Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is inviting entries from wine sommeliers and serving staff in restaurants and hotels in nine countries which are our wine industry growth markets, for its 2016 Sommelier Cup. Continue reading →
* Actor and comedian Russell Brand is making a second attempt to visit our country, after having previously been denied entry when his passport did not have the required number of empty pages, reports the Weekend Argus. He will perform at Grandwest on 3 October.
* Facebook has opened its first office in Africa, located in Johannesburg, reports pctech Magazine. The continent already has Continue reading →
Woolworths had barely announced its association with ‘Happy’ singer Pharrell Williams ten days ago when the retail store’s critics started questioning the rationale for the association, and encouraged Williams to reconsider his relationship. Pharrell is the new Style Director (whatever that may entail) of Woolworths! The main question asked was why an American artist is to be used, when surely our country has an equally good role model. At a function last week a Woolworths executive explained the reason for Williams’ appointment.
To write this blogpost I Googled Woolworths and Pharrell Williams, and was Continue reading →
Yesterday we went Italian at worldly Mondiall, enjoying nine very fine and fantastic Fantinel wines, with a broad spectrum of Prosecco, light white wines, and rich earthy red wines, introduced by Dr Marco Fantinel, President of Gruppo Vinicolo Fantinel. The company is adding South Africa to its list of elite distribution points.
We were served a glass of Fantinel Prosecco Extra Dry as the welcome drink, and served canapés of ceviche on sesame crisps, as well as pork belly. The pork belly canapés appeared just as we were going upstairs for the tasting, and were finished before I could photograph them!
Dr Fantinel traced the development of the company back to his grandfather Mario Fantinel, a hotelier and retaurateur in Fruili, in Continue reading →
* A Global March for Rhinos and Elephants will be held on Saturday 4 October, with South Africa, the USA, Germany, Botswana, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Italy, and Mozambique being some of the countries participating. World Travel Market (WTM) Africa staff will also participate in the march in Cape Town, as one of its social responsibility projects. The march calls for a total ban on the trade of ‘wildlife body parts’. WTM Africa runs from 15 – 17 April.
* The Bureau of Economic Research quarterly survey has found a sharp drop in the expectation of business growth for the Accommodation sector in the third quarter (July – September), at 9%, compared to the previous winter period of April – June, which showed a 22% growth expectation. For the last quarter of this year, growth of 16% is expected. All other business sectors surveyed are showing negative growth expectations. The overall Western Cape business growth expectation in the second quarter was 15%, is an estimated 20% for the third quarter, and 31 % for the 4th quarter, whereas all other provinces show negative growth experience and expectations. (received via e-mail from the Bureau of Economic Research)
* Luvey ‘n Rose is offering an interesting Cigar Appreciation Evening on 7 October, with Roque, a professional cigar roller from Continue reading →
I have no idea who heads up Woolworths’ Marketing department, but it seems that the retailer has lost the plot! Once the darling of all, seen to be above reproach in the quality of the products it sells and the lengths that Woolworths will go to find the most organic and animal-friendly produce for its customers, it is being lambasted for copying other brands, for importing tomatoes, peas and more, and for making misleading claims about its products. In addition, it seems to have lost the link between its expensive sponsorship of TV food programmes and its stores!
