Last night I attended the launch of the ‘Platter’s by Diners Club International 2019 South African Wine Guide’ at the Table Bay Hotel. It was an evening of some surprises, and new awards presented! But one thing was consistent – the Mullineux duo of Chris and Andrea lead this country in its consistent wine award performance, winning Winery of the Year for the third time in the 39 year history of the Platter’s Guide. Continue reading →
A record 111 South African wines received a coveted 2018 Platter’s Guide five-star rating at the Awards ceremony held at the Table Bay Hotel tonight. Raats Family Wines was named as the 2018 Winery of the Year. Continue reading →
On Tuesday Winemag.co.za awarded 25 Cape Bordeaux Red Blends top scores of 90 and higher, out of 100, the third year that Editor and chairman of the judging committee Christian Eedes has compiled a Report on this wine category. I was unable to attend the function, as I was attending another wine event at the same time, but received the media release, with the results. Continue reading →
On Tuesday Winemag.co.za presented its inaugural Cape White Blend Report 2016 at Joostenberg Bistro, and announced that Lammershoek Terravinum Reserve White 2015 had achieved the highest score, at 95 points out of 100.
* German competition authorities have reacted strongly against Booking.com, which prohibits accommodation establishments from offering better rates to clients booking with them directly relative to the rate they charge via Booking.com. Action is also being taken against a similar booking site Expedia.com
* The contribution of Tourism to the economy nationally has remained at 2,9% in both 2012 and 2013, reaching a total of R104 billion. Just more than half of the spend was Continue reading →
* FlySafair launches its Cape Town – George route on 13 November, at R399 one way, adding to its routes between the Mother City and Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Terms and conditions apply, in that extra charges are levied for extra luggage, special seating, and catering is charged for additionally.
* The Le Kap Lifestyle Fair will be held at Blaauwklippen on 6 December, and will be a showcase of fashion, food, wine, horses, and cars. Five top chefs, including Brad Ball, Gregory Czarnecki, Malika van Reenen, and Roland Gorgosilich, will prepare the food, and French champagne will be served. Veuve Clicquot, Glenmorangie, and Belvedere Vodka, as well as the wines of ten wine estates will be on offer, while ‘gourmet food markets‘ will be set up. There will be a dressage show, as well as a fashion show. Bentleys will be on display. R500 entrance, tickets via Computicket. (received via media release from Vivid Luxury)
* Coffee and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance will be the foundation of a new destination store Donford BMW Motorrad in Continue reading →
* The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries have signed an agreement to create a New Development Bank, reports The New Age. The Bank’s first loans will be made in 2016, from its pooled resources of $50 billion. South Africa is reported to have contributed R 5 billion to the establishment of the Bank. In addition, a $100 billion ‘contingency reserves pool‘ will be set up, to safeguard any of the five countries from being hit by ‘an exodus of foreign capital‘. The Bank headquarters will be in Shanghai, reports Mail & Guardian, while Johannesburg will be the regional centre of the Bank for Africa.
* SAA has been named Best Airline Africa for the 12th year running, and won the Best Airline Staff Service Africa award for the third time, presented at the Skytrax World Airline Awards in London. The airlines were evaluated on the basis of customer surveys conducted amongst 18 million travelers. SAA has a 4-star rating from Skytrax, the only airline in Africa to have achieved the service quality rating.
I had heard that Craft had opened in the space from which Apprentice operated for a number of years earlier this year, having been a ‘test kitchen’ for the students of Letetia Prinsloo’s Institute of Culinary Arts. An unfortunate association with Le Chocolatier owner Daniel Waldis led to the closure of the restaurant. In its place is a dual restaurant and bar, separated only by a bar counter, but the difference in attitude of the two managers is massive. The two Crafts are owned by Francois Jooste, who also owns Java and Apres Bistro, all close to each other in a tourist rich area of Stellenbosch.
I visited on Monday, entering on the left, at Craft Wheat & Hops, which I did not immediately associate with a bar specialising in beers. Once one enters, it is very clear what it serves, with 16 beers on tap offered, and a similar number of beers displayed on shelves. I recognised the voice of the friendly lady behind the counter, and she reminded me that she was the Chef and Manager of The Stall in Franschhoek when it first opened eighteen months ago. Marilie van Niekerk left when she had her baby. She made a menu available for me immediately, without having to ask for it, it being such a pleasure to experience her excellent service. The bar had not yet been set up, tables having been placed on top of each other, as the bar only opens at 15h00 on week days. Interestingly Craft Wheat & Hops offers food as well, but with only two options. Flammkuchen is prepared in what look like a massive pizza oven inside the bar, seven options offered in a price range from R40 (for Caprese) to R52 (smoked salmon, red onion, rocket, and caviar). An extensive list of Tapas dishes is offered, ranging from R29 (crumbed mozzarella sticks with berry compote) to R45 (roast chicken and cheddar quesadilla served with homemade salsa, guacemole and cream cheese). Other tapas include lamb meat balls, ‘corn dogs‘, chorizo and mozzarella crostini, mini mushroom burgers, and ‘beer brats wrapped in bacon‘. Continue reading →
* SABMiller has announced that it is selling its 40% stake in Tsogo Sun Holdings, worth R11,7 billion, writes the New York Times. The company is the second largest beer brewer in the world. Tsogo Sun Holdings owns 90 hotels, 14 casinos and resorts, and a number of restaurants and cinemas.
* The Cape Winemakers’ Guild members have done well in the recent Decanter Awards, winning a total of eight trophies, four international trophies and four regional ones: Frans Smit of Spier Wines won an International Trophy for Best Rhone Varietal under £15 for the Creative Block 3, and regional trophies for Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2012 as best local Chenin Blanc, and for Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2011, Best local Single Varietal Red over £15. Carl Schultz of Hartenberg won the International Trophy for Best Bordeaux Varietal under £15 for his Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2010; Gary Jordan of Jordan Wines won the International Trophy for Best Chardonnay for his Chardonnay 2013; and Andries Burger of Paul Cluver Estate won best International Trophy for his Sauvignon Blanc 2013. David Nieuwoudt of Cederberg won the regional trophy for Best local Red Rhône Varietal over £15 for his Shiraz 2011, and Miles Mossop won a regional trophy for Best local Sauvignon Blanc over £15 for his Tokara Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2013. (received via media release from GC Communications)
* Muratie is hosting a Mini Port Festival in conjunction with Juvenal Corks on 27 July, the top 10 local port producers offering Continue reading →
* Catharina’s at Steenberg: Seafood Menu platter R1750 per couple; 5 course Valentine’s Set Menu R750 per person; and Vegetarian Valentine’s Menu R750 per person. All three options include a glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Rosé 2011. Tel (021) 713-2222
* The Restaurant at Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek: 4 course dinner R495, or R650 with wine pairings. Nadine performing. Tel 083 444 7088.
* Frères Bistro: 3 course dinner with complimentary glass of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne R 395 per person. Tel (021) 418-1609
* Diemersdal Farm Eatery, Durbanville: Tapas platters and desserts as well as complimentary glass of MCC R 550 per couple. Tel (021) 976-1810
* Azure at the Twelve Apostles: Welcome drink, rose, and 4 course candlelight dinner R 795 per person, includes chance of winning half carat diamond from Uwe Koetter valued at R15000. Tel (021) 437-900
* The Kraal at the Twelve Apostles: Kir Royal welcome drink, picnic basket includes a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer, R1500 per couple. Tel (021) 437-9000
* Mondiall, V&A Waterfront: Oysters and glass of bubbly, 3 course dinner R350 per person. Tel (021) 418-3003. Continue reading →