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  • Quick and easy cake bites made from puréed Baby Carrots garnished with traditional carrot cake toppings, rounded off with a glass of Riesling.

    BAKED CARROT CAKE DOUGHNUTS, ROUNDED OFF WITH A GLASS OF VREDE EN LUST EARLY MIST RIESLING 2018

    • MAKES: 12
    • DIFFICULTY: EASY
    • PREP TIME: 30 MINS 
    • COOK TIME: 25 MINS

    INGREDIENTS:

    Carrot Cake Doughnuts

    250g (½ bag) Findus Baby Carrots, cooked
    2 large eggs
    ½ C (125 ml) olive oil
    80 ml (⅓ C) golden syrup
    ⅔ C (160 ml / 130 g) brown sugar
    1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
    ½ C (125 ml) sour cream
    1¼ C (310 ml / 155 g) self-raising flour
    zest of 1 orange

    Icing

    ¼ C (60 ml / 30 g) icing sugar
    ¼ C (60 ml / 60 g) plain cream cheese, at room temperature
    4 tsp (20 ml) warm water
    ½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla essence

    To Serve

    100 g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
    80 g white chocolate, made into curls
    fresh mint leaves, to garnish (optional)

     

    METHOD:

    Carrot Cake Doughnuts

    Preheat the oven to 160 °C.
    Grease a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
    Place the cooked Findus Baby Carrots, eggs, olive oil, syrup, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor and blend for 1 minute until puréed and smooth.

    Whisk in the sour cream, flour, and zest until smooth.
    Place the mixture in a measuring jug and pour it into the doughnut pans.

    Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and cooked through. Leave the cake doughnuts in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Leave to cool.

    Icing

    Whisk all of the ingredients for the icing together until smooth.

    To Serve

    Dip the top of each cooled doughnut into the icing and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place on a cooling rack that has been set over a tray and scatters the chopped walnuts and chocolate curls on top. Garnish with mint (optional).

    Tip: To make white chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler to peel off chocolate curls from the sides of a bar of white chocolate. Warm the sides of the bar up with the palm of your hand to make peeling the curls off easier. Refrigerate the curls until needed.

    Sit back and enjoy your festive dessert with the family while keeping your glasses full with your favourite Chenin Blanc, Vrede en Lust Early Mist Riesling 2018.

  • Make this impressive vegetarian roast for your veggie friends and top that with a glass of Chenin Blanc!

    FESTIVE VEGETARIAN ROAST WITH BROWN BUTTER SAUCE & A GLASS OF VREDE EN LUST KOGELBERG CHENIN BLANC 2016

    • MAKES: 4-6 PORTIONS
    • DIFFICULTY: A LITTLE EFFORT
    • PREP TIME: 60 MINS 
    • COOK TIME: 60 MINS

    INGREDIENTS:

    Stuffing

    50 g butter
    ½ onion, finely chopped
    salt
    250 g portabellini mushrooms, finely chopped
    50 g baby spinach, washed, dried and roughly chopped
    40 g feta, crumbled

    Butternut

    1 evenly sized butternut, washed and dried
    salt
    1 large courgette (one that will fit nicely inside the cavity of the butternut)
    olive oil
    5-6 Findus Baby Carrots
    50 g pecan nuts, roasted

    Brown Butter

    ¾ C (180 g) butter
    juice of 1/2 a lemon
    salt and pepper

    METHOD:

    Stuffing

    Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat until the onions are softened throughout. Add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes until cooked through.

    Remove from the heat and add the spinach, leave to wilt for a minute or two. Check the seasoning and place in a colander or sieve to allow the excess liquid to drain off. When ready to stuff the butternut, add the feta and mix well to combine.

    Butternut

    Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.

    First things first, get your butternut, wash it and dry it. Then carefully halve it and scoop out the seeds.

    Then, using a small paring knife, roughly mark the outline you’re going to scoop to – you want to leave about two fingers’ width.

    Then, using a spoon and a little force, scrape out the filling of the butternut ensuring you leave enough of a border to keep the roast secure.

    Keep scooping until you have a nice even shaped cavity. Trim the ends off your courgette and check that it fits snugly in the cavity.

