Biltong
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Biltong and Red Wine Pairing, the Taste of Africa

Biltong is a truly South African Experience and a trip to the Winelands would not be the same without it. At La Bri in Franschhoek they offer a sweet (chocolate) and savoury (biltong) pairing I only managed to stay for the biltong pairing but that just gives me an excuse to go back and experience the other tasty delights this charming winery has to offer. We spread out on the luxurious leather couches while the wines where explained to us: The pairing consisted of 3 red wines with 3 different “biltongs” 1. La Bri Merlot 2012 paired with Angus Beef Biltong La Bri merlotGood beef biltong is always great and beef is the general accompaniment to a good red. The salty taste of the biltong brought out a few of the flavours in the merlot that I would not normally have picked up in this subtle vintage. To be honest I seem to have moved away from Merlot as a red wine. I feel the problem with tasting so many delicious wines as a “job”, I am struggling to find a merlot that has a sharp enough taste for it to be very memorable. This is by no means an insult to the wine. I feel it is a great wine that I would be able to drink all evening on a chilly winters night or even slightly chilled in summer (have I become one of those people?) and the salty beef managed to pull a few of the nuances out that enhanced a bit of the flavour for me.   2. La Bri Syrah 2012 paired with Droewors La Bri Syrah Droewors is generally quite a fatty snack, I really liked this with the rich tannins in the Syrah. The mild flavour of the wors did not have a huge effect in the wine itself, it was more the fatty, buttery taste of the droewors that softened the wine and as soon as that tannin was removed, one could linger a bit more of the berry rich tastes (instead of feeling like you have been sucking a dischcloth).     3. La Bri Affinity (Bordeaux blend) 2012 paired with Ostrich Biltong La Bri Affinity I am a huge Bordeaux blend fan and a huge ostrich biltong so I only have praise for this wine. I love looking at everyone else’s glasses after a tasting. You can see which wine was everyone’s favourite by seeing what they drank the most of – every single perosn had finished of this one. The Salt of the biltong brought out the almost cherry sweetness that I have come to love in a bordeaux blend, one that you can almost always find if you look hard enough, the richness of the biltong also worked very well with the richness of the wine to ensure you weren’t completely overwhelmed by either taste and that the wine and biltong complimented each other perfectly.   My review of the La Bri biltong tasting is a short and sweet one, although we did arrive at the wine farm early-ish to start on the red wines, the atmosphere was inviting and the staff friendly, so we did not feel rushed and when you are tasting red wines this early you need to take your time. This was the perfect start to a day in the winelands, and a great way to enjoy 2 of South Africa’s favourites – Red wine and Red meat 🙂

Post by: Tarryn Povey – Operations Manager

CAPtoursmitswinkel2
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Out of the bus, onto the bike

When you live in Hout Bay, there is a scene that you see every morning (at least in summer). A stream of tourist buses, minivans and rental cars who make their way down to the little town of Hout Bay from Cape Town, rushing off to see the oldest working harbor before travelling along the beautiful coastal route of the Africa, Chapmans’ Peak. End destination, Cape of Good Hope National Park, the place where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean come together. All these places are visited in one day, seen from a closed bus window, which is air conditioned and free from all the (sea) smells, noises and tastes of the Cape Peninsula. When the bus stops, the tourists run out (sometimes literally) for that one snap shot of the blue sea, the blossoming proteas or the numbers of baboons one can spot on the way before rushing back into the vehicle – because no one wants to be left behind. Can these tourists say that they have experienced the Cape Peninsula? They will say yes, I will say no! Or, I would say yes, 6 months ago, when I didn’t cycle yet and had no clue how much more you experience on a bicycle. Last month, I finally had the privilege to join a very fit and sporty German couple on the Cape Peninsula Pedal, a new tour from Bikes ‘n Wines that offers a route from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope National Park and back via Noordhoek and Hout Bay. A big part of this route is ridden by thousands of cyclists each year during the famous Cape Argus CYCLE Tour, which means that the roads are perfectly suitable for road biking. CPreadytogo

The first stop during the tour is Muizenberg, where we met up with one of the shark spotters who have their post on Old Boyes Drive. Looking out over the beach, they try and distinguish the surfers from the sharks with special goggles and send a signal when they see one of these deadly beauties cruising the backline. Secondly, we visit another animal which is famous on the Cape Peninsula Tour, the penguins in Simon’s Town. They are one of the only penguin colonies in the whole of Africa and you can swim or sunbath with them on Boulder’s Beach. Whilst we take a peek at these lovely creatures, the guide sets up the bikes and we are ready to get peddling. Next stop; Cape of Good Hope National Park. On the map, it seems a small distance, but there lies a small obstacle before us – namely Smitswinkel. This hill is feared by many cyclists, as the gradient can be challenging, especially when the wind is blowing. Whilst we are making our way to the top, we gaze over the blue ocean on our left hand side which is contrasted by the green mountains on our right. Slowly but surely, we come closer to the main gate of the National Park – where we are welcomed by ostriches, baboons and amazing waves rolling over the rocks with a deafening sound! The best reward after all the exertion of this morning – a picnic lunch full of South African treats such as biltong, some nice cheeses, crackers, snoek pate and lovely juice to quench our thirsty throats. Sitting on a blanket and looking at the blue water below us is the best feeling after a few hours of cycling.

After lunch, there is more to discover and we make our way towards Noordhoek via the lovely towns of Scarborough, Misty Cliffs and Kommietje. If you want, you can cycle this part, but we opt for the comfort of the van and enjoy more breathtaking views of the Cape Peninsula. Of course, the wine will not be forgotten on a Bikes ‘n Wines tour and the guides takes us to one of the most beautiful wine farms in this area – Cape Point Vineyards – where we taste amazing wines that differ from other wine regions in the country, due to the influence of the sea and the height of the Vineyards. Before we end this fantastic day full of sun, cycling, food and great wines, we have one more stop to go to – Chapman’s Peak. This mountain pass is voted one of the most beautiful roads in the world and the views of Hout Bay, the Sentinel and the Atlantic Ocean are absolutely stunning. A great way to finish the day before we head back to Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula Tour is an amazing opportunity for active people to explore this famous route in a new way. I can recommend it to anyone, get out of the bus and onto the bike!

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kirsten-wilkens
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Latest Press Releases Bikes ‘n Wines

In February, Bikes ‘n Wines invited a selection of journalists to enjoy the Winelands with us during a Harvest Media Trip. Result; a great day on bicycles with an amazing bunch of journalists, bloggers, vloggers and cycling activists.

Read, listen and watch their experiences with Bikes ‘n Wines in the Winelands below and book your tour now!

 

 

Mike Eloff Video Life of Mike (#TheLawry)

Kirsten Wilkens Blog Bicycle Cape Town

Samantha Linsell Blog Taste & Titbits

Lisa Wallace Article Cape Town ETC

Elise Kirsten Article Ride Magazine South Africa

 

kirsten wilkenstasteandtitbitsmallLisa Wallace 2 copy

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Source: Latest News

Franschhoek-Experience
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La Petite France in South Africa

When thinking about France, I get nostalgic about long camping holidays in Provence, eating fresh baguettes every day, sipping wine whilst watching people on a terrace in Paris and partaking a great meal at the end of the day – preferably with escargot, duck a L’orange and more wine to accompany the heavenly food. image009If you want to have a similar experience in the Cape Winelands, Franschhoek is the place to be. This romantic little town which is encircled by the Hottentot Holland Mountain Range and is the place to taste the amazing food that South Africa has to offer. Forget your braai and fish and chips, Franschhoek has its own Haute Cuisine and fine wines which came with the French Hugenots to the Cape and have been perfected ever since! Reason enough to explore this lovely town and its beautiful surroundings in the best way possible – by bicycle! We meet our guide William at Franschhoek Cellars, the meeting point of the tour on the outskirts of the town center. In no-time, he has us kitted out and ready to go on an exciting ride through the Winelands. We start easy today, with 3,5 km of flat road to the first winery, Maison Estate. Here, we taste amazing wines, paired with Stilton cheese, chocolate truffles, biltong and caramel fudge. great view from GlenwoodStill savoring the mouthwatering food and delicious wine, we climb on our bikes to ride to the second stop of our trip –Glenwood wine farm. This petite winery is hidden on the Robertsvlei Road, a dirt road without any traffic for some peaceful off road cycling. As we meander through the valley, we have time to absorb the beauty of the amazing mountain ranges and the green vineyards that are contrast with the blue sky and brown sand roads. When arriving at Glenwood, we are welcomed by the farm workers who are preparing the grapevines for the harvest season. Lizelle, our tasting manager has reserved the best table for us, underneath the trees and overlooking the dam and vineyards. It is busy and the small restaurant is so full that even the winemaker steps in to help. He is running from the cellars to tasting center whilst we enjoy the fabulous Chardonnays and Shiraz’. After these full bodied wines and even better views, it is time to ride to our third stop – La Bri, located on the edge of the town. The road, which is still empty – is now getting a bit steep and I can feel the wine in my legs. Luckily, the climb is short and before we even realize it, we already pass the bridge to La Bri and are ushered into the tasting room – which probably has the most magnificent view in the world! Here, we taste three red wines (click here for the taste review) with different types of Biltong (dried cured meat)- beef, droewors and ostrich biltong. A great experience, as the meat complements the red wine beautifully and the ladies working in the tasting room are friendly and knowledgeable about the products. image013Sad to leave after this amazing tasting, it is time to cycle the last little stretch of the Franschhoek Tour. We stop for a short break at the Hugenot Momument that was built to commemorate the influence of the French culture in South Africa. Even though only 600 Huguenots came to the Cape in the 17th and 18th century, you can still feel and taste the French influence in the wine making, the names of the farms and the architecture. Whilst cycling through the center of town, we pass many award winning restaurants such as The Tasting Room and Reuben’s. After a lunch in the courtyard of Franschhoek Cellars, we are promised one more wine tasting, paired with either cheese or chocolate. As I am from the Netherlands, I choose the wine and cheese pairing and what a treat it is indeed! The six (!) wines I tasted are all from the Franschhoek Cellar range and the cheese is hand-made from Truckle Traditional Cheese. I simply loved the Boerenkaas with the Statue de Femme Sauvignon Blanc, a creamy gorgonzola with the Old Museum Merlot and the Cumin Boerenkaas with Churchyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Our final tasting was conducted in the newly revamped cellar and you can choose to sit either at the modern bar, the chic cigar lounge or in front of the massive windows overlooking the mountains. With this last pairing, our experience comes to an end! And what a day it was…. Wine, cheese, biltong, chocolate and so much more! Enjoy your active and culinary day in the ‘French Corner’ and book your Franschhoek Experience now!

Students on tour
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Student Special!!

Are you a student and looking for some fun stuff to do before going back to university? Book your Bikes ‘n Wines Tour and get 20% discount! Book via bookings@bikesnwines.com or +27(0)218238790 (only for students with a valid student card). Click HERE to see the different routes we have on offer!

Student Flyer Special

Source: Latest News

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Valentine’s Day Special 2015

love, valentines, cycling, winelands

Do you want to surprise your lover with a romantic day out this Valentine’s Day?

We have the perfect give for you! Book your Bikes ‘n Wines tour between 9 – 15 of February and get a FREE bottle of BUBBLY!

Make your booking now via bookings@bikesnwines.com or Tel: +27(0)218238790 and enjoy your Valentine’s Day in Style! Click here to see all the tours we have on offer!

 

 

Source: Latest News

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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Latest Press Releases Bikes ‘n Wines

In February, Bikes ‘n Wines invited a selection of journalists to enjoy the Winelands with us during a Harvest Media Trip. Result; a great day on bicycles with an amazing bunch of journalists, bloggers, vloggers and cycling activists. Read, listen and watch their experiences with Bikes ‘n Wines in the Winelands below and book your tour now!     Mike Eloff                            Video Life of Mike (#TheLawry)

Kirsten Wilkens                  Blog Bicycle Cape Town  Samantha Linsell                Blog Taste & Titbits  Lisa Wallace                       Article Cape Town ETC Elise Kirsten                       Article Ride Magazine South Africa    kirsten wilkenstasteandtitbitsmallLisa Wallace 2 copy

Students on tour
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Student Special!

Are you a student and looking for some fun stuff to do before going back to university? Book your Bikes ‘n Wines Tour and get 20% discount! Book via bookings@bikesnwines.com or +27(0)218238790 (only for students with a valid student card). Click HERE to see the different routes we have on offer!