Archive for December 2011

Leg of Lamb- A Traditional Christmas dinner Recipe

December 21, 2011

Here is an amazing recipe . Ideal for the Christmas dinner.


  • 60 ml honey
  • 30 ml prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 g chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 g freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 g lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2.25 g whole leg of lamb
  • 6 g coarse sea salt


  1. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, rosemary, ground black pepper, lemon zest and garlic. Mix well and apply to the lamb. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  3. Place lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and roast for 55 to 60 more minutes for medium rare. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Let the roast rest for about 10 minutes before carving.



Red wine ‘body-types’

December 19, 2011

Light, medium, and full — no, we’re not talking about your mixer’s speed settings.

Those three words classify wine texture, and they help determine the colour,best aging practices, and tannin levels for red wines.

A light-bodied wine will have fewer tannins present and less presence on the palate. These wines tend to be less demanding partners with flavor-filled foods. Examples of light-bodied red wines include Chianti, Pinot Noir and Beaujolais Nouveau.

A medium-bodied red wine will contain more tannins but will not have near the pucker power of a high-powered Cabernet Sauvignon. Typical examples of medium-bodied red wines include: Merlot, Shiraz or Malbec.

Full-bodied red wines boast the highest tannin (and often alcohol) content. Prime examples of full-bodied reds are France’s esteemed Bordeaux wines, Cabernet Sauvignons and some Shiraz wines .

In general, light-bodied wines tend to “feel” more like water in the mouth. In contrast, “full-bodied” wines feel heavier, more like milk, this effect is due in large part to the higher tannin (and again, alcohol) content.


Facebook Winner

December 14, 2011

Congratulations to Letisia Griesel

She is the winner of a Platter Wine Guide and a hamper from Alto.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this competition. We are definitely going to run more exciting competitions in the New Year.


Roasted Rack of Lamb Recipe

December 9, 2011

Here is a great recipe which is ideal for entertaining family and friends. You can also do the same thing with beef or pork.

The Alto Cabernet Sauvignon will be the perfect wine with this dish.


  • 20 g fresh bread crumbs
  • 15 g minced garlic
  • 3 g chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 g salt
  • 0.5 g black pepper
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 (7 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched
  • 6 g salt
  • 2 g black pepper
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 ml Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Move oven rack to the center position.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside.
  3. Season the rack all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy oven proof skillet over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes. Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring.
  4. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer, take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between the ribs.


Alto: An ideal destination for summer sundowners

December 1, 2011

For the third year in a row the Alto wine estate on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain near Somerset West is offering its once-a-week summer sundowners. Known for its stunning views and impressive collection of classically-styled red wines, it’s the perfect venue to enjoy an end-of-day refresher.

At R50 per person, visitors can sip on a refreshing red-wine-infused cocktail and snack on a selection of freshly-baked breads served with pesto, extra virgin olive oil and pâtés while watching the sun set over the vineyards and surrounding mountains.

These sundowners are served from 17h00 to 19h00 every Wednesday until the end of February 2012. Booking is essential. Contact Monika Jordaan on +27 (0)21 881 3884 or for bookings and further information. Tastings of three red wines or port at R10 per person are also on offer.