Let’s start with ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’, a programme which has been running on SABC3 for the past 9 weeks, a travelogue of our beautiful country, and documentation of Woolworths’ sourcing of sustainable and ethical produce, or so it is presented. We have been exposed to Woolworths suppliers of tomatoes in Stellenbosch, organic wines made in Franschhoek, apples and pears grown in Grabouw, SASSI-friendly fish sourcing, and the pasture-fed lamb from the Karoo. Criticism has been leveled about the use of an Australian surfer who came third in MasterChef Australia in 2011, as the tour guide to our country and the guide to its sustainable food and wine treasure chest, a self-confessed ‘cooker’ and not a chef! The dishes in the eight episodes to date have been as basic as salads, pizzas, and sandwiches, with a mussel pot and an Eton Mess too. In some episodes the Woolworths punt has been so strong (i.e. the tomato growing) that it has become irritating, but of late the strong Woolworths promotion has been toned down. Surprising is the low-key advertising for Woolworths in its half-hour episodes, and is nothing as mouthwatering as the Woolworths’ commercials we have seen on MasterChef SA Seasons 1 and 2. Nedbank is the other Continue reading →
* Brent Perremore of Orphanage Cocktail Emporium has won the Cape Town leg of the World Class Mixologist competition with his ‘Gift from Persia‘ cocktail, made as follows: 50ml Ron Zacapa, 25ml Dolin Dry Vermouth, 15ml homemade date syrup, and 3 dashes of naartjie and green cardamom bitters. (received via Communication Services Africa)
* International arrivals at Cape Town International in the first quarter of this year increased by 3% compared to the same period last year, according to Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde. In total all arrivals increased by 1% in the same year, meaning that Domestic tourist arrivals declined in this period. (received via media release from the Minister’s office)
* Cape Town and the Western Cape is the most popular conference destination in Africa, according to Continue reading →
* While Africa has 15% of the world’s population, it only receives 3% of the world’s tourists, says a report of the inaugural African Tourism Monitor, prepared by the African Development Bank, Africa Travel Association, and Africa House at NYU. The report found a weakness in transport infrastructure on the continent, requiring better airline connections and better roads and railways required, as well as open borders, and more marketing to adventure and eco travellers.
* The District Six Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a year-long program, reports The Cape Towner, which includes the annual memorial walk.
* Flights between OR Thambo, Cape Town, and Plettenberg Bay will take off from 28 March onwards, operated by CemAir and flying on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
* Graham Beck is a proud MCC sponsor of Cape Town hosting the World Design Capital 2014, saying it will add ‘sparkle to the international design community and to Cape Town itself’. Its sponsorship Continue reading →
* Alide Dasnois, editor of the Cape Times, has been relieved of her post, for an article by her environmental reporter Melanie Gosling about the improper awarding of a contract by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to a Sekunjalo subsidiary owned by the Sekunjalo consortium which owns Independent Newspapers! Ms Dasnois has been replaced by Gasant Abarder as editor of the Cape Times.
* Delheim is offering a new Cupcake and Wine pairing. Chef Christine Claasen’s Rooibos cupcake is paired with Delheim Unwooded Chardonnay; the Pomegranate cupcake is paired with the Pinotage Rose; the Makataan (wild melon) cupcake is matched with Delheim’s Chardonnay Sur Lei; and the Pumpkin cupcake is paired with Delheim Pinotage. The cost is R75. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications).
* Bain’s Cape Mountain single grain whisky from Wellington has won double gold at the New York International Spirits Competition, having been named World’s Best Grain Whisky earlier this year. It is distilled at The James Sedgwick Distillery. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)
* Uitkyk is offering ‘Georgian’ picnics at its restored Georgian manor house outside Stellenbosch. The picnic basket includes artisan breads, cheeses, pates, olives, charcuterie, smoked salmon, fruit, and chocolate brownies, paired with a bottle of Uitkyk wine as well as a bottle of mineral water. Cost is R350 for two. (received via joint media release from Paula Wilson Media Consulting and Manley Communications)
* Passengers want comfort when flying, and are prepared to pay more to secure this comfort on long haul flights.
* Wilhelm Pienaar, Nederburg winemaker, led a tasting of the 56Hundred range at the residence of the South African High Commissioner to Kenya last week, oddly with entertainment by dancers from Botswana!
* Kfm’s Breakfast Show with Ryan O’Connor and his team is broadcasting from The Rubens at The Palace Hotel in London, sister hotel to the Twelve Apostles, The Oyster Box, and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, all belonging to the Red Carnation group, until Wednesday. (received via FIVE STAR PR)
* The Beachhouse Red 2010 is the only South African wine in the ‘Wine Pick of the Week‘ in the Vancouver Sun.
* South African born but London-based Chef Petrus Madutlela is a member of Continue reading →