September Vinatics – the civilised one
September 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
I think it is fair to say that we have had some interesting Vinatics evenings. iPhone karaoke, blue jokes, Klingon conversations – we’ve definitely had more than our share of riotous evenings. So it was actually a wonderful relief to have a civilised evening for a change when we hosted our KWV Wines Vin-atics Tapas evening last night.
I hope Sam doesn’t get a complex about this, but it was rather a spooky coincidence that three of last night’s guests only seem to come to Vinatics when she’s not around……! My husband Kevin was persuaded to join the merry throng, as was top blogger and smokin’ hot lady, Sam Linsell, and leading foodie light of the Cape and Crush! Queen, Carey Boucher-Erasmus, all of whom have been to Vinatics before, none of whom have ever been to one with Sam W. What a treat they have in store for their third time lucky!! It was a feast of bloggers last night with Durban’s finest, Janice Tripepi, joining us in the midst of her whirlwind media tour of the Cape and Carey’s husband Johan and Chef Caro’s husband Paul evening up the numbers.
The theme for the night was tapas – cos we’ve been going tapas-crazy at Food24 this past month. And KWV Classic Collection are really good, relaxed, chilled-out and informal wines which seemed to suit the vibe. Feeling brave/insane, Caro had agreed to cook all six dishes for a change (with a little help from me), so we sat down to huge platters of delicious food which emerged at intervals from the kitchen as we all sat swigging down the wine.
First dishes out of the kitchen were the Garlic Chicken Kebabs, Spicy Lamb Meatballs and Aubergine and Feta Fritters. The meatballs were not quite as advertised since they were actually pork instead of lamb, contained onion instead of spring onion and were served with minted yoghurt instead of sweet chilli sauce as recommended by their creator, Food and the Fabulous. Still, it all seemed to work out okay, although the winner of the first round of food turned out to be an uber-hot cream cheese which Caro whipped up at the last minute to go with the fritters “I’m just stealing some extra now in case somebody else finishes up the lot!” claimed Jan, eyeing Kevin severely over the top of her glasses as he ate it by the spoonful.
The Chicken Kebabs were going down great with even 5 year-old Charlie tucking in as he watched ‘Shark Tale’ behind us on the sofa. Sam was trading compliments with the creator of the fritters, Simply Delicious over Twitter whilst Meagan actually introduced Jan to Twitter (@janicetripepi) and gave her a crash course in using her iPhone. At the other end of the table, the Pick n Pay/Woolworths debate became personal, as it transpired that Carey works for one and Johan works for another. Which one do they shop in? Ah, that would be telling!
Onto round two and Cath went on a guilt-trip into the kitchen to help Caro “What can I do to help?” “Well, you can make the Hollandaise” “Oh, okay, I’ll be right back” as she turned on her heel, returned to the dining room and drummed up some recruits to take her place “I can’t even spell Hollandaise, there’s no way I’m going to make it!” Carey was already in the kitchen, whipping up her Patatas Bravas – and she thought she was having a night off! – so it was up to Sam and Jan to wrestle with the stick blender and make it all happen.
So eventually Steak with Hollandaise, Patatas Bravas and Calamari with pesto and peppers made their way to the table. The Calamari had thrown Caro a bit when she unwrapped it as the original dish was Stuffed Calamari but all the tubes had been cut. Undaunted, she made a kind of stirfry of the rice and peppers, added the pesto, flash-fried the calamari and finished it off with a gentle warm-through in the oven – folks, write this method down because this gives you THE most tender calamari you will ever taste. Guaranteed!
By this time of the evening – as always – conversation was getting a little frayed around the edges with Kevin trying to persuade Meagan to use his camera to take pictures “I can’t – it’s a Nikon and not a Canon” “Yes, you’re right, that’s a huge difference. I mean it’s spelt differently and uses different letters!” as his sarcastic-chip went into overdrive. Paul was earnestly praising his wife’s eating prowess “She’s very deceptive – she looks thin, but she can really pack it away!” and Caro sat back and claimed all the credit for the Hollandaise, despite having handed over whisking responsibilities “It’s all to do with the Chenin reduction, that’s what made that sauce.”
And so the evening ended at an incredibly civilised hour and a large bagful of Chuckles. And what of the wines in all this you may ask? Well, we didn’t really take votes on individual dishes as we were too busy scoffing them all down, but general consensus was that the Chenin Blanc was a winner with anything spicy, whilst the Shiraz came into its own with the steak and meatballs. Dish of the evening was the Calamari and huge thanks go, as always, to Caro for cooking and hostess-ing, to our lovely guests – Carey, Johan, Sam, Jan and Kevin – and to KWV Wines for giving us such a lovely, relaxed, enjoyable time.
WIN A CASE OF WINE!!!
Yes – I’m talking to you! How easy is it this month? Get hold of a couple of bottles of KWV’s delicious Classic Collection wines and hold your own tapas evening – you can use our recipes or your own favourites. Take pics, tell us how it went and the best one will win a case of wine. C’mon – it doesn’t get any easier than that!! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with pics or a link to your blog.