Wine Menu owner Corlien Morris unlocks the Unusuals

Unusuals Wine Festival organiser Corlien Morris with sommelier and participant Patson Mathonsi   The popular Unusuals Wine Festival is back to showcase South Africa’s lesser known varietals in the only focused platform in Gauteng of these wines. This not-to-be-missed display of truly exceptional wines takes place at the Killarney Country Club on Thursday, September 7,

Cape Brewing Company Brrrrew Event at the Spice Route Destination on 28 July

CBC brew master, Woelfgang Koedel Celebrate the start of the year’s second semester with a delicious meal paired with craft beer. Join Barley & Biltong Emporium and Cape Brewing Company (CBC) at their next winter Brrrrew Event at the Spice Route Destination on 28 July. Hops on the vine The July Brrrrew Event will make for a

Cheese Baker Cheese on toast with a twist

The Cheese Baker - cheese on toast with a twist We are having such fun with The Cheese Baker and creating recipes for it. A while ago, my wife, Madeleine wrote down some notes about a recipe for The Cheese Baker. I stuck them on my computer and we decided that this would be the

De Grendel Restaurant is a TripAdvisor Favourite with the 2017 Certificate of Excellence

De Grendel Restaurant Interior “A superior customer experience.” This is the sentiment behind the 2017 Certificate of Excellence award De Grendel received from TripAdvisor, which follows on from the same award in 2016. This achievement celebrates businesses, which have consistently achieved glowing traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. The restaurant is located at

Mont Blois – Robertson Royalty

Mont Blois Manor House In the very first John Platter’s Book of South African Wine, published in 1980, Mont Blois White Muscadel is awarded four stars and John himself writes, “A superlative wine, a truly fine example of a dessert or after dinner wine, luscious rich but delicate.’ That wine was made by Ernst Bruwer

Spice Route Wines launches its iconic Amos Block Perpetual Reserve

Spice Route The Amos Block Perpetual Reserve I love sherry and sherry style wines.  Having visited Jerez in Spain as long ago as 1968, having been captivated by Sherry, I was so thrilled to read about this new wine from Klein Amoskuil Farm in the Swartland. The Klein Amoskuil’s Sauvignon Blanc vineyard is the oldest

Vineyard Views Country House – excellence in Riebeek Kasteel

Vineyard Views Country House, Riebeek Kasteel Having been invited to a family wedding in Riebeek Kasteel, we set about finding ourselves an overnight stay. Little did we know that the place we would choose, actually belonged to friends, Gareth Pienaar and Grant Dewar who invited us to spend the night at Vineyard Views Country House

Spier – taste the farm with good food at Eight

Spier Farmer Angus dinner Spier invites you to a first-hand experience of their farm-to-table philosophy at Eight Restaurant, with Farmer Angus, Executive Chef Lolli and Sommelier Welma Beukes. At this interactive food evening, you’ll get to taste the intrinsic goodness of food from Spier’s own pastures, with fresh produce from our vegetable gardens and Farmer

We’re back!

The beautiful Nuy Valley Madeleine and I have just been on a fabulous trip to the Nuy Valley and Robertson.  Hence the silence of the last couple of days. We stayed in a wonderful place, and tasted some sublime wines, and met some utterly lovely people. We have much to talk about and will be

June 9th, 2017|Categories: Michael's Writings|Tags: |

The Game Reserve, wines from Rooiberg Robertson…

You are well warned before you reach Rooiberg Cellar While many are in the Robertson Valley enjoying the Wacky Wine Weekend, we are at home drinking some fine Robertson Wines. And two of them are very South African, the Chenin Blanc and the Pinotage.  Chenin Blanc is the largest planted wine grape in the country,

Shiraz Stars for 2017 announced

Shiraz Stars for 2017 A dozen remarkable Shiraz wines and three impressive Shiraz blends captured the limelight during the fifth annual Shiraz Challenge awards ceremony held on 31 May at the Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl. Fans of this noble cultivar can safely set their sights on these front-runners when next they find themselves facing

Morgenster – the liquid gold that is Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive Harvesting on Morgenster Having grown up on a farm where my parents had a large olive grove, olives are part of my life.  While I grew up in a butter based cuisine, over the last 20 years or so, we have cooked with olive oil at home. Recently I was invited to go and

Inverroche does World Gin Day on Saturday, 10 June

Inverroche Mocha G&T  Celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday, 10 June with a South African gem, Inverroche. Their range of craft gin is infused with wild fynbos botanicals and unlike any other gin you will ever taste. Lorna Scott’s Inverroche spearheaded the gin revolution in South Africa with their small batch gins. Crafted at the

Spier offers a fab Father’s Day Lunch

A Table at Eight Spoil Dad with lunch at Eight, our acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant. Our harvest table offers a range of dishes all prepared with fresh, home-grown, seasonal ingredients. Greens and fresh veggies come the Werf food garden where they are grown without the use chemical fertilisers, pesticides or artificial chemicals. Our fillet, sirloin and sausages

The Food Barn – an invitation you don’t refuse…

Matt Day & Franck Dangereux Last week, I think we experienced some of the finest cooking in the Cape paired by Franck Dangereux, chef patron of The Food Barn and Matt Day, driven winemaker at Klein Constantia. The invitation was one we could not refuse. Matt and Franck have wanted to do this some time

