Tag Archives: sommelier

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 →

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: Delicious Delaire Graff lunch, wines wonderful!

Earlier this week my friend Aurélie Jullien and I had lunch at Delaire Graff restaurant, as part of a two-day road trip to show her Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. For me the lunch was the highlight of our trip, not just its excellent food and wines, but also interacting with the estate GM and hearing about their new expansion plans. Continue reading →

South African focus continues to grow at JAN Restaurant in Nice, soon to be joined by MARIA!

A three-week writing focus at Apricale in Italy saw me complete the writing of a book within the time period I had allocated to this first-ever writing challenge. As the catalyst for The Book was Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen, in that I met a special man at his book launch in March last year, and that The Book tells the story of the transformational effect of the meeting, there was no better restaurant to eat at on Saturday, to celebrate the completion of The Book, than at JAN Restaurant in Nice! It felt like Christmas, it being exciting to experience JAN Restaurant again, my third visit in two years!  Continue reading →

Gauteng’s Best Restaurants: an overview!

imageNot having been to Johannesburg in 25 years since moving to Cape Town, it was now or never to get to five hundred before Chef David Higgs leaves on 11 December. I combined the visit with meals at Mosaic at The Orient, DW Eleven-13, and Cube Tasting Kitchen.

While I will write a detailed review about each restaurant, I Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 18 September

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*.  Cape Town has been named as one of 35 most beautiful cities in the world for 2015 by the UK Telegraph, in the company of Istanbul, Florence, Paris, Siena, Jerusalem, Oxford, Cambridge, New York, Rome, Sydney, Bruges, Seville, San Francisco, Bath, Lausanne, Venice, Edinburgh, London, Havana, Prague, Kyoto, Moscow, St Petersburg, Dubrovnik, Rio de Janeiro, and more.

Cape Town was praised for its ‘in-your-face beauty of a craggy mountain range that drops precipitously into a glittering sea, its flanks carpeted in greens and delicate florals – the Cape Floral Kingdom, smallest yet richest in the world’. The pristine white beaches with their granite boulders are also Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: The doors of Open Door at Constantia Uitsig (almost) always open!

Open Door Kitchen and Bar Whale CottageYesterday was only the second day of Open Door being open on Constantia Uitsig, but it felt as if it had always been there, with everything running smoothly.  Open Door is the third restaurant of co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, alongside Burrata and Bocca, and serves country fare.

Previously the home to The River Café on the wine estate, with a tasting room on the side which has moved across the driveway, the space of Open Door is large, being able to seat 250 patrons at full capacity, in different sections. One enters around the corner, and no longer at the former tasting room entrance. The main restaurant room is spacious, with a gas fireplace to come at the one end, and an open kitchen on the other end, with the bar close to the kitchen section, opposite of which is Neil’s precious wine collection, looking smaller than that of Burrata, but is not, Continue reading →

Bosman’s at Grande Roche: business is ‘booming’, don’t need patrons’ payment!

Bosman's Grand Roche View from terrace Whale CottageI don’t visit Paarl very often, usually disappointed with the restaurant offering of the town.  Last week I spent a day there, to visit Jan Willem & Seuns, and Melissa’s newish branch. I had given up on Bosman’s at Grande Roche, after repeated poor experiences in the restaurant. However, a chance meeting of Bosman’s new Restaurant Manager and its Sous Chef at Maison in Franschhoek a few days prior led me to return.

During the busy festive season days I took a break at The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek, and sat next to a table with a couple, which turned out to be Austrian Chef Christoph Terschan and Restaurant Manager Onwaba Maholwana of Bosman’s.  We chatted for ages, talking through the whole Eat Out Top 20 restaurant list, and our respective experiences with the restaurants.  Onwaba was well-informed about my previous Bosman’s disasters, and Continue reading →

Aluminium closures increasingly used for wines instead of cork!

Aluminium Jordan branding Whale CottageAn invitation from Waterford Communications to attend a function of the Guala Closures Group, the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), and South African aluminium producer Hulamin sounded interesting in terms of content. Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist Jardine at Jordan as function venue was an added attraction.  A passionate case was made for the benefits of using aluminium closures for wine bottling.

On  arrival we received a glass of Jordan The Real McCoy Riesling 2014 andAluminium Duck pate Facebook duck paté canapés, which were served with passion fruit jelly, and prune purée, on brioche.  Buffalo milk mozzarella, confit tomato and basil was also served as a canapé.  We sat at large round tables, covered with brown table cloths and a white overlay.  We received a bread platter, which included ciabatta, Cape seedloaf, and vetkoek, served with porcini butter, watercress pesto (with overpowering garlic), and aoili.

A number of parties with an interest in the use of aluminium in screw caps and closures was present at the Continue reading →