On Friday evening I attended the launch of the 40th edition of the Diners Club International 2020 South African Wine Guide, at the Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront, an event that is pretty much the same in format every year, yet was different this year, in the interest of making the event shorter.
More than 8000 wines from more than 900 producers were rated for the 2020 Platter’s Wine Guide edition. Of the 125 5-star wines awarded, 26 went to Chenin Blanc brands, 18 to Shiraz/Syrah, and 11 to Chardonnay brands.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the A4 Arts Foundation, which I discovered on Buitenkant Street whilst going for a walk near The Fugard theatre last night. Despite being past 19h00, I was allowed to enter to view the exhibition, and then was offered a glass of Boschendal red wine as well as a bag of popcorn, a generous way to kill time whilst I was waiting for the show to start. The staff were very friendly and the exhibition impressive. The Foundation website describes it as ‘a free to public not-for-profit laboratory for the arts of Southern Africa’. Continue reading →
On Saturday I attended the opening of the new Art Gallery and Sculpture Park at Benguela Cove outside Hermanus, with 40 sculptures by master sculptor Anton Smit spread around the wine and residential housing estate. The local Sculpture Park flows from a collaboration between Smit and Benguela Collection owner Penny Streeter to create a Sculpture Park at its Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens in the UK. Continue reading →
Last week I joined Steenberg Public Relations Consultant Gudrun Clark for lunch at the recently opened Tryn restaurant, in the transformed space that was the home of Catharina’s at Steenberg for twenty years. Tryn was the nickname of founder owner Catharina Ras. Its Kitchen is now headed up by Chef Kerry Kilpin, who has been in charge of Bistro Sixteen82, also at Steenberg, for the past five years. Catharina’s has been transformed, renamed, and modernised, to bring her into the 21st century. The restaurant transformation was accompanied by a major renovation of the Steenberg Hotel. Continue reading →
A week ago I attended a wine tasting with a difference, not stiff upper lip and peppered with heavy wine terminology, but light and fun, as a guest of ask-Jean.com, which I had seen on Instagram. Continue reading →
The most coveted 2019 Diners Club Winelist Award, its Icon Award, recognising restaurants that meet all the requirements of a Diamond Award, but also feature an extensive collection of international wines, as well as Reserve and vintage wines, having a sommelier on the floor, and having ‘a deep interest in wine curation’, were awarded to Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient Boutique Hotel in Pretoria, and the Saxon Hotel Villas & Spa in Johannesburg. This is the second year that the Icon Awards have been presented, to both restaurants. Continue reading →
Diners Club has announced the Western Cape winners of the annual Winelist Awards. Further Award ceremonies will be hosted during this month in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern and Southern Cape. In total 205 restaurants submitted their wine lists for evaluation. A total of 47 restaurants received a Diamond Award, the top accolade. Continue reading →
Whilst visiting Rio de Janeiro at the end of August, I booked a table to eat at Lasai, the 74th Best Restaurant in the World, and one Michelin star rated. The name of the restaurant is Basque-Spanish, meaning relaxed or informal. It was too relaxed to my liking, preferring the 100th ranked Oteque in the same city. Continue reading →
Through a stroke of luck I was invited to visit Santiago in Chile for four days, and in this time I was able to drink some Chilean wines. I also visited Casablanca, a wine region outside Santiago, with my friends Guy and Pia, who live near Casablanca. Continue reading →
On my recent trip through a number of South American countries, I booked to eat at each of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants operating in the cities I visited, and at which I was able to make a booking. Oteque in Rio de Janeiro was the final restaurant I ate at a day before my departure back to Cape Town. Oteque is number 100 on this eminent restaurant ranking list, and has a Michelin star, both achievements acquired within 18 months of the restaurant opening in Rio de Janeiro, its owner and Chef Alberto Landgraf having previously owned a restaurant in São Paulo. I found it to be far better than Lasai restaurant, also in Rio de Janeiro, which is ranked 74th Best on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant, at which I had eaten two days prior.