Morgenster – elegant, sublime, fabulous wines

Morgenster Manor House Morgenster is in the eastern reaches of the Helderberg Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. A premium producer of fine olives and olive products, and a range of top class internationally recognised wines. Recently on a visit to the estate, I was introduced to the new wines, and the new ventures in the olive oil

ASARA – one stop Stellenbosch Wine Estate

The Asara Wine Estate and Hotel In the undulating Polkadraai Hills, east of the town of Stellenbosch and in its eponymous Wine Appellation, lies a gem, The Asara Wine Estate and Hotel. This award-winning wine estate. and its luxury hotel, has no Cape Dutch Houses, white walls or generations of family winemakers.  It is a

Simonsig Merindol Takes Rare Gold at Syrah du Monde

Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2010 A single-vineyard Syrah from the Cape‘s 2010 vintage made on Simonsig Estate won one of the few Gold medals awarded at this year’s Syrah du Monde competition in France. The Simonsig Merindol Syrah 2010 was among only 35 Gold medal winners out of 372 wines entered by 26 countries at this

Azolile Khoncoshe – beneficiary of Nederburg Auctioneers Initiative

Azolile Khoncoshe Azolile Khoncoshe, the first recipient to benefit from this newest initiative, is currently a third year Viticulture & Oenology student at the University of Stellenbosch. The bursary funded his studies in 2016 and will continue to do so for the remaining portion of his degree. Through the Nederburg Auction, Khoncoshe will also have

“Simple” yet “bold” are the words for Louisa Greeff’s Winter Menu at The Durbanville Hills Restaurant

Durbanville Hills Winery overlooking Table Bay Surrounded by rolling hills and boasting beautiful views of Cape Town, Durbanville Hills is nestled in the picturesque Durbanville Valley, making it the ideal place to enjoy a warm winter meal with a glass of award-winning wine. To ensure that the upcoming colder months are savoured, the restaurant has

Lanzerac releases maiden Chenin Blanc & first Syrah in more than 10 years

Lanzerac, Stellenbosch's oldest Country House Hotel In May 1966, I started working at Lanzerac, the beautiful country hotel in the very heart of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. At the time, Lanzerac was amongst the first f the Country House style of hotels and the fist in South African to served a buffet breakfast.  The Cheese

Sunday Feast at Haute Cabrière from 1 May to 30 September 2017

Haute Cabrière Restaurant Sunday lunch has a strong tradition all over the world, it is still very much an aspect of life nowadays with busy weeks leaving Sundays the day to recharge and catch up over a hearty and tasty meal, making conversation the centre piece of the table. Chefs Westley Muller & Nic van

Cape to Rio Rowing Expedition Done & Dusted

Braam Malherbe & Wayne Robertson Sponsor Oude Molen Feeling Proud The team at Oude Molen Cape Brandy, one of South Africa’s oldest brandy distilleries, who sponsored adventurer Braam Malherbe’s epic 8000 KM Cape to Rio Rowing DOTChallenge expedition, are feeling proud of the achievement of the adventurer and his team mate Wayne Robertson, who arrived

Benguela Cove Wines launches New English Vineyard

Johann Fourie & Penny Streeter at Benguela Cove Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate - situated in Walker Bay, Hermanus, at the start of the Hermanus Wine Route - is transporting its expertise 6,000 miles to create the newest vineyard in England. The Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes will be ready to make sparkling

Steenberg – Winter wonderland of contemporary classics at Catharina’s

Catharina's Restaurant at Steenberg Savour skilfully prepared contemporary winter classics while soaking up fireside nostalgia in idyllic Cape Dutch surroundings at Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg. Archie McLean, Catharina's Executive Chef Named after Steenberg’s intrepid 17th century founder, Catharina Ustings Ras, Catharina’s with Executive Chef, Archie Maclean at the helm, is all about exciting palates with

Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 – a gem from Robertson

Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 I remember once in the early noughties being told that Excelsior Cabernet was one of the best-selling South African Cabernet under a cork in the USA.  Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 43% of the estate’s plantings. The Robertson soils are well known to be lime based with portions of shale. This is

Terroir, still the hottest meal ticket, offers a Chalkboard Winter Menu

Michael Broughton's Terroir, the Cookbook Acclaimed winelands restaurant Terroir has welcomed the arrival of winter with a special menu offer that is sure to make this award-winning Stellenbosch eatery the hottest table in town as the cold sets in. From May to September guests can enjoy their choice of two dishes (starter/main or main/dessert) from

Cheese Baker Brie & Raspberry Bake & Snow Mountain Malbec 2016

The Cheese Baker Brie & Raspberry Bake When I was at Cookery School in London, they always made us peel Brie and Camembert. I always felt that this robbed the dish of flavour and texture. If you like, you can push it through a sieve, but I found that mashing it with a fork does

The Bottelary Hills Pop Up Lunch returns to Hartenberg Wine Estate 28 May 2017

Hartenberg Wine Estate, Simonsberg in the background Hand-crafted wine and soul food are a match made in heaven and Hartenberg Wine Estate, situated in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands, invites you to embark on a journey of sensory experiences at this year’s Bottelary Hills Pop Lunch on Sunday, 28 May. Be enthralled as highly

Sharpen your Culinary Skills with New Interactive Cooking Classes at Durbanville Hills – 27 June & 29 July

To warm up the coming winter months, Durbanville Hills is launching its new and exciting interactive cooking classes for aspiring foodies, in collaboration with The Little Pink Chef, Maryke Josling. This limited offering will be taking on two different occasions – the first on 27 June and the second on 29 July – from 18:30

