Tag Archives: Malbec

Resting in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil: visiting tourist highlights and best restaurants!

 

There is only one way to get back to South Africa from South America, and that is from São Paulo in Brazil. I decided to grant myself a little rest break in Rio de Janeiro, while I was in the country, rather than visit São Paulo, at the end of a three-month trip in Cuba and in South America. I visited the top tourist attractions and restaurants in this city. Continue reading →

Getting a taste of Chilean wines in Casablanca and Santiago in Chile!

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 →

Restaurant Review: Oteque (100th Best, one Michelin Star) Restaurant in Rio de Janeiro offers uncomplex Tasting Menu, with excellent wines!

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. 
 

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A first introduction to Argentinian wines!

Before arriving in Buenos Aires on this my second visit to the city, I had not prepared for my visit from a wine perspective, my main goal in spending a month in Argentina being to learn to dance the Tango. I have planned to visit Mendoza, renowned for its Malbec, have attended a wine tasting and food pairing evening at COWI in Buenos Aires, drunk three wines at the dinner at Buenos Aires’ Tegui, 86th Best Restaurant in the World, one wine at Don Julio, the 34th Best Restaurant in the World and Best in Argentina, and two wines at dinner at 1884 Restaurant in Mendoza. I have summarised my initial knowledge about the wine industry of Argentina, the fifth largest in the world, to which I have added some research information too. Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Tegui Restaurant in Buenos Aires (86th Best in World) food does not match its interior design, oversalted, masculine in its presentation!

 

On Saturday evening I ate dinner at Tegui Restaurant in Palermo, Buenos Aires, getting a reservation easily at this the 86th Best Restaurant in the World. While it has an attractive interior design, its food presentation does not match this look, and while suggesting that it is Proudly Argentinian, it seemed a little too close to what Peruvian 6th Best Restaurant Central is serving! The Chef sadly oversalts his food.  Continue reading →

Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons quietly opens its new Tasting Room!

Rupert & R Tasting desk Whale CottageI have visited almost every winery in Franschhoek, but never Rupert & Rothschild, its tastings having been by appointment only in the past ten years since we have operated Whale Cottage Franschhoek.  It was a set of Facebook photographs of Hein Koegelenberg, brother-in-law of co-owner Johann Rupert, that attracted attention to the new Tasting Room, which opened on 1 July.

The farm Fredericksburg was owned by a French Huguenot, and was established in 1690, and taken over by the late Dr Anton Rupert and the late Baron Edmond Rothschild in 1997 when they established their partnership.  The owners shared a commitment to preservation and conservation.  Grapes are harvested by hand, and the berries are hand-sorted after destemming, to generate the best quality juice.  Intervention during the wine-making process is kept to a minimum.

I popped in yesterday, and found a very elegant yet informal and friendly Tasting Room, with a beautiful setting overlooking the Simonsberg mountain and the vineyards of the wine farm.  From the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium one cannot see any buildings on the wine estate, being set back far from the road.  The Tasting Room door is locked from inside, so one of the staff must go to the door to press a button to unlock it, which is not clear when one arrives, and appears unfriendly if the staff do not get to the glass door quickly enough.  One enters close to the Tasting Desk, seating about 20 tasters on both sides of the desk Continue reading →

Latest trends in American wine buying: 2014

Wine glasses 3Beer is a declining threat to wine sales, Malbec is big, Millennials and Gen X are key to future wine sales, wine blends have a role to play, and fine wine enjoys support despite the recession.  These are some of the findings of American ‘Emerging Trends within Beverage Alcohol’, a presentation by Nielsen, and assembled from retail scans, consumer surveys, and other information sources. The presentation was attended by American Joe Roberts of 1WineDude blog, who summarised the key findings on his blog.  These were some of the highlights for him:

*   Wine sales are growing

*   Sales of wine at $20 or more showed a strong increase in November/December 2013. Wine sales in the $12 – 15 price range are also showing growth.

*   The share of beer is declining relative to wine and spirits, and adspend is now below 50% of total alcohol adspend.

*   Millennial (36 years and younger) and Gen X (30 – 50 year olds) wine buyers are increasingly buying wine, at Continue reading →

Doolhof showcases voluptuous Malbec in its Signatures of Doolhof range!

Doolhof Malbec wines Whale Cottage PortfolioAn unusual venue for the vertical tasting yesterday of the Doolhof Malbec wines in its Signatures of Doolhof range was Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront, where we tasted the five latest vintages of the wine, as well as some Argentinian and a French Malbec too.

Owner Dennis Kerrison welcomed us, after we had enjoyed oysters and Confrérie du Sabre d’Or champagne, explaining Doolhof Dennis Kerrison Whale Cottage Portfolio that they had planted Malbec with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, to create  a Château Lafite style wine. In the process they discovered the quality Malbec they were producing, and bottled it as a stand alone wine. Dennis said that baboons and the southeaster create a low yield for the variety. The Kerrisons have celebrated the tenth year of owning Doolhof this year, and celebrated the estate’s 300th anniversary last year.  Dennis introduced Rianie Strydom as their consultant cellarmaster.  As winemaker Friedrich Kühn could not attend, the tasting was led by Rianie. Continue reading →

Gentleman Spirits brings art of German master distilling to Stellenbosch!

Gentleman Spirit range Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Friday a number of writers was invited to to the launch of Gentleman Spirits, a German-speaking trio of three gentlemen who are producing spirits of the highest quality, led by Master Distiller and alchemist Hubertus Vallendar from Germany, on the Blaauwklippen wine estate, its Managing Director and Winemaker Rolf Zeitvogel being one of the spirited trio. Nine products have been launched initially.

Rolf shared over lunch that he met Hubertus, a leading distiller with 25 years experience and a string of awards, as well as Swiss citizen Urs Gmür, a Pinot Noir collector and a connoisseur of wines, two years ago at a dinner party in Germany.  Hubertus had travelled to South Africa regularly since 1999, and loves our country, having had two associations with local distillers Wilderer and Continue reading →

Tony Leon charming beyond expectation at Buitenverwachting book launch lunch!

Despite having attended the Wordsworth launch lunch of Tony Leon’s book ‘The Accidental Ambassador: From Parliament to Patagonia‘ at Myoga about a month ago, I accepted Buitenverwachting PR Consultant Sandy Bailey’s invitation to attend Leon’s talk at her Thursday Club lunch at Buitenverwachting, not having been there for a while. Leon delivered on eloquence in speaking, as he does in writing, and he proudly shared that the lunch was the 22nd launch function for his new ‘best seller’ book, the first 6000 copies almost having sold out, and the book being in reprint already. Continue reading →