Free wine tasting
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Free Bikes ‘n Wines Wine Tasting

Over the next weeks, Bikes ‘n Wines is organizing different wine tastings in Backpackers around Cape Town.

Please see below where you can find us! Join us for a good glass of Thandi Wines and get 15% off you next Bikes ‘n Wines booking. Friday 24 April 2015  – Ashanti Backpackers, Gardens, 6.30 PM  AshantiLodgeBackpackers_Gardens Thursday 30 April 2015  – 33 South Backpackers, Observatory, 7PM  11182217_889563181085297_7250882276913175332_n

Tarryn at Cape of Good Hope
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Bikes ‘n Wines Staff Member off on a fantastic fundraising Journey

Bikes ‘n Wines Operations Manager, Tarryn Povey will be getting VERY well acquainted with one of our Bikes ‘n wines Road Bicycle’s (Giant Defy 3) in May, when she undertakes the Unogwaja Challenge.

This 11 Day Journey, see’s a group of 11 paticipants cycle the 1660 km’s from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg to run the Ultimate Human race – Comrades Marathon (89km’s).

Unogwaja Journey

Why would the group be doing this?

For charity of course.

This initiative raised over 1 million rand last year and aims to double that in 2015. Bikes ‘n wines has been very involved in a lot Tarryn’s fundraising (she has raised R35 000 so far and is still aiming for a target of R50 000) and we will be standing behind Tarryn all the way, or rather below her as we have swapped Tarryn’s 15 year old road bicycle for one of our new Giant Defy’s to ensure she makes it all the way to Kwazulu-Natal with no hassles.

giant defy road Bicycle

We will also be joining her on the first leg of her Journey in a public Ride from Cape Town to Franschhoek – so we have decided that we will be in the festive spirit in franschhoek on the day and will offer our guests 20% off our Franschhoek Experience Tour on the same day that Tarryn heads off on her Journey. (21 May 2015) You can experience a full day wine tasting cycle tour through Franschhoek for only R850 per person. Find out more here So get hold of us now on: bookings@bikesnwines.com (you will probably speak to Tarryn so wish her luck!) and quote “Unogwaja” to receive your discount!

Cape Peninsula
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Cape Peninsula Special

Have you always wanted to cycle the Cape Town Cycle Tour (former Cape Argus Tour) or did you miss out on this year’s event? Bikes ‘n Wines offers you the chance to step onto a road bike with the Cape Peninsula Pedal and explore the great natural beauty of the Cape Peninsula. Until the 15th of April, Bikes ‘n Wines offers you 15% off your booking if you quote PENINSULA. Book now via bookings@bikesnwines.com or 074-1860418. Read this blog for more inspiration about the Cape Peninsula Pedal. PeninsulaPedalfinal1forwebsite

Wine and food pairing
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4 Golden Rules to Food and Wine Pairing

Being involved in the wine and wine tasting industry Bikes ‘n Wines is relishing in the fact that our wine farms are slowly starting to catch on to the huge appeal of food and wine pairing tasters. The reason we pair wine with food is to enhance both the flavors of the food and of the wine itself. One should never overpower the other. The relationship should be mutually beneficial and work together to create deliciousness. A number of the wine farms that Bikes ‘n wines visits, offer a variety of decadent pairings. These pairings are all unique to the farms we visit, and all offer something different to learn and take with you to your next wine tasting/drinking experience (Plus you get to taste some amazing wines).

Tarryn’s 4 golden rules to Food and Wine pairing

There are a few things to keep in mind when pairing food with your wine:
1. Start with an open mind There are no hard fast rules to food and wine pairing. We drink wine to enjoy it, not because we are following a manual so when pairing foods with your wine you are allowed to be daring. Sometimes you will get it horribly wrong, but then you probably have some great food and some great wine, so in the end you are still winning, even if they don’t pair as well as they should.
2. Think about the food your are pairing AND the wine as a whole and not just the taste I know I know, I also thought it was all about the taste, but it seems there is more too it than that. Of course the flavour is a huge component in a pairing but also the way the food and the wine is made, taking into account weight, structure and bouquet. For example a delicate appetizer would pair with a delicately structured wine rather than the fuller bodied “robust” vintages. With regards to taste, remember that opposites attract as well as similarities attract. A sweet does not always have to be with a sweet, so have some fun and mix it up.

Food and Wine Pairing Tips The racey acidity of sparkling wine and the rich texture of a meat pate is an example of a contrasting pairing.Pairings with Bikes 'n Wines The proteins and fats in cheese can soften the perception of tannins in wine, making a wine seem less bitter and more fruity.