Baleia Wines Erhard Pinot Noir 2014 – family tradition in the making

 Baleia Erhard Pinot Noir 2014 In the recently established wine region near the country town of Vermaaklikheid along the Cape South Coast, the Joubert family has established itself as a pioneer wine producers with their unique range of Baleia Wines and Olive Oil, showcasing true pioneering energy, commitment, passion and family values. Their premium flagship

Break in Payday with Spice Route’s First Brrrrew Event

CBC Beer Tasters Beautiful Paarl Winelands Destination, the Spice Route will warm up winter appetites with its debut Brrrrew Event offering a 'delicious' line-up of gourmet burgers, craft beer and live entertainment on Friday 26 May. Partnering with 2017 KLINK Awards Best Winelands Burger restaurant finalist, Barley and Biltong Emporium, and leading craft beer producer,

The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships 2017

The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships is once again hunting down South Africa's greatest steakhouse, and inviting members of the public to take part in this exciting annual competition. How The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championships 2017 Works May: Public Voting Round and Weekly Prizes During the month of May anyone can vote for their favourite steakhouse, via Facebook,

Steenberg winter escape in The Constantia Winelands

Steenberg Manor House Escape the winter blues for a haven of tranquility in the vineyards and take advantage of fabulous seasonal offers at Steenberg, the Cape’s first registered farm just 30 minutes from the bustling heart of Cape Town. Wrapped in gracious, understated luxury and steeped in history dating back to 1682, the 24-room, 5-star

Windfall Wines – a gem in the Robertson Crown

Windfall Barrel No 41 Robertson Wines always spring surprises.  This region known about 50 years ago for its sweet wine, now delivers international award winning white, reds and bubblies.  They are exported all over the world. Windfall is situated in the Agterkliphoogte Valley, a small boutique wine farm and as they have it ‘one of

Steenberg launches Vintner’s Breakfast at Bistro Sixteen82

Steenberg BistroSixteen82, the Tasting Room & The Cellar Steenberg’s trendy Bistro Sixteen82 has come up with a fabulous way to spend a chilly winter morning in Constantia with the new hearty Vintner’s Breakfast. Kerry Kilpin - Bistro Sixteen82 chef This special breakfast for wine lovers includes a glass of Steenberg bubbly with your choice of

Corlea celebrates 10 years at Bosman Vineyards

Corlea Fourie “Calm, precise, intuitive and softly spoken; always up for a challenge”, that’s how Bosman CEO Petrus Bosman describes their award-winning winemaker, Corlea Fourie. The 2017 vintage is Corlea’s 10th at the Bosman cellar, and she has much to be proud of. A quick glance at the latest Platter will reassure with a 5

May 6th, 2017|Categories: Michael's Writings|

Celebrate Roast Leg of Lamb Day on 7 May

A fine roast leg of lamb with figs Roast leg of lamb. A traditional dish in many cultures. The dinner-table highlight of many a special celebration. The thought of which, brings emotion and memories and hunger... Lesser things have been allocated a special day on the calendar, so it makes good sense to join the

Archie McLean offers pocket friendly winter lunches at Steenberg’s Catharina’s Restaurant

Catharina’s Executive Chef, Archie Maclean Catharina’s Executive Chef, Archie Maclean, has tweaked his special lunch menu with more choice and additional comfort dishes that fit the bill perfectly for a cosy fireside lunch in Steenberg’s idyllic Cape Dutch surroundings. Catherina's One of the jewels on the Constantia wine route, Catharina’s Restaurant offers a two or

Judi Dyer – Managing Director of Oldenburg Vineyards

Judi Dyer OLDENBURG VINEYARDS, has appointed Judi Dyer as Managing Director, with effect from April 2017. Judi’s vast and varied experience with top brands ranging across hospitality, wine and olive oil industries (amongst others), has her uniquely poised to join and lead the Oldenburg team for owners Adrian and Vanessa Vanderspuy. Oldenburg's Rondekop Hill in

Spice Route Wines shine at The 2017 National Wine Challenge

Charl du Plessis Spice Route Winemaker with assistant-winemaker Licia Solomons Spice Route Wines has once again performed exceptionally well at the National Wine Challenge awards, with five of its wines receiving top honours. The premier awards event, now in its seventh successful year, was held on 26 April 2017 in Cape Town and played host

Asara scores at Top 100 Wines…

Asara Wine Estate Vineyards looking East Asara Wines Estate in the Polkadraai Hills in Stellenbosch has already nearly filled its medal and awards cupboard for 2017 with both local and international awards for their wines. Janette van Lill, Danielle le Roux CWM & Christiaan Nigrini Now the Asara Winemaking team, headed by Danielle le Roux

The Gamekeeper’s Chicken Pot

The Gamekeeper, by Richard Ansdell (1815–85) Autumn is upon us and it is time to start thinking of warming dishes for the cooler evenings.  There are any number of chicken dishes, coq au vin, coq au Riesling and Chicken Marengo, reputed to have been prepared by Napoleon’s cook after the Battle of Marengo. The dish

Fairview takes top honours at the 2017 National Wine Challenge

The 2017 National Wine Challenge winners were announced on 25 April 2017 and Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate in Paarl was named a Vineyard Consistency Award winner, garnering over 10 top accolades this year. In addition, Fairview took joint second place overall across the entire spectrum of categories and wines. Fairview Wine & Cheese Estate

Wine Menu’s Chardonnay & Pinot Noir Festival May 8th

Corlien Morris, Owner of The Wine Menu, Bluebird Shopping Centre, Atholl The Wine Menu Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Festival, which takes on Thursday, May 18, from 18h00 at Killarney Country Club’s Crystal Room.  Festivalgoers will taste more than 80 of South Africa’s best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs as well as those wines from France, Chile

Spice Route Wines – I talk to Charl du Plessis, Winemaker…

Charl du Plessis, winemaker of Spice Route Wines I said recently in a piece that I wrote, I would happily drink any wine from Spice Route, just friendly wines and perfect food partners. Charl du Plessis has been winemaker for Spice Route for the past 15 years.  I wanted to get to know him better.

Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82 offers cosy winter value..

Kerry Kilpin at the pass Warm up this winter with a menu brimming with value and Chef Kerry Kilpin’s exciting seasonal tweaks at Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg’s trendy cellar door restaurant in Constantia. For an indulgent lunch of bistro-style comfort food, there’s a special hearty and homely winter menu to keep you fuelled until the end

Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel, SAA Wine of the Year

Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel on ice South African Airways announced its annual Wine of the Year Awards at a dinner held at Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town on Saturday, 8 April. The awards were made in four categories: white wines, red wines, Cape Tawny and Méthode Cap Classique wines. Frans & Liza Malan The Wine of

Plaisir de Merle Winemaker’s Dinners, May August & October

Plaisir de Merle Manor House Plaisir de Merle is hosting winemaker’s table dinners in May, August and October of this year and I would greatly appreciate it if you could share the below dates and details with your readers. SAVE THESE DATES – 13 May 2017 and 12 August 2017 for Winemaker’s Table dinners at

Slay your winter blues at ‘Taste the Helderberg’ epicurean fest

Taste the Helderberg It’s time to shun the cold of winter and light up at Taste the Helderberg – the sophisticated annual sip-and-snack institution of warm company, levity and gastronomic delight. Excellent reds For one night only, wine farms and restaurants in the desirable Helderberg region spread their rainbow colours in a showcase of fine

Steenberg meets Kaapzicht for a sizzling food & wine evening

Catharina's Restaurant on Steenberg Estate Join Executive Chef Archie Maclean and accomplished Kaapzicht winemaker Danie Steytler for the ultimate winter food and wine experience at Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg on Thursday, 11 May. Known for his adventurous take on classic dishes, Chef Archie has come up trumps again with a four course menu that will

Spice Route Sauvignon Blanc – with my deconstructed Sushi

Spice Route Sauvignon Blanc Charles Back is one of the leaders in the ‘new age of the Swartland’ from the mid 1990s when he purchased a tobacco farm, Klein Amoskuil. Close to Paarl, Darling and Malmesbury, it was found to have the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in the country. I have visited there and it

Books for Cooks – Delicious Low Carb

Delicious Low Carb - Sally-Ann Creed Sally-Ann Creed is elegantly monikered as a Functional Integrative Nutritional Therapist.  As co-author of the brilliantly successful The Real Meal Revolution, she has already carved her name as a hero alongside the greats like Tim Noakes, David Grier and Jonno Proudfoot, her co-authors. She has a raft of other

Books for Cooks for Easter – two ‘locals’

Bertus Basson Homegrown Such fun to be able to tell you about two ‘local’ books today.  One from a restaurant, which to my obvious shame, I had not heard of Sababa and one from one of my all-time favourite people, Bertus Basson. Bertus with his pet pig when he was a Speklet For me the

Kleine Zalze, our current wines this week…

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2016 Two recent arrivals from which we have had much pleasure this week. Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2016 Kleine Zalze have produced fine wines for about 20 years.  I remember having their Gamay Noir on my wine list in the mid 1990s. The grapes for this

Books for Cooks – The South African Milk Tart Collection

The South African Milk Tart Collection by Callie Maritz & Mari-Louis Guy There cannot be a single Afrikaans speaking family in the country that has escaped the bliss of the iconic South African dessert and tea bake Milk Tart.  There may be many who have not tasted it and more’s the pity. As with most

Books for Cooks for Easter, Smeul & Toor met Hoender

Smeul - Riana Scheepers, Marietjie Koekemoer & Leonie Scholtz I was told recently that one of the growth areas in the publishing world is Afrikaans Cookery Books. I am not surprised given the quality and excellence of these two books received over recent days. Marietjie Koekemoer has been a friend for a number of years.

Bellingham rated as one of the best by users of the world’s largest wine app

Twenty million wine lovers have voted in the annual Vivino Wine Style Awards and reviewers have recognised Bellingham’s The Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah as one of the top wines from South Africa.  Vivino is the world’s largest wine application (app), allowing a global wine community to buy, rate and review wines. This popular wine

Spier, all about its people – Alfrieda Hanse, Farm Supervisor

Alfrieda Hanse – Farm Supervisor Spier is home to a diverse bunch of passionate people, doing what they love, and committed to making a difference every day. Alfrieda Hanse is a farm supervisor at Spier’s Nooitgedacht farm near Paarl. She grew up in the Northern Cape and has been employed by Spier for almost 17

Spier, it’s all about the people, Wilton Sikhosana

Wilton Sikhosana at work It’s all about people, the hospitality and wine industry – especially at Spier, such a diverse and exciting Wine Estate, Winery, Hotel, Restaurants and and and…. Spier is home to a diverse bunch of passionate people, doing what they love, and committed to making a difference every day. The green fingered

Can we Toque? Excellent Review of Alfie’s Pizzeria in Pretoria by John Fraser

Alfie's Pizzeria, Pretoria John Fraser, Business Editor and Website Owner of ZA Confidential, wrote this piece after a visit to Alfies.  I wanted to board a plane to go and eat there. He said One of my favourite cartoons shows a diner being offered a sprinkle of that horrible fake parmesan you can find. The

Annual Mushroom forage at Boschendal with Justin Williams on May 6th

Cleaned Porcini on my Kitchen Table The Boschendal Estate has a variety of microclimate areas which are perfect for the growth of wild mushrooms.  You are invited to spend a day, part of which is foraging for wild mushrooms with Justin Williams.  Since boyhood Justin has been a keen forager and given his love for

Glen Carlou Unwooded Chardonnay 2016 & Dianne Bibby’s Chilled Cucumber Soup with grape & watermelon salsa – 21.03.2017

Glen Carlou Unwooded Chardonnay 2016 Glen Carlou Wine Estate produces three different Chardonnay styles, two of them are wooded and the third is the Glen Carlou Unwooded Chardonnay 2016. A pair of Nomblot Eggs Interesting about this wine is that it was fermented in what is known as a Nomblot Egg, a a porous clay

Books for Cooks – Soettand

Soettand by Koelsoem Kamalie & Flori Schrikker Lapa Publishing has recently produced a couple of very exciting cookery books written by two Cape Town Ladies who are really Kaaps monikered Koelsoem Kamalie and Flori Schrikker. You would search a long time finding names more Cape in nature. Flori Schrikker The ladies are regular broadcasters on

Vergenoegd Wine Estate offers End of Harvest Long Table Lunches on On Friday 31st March, Saturday 1st April and Sunday 2nd April

The Vergenoegd Manor House & Werf After the success of the Harvest Long Table Lunches at the end of last year’s harvest, Vergenoegd Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation is holding a series of End of Harvest Long Table Lunches at the end of the month. The Duck Parade - coming home after a

Woolworths Mature Gouda steals the Limelight

Parmalat’s Mature Gouda (10 months) made for Woolworths Parmalat’s Mature Gouda (10 months) made especially for Woolworths wore the crown as the 2017 SA Dairy Product of the Year at the Agri-Expo Qualité Awards Gala (17 March). This cheese, an aromatic and full-flavoured cheese, follows in the footsteps of their 6-month matured Gouda that won this

Current wines for the drinking & a great local whisky

Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016 Slanghoek is a place of great beauty. I have been there but once and have a yearning to go back. The mountains, the trees, the vineyards.  Also, a place of excellent wine. The Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016 being one of them. The wine recently took the award for the

Riebeek Cellars Wild Olive Acoustic Stage – 6 & 7 May 2017

Riebeek Cellars presents the Wild Olive Acoustic Stage - 7 & 8 May 2017 Stretch out on our lawn with a glass of Riebeek Cellars' latest vintages and enjoy our jam-packed line-up including acoustic sets by Francois van Coke, Valliant Swart, Soetmelk, Marcia Moon, Mono.Pony and more... Riebeek Pinotage Rosé While enjoying toe-tapping tunes, a

DGB Wines to be honoured as Best South African Producer at world’s largest wine fair, ProWein

DGB Group Winemaker, JC Bekker Producer’s wines to be showcased following stellar performance at the international trade tasting MUNDUS VINI in Germany. South Africa’s largest independent wine and spirit producer and distributor, DGB, (producer of iconic wine brands such as; Boschendal, Bellingham, Brampton, Franschhoek Cellars, Douglas Green, Tall Horse, The Beachhouse, amongst others), has been

The Vineyard Hotel Pinot Noir Festival, Sunday 9 April 2017

The Vineyard Hotel, Claremont On 9 April, from 2 to 5pm, wine lovers will discover top South African Pinot Noirs at the Vineyard Hotel’s ever popular Pinot Noir Festival. This classic Burgundian grape, said to produce “the best red wine in the world” with hints of cranberry, cherry and raspberry, vanilla, tobacco and caramel. Forming

Current bubbles in the fridge, Weltevrede, Paul René & Bottega,

Some bubbles in our fridge for regular drinking.  I have always been an advocate of not saving your bubbles for a special occasion and to treat the wine to the food you want to serve with it. Current Bubblies in our fridge Weltevrede Philip Jonker Brut Entheos Brut MCC Philip Jonker makes a pearler of

The Table Bay Hotel presents An Evening with Nederburg – Platter’s Winery of the Year 2017 on 6th April

The Table Bay Hotel in the evening Wine lovers are invited to explore South Africa’s premier wines at The Table Bay with one of the country’s foremost wine experts and publisher of the Platter’s By Diners Club South African Wine Guide, Jean-Pierre Rossouw, in a series of exclusive pairing evenings to be hosted in 2017. The

Wine Concepts hosts 3rd exclusive Chenin Blanc & Pinotage Celebration at The Vineyard Hotel on Friday 24th March

Wine Concepts will host their 3rd exclusive Chenin Blanc & Pinotage Celebration in Cape Town. This year we are “growing up” and will now be hosting, as per our other annual festivals, at The Vineyard Hotel. Our “Local is Lekker” festival gives wine lovers the opportunity to taste a fine selection of diverse and enticing

Boschendal’s Full Moon Picnic – last of the Summer on Monday 13 March 2017

Boschendal at Full Moon Legend has it that energies are intensified on the night of a full moon. Meaning that your state of mind at the time, will be magnified! Make sure to increase only positive vibrations by joining Boschendal for the last Full Moon Picnic of the season. What to expect at the Full

Delaire Graff Chef Michael Deg continues to shine

Michael Deg, Executive Chef at Delaire Graff Restaurant When announcements are made for national restaurant competitions, Top Tens, The Best in the Land, or whatever, I am always surprised not to see Michael Deg’s name on the list. Here is a young chef who is passionate and dedicated and talented, who for me rises above

Steenberg Spa – idyllic place of rejuvenation in the vineyards

Steenberg Manor House in its beautiful garden Enhance your youthful radiance and reconnect with your inner voice in the tranquil surrounds of Steenberg Spa, a place of rejuvenation and utter relaxation amidst the vineyards. Nurturing and elegantly appointed to take you on a sensory journey of discovery, serenity and regeneration, Steenberg Spa offers a respite

Desiderius Pongrácz 2009, a wine to honour Pongrácz

Desiderius Pongrácz and friends I was fortunate to know Desiderius Pongrácz and his herd of little dachshunds which went everywhere with him. He helped so many young winemakers with advice on planting and all manner of winemaking techniques. The Cap Classique wines named for him are well known and achieve compliments and awards from local

Current wines from Villiera & a pair from Robertson

Current White Wine in our fridge Villiera Bush Vine Blanc Fumé 2016 On the Villiera Estate there is an old bush vine Weather Station clone of Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes produce a serious wine from a small yield. Pour Elegant label design. Gem bright pale gold in the glass. I loved the ‘clean’ flavours, grapefruit,

Two great ‘sweeties’ on Die Vine Intervention

The Nuy Red Muscadel Medal Winners Die Vine Intervention is a series of podcasts which John Fraser, broadcaster, financial journalist, business editor and publisher of ZAConfidential.com, a South African Business website, and I record and which appear both on John’s website and mine. Here we talk about two fabulous sweeties, the fabulous multi award winning

The Table Bay, Camissa offers excitement on the new menu

The Table Bay Hotel on the V & A Waterfront The Camissa Brasserie at The Table Bay Hotel is named for the Khoi name for Table Mountain, meaning the 'place of sweet waters'. Executive Chef of the hotel Jocelyn Myers-Adams works her magic there and has just put in a new menu. Click here for

De Grendel celebrates a first award of 2017 with the De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2015

De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2015 The leading European drinks trade publication, The Drinks Business, named The De Grendel Op die Berg Chardonnay 2015 as one of the best-performing Chardonnays under £20 in The Drinks Business Global Chardonnay Masters 2016. Winners included wines from Sicily, to Israel and Australia. According to The Drinks Business, what makes the wines special is their judging process.  Each

Nuy Winery gives back to the community

Keerom Landbou Beperk members, front, Leah Jacobs Back row from left Pokane Sello, Timothy Motaung, Ben Sithole, Mandla Mzwandile, Joseph Motseki & John Hans. Nestled in the picturesque Nuy Valley on the R60 between Worcester and Robertson, Nuy Winery has established them as a force to be reckoned with.  For the past 54 years, this

Neethlingshof Music Wednesdays, April to September

Neethlingshof Manor House Neethlingshof is a place of rare beauty where man and nature come together to produce the finest wines. This picturesque estate offers the perfect place to go to ‘wine’ down, relax and listen to live music performed by popular acoustic guitarists this winter. Neethlingshof Six Flowers by De Wet Viljoen Guests will

Nederburg’s story is in the detail

Nederburg’s The Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon Nederburg is bringing the narrative of its history and heritage to consumers through a creative, interactive promotional campaign that launches in participating restaurants in South Africa in early March. Highlighting three premium wines from Nederburg’s The Winemasters collection, named to honour the winery’s long-established tradition of winemaking excellence, the campaign

February 28th, 2017|Categories: Michael's Writings|Tags: , |

27th Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival, Summer Place in Hyde Park May 16 & 17

Juliet Cullinan The month of May means it’s time to toast the 27th Juliet Cullinan Standard Bank Wine Festival taking place at Summer Place in Hyde Park. Much-fêted by the media for its tastings and talks by the industry’s cellar-celebs, South Africa’s most exclusive, longest running festival showcasing the Cape’s finest wineries takes place on

Experience the Cuisine of Collaboration at Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon

 Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon - Candice Philip & Luke Dale-Roberts Chef Luke Dale-Roberts and head chef Candice Philip are taking their collaborative energy to new gourmet heights in the newly introduced “Four Hands” menu at the über-stylish Luke Dale Roberts X Saxon restaurant located at the boutique Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa in Johannesburg.

Nederburg offers young wine, delicious food & fun during Ommiberg 2017

Nederburg Manor House Let Nederburg, the 2017 Platter’s South African Wine Guide ‘Winery of the Year’, entertain you during this year’s OmmiBerg Round the Rock Festival in Paarl, scheduled for Saturday, 4 March. Activities at Nederburg will start at 09:00 with a country-style bubbly breakfast at The Red Table, situated in the historic Nederburg manor

Eikendal amuses with Weintaufe Harvest Carnival

Playground of Winelands pleasures for young and old Eikendal from the Air The Stellenbosch winelands will take on wonderland proportions when Eikendal Vineyards celebrates the end of its harvest with a farm-style Weintaufe Carnival that promises a pleasure-seeking funfair for young and old on Sunday, 5 March 2017. Fun on the lawns at Eikendal The

Send your wine samples for Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2017

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, this year in Valladolid, Spain All South African Wine Producers should register their wines for consideration to the biggest international wine competition, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB). Registrations for the 2017 competition are open until 3rd March and can be made online - click The CMB gathers 320 judges from

February 19th, 2017|Categories: Michael's Writings|Tags: |

Robertson Wine Valley Hands on Harvest – 10th to 12 March 2017, Taste the Lifestyle

Pouring a fine Robertson red for you Experience the harvest in the heart of autumn with the 9th annual Hands on Harvest festival from 10-12 March 2017 in the beautiful Robertson Wine Valley. De Wetshof Wine Estate This down-to-earth country celebration offers families a chance to experience the magic of harvest while enjoying country hospitality.

Harvest brings bonhomie & beards back to Bot River

Barrels & Beards festival showcases the excellence of unpretentious wine Soon, Bot River winemakers will return to the tribe where Gandalf, Lincoln, Chuck Norris, Castro and their bearded ilk hold sway. And as has become the most memorable fashion, they’ll ignite a party like no other. Now in its 7th year, Barrels & Beards has

So many great reasons to visit the 2017 South African Cheese Festival!

Spoil yourself with a ticket to the award winning South African Cheese Festival and discover an amazing selection of the best and unique cheeses, other cheese products and delicious preserves that perfectly complements cheese as well as supreme wine and gourmet food. Chevrolet Utility 1.4 UTEForce This year, your ticket also gives you an entry

The Vineyard Hotel offers the most romantic Valentine’s Day Dinners in Cape Town

The Vineyard Hotel This year the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands has an intimate outdoor feast planned for just eight couples, as well as a popular romance-themed dinner at the Square Restaurant. The River Garden Tables Those lucky enough to book in time will find themselves relaxing in the tranquillity of the Vineyard Hotel’s gardens, under

Let Gabriëlskloof sweep you away to the Mediterranean

Gabriëlskloof Mediterranean Taster Picture a sunny hilltop winery surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and wheat fields. This might be magnificent Tuscany or much closer to home, just minutes from Cape Town: Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate. It’s this idyllic setting that Gabriëlskloof invites you now to enjoy with the launch of its fine Mediterranean taster platters.  Gabriëlskloof

Boschendal offers a Full Moon Picnic on Friday 10 February 2017

Boschendal Full Moon Picnic In light of the success of their first Full Moon Picnic, Boschendal wrote a recipe for the perfect evening: Start by combining wonderful food with beautiful music. Then add friends and family and breathtaking views. Now let the magic of the full moon do your work for you… When? The second

Current Wines, Eikendal & Wildehurst…great drinking

Two wines we have tasted over this weekend are well worth a mention. Current White Wine in the Fridge Eikendal Chardonnay 2015 Complex and elegant, this wine is pronounced by Eikendal’s winemaker Nico Grobler as “This is the best I’ve made.” Made from four different clones planted on different sites and different planting densities.  Each

Current Wines – excellent organics from Waverley Hills

After a visit to Waverley Hills Organic Winery in Wolseley recently we brought home some of their fabulous wine products. Current White Wine on the Fridge Waverley Hills Pinot Grigio 2016 The vineyards are planted on shale and decomposed rock and deliver an even handed 8 tons per hectare. Made by Johan Delport in The

Haute Cabrière Restaurant – well worth a visit as they say in the Michelin Guide

Find your way to the Haute Cabrière Wine Estate in Franschhoek, soon. Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller have entered a partnership with the von Arnim Family to run the Estate’s well known restaurant and are serving fantastic food. Nic van Wyk & Westley Muller Nic and Westley are seriously experienced chefs and have worked in

KWV Classic Collection Shiraz Rosé 2016 & Mynhardt Joubert’s Pan fried trout with pickled ginger mash

KWV Classic Collection Shiraz Rosé 2016 Get ‘Tickled Pink’ on Valentine’s Day with a Pan Fried Trout Delight with Rosé sauce. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air. So, if you want to surprise your loved one with a romantic meal then there is no easier and more flavourful dish than

Legendary pioneering South African wineries, Dalla Cia, Raats Family Wines and Kaapzicht partner with Port2Port

Port2Port's Vincent Buhrer & Nicolo Pudel Being game changers by nature means the pioneers behind Port2Port and Raats Family Wines, Dalla Cia and Kaapzicht are aligned in their predictions for the future of wine purchasing. Starting off 2017 with a flourish, Port2Port, an online marketplace of fine wine, has aligned with more of the big

Muratie Harvest Festival,Saturday 18th February 2017 from 11h30

Muratie Manor House The Melck family will once again be hosting their annual Harvest Festival at Muratie Estate in Stellenbosch on Saturday 18th February 2017. The festival, which takes place under the ancient oaks that guard this historic wine estate, is a celebratory family event featuring good food, fine wine, great company, live music and

12forward launches Cape Town…

Tamsin Snyman Want to taste the future? Launched from Apple world, 12forward by White Guide embraces Cape Town. This exceptional digital guide leads you to the world’s truly “food-forward” restaurants across the globe, the must-visit places for any passionate "gastromad". 12forward can be downloaded from the iPhone App Store. The freemium version offers Copenhagen, Berlin

Danie Morkel joins De Wetshof as Winemaker

Johan de Wet, CEO of De Wetshof & Danie Morkel De Wetshof Estate in Robertson welcomed a new winemaker at the beginning of the year with Danie Morkel joining the team of this premier wine farm known for its range of site-specific Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other wines. A BSc graduate in Oenology and Viticulture

Current wines, Dagbreek & Dragonridge – 22.01.2017

Current Red Wine on the Rack Dagbreek Tinta Amarela 2015 Having visited Portugal on two separate occasions, once to co-author a book on Portuguese Wines, I became to really enjoy some of the amazing Portuguese indigenous wine grape varieties. One should be careful as the same grape will have different names in other wine appellations.

