The Wade Bales Cap Classique & Gin Affair 2017 will be held at Grand Africa Café & Beach on Friday and Saturday late afternoon, offering more than fifty fine sparkling wines, as well as top local Gin brands to taste. Continue reading →
I have been to The Plettenberg hotel a number of times to eat at its former Sand and now renamed Seafood restaurant. Given that the hotel is five-star graded, a Relais & Chateux property, and under the supervision (long distance) of Eat Out Top 10 Chef Peter Tempelhoff, my expectations are high of the restaurant in being the best in Plett, yet sadly are Continue reading →
*. South African exports into Africa are growing, says Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Africa head Matome Mbatha. Angola is taking 6 million liters of wine, of which more than 80% is sparkling wines, and predominantly JC le Roux, a brand they are ‘crazy about‘, Mbatha says. The 4,5 million liters of Nigeria’s imports from our country are mainly Pinotage and Merlot.
* Chef Luke Dale-Roberts is to open a pop-up The Test Kitchen restaurant at Continue reading →
One of Franschhoek’s most popular festivals take place this weekend , on Saturday and Sunday 29 and 30 November, ending off a year of festivals which Franschhoek is so good at organising. The MasterCard Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique Champagne Festival is a mouthful of a title, but the 22 Méthode Cap Classiques (MCCs) and champagnes make the pilgrimage to Franschhoek worth while.
Taking place in a marquee close to the Huguenot Monument, top South African MCCs and imported champagnes are available to taste. Bubbly brands available to taste are Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, La Motte, Boschendal, Leopard’s Leap, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Anthonij Rupert Wines, JC le Roux, Krone, Pongracz, Steenberg, Continue reading →
One of the better restaurants in Plettenberg Bay (there aren’t many, and two favorites The Grand and Nguni are currently closed for winter breaks) has been Sand at The Plettenberg. Two years ago the restaurant changed its name to SeaFood at The Plettenberg, in line with a similar restaurant at sister hotel The Marine in Hermanus, and last year new Executive Chef Grant Parker took over the kitchen when the hotel re-opened after a long winter break. The setting and selection of mainly seafood dishes was perfect on a beautiful day.
I had been assisted in the foyer of the hotel by Guest Relations Manager Laula, who did everything, including serving me in the restaurant. She is a very new staff member, but was willing to find information for the questions which she could not answer. She sent Annemie Parker, the General Manager and wife of the chef, wearing her Relais & Chateaux pin, to explain the changes in the branding of the restaurant. Little about the restaurant interior has changed since she took over in running the hotel a year ago, coming from Cybele Lodge, except for two panels of photographs with Southern Right whales, but hard to identify as such, with the way the light falls on the glass panels over them. Annemie said that McGrath Hotels Group Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff comes to visit every two months or so. She said that Chef Grant devised most of the dishes on the new restaurant menu, with guidance from Chef Peter, but with a section of The Collection signature dishes, which are served in all three the McGrath hotel restaurants, including The Conservatory at the Cellars-Hohenhort in Constantia. With the change in restaurant name, the style of the restaurant to that of a Bistro was also changed, away from fine-dining. Continue reading →
* L’Huguenot, a joint venture between Leopard’s Leap and Yangzhou Perfect, sold 1,5 million bottles of wine in China last year. A cheaper varietal is planned for 2015, which could double the sales of the brand, according to Leopard’s Leap MD Hein Koegelenberg.
* Brands Krone Borealis and Krone Rosé, and brand owner Vinimark, have been left red-faced after Die Burger disclosed that its 2010 MCCs in fact were not Cap Classiques, and have been removed from retail shelves due to the two brands misleading consumers. Winemaker Rudiger Gretschel explained that the 2010 vintage bottles started exploding during fermentation. With the help of Robertson Winery, the content of the remaining bottles was decanted and re-bottled into stronger bottles. The 2010 vintage is now being sold with the Twee Jonge Gesellen label, at almost half the original price. The Méthode Cap Classique Association of South Africa is reported to be outraged by the incident.
* Bouchard Finlayson is sponsoring the Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award 2014 Tondo Competition for the Hermanus FynArts Festival, taking place from 6 – 16 June. Each of the 40 art Continue reading →
Yesterday was a picture perfect day to try out the new Summer menu of new Executive Chef Christo Pretorius at Azure restaurant at the 12 Apostles Hotel, at the invitation of its GM Horst Frehse. The amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean is brought into the restaurant and reflects in the menu too.
Chef Christo was promoted when Chef Henrico Grobbelaar left the hotel to head up the kitchen at Equus restaurant at Cavalli Estate in Stellenbosch a few months ago. He had previously worked at De Huguenot (no longer operating) with Chef Tanja Kruger, and at the Cape Royale before joining the 12 Apostles. He travels overseas every year, to experience international cuisine. He acknowledged that he is nothing without his team, and that he delegates to his staff, mentors and trains them. Chef Christo focuses on ingredients that are seasonal, and sources them as locally as he can, the game coming from Uitenhage and Oudtshoorn. Only green-listed SASSI fish is served. He has a good relationship with his suppliers, and knows that they will assist him when he has urgent requests. His focus at Azure is on ‘flavourful food‘. Horst shared that they have had very good feedback about Chef Christo’s menu, and that the chef comes out of the kitchen as much as he can, to meet the guests and to obtain their feedback. Continue reading →
One of Franschhoek’s most popular annual events is the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, which will be held this coming Saturday and Sunday. Close to 50 top Champagnes and MCCs (Méthode Cap Classique) will be available to taste, as is food supplied by Franschhoek restaurants.
The theme is ‘Black and White‘, with an emphasis on spots and stripes, and bubbly fans will be enjoying ‘The Magic of Bubbles‘ on what is forecast to be a perfect weather weekend. Not only will MCCs from Franschhoek be on show, but top sparkling wines from other regions and Champagnes will be too.
Veuve Clicquot winemaker Pierre Casenave will be at the brand’s stand between 12h00 – 13h00 on both days. Other Champagne brands available for tasting are Billecart- Salmon, Champagne Guy Charbaut, Claude Beaufort, Follet-Ramillon, Piper Heidsieck, Thierry Lesne, and Tribaut.
The 40 well-known MCC producers pouring their bubblies are Pierre Jourdan, Continue reading →