October 2015 | Bikes 'n Wines
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Cafe – The Baseline Story

&Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique works with Baseline Coffee, a progressive coffee roastery settled in Woodstock. We spoke with Deon Kleinhans,  MD and founder of Baseline Coffee, and asked him about the coffee culture in Cape Town and the story of Baseline Coffee Cafe - The Baseline Story the-bikes-cafe, news - Deon and Freddy First of all, can you tell me a brief history about how Baseline Coffee came about? ‘Baseline Coffee was founded in 2008, but under a different name, Kupa Coffee. Kupa is a Swahili word meaning “to give”, and our brand was developed to not only make coffee, but also to give back to the community and support great local initiatives. Unfortunately, we found out there was another international brand with the same name, so rebranded as Baseline Coffee in 2013.’ We love that you try and give back, what are the initiatives that you support? “At the moment we donate to the Common Good Foundation, a Non Profit Organisation serving the greater City of Cape Town. We are also in talks with various other foundations as we continue to look at how we can give back to our immediate & wider community.” Where is Baseline based? ‘In the beginning of this year, we moved our coffee roastery from Paardeneiland to Woodstock, and opened an espresso bar. We roast our signature brands here and experiment with new flavours that we try out on the public, but our main focus still lies on the wholesale of our coffee and supplying local businesses like you guys. Cafe - The Baseline Story the-bikes-cafe, news - Baseline Coffee Front Shot 1024x683 Tell us about your signature brands? ‘We primarily sell our Signature Series Espresso Beans, 100% Arabica Filter and our Single Origin Organic & Decaf Beans. These beans all have distinct flavours, ranging from full-bodied chocolate & nuts, to fruity, to hints of caramel and citrus. We’re also always experimenting with other smaller-batch beans and roasts, and these limited edition roasts are typically sold in-store in smaller quantities. There are so many good coffee brands in Cape Town, in what way does Baseline Coffee stand out from the crowd? ‘We try not to compare ourselves with other brands in Cape Town, as coffee is more about personal taste than anything else. One of the things we love about what we do is the interactive side – getting to know the people we partner with (our wholesale clients) and our customers who spend time with us in our Woodstock Espresso Bar every day. We strive to keep a direct hand in all that goes on in the business, and to keep learning from the more developed markets such as Australia & Europe – they have so much to teach us about coffee.’ What do you think, is the biggest thing that Capetonians need to learn about their coffee culture? ‘Trends will come and go, so be open to trying new ways of brewing & drinking your coffee, but remember that it really comes down to personal preference. Don’t be afraid to play with your food coffee.’ Lastly, how do you like your coffee in the morning? ‘My day starts really early, with our Espresso Bar opening at 7am, so I have my first cup of coffee at work. I need two 3-4 flat whites in my system before I am able to talk in full sentences.’
Inspired by this great coffee story? Try out Baseline Coffee at &Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique and tell us what you think.

Because bad coffee shouldn’t happen to good people

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October 2015 | Bikes 'n Wines
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Salt and Wine Pairing at the “Cellar in the Mountain”

Die Bergkelder or Cellar under the mountain is the home of Fleur De Cap wines. They have a unique tasting that is served on a salt plate – you can lick it, but apparently that would be weird. These plates are mainly used as a hot plate and heated until they are white (normally pink at room temperature) and then food is cooked on them. The food leaches the salt from the plate and seasons itself, how unique 🙂 Moving on to the actual tasting, we are given melba toast with a variety of pate’s/toppings that are chosen to bring out the flavour of the wines that you will taste. Now as we all know, I am no foodie or sommelier I just enjoy both food and wine so here is my go at what the tasting was all about:

Tasting 1 – Unfilterd Savignon Blanc and Sulfuric Volcano Salt

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The 2014 unfiltered Sav Blanc is a very young vintage, the colour is slightly green because of this and it has a slightly high acidity. This vintage is paired with a salty Dolmada that has been soaked in the “fart salt”. This sulphuric volcanic salt from Pakistan has the characterististic sulphuric smell of egg that I don’t think is that bad but apparently I am in the minority with this. The salt is very pungent when tasted but our taster assured us that on popcorn it is delicious. The briney taste of the dolmads works very well to reduce the acidity in the young vintage and when the acidity is reduced the fruitiness of the wine is brought out which for me softened the first taste. My fellow Bikies ‘n Wines colleagues tasted some asparagus notes as well, but I got stuck on the fruity side of things.

Tasting 2 – Unfilteres Charddonnay 2013 and Hawaian black Lava Salt

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The Chardonnay is wooded for 8 months in new French oak barrels, the colour is a lot lighter than the sauvingnon blanc with a much more robust buttery feel to it. Our pairing was with a green olive tapendade made with almond paste (I kept calling it pesto as it seemed like a mix between tampenade and pesto – I’m not a foodie so don’t sue me). The black salt used in this is very interesting to look at and taste as we are so not used to seeing black salt, this extreme colour is caused by the last process of the salt production where it is infused in activated coconut shell charcoal which gives it a more intense flavour. The almonds in the tampenade bring out the wooded quality in the wine and the olives (technically a fruit) highlites certain citrus notes come to the surface at the same time. I couldn’t get enough of this pairing and had to restrain myself so that I could mix and match the wines after the tastings.

