saw your picture by the telephone
I was missing you oh so bad
Wish I had you here to hold
All I’ve got is this touch-tone phone
So I guess I’ll give you a call
Operator help me please”
BB King – ‘Telephone Song’
The big tin left of the wine bottle candle stick is Carbonell olive oil and was founded in Spain in 1866. Its quality & tradition have made it the Nº1 Olive Oil Brand in Spain.
Riebeek Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015 tank sample in a humble plastic container, crisp on the palate…
The art of wine paired with food, a chicken flesh moment…
The cool thing about vegetables is that you can’t really mess it up!! The secret is to keep the sizes of the cut vegetables similar. This will ensure an even cooking time and roasting colour. Add fresh herbs for extra flavour or drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
50ml Olive oil
2 Onions (red or white), cut into slices
10ml Ground coriander
10ml Ground cumin
2 Garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 Butternut, cut into blocks
1 Yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 Red pepper, cut into strips
2 Babymarrows, cut into chunks
8 Brussel Sprouts
10ml Salt and black pepper
Method for roast vegetables:
In a frying pan, add olive oil and onions and fry for 5 minutes until the onions starts to caramelize. Add coriander, cumin, paprika and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add the onion mix with the rest of the ingredients into a roasting pan and roast for 25-30min at 180°C until cooked. Garnish with char grilled rosa tomatoes on the vine.
Recipe by Eric Saayman
Autumn salad with citrus and poppy seed dressing
This is a whopping’ beaut’ of a salad. Fresh, funky and full of flavour and texture. You will knock the socks off your guests.
Autumn salad ingredients:
200g Parboiled baby beetroot and cut into blocks
200g Parboiled baby carrots, peeled with stem on
2 Salad springonions, thinly sliced
1 Handfull coriander
1 Handfull micro leaves
100g Feta cheese, cut into blocks
Autumn salad method:
Layer micro leaves and coriander in between baby beetroot and baby carrots. Top with feta cheese blocks and drizzle with citrus and poppy seed dressing
Citrus and poppy seed dressing ingredients:
250ml Orange juice / Mango & Orange juice
1tbsp Mustard powder
2tbsp Poppy seeds
Citrus and poppy seed dressing method:
Add juice, sugar, salt and mustard powder to a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer until you have a ‘thick dressing’ consistency. Cool down and add poppy seeds. YUM
Sweet, white & red, and at the back, Ben… please to meet you!
Alta & Eric
Nikki sitting on the right, or shall we say ‘Johnny come lately’, he has played a more prominent role as a babysitter on the day.
The Saayman’s is special people and playing a big role in the community of Riebeek Kasteel. If you are passing by, pop in @ Riebeek Cellars and have a taste. You won’t be sorry, and probably gain a whole new respect for the dynamic role this cellar plays in promoting wine.
To be or not to be…..surely to be!
Hup hup! Riebeek Cellars!