Low Prices Every Day
The year is flying past, and we have just passed the Winter Solstice. What this means, in theory, is that we are now sliding towards summer. Hard to believe, judging by the weather we have had recently.
Still, when summer beckons, it’s time to braai. The SUPERSPAR has several specials from 21 to 25 June that you can chuck onto the braai this weekend.
SPAR Select Rooiberg Boerewors is on special, and the popular SPAR Chicken Espetada is in Peri Peri or BBQ. There ARE also some epic SPAR Select Ostrich Fillet steaks with a nice discount.
On the side are baked beans, Vienna sausages, SPAR long-life cream, and Nutriday smooth yoghurt, all pleasantly discounted, so grab some while stocks hold out!
The Bag Tree
Have you ever found yourself at the SPAR and suddenly realised that you’ve forgotten your shopping bag? Loathe to buy another new one when you have so many languishing at home? Look out for the SPAR Bag Tree at the entrance to the SPAR, just across from the newspapers. This initiative is a tree for shoppers to either drop off spare plastic or paper bags or grab a bag if they have forgotten yours. Look out for it.
Buffalo Kloof Butchery
Delicious Dry-Aged curated meats and other meat options, including venison sausage, beef, and biltong, are now at SUPERSPAR.
The Buffalo Kloof Butchery biltong contains no additives, colourants or GMO products. The ingredients are all-natural and gluten-free.
Dry-Ageing is a process where meat is matured over several weeks, sometimes months, to enhance softness and flavour and make it far more tender than it would be completely fresh. It is a process that goes back thousands of years. Before refrigeration, dry ageing (whether in a chamber, a cellar, or a cave) was one of the only methods of keeping meat fresh, other than smoking or pickling.
In essence, dry ageing is when you take a piece of meat and put it into a controlled open-air environment to transform flavour. By exposing the meat to air, moisture is pulled out. When the surface of the meat dries, it creates a crust, leaving the meat inside moist and tender.
Fiery and Fortified – A Port For All Seasons
It’s the one style of wine strongly associated with winter – as if that’s the only time of year it should be consumed. Nothing could be further from the truth: Port is for all seasons.
It gets hot in summer in the Douro Valley in Portugal’s far north. Searingly, blisteringly hot. The mercury regularly tops out over 40 degrees. The land is stony, made up of steep slopes of schist, a volcanic rock. It’s not unknown for wine farmers to take hammers, chisels, or even explosives to make holes to plant vines. Rainfall is sparse, around 300mm annually, but way down in the valley is a watery artery, the Douro River, which sinuously snakes its way towards the coast to the town of Porto, the traditional gateway to the market.
It’s from this rugged– but stunning area that Port comes. There are a few things to understand about Port. Firstly, it is like Champagne in that it is from a designated appellation, and its geographic origin is protected by European Union law, so no other product can be called Port unless it comes from the Douro region of Portugal.
And there are a range of styles of Port too. So what is Port? It is a fortified wine – meaning it has been fortified with brandy or a neutral spirit. What happens is that the grapes are picked nice and sweetly ripe, much like any other wine. Then they are crushed to extract the juice, and the fermentation begins. Fermentation is where the grape sugars are converted to alcohol – at this point, Port making differs from other wines. When a cabernet or chardonnay ferments until almost dry, meaning no more sugar remains in the wine, with Port, that process is stopped much earlier. And it’s stopped using the addition of this grape spirit or brandy.
Also separating Port from other wine styles are the grapes that it’s made from. There are more than 100 which are sanctioned for use, but essentially, five which are the most widely cultivated: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz (also known as Tempranillo), Tinta Cão, Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional.
In the Douro, the crushing of the grapes was traditionally done by foot, with pickers rolling up their trousers or skirts and doing a slow rhythmical march, arm in arm, accompanied by singing. The concrete tanks they did the crushing in are called Lagares, and they are much shallower than the open-top concrete ‘kuipe’, which are still in use in South African wineries.
But it’s impossible to slow the inevitable march of progress, and now much of the treading is mechanised. It’s also become increasingly difficult for Port producers to find labourers prepared to toil up the steep to 45-degree slopes in some places! – rocky hillsides to pick the grapes. Added to that is that sales of Port in their traditional market, the United Kingdom, continue to decline.
Port is associated with gentlemen’s clubs, the navy and the tradition of passing the Port decanter from the left. The richly strong blue-veined cheese Stilton is often enjoyed with a small glass of Port at the end of a meal, with the cheese’s salty tang a perfect foil for the rich, nutty, raisin flavour of the wine.
From Cheers Magazine