* Former World’s 50 Best Restaurant number 1 chef in the world, Ferran Àdria of elBulli, says that the standard of cheffing is at its highest level ever, being ‘the best in history‘, and that the gap between a 3 star Michelin restaurant and a casual dining restaurant is the smallest ever! Àdria advised top restaurants to differentiate themselves on aspects other than the food, to justify their higher prices, suggesting their wine list, service, and decor. Cocktails also are a point of differentiation,with bartenders seeking inspiration for new recipes from chefs.
* Wine writer Joe Roberts says that a very small percentage of the 8000 wineries (with 16000 brands) in the USA is embracing digital marketing. While 44% of consumers are connecting with digital, only an estimated 1% of American wine marketing spend is on digital advertising. No more than 80 of the wineries have dedicated digital practitioners. In a week, winery brands receive 2 – 20 mentions on digital platforms, of which 80% go unanswered. One wonders if the South African stats are any better for our local wine estates’ usage of digital marketing?
* For the third year running vineyards in Burgundy have been hit by a hail storm, causing damage to 40 – 90% of the crops of the region.
* A proposed tourism tax hike of 500% in France has been described as a ‘massacre’! Tourists in Paris will have to pay an additional €2 per day, to fund transport infrastructure,
* Hidden Valley Wine Estate in Stellenbosch is offering a number of tasting options: Chocolatier’s Platter with five chocolates R65; Olive tasting with 5 wines R45; Picnic for two R300; and a Winter Platter of soup, ciabatta, cheese, charcuterie, relishes and a bottle of Hidden Valley Pinotage for two for R280. (received via media release from Manley Communications)
* Delheim has introduced sweet and savoury Pancake and Wine Pairings. A trio of pancakes (Salmon, Lamb Shank, and Pickled Pumpkin) is paired with Delheim’s Pinotage Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Edelspatz Noble Late Harvest, respectively, and is offered daily at R75. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage