Events 100 points, Adi Badenhorst, Andrea Mullineux, Benjamin Joliveau, Callie Louw, Chateauneuf du Pape, Chenin Blanc, Chris Mullineux, Cinault, Damien Delecheneau, Domaine du Pegau, Domaine Huet, Domaine La Grange Tiphaine, Domaine Vincent Careme, Eben Sadie, France, Hanepoot, Jan Boland Coetzee, Laurence Feraud, Mullineux White, Pinotage, Riebeek Kasteel, Royal Hotel, Sequillo, Shiraz, Swartland Cellars, Swartland Independent, Swartland Revolution, Tinta Barocca, Vincent Careme
I woke up on Sunday morning with one of those hangovers where you start groaning before you even open your eyes. I should’ve known better being a veteran of 4 Swartland Revolutions, but we enjoyed revolting so much on Saturday that we didn’t want the party to end.
The 2013 edition of the Swartland Revolution was bigger than ever before for many reasons. With over 400 tickets sold it was by far the most attendees that ever revolted. Yet, in spite of the increased numbers, It was the slickest organisation of the event ever. It went like clock work. Not that there were any major issues in the past, this year was just fantastic. The addition of air conditioners to the tasting tent was a master stroke by the organisers, the food was a step up in my opinion from in the past (again, the food wasn’t bad in the past – this year was just great) and the entertainers (Adi, Eben, Callie and the Mullineux’s) were in fine voice. I particularly enjoyed how Adi told his father in law not to be a doos in front of a packed tasting. Adi clearly is a bit of an adrenalin junkie.
Friday opened with a tasting of Domaine du Pegau wines. A Chateauneuf du Pape producer with a few 100 point wines in her (yes she’s a girl – Laurence Feraud) stable. We got to taste one of the 100 pointers and herein lies the crux of why we attend the Revolution. I certainly do not have the budget to buy wines like that, nor are they easy to get your hands on. The organisers of the Revolution always get special producers from France to showcase their wines and I consider myself fortunate to be able to taste them. Friday’s Chateauneuf’s also taught me a valuable lesson – drink them either very young, or leave them to age at least a decade. The wines that were 5 years or so old, were very muted, whilst a 2011 showed lovely bright fruit and structure.
Food and Wine, Restaurants Chef Henry Vigar, La Mouette Restaurant, Oldenburg Cabernet Franc 2009, Oldenburg Chardonnay 2012, Oldenburg Chenin Blanc 2012, Oldenburg Rhodium Red Blend 2010, Oldenburg Syrah 2010, Oldenburg Wines, Salt & pepper prawns, Sea Point, South Africa, Stellenbosch
The three key ingredients for an excellent Food and Wine evening: good food, good wine and a sprinkling of magic to bring it all together. We were recently invited by the folks from Oldenburg to join them for an evening of indulgence at one of our favourite restaurants, La Mouette.
We’ve written volumes about La Mouette, a perennial favourite consistently delivering top class, exciting food at reasonable prices. The opportunity to see what the brilliant Chef Henry Vigar can do, unfettered by the usual budgetary constraints and given the opportunity to pair his creations with one of the most exciting wine ranges we have tasted in a long while.
Oldenburg Chardonnay 2012 paired with truffle & cheese croquettes, duck parfait on toast, beef tartare
Oldenburg is a relatively new kid on the Stellenbosch block. We recently visited the farm and after a morning of intensive wine tasting, purchased their whole range! There was not one wine in the range we did not love, but we tasted in isolation (at 9 am in the morning) and thus we leaped at the opportunity to see their wines in “action”. More
Restaurants Chef Margot Janse, Chef of the Year, Franschhoek, Le Quartier Francais, South Africa, Surprise Menu, The Tasting Room, Top 10, wine pairing
Dining at South Africa’s most acclaimed restaurant is never a decision that can be taken lightly. Chef Margot Janse has won more than one “Chef of the Year” accolade and The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français is consistently in any Top 10 restaurants awards list.
One does not simply dine at The Tasting Room on a whim; it takes some budgetary planning, you make a reservation weeks in advance, sign a written confirmation, make sure you have a place to stay over in Franschhoek and (most importantly) ensure your taste buds are in 100% working order.
Your bread is served….
Accommodation Avondrood, communal lounge, Franschhoek, Gardens, guest house, Honesty Bar, jacuzzi, Luxury accommodation, mini bar, room induction, South Africa, swimming pool, wi-fi
One cannot adequately translate the meaning of the Flemish word “Avondrood” as no single phrase can capture that perfect moment of romance, that final breath before the sun finally sets and the sky is still russet and coppery/golden before plunging you into the inky evening.
Avondrood is a 4 star luxury guest house in Franschhoek. Their beautiful Victorian building dates back to 1870 and is now a local heritage site. The entire guest house and garden of Avondrood was recently refurnished in a contemporary elegant style. With a comfortable lounge and bar, private patio and vast garden Avondrood can be whatever you need it to be: a romantic hide-away, a family getaway or a fully functional office-on-the-go.
Events Almenkerk 2010 Chardonnay, Anel Grobler, Cathy Marston, Diana Proctor, Fleur du Cap Semillon 2007, Haskell WInes, Johann Graue Hall, Masterchef Kitchen, Mullineux Wines, natalie Opstaele, Nederburg, Nederburg Auction, Nicky Claasens, Nicola Tipping, Paarl, Remhoogte Honey Bunch Chenin Blanc 2010, Riana Hall, Rianie Strydom, Rudera Robusto 2009, SImonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2005, South African Sommelier Association, South Afriica, vriesenhof, winetimes, Xolani Mancotywa
This weekend the 39th annual Nederburg Auction takes place at one of SA’s best known wine estates Nederburg, in Paarl. The concept is simple: assemble a line-up of older, more rare wines and sell them to the highest bidder. Sounds simple…and run-of-the-mill stuff if you are not an active bidder. Luckily the Nederburg Auction is so much more than just an auction – it is an event, an opportunity to taste the wines on sale, to chat to the wine makers, marvel in the beautiful Nederburg Estate and enjoy the longest running and largest garden party in South Africa…
Upon arrival you immediately notice that the organisation must be a mammoth task; but check-in & registration was slick and efficient…and followed by coffee and gorgeous breakfast canapés!
Restaurants Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and Middle East Award, Cape Town, Chef Scot Kirton, Constantia, Constantia Uitsig, Dave Nel, Journey through the Western Cape, La Colombe, San Pellegrino 50 Best restaurants of the World Awards, sommelier, South Africa
La Colombe, the “holy grail” of Cape Town’s restaurants: 12th place in the San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants of the World Awards 2010 and Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Africa and Middle East Award. The current Executive Chef, Scot Kirton, has kept La Colombe firmly in the San Pellegrino 100 Best Restaurants of the World Awards 2011.
We approached dinner at La Colombe with high expectations and that nervous “please don’t disappoint me” flutter in the stomach. Our arrival at the restaurant was indeed marked by a brooding Cape winter storm, but inside we were warmly welcomed and enveloped in the La Colombe cocoon of elegant excellence. More
Just Wine Bordeaux Whites, Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh, Christian Eedes, James Pietersen, Muscadelle, oak influence, Roland Peens, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, South Africa, Steenberg Magna Carta, Vergelegen GVB White, White Blends
The great white blends of Bordeaux consists of a combination of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Sometimes (rarely) a third grape is added called Muscadelle. Typically in South Africa, there is some form of oak influence on these wines. South Africa has for the last decade or so made some cracking examples of these wines and some of the most long lived and expensive white wines in South Africa consist of a blend of these grape varieties. Wines like the Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh, Vergelegen GVB White and Steenberg Magna Carta all comes to mind when you talk about the category in the South African context.
The Top 3 wines
Accommodation 5 star, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Cape Town, High tea, Mount Nelson, Mount Nelson Club Sandwich, Orient Express Hotel Group, Planet Bar, Planet Restaurant, South Africa, Stephan Delport, Winston Churchill
A gift certificate for High tea at the Mount Nelson was the small incentive we needed to book a night in Cape Town’s best known hotel. We have visited the Mount Nelson on more than one occasion; enjoying several excellent meals in the Planet Restaurant but staying over was one for the hotel “bucket list”.
We arrived late one Friday afternoon in (what can only be described as) grotty Cape Town weather: overcast, howling wind, occasional drizzle and grey everywhere. By the time we parked at the hotel entrance, the friendly smile and wave from the guard at the bottom of the drive and the friendly valet service had dispelled any winter day blues we had.
News Checkers, Cheese, Fairview, Gordon Ramsay, Nataniël, South Africa, Wine of South Africa, Wyke Farms
CHECKERS BRINGS OUT THE BIG CHEESES
The two titanic egos, Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay and South African celebrity Nataniël, are at it again. Watch them with knives drawn in the new Checkers TV ad that launches nationally on August 23. The ad pits the two unlikely personalities against each other as they taste, evaluate and comment on some of the best local and international cheeses and wines now offered by Checkers.
A still from the Ad – check it out!
The commercial is a follow up to last month’s launch of the new Checkers campaign showcasing Nataniël and Gordon assessing the innovative beef and pork brands that the retailer has recently introduced. This time, however, things get a little more heated, as Nataniël continually quips in Afrikaans, much to the bemusement of the Scottish-born chef. Their diverse personalities go a long way to complement the assortment of the Checkers cheese range, represented in the ad by the arrival of the world’s best cheddar, matured in oak for 12 months and produced by Wyke Farms in the UK as well as South Africa’s best cheese, a blue-veined Roquefort from Fairview. More
Restaurants Bree Street, Cape Town, coffee, Evil Twin, House of Machines, Loop Street, Shortmarket Street, South Africa
Shortmarket Street is alive and well, thanks to The House of Machines that opened their doors this morning. We have been wondering by daily, almost begging them to open, as our area of the City was in dire need of the good stuff!
The House of Machines offers you excellent coffee (the house brand is called “Evil Twin” and is served with organic milk & sugar) and freshly made sandwiches ready to go 6 days a week. We have sampled the avo & tomato on toasted rye (R45) and the muesli with yogurt and banana (R60) – both delicious; I may even be ordering the muesli for lunch! The muffins (R18) are fresh, never dry and tasty. Jason’s legendary bacon croissants (R20) are also on sale, but get there early before we’ve been there…