    Halve the courgette and very gently remove the seeds with a teaspoon.

    Place a little amount of stuffing down the canal of the courgette and then place your Findus Baby Carrots on top of that filling.

    Lastly, carefully sprinkle over the chopped pecans then carefully (and quickly!) place the two halves together.

    Secure with twine, place on a roasting tray and then oil and season. You may need to use a couple of large stainless steel serving spoons to wedge the butternut and to keep it from rolling over on the tray.

    Place in the oven to cook for at least 1 hour. Check for doneness, the butternut needs to be soft all the way through.

    Brown Butter Sauce

    While the roast is cooking, make the brown butter sauce.

    Melt the butter in a frying pan and increase the heat, whisking as it melts. The butter will foam up, then subside and begin to caramelise and you’ll be able to smell a nutty aroma.

    Cook for a few more minutes to allow it to turn a deep nut brown, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

    Watch out for spitting when you add the lemon juice.

    To Serve

    Use a serrated knife to slice the butternut and drizzle with brown butter.

    Sit back and enjoy your festive lunch with the family while keeping your glasses full with your favourite Chenin Blanc, Vrede en Lust Kogelberg Chenin 2016.

  • A plump juicy chicken stuffed with umami deliciousness & topped with a glass of your favourite Chenin Blanc!

    ROAST CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOM, PARMESAN & BACON STUFFING PAIRED WITH VREDE EN LUST KOGELBERG CHENIN BLANC 2016

    • MAKES: 6 PORTIONS
    • DIFFICULTY: EASY
    • PREP TIME: 15 MINS 
    • COOK TIME: 1:45 HOURS

    INGREDIENTS:

    Chicken

    1 large free-range chicken
    3 Tbsp (45 ml) softened butter
    4 sage leaves
    butcher’s twine/trussing string

    Stuffing

    6 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
    2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    3 fat cloves garlic, crushed
    2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh thyme
    500 g combination of assorted mushrooms (shitake, brown, king oyster), finely chopped
    25 g dried porcini mushrooms hydrated in ¼ (60 ml) boiling water, finely chopped
    1 C (250 ml) fresh white breadcrumbs
    ¼ C (60 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
    zest of 1 lemon
    1 large egg, beaten
    olive oil for drizzling
    freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
    extra 8 rashers of streaky bacon

    METHOD:

    Chicken

    Loosen the skin on the breast side of the chicken and rub butter underneath the skin together with a few sage leaves. Be careful not to pierce the skin.

    Stuffing

    In a large frying pan, sauté the bacon until crispy, add the butter and fry the onions, garlic, and thyme until fragrant and softened. Add the mushrooms, season and sauté until browned and the excess liquid has cooked away.

    Spoon the mixture into a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, zest, and egg. Mix until well combined and season generously with salt and pepper.

    Spoon the cooled stuffing into the chicken cavity and then use butcher’s twine to truss the chicken, or simply tie the legs together. Use the leftover stuffing to make individual balls and wrap each in a rasher of bacon.

    Rub the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast on a rack placed over a roasting tray for 1 hour then add the stuffing balls and roast for a further 30 minutes or until golden and the juices from the chicken run clear. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

    Tip: Make a gravy from the cooking juices by adding 500 ml of chicken stock and a splash of old brown sherry. Thicken by mixing a little cornflour with cold water and whisking this into the mixture.

    Sit back and enjoy your festive lunch with the family while keeping your glasses full with your favourite Chenin Blanc, Vrede en Lust Kogelberg Chenin 2016.

  • Celebrate Riesling with a contemporary twist on a classic gammon roast, roll on Christmas!

    APRICOT, GINGER, GARLIC AND CHILLI GLAZED GAMMON WITH APPLE AND FENNEL SLAW PAIRED WITH VREDE EN LUST EARLY MIST RIESLING 2018

    • MAKES: 6-8 PORTIONS
    • DIFFICULTY: MODERATE
    • PREP TIME: 20 MINS 
    • COOK TIME: 3:0 HOURS

    INGREDIENTS:

    Gammon

    2.5 kg gammon
    1 red onion, quartered
    2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
    2 garlic cloves, smashed
    2 cinnamon sticks
    2 bay leaves
    10 peppercorns
    3 cloves
    1-star anise
    1 peel of lemon rind

    Apricot, Ginger, Garlic and Chilli Glaze

    1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
    1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
    1 large knob of ginger, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 red chili, finely chopped
    1 C (125 ml) apricot jam
    2 Tbsp (30 ml) Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp (30 ml)  red wine vinegar

    Slaw

    2 C (500 ml) thinly sliced red cabbage
    1 C (250 ml)  thinly sliced green cabbage
    4 Granny Smith apples, sliced into matchsticks
    6 spring onions, thinly sliced
    3 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
    1 large carrot, grated
    2 Tbsp (30 ml) black sesame seeds, toasted
    juice and zest of 1 lime
    3 Tbsp (45 ml) mayonnaise
    sea salt and freshly ground pepper

    METHOD:

    Gammon

    Place all the ingredients for the gammon into a pot large and fill it with water until the gammon is submerged. Bring the water to a boil then turn down the heat to low and gently simmer the gammon for 2 hours.

    Apricot, Ginger, Garlic and Chilli Glaze

    Heat a small pot over medium heat. Heat the oil and butter, then add the ginger, garlic, and chili and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the apricot jam, mustard, and vinegar and whisk well to combine. Season to taste and set aside.

    Slaw

    Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl then stir in the mayonnaise and lightly toss to combine. Cover with a lid and leave it in the fridge to chill until you are ready to serve.

    Glazing the Gammon

    After 2 hours remove the gammon from the pot and place it onto a rack to cool slightly.

    Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.

    Cut the netting off the gammon then using carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife. Try to keep as much of the fat under the skin on the gammon as possible. Score the fat with lines/diamonds about 1 cm apart.

    Place the gammon on a roasting rack and use a pastry brush to paint it with a generous amount of glaze. Bake the gammon for 15 minutes then give it another painting of glaze and bake for a further 15 minutes until the outside has caramelised.

    Remove from the oven and let the gammon rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with slaw on the side.

    Sit back and enjoy your festive lunch with the family while keeping your glasses full with Vrede en Lust Early Mist Riesling 2018.

  • Karlin Nel, our travelling winemaker

    I recently had the opportunity to join the famous tribe of the well-known “travelling winemakers of the world” for a few weeks when I represented Vrede en Lust in Europe and the United Kingdom. In the emerging social media era hashtags and handles related to travelling, wine enthusiasts, winemakers and even travelling winemakers are becoming  more popular and trendy!  Following these on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram might take you on a wine journey from a local, small town like Malgas to the most beautiful, well-known sites of Napa Valley.

     

    During August I had the opportunity to meet with some of our importers in different countries, including Birmingham, Belgium and Germany. The aim of my visit was to mainly do trade visits and to present some lovely food and wine pairings to the citizens of the UK and EU.

     

    My first stop was in Birmingham, UK. I conducted a tutored Food and Wine paring at Little Blackwood Restaurant in Moseley, a village known for its cosmopolitan community and vibrant social scene. Brought to you by the award-winning chef, Ben Taylor, Little Blackwood Mosley is his first restaurant back in his hometown. Some of the pairings included the Vrede en Lust Viognier 2016 paired with pan seared Monkfish, Mango and Pineapple salsa, smoked Chili Mayonnaise and Garlic Pak Choi. An amazing gastronomical experience it sure was!!

    Food & Wine Pairing at Little Blackwood Restaurant, Moseley

     

    Thereafter I took the train to London where I had four “touristy” days to explore the sensational London culture and lifestyle. Some of my highlights included the Hop-on-hop-off tours, visiting the Buckingham Palace, a lovely Thames river cruise, the well-known London Eye, the busy Piccadilly Circus, Oxford street and one of my personal favorites, exploring the street food at Camden market.

    Thames River Cruise: London Tower Bridge

    Thames River Cruise – London Eye

    Camden Market

     

    My next stop was Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Our importer in from Minngoed in Belgium, Frederick, organized a lovely day in Oudenaarde which was referred to as: “Minnegoed Degustatie & Ontedeekingsdag”. In short, this entailed a day for the public to taste South African and Portuguese wines. We had a terrific day with our flagship White, Barrique, turning out to being one of the top Wines for the show. We also did a tasting in one of the most beautiful towns, Ghent, at a wine bar with a great turnout of locals loving the South African wine. I ended my time in Belgium on a high note with some free time to explore the amazing Ghent and its culture!

    Wine Bar in Ghent, Belgium

     

    Ghent, Belgium

    Belgian Waffles

    My final stop was in Germany. I visited Capreo, our importers in Germany. They specialize in importing premium wines of the highest quality from South Africa. I presented a lovely tasting consisting out of our whole range (similar to the range available in the Vrede en Lust Tasting Room in South Africa) for the Capreo team.

     

    My highlight of the trip was to share my intense passion for wines to wine lovers all across the world. Like I always say: “Every moment in life we have the opportunity to choose joy and what better way to choose this joy with a glass (or bottle) of Vrede en Lust!!”

     

    ‘Till my next adventure! Cheers!

     

  • Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2017 – Success for Vrede en Lust

    casey's ridge estate

    Tim Atkin’s much anticipated 2017 South Africa Special Report has just been released, and at Vrede en Lust we have reason to clink our glasses to the results. The highly respected British wine writer and Master of Wine published his 5th report on the state of South African wine this year, and no less than 8 wines from our cellar received outstanding ratings.

    Here is a look at Vrede en Lust’s star performers in this year’s overview:

    Lady J Syrah 2013 – 90 points

    The Lady J Syrah is the perfect example of how fruit from two different terroirs (warmer climate Paarl-Simonsberg and cooler climate Elgin) can harmonise to create a wine showcasing the best of both regions and beautiful balance. It features juicy plums and mulberries, along with aromatic notes of violets, spice and black pepper.

    Boet Erasmus 2013 – 91 points

    Vrede en Lust’s flagship red wine is named after the owners’ grandfather, who left an awe-inspiring legacy as rugby administrator and family man. This Bordeaux blend is marked by vibrant red and black fruit, tobacco and vanilla spice and a mineral earthiness.

    Artisan Cabernet Franc 2014 – 91 points

    This acclaimed wine received the coveted Cabernet Franc Trophy at the 2016 Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. It has a bright core of juicy red fruit, with integrated fynbos and savoury notes, and a fresh, generous finish.

    Artisan Casey’s Ridge Shiraz 2013 – 92 points

    Another winning wine from the 2013 crop, reaffirming the excellence of this vintage. Made from the elegant cool-climate fruit of Vrede en Lust’s Elgin farm, Casey’s Ridge, this wine exudes bright red fruit aromas and typical varietal notes of herbs and spice, with fine tannins and a persistent finish.

    Barrique Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – 93 points

    2015 was also one of the finest recent vintages in the Cape winelands, in fact, Tim Aktin remarked in his previous SA Special Report that it was “the best I’ve tasted in 26 years of writing about the country’s wines” and should be a springboard to global recognition. The Barrique Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is a gem of a wine, and a blend that Vrede en Lust’s cellar team has been perfecting since 2009 with great passion. It shows the synergy between Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and has proven to be a wine with great longevity. Rich and complex with quince, lime and elderflower flavours elegantly balanced by a lingering minerality.

    What is more, the Kogelberg Chenin Blanc 2015 and White Mischief 2016 were both awarded 89 points, and the Casey’s Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2016 88 points, underscoring the quality of the Vrede en Lust range across the whole portfolio. Get your hands on these exceptional wines now while stocks last.

  • Susan bids Vrede en Lust farewell after 12 years at the winemaking helm

    Susan Erasmus (right) with successor Karlin Nel (left).

    It is with sadness but great appreciation that we say goodbye to our head winemaker of 12 years, Susan Erasmus, at the end of August. We look back at Susan’s tenure with fondness, and while her parting is an enormous loss, we are grateful for her long-standing commitment in establishing Vrede en Lust as a sought-after super premium wine brand, and wish her well as she spreads her wings in the industry.

    Susan was only 26 years old and starting out on her winemaking journey with big aspirations when she took charge of the Vrede en Lust cellar in 2006. Coincidentally, her assistant until recently, Karlin Nel, who now takes over as head winemaker, is also a youthful 26.

    Susan has experienced many highlights during her time at Vrede en Lust, notably when she received the Woman Winemaker of the Year award for her maiden vintage Viognier 2007. Yet she will be the first to tell you that winemaking is a career that keeps one humble – no two vintages are ever the same and every harvest brings its own unique challenges. “As a winemaker it is important to ultimately know your vineyards and trust your instincts,” she says.

    Other memorable highlights for Susan have included the growth of the Artisan Range, Vrede en Lust’s experimental handcrafted range made in limited quantities for the wine club, and the high acclaim received by wines across the entire range. “When I look back at our positioning in the market 11 years ago, the growth and expansion of the brand has been phenomenal. The best description for our wines remains affordable luxury, and this is clearly recognised by consumers. I think the care and attention to detail that goes into the making of every Vrede en Lust wine has reaped rewards in a big way. It shows in the ever growing demand for our wines in the trade, our thriving wine club and the regular achievements at local and international level. Another recent stand-out was having Tim Atkin MW taste our range and getting glowing feedback, showing that our wines can shine on a global stage.”

    Susan will now be joining Laffort SA, where she will be assisting wine producers with technical advice, but will still continue to lend her expertise to Vrede en Lust’s cellar team from time to time. And she has every confidence in her successor. “I look forward to helping Karlin as mentor and consultant. I know that given her exceptional skill and vision she will be very successful in her new role and look forward to seeing her grow and prosper.”

    Go well Susan and best wishes for the future, your legacy at Vrede en Lust will be treasured.

  • Our Kogelberg Chenin Blanc 2015 Wows SA Sommeliers

    Vrede en Lust has made a big impression on the local wine and hospitality fraternity with its remarkable Kogelberg Chenin Blanc – a wine that has been turning heads since its maiden release. The 2015 vintage has been selected for this year’s Sommeliers Selection, South Africa’s first and only wine competition adjudicated solely by a panel of the country’s top sommeliers.

    For this unique competition, entries are judged for their food appropriateness and gastronomical relevance during blind tastings, and selected wines are compiled in a wine list format which is distributed to the local restaurant trade. The winning wines will also be showcased at trade and public tastings which will take place on 28 September and 5 October in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.

    The Kogelberg Chenin Blanc was selected by the Sommeliers Selection panel in the category ‘full and rich whites’, underscoring the complexity of the wine which makes it the perfect partner for many styles of cuisine, and creamy, aromatic dishes in particular.

    It is a wine with a special story, with the grapes used for the Kogelberg Chenin Blanc grown on Vrede en Lust’s Elgin farm, Casey’s Ridge. When Vrede en Lust owners, the Buys family, bought the farm in 2005, it was almost entirely planted to apple orchards, but recognizing the potential to produce superlative wine grapes, the farm was replanted to varieties ideally suited to the farm’s cool climate and unique terroir. The cool climate wines produced from these grapes complement the warmer climate Simonsberg-Paarl plantings and are a natural extention to the individualistic Vrede en Lust range. The Kogelberg Chenin Blanc originates from a registered single vineyard named the Kogelberg block, so named because of its location in the Kogelberg Biosphere, the first UNESCO proclaimed biosphere in Africa with an incredible diversity of fynbos and other plant species.

    The first bottling of the Kogelberg Chenin Blanc was released in 2011 and received a Gold Michelangelo Award just prior to its release, an achievement that was repeated by the 2012 vintage. The wine is produced in limited quantities and fermented in 225 and 500 litre French oak barrels using 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. The wine receives lees contact for 10 months prior to bottling for enhanced flavour and complexity. While the 2015 vintage is presently showing exceptionally well as the Sommelier Selection result testifies, it is also a wine with outstanding ageability that develops further character within 5-7 years from vintage.

    Winemaker Susan Erasmus, who is known for her artisanal, hands-on approach in the cellar, describes the Kogelberg Chenin Blanc as a riveting taste experience, with layered, lingering ripe stone fruit and honey flavours combined with refreshing citrus notes. Available at the cellar and selected fine wine retailers while stocks last.

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