Banks Youth Day Cook Off 2018

Let’s do Lunch

The only thing that trumps a great lunch, is pairing it with an awesome activity.

 

In this blog, we’ve picked four of our favourite lunchtime activities that’ll be sure to make your next lunch date not only delicious but fun, too!

 

LUNCH & WALK
We love nothing more than taking a stroll through a beautifully landscaped garden or along the beachfront promenade. Take your pick from these amazing eateries, book a lunch and then enjoy the serenity of your surroundings.

 

Moyo at Kirstenbosch
https://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch/

 

 

Babel or the Conservatory at Babylonstoren
https://www.babylonstoren.com/

 

 

Winchester Mansions across from the Promenade
http://www.winchester.co.za/

 

 

LUNCH & SHOP
Shopping can work up quite an appetite and having a few restaurant options close by certainly makes it easier when you need to eat, quickly! We love the V&A Waterfront for its abundant shopping options and their variety of restaurants that will impress even the fussiest of eaters.

 

The Alba
https://thealba.co.za/

 

 

Sevruga
http://www.sevrugarestaurant.co.za/

 

 

The Silo
https://www.theroyalportfolio.com/the-silo/overview/

 

 

LUNCH & PAMPER

From manicures to massages, find your favourite pampering experience at one of these phenomenal locations and end it off with a magnificent lunch. If that’s not a day fit for a king or queen – we don’t know what is.

 

Mount Nelson Hotel and Spa
https://www.belmond.com/hotels/africa/south-africa/cape-town/belmond-mount-nelson-hotel/

 

 

The Vineyard Hotel and Spa
https://www.vineyard.co.za/

 

 

The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa
https://www.12apostleshotel.com/?sc_lang=en-ZA

 

 

LUNCH & SURF
For those who love nothing more than being close to the ocean and breathing in the fresh sea air, why not opt for a paddle or a surf followed by a delicious lunch? This is a great day out for the entire family, just don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

The Empire
http://www.empirecafe.co.za/

 

 

The Blue Water’s Cafe
http://www.bluewaterscafe.co.za/

 

 

Dunes
https://www.dunesrestaurant.co.za/

 

 

With such a great variety to choose from, what are you waiting for? Don’t forget to share your lunchtime activities by tagging us in your posts, we would love to see what you are up to!

 

Have fun,

The Point Team x

Winter Warmers: Soups

With Winter on our doorstep, we can think of no better dinner than a delicious warm soup with some fresh bread to accompany it. In this post, we look at 5 soups to suit everyone’s tastes, from beef to beans and even a vegan option or two. With all this variety, we are sure you’re bound to find your new favourite, here!

 

First and foremost is the well known and loved, Butternut soup. We like to pair it with a fresh, crispy roll and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish. Bonus, this soup is vegan too.

 

 

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking time: 1hour 30 min
Find the recipe here: https://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/spiced_butternut_squash_soup

 

Second on the list, is a winter warmer that is as legendary for its taste as it is for its cold-fighting capabilities. There is no better dish when you’re under the weather and we love it served with noodles rather than bread.

 

 

Serves: 10 people
Cooking time: 1hour
Find the recipe here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/the-ultimate-chicken-noodle-soup

 

Tomato soup isn’t always the first choice but we think it might have something to do with not finding the right flavour combination. Next time try a grilled cheese with this classic soup, we guarantee that this will make your taste buds dance. If you prefer a vegan version, swap regular cheese for your favourite vegan brand and presto, you have a great flavour combo at your fingertips!

 

 

Serves: 6 people
Cooking time: 1hour
Find the recipe here: https://www.blissfulbasil.com/dreamy-vegan-tomato-soup/

 

For those who prefer a rich and hearty winter warmer, this delicious beef soup will tick all the right boxes. Perfectly paired with a freshly baked loaf or some delectable dumplings, but more importantly, a delicious glass of red.

 

 

Serves: 8 people
Cooking time: 1hour 50 min
Find the recipe here: https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/best-beef-soup/2b97b987-4495-471d-8439-5c49c9259b3d

 

Last but surely not least, we had to include the comforting and flavourful bean soup. We love this option just as it is; no garnish or sides needed. The best part is that this soup only takes fifteen minutes to prepare, so you will have dinner done before you can say “Supper is served”!

 

 

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 15 min
Find the recipe here: https://www.food24.com/Recipes/Old-fashioned-bean-soup-20091103

 

Soup doesn’t have to be boring or bland, try one of these scrumptious soups for dinner and wow your friends and family.

 

Bon Appétit,

The Point Team x

 

 

Red, red wine with The Point and Checkers

 

With the cooler Autumn weather fast approaching, there really is nothing better than sitting by a warm fire and enjoying a glass of red wine.

 

If you are a novice, words like Merlot and Shiraz might leave you mistaking Cabernet for Cabaret but luckily, our friends at Checkers Liquors are here to help!

 

With their assistance, we have put together a cheat sheet to some of the more common descriptors (aka ‘wine lingo’):

 

Sommelier: A French term for Wine Steward, who lives, breathes, sleeps and of course drinks wine. Remember, these days to call yourself a sommelier, you must be ‘certified’.

