Entries tagged with “Ebrahim Matthews”.


Diners Club Winemaker of the YearTwice this past weekend über-nasty Neil Pendock has publicly shared that he has been fired from the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judging panel, clearly very angry about this, and lashing out at Diners Club, its CEO Ebrahim Matthews, and its management and Board members.

One wonders how precocious Pendock can be surprised about being fired, when he:

*   has attacked the ‘Platter’s South African Wines 2014’ guide and the evaluation of wines in it ever since his services as a wine taster were no longer required.  The Guide is now owned by Diners Club.  He described the Platter’s Guide as ‘a cynical vuvuzela for fashionable wine brands‘!

*   has implied that as a director of Diners Club, Reg Lascaris’ part ownership of Boekenhoutskloof has earned its Cabernet Sauvignon a 5-star rating in the Platter’s guide.  He asks: ‘…is the Reg Lascaris/Diners Club cosy monopoly about to be challenged?’

*   wrote critically about the Diners Club gala dinner held at La Residence ten (more…)

Diners Club Christiaan Groenewald Whale Cottage PortfolioLa Residence pulled out all the stops in hosting the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Awards last night, seating and serving 150 guests in its massive entrance hall, lounge and dining room, demonstrating why it was recently voted joint Best Hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler.  The Awards evening was described as ‘a gathering of wine aristocracy’, and the ‘Oscars of the Wine Awards’! The Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award is the only award given to an individual, and is even more special in that it is received in the presence of an audience of experts and peers.

Gareth Cliff of 5FM was a good MC, admitting his ignorance as a wine drinker, and doing a brilliant Julius Malema impersonation based on wines (with Ed Morton and Nick Solomon of La Residence in the photograph below).  As the venue was so large, video screens were set up throughout the venue, allowing each table to see  a screen close by.  A Twitter Feed ran on the screen, Cliff being a heavy Tweeter, which will have pleased his hosts at Diners Club Ed, Gareth Cliff Nick Whale Cottage PortfolioLa Residence and Diners Club, with his 571343 Twitter Followers.  Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Finalist Johan Jordaan from Spier was an informative and fun table neighbour, as was Franschhoek Tatler editor Siegfried Schäfer and  Helgard van Schalkwyk from Lynx Wines.  Johan was an excellent ‘lighting assistant’, in lighting my plates with his phone to photograph the food! (more…)

Diners Club Winelist Awards 2More restaurants in the Western Cape than in any other province entered and received a Diners Club International Winelist Award 2013. At the 30th Awards function held for the Western Cape at the Vineyard Hotel on Wednesday,  MasterChef SA Judge and Tsogo Sun Chef Benny Masekwameng announced the 38 winners in the Diamond, 30 in the Platinum, 26 in the Gold,  and 2 in the SilverDiners Club Chef Benny Whale Cotatge Portfolio Award categories, 96 awards in total.

Veteran wine critic Dave Hughes chaired the judging panel, which included fledgling judge Chef Benny, restaurant guide editor JP Rossouw,  wine judges Christine Rudman and Fiona McDonald,   Winestyle.biz owner Nikki Dumas, and the Cape Wine Academy head Marilyn Cooper.  He said that it was fitting that the Awards ceremony was held at The Vineyard hotel, the Newlands area having been the first in Cape Town in which grapes were grown, but soon (more…)

What was hinted at at the launch of the Platter’s South African Wines 2013 guide late last year has become reality, in that it was announced on Thursday that Diners Club has acquired the Platter’s Guide.

Diners Club has been expanding its involvement in wine, already a sponsor of the Diners Club Winelist Awards, Diners Club Winemaker of the Year as well as Young Winemaker of the Year, and the Diners Club Bartho Eksteen Wine Academy.

While the 2013 edition of Platter’s already carries the Diners Club logo, it is likely that the 2014 edition will be named the ‘Diners Club Platter’s South African Wines‘, although the Diners Club media statement about its acquisition does not mention any changes to the name, the editorial team, or the wine evaluation methodology.  The statement does however confirm that the 35 year old publication, of which 40000 copies are printed annually, will ‘be looking at ways to expand the digital offerings and viewership option.  In addition Diners Club will be reviewing options on ways to bring the guide to its cardholders through exciting new channels such as Diners Club Connoisseurs, a virtual meeting place where like-minded members can converse, learn, share and cultivate their passion for the finer things in life’, said Ebrahim Matthews, Managing Director of Diners Club South Africa.  Matthews added that both his company’s and the Platter’s brand would benefit from ‘wider exposure to each other’s markets and clients through co-branding and cross-marketing‘.

For the advertisers in Platter’s the acquisition by Diners Club is good news, in that it can only mean an even wider distribution of the publication, something every listed wine estate will be grateful for too.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage