The 34th Cape Winemakers Guild Auction achieved a record R10,6 million in sales on Saturday, held at the Spier Conference Centre, with wines of the wine industry greats sold and bid for by top wine collectors, including a mix of hospitality and private buyers. Continue reading →
I was invited to attend the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday evening, tasting some of the superb wines of the 44 members of the Guild, representing the best of the best of our country’s winemakers. The Auction Showcase is in preparation of the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, which takes place at Spier on Saturday 29 September. It was impossible to taste all 44 winemakers’ wines, so I have reported on those wines I tasted and the winemakers I spoke to. Talk of the Showcase was the resignation of three senior members of the Guild.
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 →
The 33rd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction held at Spier yesterday raised R13,2 million, and set a new record price for red wine, Kaapzicht Estate The Ultimate Vision Red Blend 2015 made by Danie Steytler, achieving R16600 for a case of six. Continue reading →
Even if the Cambridge English dictionary definition of a ‘Café‘ as an inexpensive (‘a restaurant where simple and usually quite cheap meals are served‘) eatery is accepted, The Granary Café still does not deserve its ‘Café‘ name, as nothing about the contemporary classic dishes served in the sophisticated dining area is ‘simple‘. It is a showcase of Executive Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert’s playful interpretation of her favorite classic dishes.
Yesterday evening the Domaine des Dieux tasting at OpenWine was opened on Wale Street with a Sabrage of its award-winning Claudia MCC 2010, possibly the first time that a Sabrage has been done in the city centre. Continue reading →
On Tuesday, its second day of operating, my friend Graham Goble and I dined at Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ new The Shortmarket Club, just off Bree Street. It exceeded our expectations, in differing from The Test Kitchen (tasting menu) and Pot Luck Club (tapas) in its offering, and stood out in its strong use of colour for its starters and mains. However, some aspects disappointed. Continue reading →
How exciting to experience a restaurant, on its fourth (followed by its 6th and 8th!) day of opening, and enjoy the meal, the service, and the experience! Villa 47 is an exciting three-story Italian food emporium, Continue reading →
I was bombarded with a barrage of Tweets when the new owners of Mozzarella Bar on Kloof Street first opened in July, having bought the business from ‘Mr Charm’ Giorgio Nava. Nava must have sold the owners Amy and Marc Botes a good dose of rudeness and cheek too, which is what I experienced when I popped in at the now renamed Chalk & Cork, waiting for my car to be washed at the Engen garage nearby, earlier this week. I enjoyed going to the Mozzarella Bar, with its charming Italian manager Simone, previoulsy.
I photographed the counter as one enters (there is no signage at the entrance, but only on the low wall of the outside seating, visible to all passing on Kloof Street (the patrons that is, and not the branding)! The waitress could not tell me why the restaurant is named Chalk & Cork, other than to say that they have a lot of wine on the winelist! She could not explain the ‘Chalk‘ part. There is a cork collection building up on both sides of the front door. The downstairs entrance doesn’t appear to have changed much, although there is more equipment against the back wall behind the counter compared to the Mozzarella Bar. The Pizza oven is still there, as is the drinks fridge. They are no longer selling Mozzarella, which will be available at Piazza Italia, up the road on Park Road. Upstairs they can seat 30 patrons. On a rainy day they have next to no business, the upstairs seating not being visible nor known. Continue reading →
Last night I attended the first Tracy van Maaren Wines Trade Tasting, representing a handful of select fine boutique wine estates, held at Auslese. Each of the wine estate’s wines offered for tasting was personally paired with a canapé designed by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine.
Tracy started her wine career by working as PA to Dana Buys at Vrede en Lust. She then moved into the clothing industry, but regretted this move. She returned to the wine industry, working at Jordan. Almost nine years ago she started her company, her first wine clients being Vriesenhof, Raats, and Catherine Marshall. She represents her clients’ wines in the ‘mid to top restaurants’ and independent retailers (e.g. Caroline’s, Wine Concepts, and Vino Pronto) in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with Paarl and Franschhoek.
Auslese is a renovated house, available to rent for functions, about two blocks from Aubergine. It has a smallish kitchen, and the space was cleverly used to set up tasting tables for nine brands, with Pol Roger (Churchill’s favourite champagne) represented in the entrance hall by Great Domaines’ Derek Kilpin and their brand new French import Morgan Delacloche.
Arriving at about 18h30, there was no crush, and one could get to easily taste the wines and food pairings, chat to the wine representatives, and to the invited guests, which included John Maytham of Cape Talk, Mark Bland of Expresso, Mandi Jarman of Aquila, Chef Vanessa Marx and her colleague Rumby of Dear Me, Catharina’s Manager Ronel Smidt, sommelier and consultant Jörg Pfützner, John and Lynne Ford, and Mike Duggan of Wine Concepts. Continue reading →