* The 2014 World Cup is done and dusted. Official airline sponsor Emirates received a last minute ‘branding’ boost when its distinctly uniformed stewardesses brought the medals to be awarded to the teams of Germany and Argentina. They remained on the stage, standing behind German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the winning German team, guaranteeing excellent coverage for the airline. A viewership of more than 1 billion is estimated.
* New Social Media records were set during the World Cup Final last night. The number of Tweets peaked at 618275 per minute, up from the 580166 peak in the Semi Final against Brazil. However, the total number of 32 million Tweets during the Final failed to beat the record of close to 36 million set in the Semi Final. German player Lukas Podolski’s selfie of him kissing Bastian Schweinsteiger was retweeted 88620 times, and was favourited 78169 times. His selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was retweeted 25000 times, and favourited almost 30000 times. Similarly the sporting event was the most written about event on Facebook, with 280 million posts, likes, and comments during the Final last night coming mainly from the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Indonesia. Its previous record was 250 million for the Super Bowl last year.
* Cape Town is ranked number one on a list of 20 most beautiful cities in the world, ahead of Rio de Janeiro and Istanbul. Our city is praised for its eighty mountain peaks, including Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, and Lion’s Head. Praise too goes to Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak Drive, its vineyards, the beautiful landscapes, its architecture reflecting a mix of Malay and Georgian heritage, winning World Design Capital 2014, the V&A Waterfront, ‘the whale-like (sic) International Convention Centre‘, the ‘Town Hall’ (sic), the ‘World Cup (sic) Soccer Stadium‘, its bio-diversity, its ‘Killer Whales‘ (sic), all culminating in making Cape Town ‘the single most beautiful on Earth‘!
* UK Wine writer and judge Tim Atkin has published his (second) 2014 Classification of South Africa’s Best Producers, dividing the top 60 local wine producers into five Growths bands based on quality, and then grouping 60 others (but not all producers) into the Crus Bourgeois. His 12 First Growths are Alheit, Boekenhoutskloof, Cape Point, Chamonix, Crystallum, Kanonkop, Klein Constantia, Mullineux, Newton Johnson, Paul Cluver, Reyneke, and Sadie Family. He describes the classification as a ‘snapshot of the Cape wine industry‘. Alongside this he has published ‘2014 South Africa Special Report’, which includes tasting notes for 350 wines scoring 92+ points out of 100, scores for more than 1000 wines, the Top 200 wines by style, and his favourite Cape restaurants. There is a charge for the Report but not for the Classification..
* Another well-known wine writer, Jancis Robinson, wrote about a tasting of ‘South African Icons‘, conducted by Greg Sherwood in London recently. While not a fan of the word ‘icon‘, she praised Sherwood’s tasting collection, which she described as ‘a whole new era in South Africa’s wine history’. Wines that she highlighted include Savage White 2012, Rall 2012, and winemaker Eben Sadie, as well as viticulturist Rosa Kruger. The tasting led Robinson to write that ‘I have gone out of my way to taste as many new wave South African wines as possible’.
* Popular pianist Richard Clayderman will perform at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town on 9 October, with Sterling EQ electric pop violin, cello, and flute band as support act. He is a classically trained pianist, who won fame for his ‘Ballade pour Adeline’. He last performed in Cape Town 25 years ago. (received via media release from IB Media)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage