4 F & WI I F OOD & W NE CAPE TIMES FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007 Not your average burger joint DOMINIQUE HERMAN room, and topped with caramelised gramme. And since then the restau- onions, sautéed black mushrooms and rant’s wine list has increased from 280 WHEN Burger King coined the term a slither of brie, with tempura cour- to 400 wines, earning it a renewed spot “whopper” to describe one of their gettes in lieu of chips and sweet chilli on the publication’s list this year. hamburgers, they clearly had not tomato salsa. This is an eatery where not only the encountered the 500g brute on offer at 96 Winery Road, commonly referred hamburger is out of the ordinary Oth-. 96 Winery Road in Somerset West. to by the wine fraternity as “the can- elene Weber, who has worked at 96 Win- Executive chef Craig Backhouse’s teen”, was founded by winemakers ery Road for five years, two as head gourmet burger in 250g and 500g pat- Forrester and Martin Meinert in 1996 waitress, routinely eats out at some of ties is a new addition to the winter (there is no number 96 on the road the city’s finest restaurants armed by menu. Co-owner Ken Forrester told where it is located; rather the name is management with a blank cheque, no Backhouse that if they were going to a play on its “vintage”). Last year, it price limit and the instruction to try serve a burger, it best be a burger dif- was the first South African restaurant different wines. ferent from all other burgers. So this ever to win the highly regarded Amer- It’s all part of a perk Forrester insti- one is made from prime beef and dry ican publication Wine Spectator tuted which doubles as practical train- aged in the restaurant’s own cold restaurant award for its wine pro- ing: kitchen and waiting staff are treated in groups of four to six on an alternating basis to dinners around town. The entire staff will also embark on courses this month at the Cape Wine Academy . “They want their staff to be knowl- edgeable,” Weber said. “They send us out to see what other restaurants are doing, where we can learn what they do and pick up things to avoid making mistakes.” About a month ago she ate at Reuben’s in Franschhoek. She’s also been to Terroir, Bukhara, Tokara and a handful of spots at the V&A Water- front. “The programme gives staff broader knowledge of what expecta- tions are when you go to a restaurant.” WHAT A WHOP PER: WHAT A WHOPPER: A 96 Winery Road beef burger is just one of the attractions of ‘the canteen’. Drink a ‘sticky’ for dessert THE GREAT thing about winter Weisser Riesling NLH 2005 with is the chance to dive into more red wines and also a few stickies, Veritassies its fresh riesling thrill. Later in the evening, or on a that most grossly overlooked cat- particularly gloomy day, you . egory Always the modern ques- want something fuller. Monis tion: when do you drink them? It have recently launched a wooded is a good thing that these wines red Muscadel (vintage 2000) that age well, they usually do so by sips very smoothly and comes default! packaged in a pretty and tall The one time I happily imbibe 500ml bottle, a welcome change in is at dinners where the food and image to the usually squat and wine is paired, and a glass duly JEAN-PIERRE stumpy muscadel incarnations. arrives. But order off the wine ROSSOUW The wooded part of its make-up . list? Rarely Plus you have the is great, because it mellows the concern of how the wine was drink, also the intense sweetness kept if served by the glass. These glass a night – but then it sounds that these wines can lug about. wines aren’t being ordered as like medicine! Just don’t drink it chilled (as the often as a light sauvignon blanc. The trick, of course, is to belligerent necktag suggests). And then at home, a rich white drink the sticky instead of des- With these wines, it does boil wine or a red wine will typically sert, not with it. Another trick is down to the question of having a carry all the way through dinner, to serve it earlier in the evening sweet tooth or not; but then and even hide in waiting to pres- as an aperitif, but then you have again, in this category like any ent itself again once the initial to make sure that it’s bright other, a good wine is marked by sweetness of the dessert on the enough, what I mean is with its balance. There is no reason tongue is gone. Barring a large enough acidity to wake the taste why a sticky shouldn’t also have table, opening a sticky is usually buds. Clearly port won’t work so enough acid and tannin to offset going to mean some of the bottle , well in this capacity but many of the sugar. Take the Peter Bayly is wasted through oxidation our noble late harvests will be Cape Vintage Port 2004 – it’s unless you diligently drink a fantastic, like the Paul Cluver smooth sipping and versatile.