A grilled Portuguese sardine is one of life’s great fishy pleasures. In South Africa one finds these critters in the freezer, each fish having been individually quick-frozen after being caught in the Atlantic off Portugal to ensure firm-fleshed and flavoursome eating.
Last week I hauled a few packs to De Wetshof for the annual sardine braai that Portuguese national Joaquim Sa and moi host for the sardine-loving De Wet family. Our sardines were packaged under the Breco brand and having been purchased at Porra-owned Fish4Africa in Woodstock, I presumed another splendid culinary evening was in store. The perfect sardines would be washed down with vinho verde while Joaquim entertained us with jokes about Portuguese nuns before bursting into tear-inducing bouts of fado song.
The spate of Cold Fronts lashing the Western Cape over the past few weeks were only the precursor to the real storm set to take place this Friday when wineries Muratie Estate and DuToitskloof Winery square off in the first Boland Waterblommetjie Championship Cook-off. The ubiquitous waterblommetjie, a classic local ingredient used in preparing a traditional hearty stew, takes centre stage when a panel of esteemed judges line-up to decide who is the Boland’s Waterblommetjie Champion.
When in doubt, say Italian. This is Peter de Wet from DeWetshof’s advice to one faced with the challenge of identifying an unknown international wine. And with so many bloody wines coming out of the Boot, it’s sage and practical counsel.
But it’s funny how in one week Italy can make a turn in one’s vinous consciousness all of three times.