 

Acidity- the crispness or refreshing taste at the end of wine, more common in white wines than red wines.
 

Finish: This can also be referred to as the aftertaste a wine leaves in your mouth.
 

Palate: It’s simple, it describes the flavours and complexities of a wine on your tongue and within your mouth.

 

Tannic:  A slight mouth-drying effect.
 

Legs: When a wine is swirled, it leaves behind drops that slide down the side of a wine glass.
 

Nose: The smell of the wine in the glass.
 

Pip: It’s simply the grape seeds.
 

Punt: Have you ever noticed the indentation in the bottom of your wine bottle? This is called a punt!
 

Vintage: The year in which the grapes were harvested, that made the wine.

 

For those of you who have read the Checkers wine blog, you will that know Cortana is a wine guru of note. Here are some of his easy definitions of our favourite Reds and a few tips when pouring!

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

 

As a late-ripening grape, we have the ideal location, as it particularly prefers warmer climates. Traditional, firm, assertive styles are made here, but the trend is towards more upfront wines driven by ripe, juicy fruit with cedar, tobacco and spicy oak complexity. The best wines from this variety display exceptionally deep colour, the characteristic aroma of blackcurrants (cassis) and have an almost unequalled capacity to age in the bottle.

 

It’s often considered a tannic wine, which means it imparts those slight mouth-drying effects when drinking. This is due to the fact that it is a very small grape with a large amount of skin compared to flesh ratio as well as large pip, both of which contribute to natural grape tannins. Apart from the Bordeaux-style blends mentioned above, Cabernet Sauvignon is also often blended with Shiraz or Pinotage in order to soften these harsh or chalky tannins.

 

Merlot

Red fruits, easy tannins and a soft finish are the general characteristics of a Merlot wine. But there’s more to Merlot than being smooth. When thinking of other descriptions most commonly used to describe a Merlot, Christmas cake comes to mind – yum!! A range of fresh flavours such as plums, cherries, blueberries and blackberries mixed with cocoa and black pepper tones often dominate this type of red wine.

 

Merlot is popular as a companion to the very rowdy Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. In a Bordeaux-style red blend where the Cabernet’s, which give the backbone, are softened or mellowed a little, the Merlot rounds off the wine, enjoying more structure and definition.

 

Pinotage

Pinotage can be presented in a dramatic range of styles, ranging from a fairly light-bodied, red berry-driven wine all the way to a full-bodied wine with balance, elegance, fully developed fruit flavours and an enduring finish. In general, Pinotage tends to take on a rustic profile and often shows earth-driven notes, followed by dark fruit, tobacco, chocolate or even Smokey bacon kips.

 

The best will age into elegance without losing their muscularity. Most recently there has been a new development in the heavier mocha, chocolate-style Pinotage which has woven its magical spell and brought a range of new consumers into the wine-drinking market.

 

Shiraz (Syrah)

 

There is a long-term debate about the differences, or even similarities, between Shiraz and Syrah. So what are they? Nothing. They are actually the same variety. Whilst there’s no legalese or official distinction behind which of these descriptors the wine farms may use, the basis is this: Old-World style, slightly more austere, white pepper, smoky and mineral note wines with more tannin and acid on the finish would be referred to as Syrah.

 

Whereas New-World style, warmer climate, bold, fruit-forward, black and red berry and cloves spices would be called Shiraz. However, it quite often boils down to marketing. Some estates believe consumers are more familiar with the word Shiraz and will thus call their wines such, whilst others think Syrah sounds more exotic and enticing and will label theirs such, not necessarily taking the style of the wine into account.

 

4 tips for pouring a good impression

1.    White wine before red wine
2.   Light wine before heavy wine
3.   Dry wine before sweet wine
4.   Simple wine before complex, richly flavoured wine
 

Each of these principles operates independently. And the rules are flexible, provided you know your wines. For example, a very light red wine paired with duck salad works perfectly before a rich, full-bodied white with herbed chicken.

 

If the food you’re serving calls for white wine, there’s really no reason that both wines can’t be white: a simpler, lighter white followed by a richer, fuller-bodied white. Likewise, both wines can be red, or you can serve a dry rosé followed by a red.
 

 

When wine is made so simple, share it! Why not start a monthly “wine night” with your friends and show them what you have learnt?

 

Winter is such a great time to explore Checkers extensive wine variety and by the time summer comes around, there will be even more amazing white wines to continue your new wine nights with.

 

Happy and responsible pairing!

The Point Team x

 

Thanks to Checkers we don’t only have the perfect place to shop for wine, we have an easy to follow wine pairing guide too!

https://specials.checkers.co.za/deals/redwinetastingguide/index.html

 

Want to try ‘blending’ in?

https://www.checkers.co.za/wine/vine-society/Red-Blends.html

 

Need a shopping ‘assistant’? Look no further!

https://www.checkers.co.za/wine.html

 

Join the Checkers wine club today and be in the know of the latest additions, best wines and what is happening in the South African wine scene.

https://www.checkers.co.za/wine/vine-society/newsletter.html