3. Know how to taste the food with the wine This is the only time I will tell you what you should do. This is how I was taught and some people do it differently so it is only a suggestion. A suggestion that works for me though

  • Take the wine, have a good sniff and take a sip.
  • Think about what you taste, not what the bottle told you, you should taste.
  • Think about what you smell, some wines smell wonderfully fruity and sweet and then are surprisingly dry on the pallat, notice these differences
  • Now try the food, think about it in the same way.
  • Try break down the flavors a little (see tastes below and embellish on these if possible).
  • Notice if you recognize any of the same flavors that you thought about in the wine.
  • Now try the wine again, has the addition of the food flavors in your mouth changed anything about the wine? (Hopefully for the better if not, try a new wine).

4. Know your 5 basic tastes: Knowing the 5 different tastes can really help you to identify hat you are getting from the wines, these are of course the BASIC tastes and there are many more subtleties that we can add to it, but i am not a lecturer so you can discover those on your own.I will not go as far as to tell you what goes with what because that’s the fun of it isn’t it?

  • Sweet
  • Sour/Acidity
  • Salty
  • Bitter/Tannins
  • Umami (Savoury)

How do you put your newly learnt skills to test? Join us on a tour – especially our Winelands Luxury tour and use these skills when tasting some great combinations lovingly paired by the resident wine makers.

Post By: Tarryn Povey – Operations Manager

Neethlingshof_Pairing
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Neetlingshof Everyday pairings

The first thing we were told when we sat down for this tastings was that the point if this pairing was not only to find food that brings out the flavors of the wine but to pair the wines with food that everyone has access to. It is easy to appreciate wine pairings when paired with uniquely crafted gourmet meals, but what about when we are at home cooking everyday, normal people food – its also possible and not too hard. This pairing menu is the winter pairing menu at Neethlingshof, so it uses traditional and typical meals that we would eat at home during winter Neethlinghsof Premium, Chenin Blanc – Creamy Tomato Soup  

Bikes 'n Wines Wine Estate HistoryspacerThis Chenin is classed as a Fresh and Fruity Chenin Blanc and its light green hue when poured mirrors this classification. I found the first sip quite acidic but then again it was noon on a work day and I think my brain hadn’t got itself around the fact that we were wine tasting.When it comes to white wines and winter I find I have a palate that tends towards a more wooded style so to join this light wine with a hot soup was a little strange to me. Tomato soup can be quite acidic so pairing these two acidic tastes in my head was not going to work too well. I was proven wrong, as at first, the initial sour taste (acidity) of the wine brought out the sweetness in the tomato fruits whilst the cream in the soup worked with the wine to balance out the sharpness of its acidity. I think this is a good example of how a food and wine should work together to bring out/soften characteristics that will compliment each other. Good Job

  Neethlinghsof Premium, Gewürztraminer – Samosa and homemade fruit chutney  

Bikes 'n wines Wine Estate HistoryspacerThe first thing that struck me about this tasting was the smell of the Gewürtzraminer it is a very aromatic wine that is super deceiving. It smells very sweet and fruity, but when you taste it, it is an off dry wine. This definitely took me by surprise, you have NO idea what you are tasting when comparing it to the smell. The pairing with the samosa is an interesting one, the curry lowers a bit of the acidity in the wine and brings out a few of the fruit flavors I found the chutney to be a bit more complimentary than the samosa itself, I think because I was still searching for the fruity taste that I’d smelt – I personally tasted a hint of peach but my entourage tasted more litchi and pineapple coming out. We did do this tasting in winter so obviously the warmness of the curry is a great choice for Cape Winters, showing you that you can drink a white wine, even when its pouring outside. I myself would like to pair this with a sushi dish as I would love to see what the freshness of the fish would bring out in the wine, this is not a recommended dish if you search what to pair with this wine, but to be honest almost all other Gewürtzraminers I have tasted have been sweeter. I say this because on the nose you get very strong fruit flavors that don’t come out as easily in the taste, I would like to see what a delicate fish would bring out in it.

  Neetlingshof Premium, Malbec – Meatballs on Rocket Leaves  

Bikes 'n wines - Wine Estate HistoryspacerAs someone who does not drink a lot of Malbec (unless it is in a bordeux blend.. yum) I don’t really have a starting view point on this one. this specific vintage had quite soft tannins which I believe is strange for a Malbec. Pairing this with the meatballs is an easy one, as we all love our medium bodied wines with some meat – but what I like best here was the rocket, the meatballs had a little bit of spice and the spicy rocket flavors added to it worked really nicely to ring out the sweetness of the fruit in the wine (like when you sprinkle pepper over strawberries, if you haven’t tried it – please do). I found this wine very more-ish and could easily see myself getting through a bottle or two way to easily.

  Neethlingshof Sort Story Collection, Owl Post Pinotage – Steak Sandwich with caramelized onion and chocolate shavings  

Bikes 'n Wines Wine Estate HistoryspacerThe Owls Post is a single vineyard pinotage, so the management of the vineyard that is used has a huge role to play in the wine-making process and the winemaker is often a lot more involved.A single vineyard wine, means that all the grapes for this wine are grown on one estate. Neethlingshof strategically plants the Pinotage grapes on there estate to ensure they get what they want from this varietal (ie. using dryland vines on westerly facing slopes 120m above sea level in soil originating from decomposed granite). Steak with chocolate shavings is the classic choice for pinotage which has become synonymous with chocolate and coffee in South Africa. The chocolate was dark and bitter and the caramelized onion not too sweet, this let the undertones of fruit (stewed prunes is what I think of) come out a little in the wine. The small roll and steak provide a nice hearty base to match the robustness of the wine. I did not enjoy this as much as I normally do, which for me is strange as I usually love my pinot’s but I think this just means that i will have to go back and try it all over again 🙂

  Neethlingsof Short Story Collection, The Maria Noble Late Harvest – Malva Pudding  

Bikes 'n wines - Wine Estate HistoryspacerDessert, dessert oh how I love dessert, and with almost 220 grams of residual sugar in this vintage I got all the sweet I could handle. The Maria NOBLE late harvest uses grapes planted between 140m above sea- level. Why am I telling you this? These vineyards are on a hill that are exposed o the cooling mists of False Bay, and these help to create the right conditions for the botrytis fungus to flourish (needed to leach the water from the grapes and enabling it to be called a “Noble”wine) – interesting? – well I thought it was 🙂 I realize that Malva pudding is a South African favorite and a winter favourite but too be honest I was a little overpowered by the sweetness of the sticky pudding and the wine together in the beginning. I found a solution though, eat and drink slower (I think I am a gobbler). First tasting the VERY sweet Maria gave the malva pudding a lot more characteristics and I found that the sweetness of the wine allowed me to taste the different nuances, and flavors in the pudding that if I was eating on its own I may not have noticed (ie. the saltiness that compliments the buttery flavors). Having very small sips of the wine would keep these tastes working, and you ended up with a few more sips when your pudding was done to enjoy at your leisure. I personally would like to enjoy this wine with something sharp like a cheese platter or some savoury nuts which I think would definitely bring out some of the hidden flavors in the wine as well.

 

Lets just say that after this meal I walked out of he wine cellar feeling well warmed inside (needed, because it was a chilly day) and had a pink glow to my cheeks. I can’t wait to come back in Summer and try the new menu – why don’t you join us on a tour and try it for yourself!

Post By: Tarryn Povey – Operations Manager

Mike Eloff on tour
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Mike Eloff on Tour

Adventure Ride
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Dagbreek Interview

Group Picture with GoPro
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Go Pro Tour

Wine and pizza pairing
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Pizza A la Mulderbosch

Pizza travels the world and comes in all shapes and sizes. Round, rectangular, folded over as a calzone or as flat bread, this creation is still one of the most popular dishes in the world and the varieties and toppings are endless. Even though the perfect pizza (or pizzaioli as the Italians call it) is created by the Napoli in the way it was first done in the 17th century, the dish has evolved and migrated with its people. If you eat a pizza in the United States, the dough is rich and the bottom as thick as a car wheel, topped with kilograms of cheddar. We as South Africans have stayed quite close to the original recipe, but our version will be topped with a lot of local ingredients, such as biltong, pineapple or avocado. Most South African restaurants that are famous for their pizzas will also prepare the dish in the same ways as the Italians do, in a wood-fired oven, to keep the same authentic taste as la mama used to make them. Mulderbosch Wine Estate has perfected the art of traditional pizza-making and is one of the best places to taste a wood-fired pizza. Sit on the large terrace overlooking the beautiful slopes of the mountain or crawl together in front of the massive fireplace in winter to nibble on their amazing variety of pizzas. Or, book a Winelands Luxury Tour with Bikes ‘n Wines and experience pizza in a completely different way, paired with specially chosen wines. After we cycled a few kilometers to the top of the hill, some snacks are well-deserved, preferably accompanied by some good wines of course, and this is why we choose Mulderbosch. We were welcomed into the tasting room by the smell of melted cheese and the smile of the friendly staff members that have already started preparing the food for us. Sweaty, thirsty and curious, we slide around the table and listen to the beautiful story of Mulderbosch. The vineyard started producing wine in 1989 and has created some amazing brands since then, including ‘South Africa’s most celebrated Sauvignon Blanc’. Their signature brands are the Faithful Hound Range, the Savignon Blanc and of course an amazing noble late harvest

Wine tasting at Mulderbosch on a Bikes 'n Wines Tour

Mulderbosch has a large range to choose from, we make sure to pick our favourites

The general rule of thumb is to start with the white wines and slowly make your way to the reds and sweet dessert wines. We however, were encouraged to try different combinations with the pizza and decide which flavors WE thought worked well together. It was nice making up our own minds during the tasting.

Mulders

The pairings that were put together where the Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (2010) in combination with the Artichoke and Black Olive Pizza, he Cabernet Sauvignon Rose (2013) with the Proscuito, Rocket and Pecorino pizza. A deliscious Portebilini Mushroom pizza with the Yardstick Pinot Noir (2012) – showing that a red wine can be paired wonderfully with a vegitarian dish and a Biltong, Sweet Pepperdew and avo pizza with the Faithful Hound (2012). My absolute favorite however, was the Fig, Blue Cheese and Panchetta pizza, which was paired with Noble late harvest 2011. I am not normally a fan of sweet wine and would never pair a dessert wine with pizza, but the combination was perfect and brought out the sweet flavors of the figs and strengthened the salty taste of the pancetta allowing the wine to show its unique flavors with each bite. Overwhelmed by the explosion of different flavors and beautiful wine, it was time to set off to our next wine and food pairing. But truth to be said, I could have stayed there all day. South African wine and pizza really are the perfect pair!!

Post by: Myrna Van Pinxteren – Marketing

Neethlingshof
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In the heart of Maria @ Neethlingshof

Once upon a time, there was an amazing woman called Maria, who married a winemaker in Stellenbosch by the name of Charles Marais, they decided to start their matrimony as wine farmers and started production on a wine farm called Wolvendans (Dance of Wolves). When her husband died, she was left with the wine-estate and an unfinished Manor House. She took over the farm, completed the house with a feminine touch and expanded the property before to her son in law (Johannes Neethling) took over and the name changed to Neehlingshof. This wine farm is now known as Neethlingshof and located just off the R310 on your way to Stellenbosch . When driving into the estate, you wander back in time and can almost hear the horse drawn carriages that brought honored guests to the Manor House up a tree lined lane over a more than one kilometer long. The former Manor House is now transformed into a beautiful restaurant and the tasting room is attached to the wine cellar.

Neetlingshof Wine Estate

The Manor house echoes the Cape Dutch Architecture that Stellenbosch is so well kwon for

Neethlingshof, which is nowadays part of the corporate Distell Group, offers a variety of wines, divided in three different labels; the Short Story Collection, the Premium Red Wine Collection and the Premium White Wine Collection. As you wander into the tasting room and the friendly staff welcomes you, you can feel the presence of Maria which breaths through the cellars. Not only does Neethlingshof offer guests a wine tasting where you are able to choose between 15 different wines, a wine and food pairing can also be arranged. As our group today is are cold and hungry, we choose the second option and warm our bellies with a range of flavors accompanied by five different wines. The sommelier explains why the dishes on our plate are chosen: “As you can see, all the tapas are real South African dished, made of food that you buy in any grocery store. We want to show you that you do not have to be a chef to make the right choice of wine with your food.” Our five course tasting meal exists of Tomato soup, samosas with home made atchar, bite sized meat balls, a steak sandwich with caramelized onion and chocolate shavings and Malva pudding. – See our tasting review here Sitting close to a wood fire and gazing into the massive wine cellars behind us, the sommelier enlightens us about the story behind the Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, The Owl Post Pinotage and the Maria Noble late harvest that is named after the famous Maria.

Bikes 'n Wines Wine Estate History Bikes 'n wines Wine Estate History Bikes 'n wines - Wine Estate History Bikes 'n Wines Wine Estate History Bikes 'n wines - Wine Estate History

  “We nurture the spirit of the ‘first lady’ deeply, and therefore dedicated our sweet dessert wine to her. She is not only displayed by the picture on the wall, but will always be in our hearts when we drink her wine.” The sweet wine which contains more than 220 grams of sugar per liter, matches perfectly with the even sweeter Malva Pudding. The pallet of dried apricots, honey and peach is a perfect conclusion to the pairing. We leave the pairing more than satisfied and when we get back on the bicycle to peddle the long lane back to main road, we have a final look to admire the beautiful legacy that Maria Marais has left behind. Want to taste the legacy of Maria yourself? Join us on one of our tours and be inspired!

Post by: Myrna Van Pinxteren – Marketing