My post below comes from Facebook, a post I wrote in the last few days of my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months. It was a tongue in cheek story about my journey, motivated in writing my third SwitchBitch Book, but also to share with my Blog readers the World’s 50 Best Restaurants I ate at in Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago in Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and a Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, with other great and not so great restaurants, and the interesting Mendoza wine region in Argentina, synonymous with Malbec and the largest in the country. I will be posting stories as soon as I have settled in again and got over the jet lag. Continue reading →
On my third winetasting day in Mendoza in Argentina, I was lucky that my Park Hyatt hotel concierge Charlie had managed to book a visit for me at Zuccardi Winery Piedra Infinita in the Uco Valley, the second and newer winery of this successful family wine producer. Of all the top restaurants which I evaluated in Argentina, this winery restaurant was by far the best I ate at in the country. I learnt while writing this article that this winery was awarded the honour of Best Vineyard in the world earlier this year! Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza and its GM Miguel Ángel Bermejo, for his excellent service recovery after a shaky start when I checked in at the hotel a week ago. He had been traveling and away from the hotel for a few days, yet made time on the day of his arrival to meet with me for a tea/coffee, so that I could share the service incident with him. Before meeting with him, he had already sent three bottles of wine to my room, as well as a vase of flowers for my bathroom. What blew me away was that he had the South African flag hoisted outside the hotel during my stay, an amazing touch. During our meeting he recommended top restaurants in Santiago in Chile, he organised a room for me for an extra night, had top lady clothing shop names sent to my room, had a table reserved for me at a local restaurant he recommended highly, as being the best in Mendoza, and invited me to try their Bistro. He is an excellent listener, and had done his homework on me. He is honest, and not defensive about the feedback. A day later I asked him a question via a concierge, and he came to reception, to say hello personally. Unbelievable service! Continue reading →
Whilst visiting Buenos Aires, I was very fortunate to be able to reserve a table each at Tegui (86th Best) and at Don Julio Parrilla (34th Best) on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List. The two Argentinian restaurants swopped rankings this year, Don Julio having previously played second fiddle to Tegui, and the steak specialist restaurant jumped an incredible twenty one places to make it into the World’s 50 Best List, whilst Tegui dropped 31 places. My Tegui Review is on my Blog, and explains why the restaurant lost its standing this year. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
At the conclusion of The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference held at Spier over the past two days, the seven South African winners of the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards were announced. Continue reading →
Chef Michael Deg of Delaire Graff Restaurant must be a happy man, with the news that the restaurant has been named the Best Winelands Restaurant in our country, in the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards!
The news must be even more joyous for Chef Michael, given that he was excluded from the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant Continue reading →
An 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 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 →
While Vergelegen may have been disappointed in not scoring a 5 star wine at the Platter’s South African Wines 2014 on Friday evening, the wine estate must have been in seventh heaven to have done so well at the Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards for South Africa, for which the winners were announced on Thursday at a gala dinner in the Napa Valley. Vergelegen won in the Arts and Culture as well as in the Restaurant categories, and performed well in four further categories. The award-winning performance makes Vergelegen the South African Best of Wine Tourism winner for the third time, having last won in 2009.
In addition to winning two categories outright, Vergelegen came second in four out of a total of seven categories: Architecture and Landscapes, Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences, Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices, and Wine Tourism Service. It is Camphors at Vergelegen, one of two restaurants on the wine estate (with Stables at Vergelegen Bistro, a more casual daytime restaurant), that is recognised in the Restaurant award. The seventh category (Accommodation) was not entered, as this service is not offered.
Vergelegen joins nine other winelands region winners this year:
* Bodegas Dinastia Vivanco in Rioja, a museum and winery complex, celebrated for its Enoturismo y Experiencias that offers a wide range of exhibitions, courses and other innovative experiences
* Château de Rouillac, that dates back to the 19th century when it Continue reading →