Tasting 3 – Unfiltered 2011 merlot and Murray Ruver Pink Salt

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This vintage is barrelled in french oak for 18 months producing a very tannin rich (that bitter dry mouth taste) wine but the tannins are not as aggressive as say the Cabernet which we will taste next (always start with the lighter wines and make your way to the heavier ones or you will destroy your pallat for that tasting). When a wine has a high amount of tannins it generally means that it has a good ageing ability and will “soften” over time.  The chicken liver pate with the sweet caremalized onion made with the Murray River Pink Salt it a very rich pairing that works quite well to soften the acidity in the wine wich then gives the sweeter onions a chance to bring out some of the fruityness in the wine. I always love how all wine is classified as fruity and then realised that it is made of grapes so this really shouldn’t be to surprising. This pairing is had the entire group using their fingers to try and get the utmost out of our little jars of pate – scrumptiouliscious

Tasting 4 – Unfiltered 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

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The Cabernet sauvignon is a heavier more substantial wine that is matured in French oak barrels for 16 months, you would expect to have this with a large steak, but Bergkelder has chosen to pair it with a Sundried Tomato and Mature gouda combination that is seasoned with the Red Alea Salt. The sweetness of the tomato is not something that I would readily pair with a red wine but with the sharpness of the gouda bringing down the tannins, the fruity tomato seem so  accentuate the plumy flavours that are hiding really well in the wine.

Tasting 5 – Noble late harvest and Khoisan Salt Flakes

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Fluer de Cap’s late harvest is a noble late harvest, this means that the vineyards have been infected with the botrytis mould, this sounds pretty bad but a wine cannot be called a “noble” harvest if this infection hasn’t happened. The mould leaches most of the water out of the wine leaving the sugar and fruit acid and minerals in a higher concentrate than usual. The noble late harvest from fluer de cap has 186g of sugar in it per litre, this is SUPER sweet, but isn’t as syrupy as you would expect (a dry wine generally has under 5 grams of sugar in it). The first thing you are supposed to know when pairing a dessert wine is that the wine should always be as sweet or sweeter than the dessert in question. The pairing of this decadent sweetness is complimented very well with the bergkelder salted fudge infused with West Coast Khoisan salt flakes. The salt acts as a great way to bring down the sweetness so you can taste the peache and honey flavours hidden in the wine. This is the perfect way to end off a great dinner or just a simple tasting and I may have had to ask for another piece of fudge or two because it is just so more-ish. The overall experience is a decadent one that leaves you ready to sink into a puffy armchair and smile wistfully out the window for the rest of the day.

Join us on tour and mention that you want to go on a Bergkelder Salt tasting and we will happily oblige

Post by: Tarryn Povey – General Manager

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October 2015 | Bikes 'n Wines
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Pinotage, a history.

Wine loving South African’s covet their Pinotage as much as the French cover their Cognac and Champagne. We love it so much in fact, that it has become the 2nd most planted grape varietal in South Africa. Although we have not gone as far as prohibiting the name if the wine is made in another country (I do think this has been requested though).

So where did it all start?

The whole story goes back almost 100 years to 1925 when Abraham Izak Perold crossed the Pinot Noir, the prince of Red grape varietals in France, and the local hermitage grape (also known as Cinsaut). Hermitage has never been characterised as a good grape varietal but it seemed to love the Cape climate and did very well under her harsh conditions. The hypothesis behind this was more than likely to get the taste and characteristics from the Pinot and the hardiness and survival capability of the Hermitage.

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The man behind the Pinotage Grape – Abraham Perold

Perold cross produced only 4 seeds and instead of growing them on University land, kept them under close watch at his own home on Welgevallen farm. This move almost lead to the annihilation of the young varietal when Perold left Stellenbosch to work in Paarl and left the garden unattended for almost 2 years. When the university came in to clean up the now overgrown gardens, it was only by chance that a young lecturer cycled past the clean-up crew and remembered the seedlings.  They were taken back and kept under the watchful eyes of Professor Theron at a nearby Agricultural College. After some cultivation at the College, an excited Prof Theron showed his work to Perold and after much study of the plants, one varietal was chosen to become the “mother “of Pinotage and the vines were planted. By this time, 16 years had passed from the first seedlings to a vineyard capable of producing wine grapes. So when it came down to deciding who should make this historic batch as both Theron and Perold were not wine-makers, they turned to a colleague Mr CT De Waal, who became the first wine maker to produce a Pinotage wine. The result of the vineyard created very dark grapes that were bold and high in tannins, this tempted farmers to stretch out the wine as much as they could (which was quite a bit due to the darker colour) and the Pinotage name became a little soured as the wine produced were of lower standard. This luckily enough has changed and in the last 30-40 years the art of Pinotage has created some of the best drinking wines around.

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Know what to smell in your next glass of Pinotage

The first commercial vines were planted 2 years later and although these are not still around, we have tracked down the oldest Pinotage vineyards in the country (it wasn’t that hard, we just went straight to the source). The 65 year old vineyards planted on CT De Waal’s family farm in a spot called “Top of the Hill” are the oldest, and they still produce wine, De Waal Wines creates a single vineyard vintage each year.

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You will find the oldest pinotage vineyards in the world at De Waal estate

These vineyards however, will not last forever and will sadly be removed eventually as the vineyard starts to produce less and less and production costs to produce wine become too high to be viable for sales but until then, lets taste as much of this beauty as possible

Join them this weekend on the Top of Hill Pinotage Walk or simply join our Platinum or Luxury Tours to taste this South African Great

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