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 →
At the presentation of the 2016 Prescient Chardonnay Report at SMITH Studio on Wednesday afternoon, Winemag.co.za Editor Christian Eedes said that South African Chardonnay at the top end had ‘never looked so good‘! The number of awards presented to Chardonnay wines scoring 90 or more out of a quality score of 100 points was testimony to his enthusiasm about the category.
Yesterday I attended the Chenin Blanc Showcase at the Cape Grace Hotel, a presentation of 44 wines segmented into six categories. 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 →
* Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2012 was paired with one of the courses at the dinner for the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden last weekend, reports The Drinks Business!
* Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has announced in Parliament that a survey is to be conducted by the government, to establish the Continue reading →
I sat next to The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company Cape Town representative Tarryn Thomas at the ‘Chefs who Share‘ Gala Dinner last week, and she invited me to attend the special tasting of wines in the Riedel glassware which they represent in South Africa. The tasting on Tuesday at The Local Grill function venue was made more special in that it was led by 10th generation Georg Riedel, currently heading up the Austrian-based company. Herr Riedel encouraged the restaurant managers and sommeliers present to invest in glassware and a glass washing machine to bring out the best in the wines they serve.
We were welcomed by Michael Fridjhon, owner of Reciprocal, and he introduced Herr Riedel. It was the first time that I met Michael, and sat next to him during the tasting. I had brought my glass of water into the venue, and was quickly told to put it away, and we were all told that we should not open the bottle of water on the tasting sheet nor taste anything before we were given the go-ahead by Herr Riedel to do so.
Herr Riedel led us to question what makes a restaurant visit successful, the welcome, the food, and the wine selection combined making the cost seem good value or not. Eating at a restaurant is a ‘multi-layered symphony’, he said, to describe the functional and emotional experience of eating out. He feels that wine Continue reading →
* It is unbelievable that, after almost three months of pressure on Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, he has relented today, and agreed to delay the implementation of the unabridged birth certificate until 1 June 2015, just two weeks before the new Immigration Regulations were meant to apply from 1 October. The requirement of the permission of the other parent for the child to travel with one parent has also been delayed to June. On Friday the Minister announced at a media conference that the Regulations would be retained, and that a task team would evaluate the most effective implementation of them! One wonders what swayed the Minister to change his mind, after having been so stubborn for the past ten weeks! The personal application of biometric visas remains in place from 1 October.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has been quick to welcome Minister Gigaba’s announcement, but demands more: ‘It is my intention to ensure that a full impact study is conducted on them and handed to Minister Gigaba prior to them being reintroduced. The regulations that have already been implemented are threatening livelihoods in the sector. I will continue to push for their postponement too, until such time as a regulatory impact assessment has been conducted. Gigaba has now shown a willingness to work with other government departments and industry to mitigate the effects of his legislation on our economy and jobs, and I hope he will continue to take positive steps in this regard. The decision to place these two regulations on hold opens the door for South Africa to explore ways of becoming cutting edge. Through the use of smart technology, such as electronic visas, we can solve the problem of illegals while at the same time making our region more attractive to business and leisure tourists’. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* The 2014 Unilever Food Solutions Senior Chef of the Year is Germaine Esau from Delaire Graff, while the Junior Chef title went Continue reading →
* Platter’s is evaluating its 5 star wines differently this year, already tasted blind by its panel of wine evaluators. Tim James, one of the Platter’s tasters, has explained in his blog today what changes publisher JP Rossouw has introduced, the selection of the more than 200 potential 5-star wines taking place today. The potential 5-star wines are nominated by the tasters. For the evaluation, additional tasters will be used, who were not used for the sighted tastings due to their commercial links to some wines. Seven panels with three tasters each will blind taste about 30 wines, scored in silence, and discussed thereafter, one by one.
* Dame Helen Mirren was seen arriving at Cape Town International this morning, to star in a film with actors Colin Firth and Aaron Paul, in Gavin Hood’s ‘Eye in the Sky‘.
* After having focused on Cape Town earlier this week, Huffington Post has included Hermanus in an article entitled ‘5 Lesser-known African wonders you have to see’. Whale-watching is recommended, from July – November, with twenty to thirty whales being seen in Hermanus on average per day in that period, announced by the whale crier on his kelp horn. The other wonders are the lunar rainbow in Zambia, the South Carmine Bee-eater migration in Zambia, wildebeest calving in Tanzania, and the Fruit-bat migration in Zambia.
* South Africa’s premium wines over £10 a bottle were praised at a blind tasting held in London on Tuesday, offering quality and value for money. The tasting was organised by the drinks business and the Premium Independent Wineries of South Africa, a collective of 15 local wine producers, promoting premium wines costing £10 or more. Only 4% of wines are bought at that price-point, warned Tesco’s South African wine buyer, but he praised the quality of our wines, saying that they are ‘fantastic‘. He said that our country’s premium wines need to promote their credentials. Local wines tasted were Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2000, Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2009, Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2012, Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2010, Radford Dale ‘Nudity’ Syrah 2013, Mullineux Syrah 2012, Mvemve Raats de Compostella 2012, Jordan Cobblers Hill, South Africa 2011, Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012, The Drift ‘There are still mysteries’ Pinot Noir 2012, and Paul Cluver Pinot Noir 2012.
* Italian anti-trust and competition authorities are investigating TripAdvisor for its Continue reading →
* On Freedom Day President Jacob Zuma bestowed a number of awards upon South Africans as well as some international recipients, for their contribution to our country. Sadly many of the awards were made posthumously. The recipients included Caster Semenya (Bronze Order of Ikhamanga), Cameron van der Burgh (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Fanie van der Merwe (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Zakes Mda (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Sandra Prinsloo (Silver Order of Ikhamanga), Raymond Ackerman (Silver Order of the Baobab), Chris Ball (Silver Order of the Baobab), Alex Boraine (Silver Order of the Baobab), Frederick van Zyl Slabbert (Silver, Order of the Baobab, posthumous), Lord Richard Attenborough (Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo), Danny Glover (Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo), and Quincy Jones (Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo).
* American tour operators are seeing a shift of bookings to South Africa, due to the weak Rand, comparing the cost of a top end ‘five star’ meal in our country to the price one would pay for a meal at McDonalds in the USA, and praising the price of the good value ‘world class wines’ locally compared to those from Napa.