Outdoor Valentine’s Day movie at Spier: The Best of Me

The Spier Manor House Make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable at Spier Wine Farm. Join us for an evening under the stars and settle in to watch the romantic drama, The Best of Me. Follow the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who reunite after many years when they return to visit

Old School Romance at Lanzerac this Valentine’s Day

Lanzerac Manor House Sweep your partner off their feet this Valentine’s Day at Lanzerac Wine Estate in Stellenbosch. The perfect destination for that someone special in your life. Treat your partner to a romantic picnic for two, an old school dinner or a delicious wine and chocolate tasting for the ultimate in Valentine’s Day treats.

Current Wines, La Petite Ferme & Dragon Ridge – 17.01.2017

These are the wines we have been drinking over the last couple of days. Current white wine in the fridge La Petite Ferme Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 The La Petite Ferme Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 is made up of 50% grapes from their own Franschhoek Vineyards and the balance from deep down south in the

Sam Linsell’s Roast Chicken with Stout, Rosemary & Honey

Sam Linsell's Roast Chicken with Stout, Rosemary & Honey Top South African food stylist and Drizzle and Dip blogger, Sam Linsell uses a secret ingredient to her all-time favourite roast chicken recipe that results in the most succulent bird. “Instead of using wine or verjuice, I have adapted the recipe with Castle Milk Stout,” said

Uitkyk offers Valentine’s Classic Outdoor Movie Night

Uitkyk Manor House - Stellenbosch Looking for something different for this year’s Valentine’s day? Uitkyk is bringing back old school romance with their annual Valentine’s Classic Outdoor Movie Night. Order your picnic ahead of time Bring your own picnic basket with snacks and (non-alcoholic) beverages or pre-order a ready-made Uitkyk basket for a hassle-free eve

De Grendel Wines launches De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2015

De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2015 De Grendel, which dates to 1720, has been home to the Graaff family for five generations. Eleven years ago, in 2006, Sir David Graaff, the 3rd Baronet, having established the vineyards, built a wine cellar. The late Sir David Graaff amongst his vineyards Eminent winemaker Charles Hopkins, member of the

4th Street – Fastest growing wine brand in the world

4th Street Sweet Rosé In an independent report released by the International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) end 2016, South African wine brand, 4th Street, has been rated as the top growth brand internationally and positioned 29th overall in the world. With phenomenal growth since its launch in 2009, 4th Street remains a popular, unpretentious

Stellenbosch Street Soirees back in full swing

City of Oaks’ popular bi-monthly street parties a summer hit Warmer weather and longer days echo the return of the ever-popular Stellenbosch Street Soirees. The bi-monthly street parties bring together wine farms, restaurants, locals and visitors in the vibrant streets of the City of Oaks. The Stellenbosch Street Soirees will take place every second and

Stellenbosch Vineyards receives Top Honours from Platter’s South African Wine Guide 2017

Platter's 2017 South African Wine Guide What would Christmas be without a Platter Guide in your stocking?  I have a complete collection of Platters since the first edition way back in the early 1980s.  The only one missing is the one Afrikaans version.  I always have a scratch round second hand bookstores in the hope

Chicken with bacon & baby tomatoes, with Willow Creek Olive Oils

Chicken with bacon & baby tomatoes Quite often Madeleine will play in the kitchen with what we have in the fridge.  The result is usually a once off and always delicious.  And I find a suitable wine, this time the Constantia Royale Sauvignon Blanc 2016. We love using the Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oils,

Boschendal Full Moon Picnic – 12.01.2017

Boschendal Manor House in its magnificent setting As always there are all sorts of wonderful happenings at Boschendal over the next month.  The Cellar Door is open for Wine Tastings, The Deli is open for breakfast, lunch and all sorts of Estate products. There is a butchery and a bakery [no candlestick makery]. Boschendal Full

Gabriëlskloof The Blend 2015 – another Peter Allan Finlayson gem..

Peter-Allan Finlayson Having known Peter Allan Finlayson since he was born, it is soul filling to watch his success as a winemaker, on his own account and as winemaker on his parents-in-law's wine far.  His Gabriëlskloof The Blend 2015 is made from estate-grown Bordeaux grape varieties led by Cabernet Sauvignon. 2015 is regarded as one

Kleine Zalze – Terroir, one of my best dishes of 2016

Michael Broughton and the team from Terroir Michael Broughton, renowned and much lauded chef of Terroir on the Kleine Zalze Estate is such a modest chap.  His food is ambrosial and it is no mistake in the judges in the national competitions choosing him for awards. I have eaten at Terroir over a number of

Books for Cooks for Christmas – A pair from Quivertree

Vickie de Beer's My low carb Kitchen There is still time for a quick last minute shop for Christmas and Quivertree Publications step into the breach with two fabulous cook books. Vickie de Beer is a food writer, food stylist and food enthusiast.  She is the Food Editor of the popular Rooi Rose.  Vickie has

Books for Cooks for Christmas – Sophia Lindop

Sophia Lindop with her latest book Sophia Lindop has to be South Africa's most prolific cookery book writer. In about 5 years she has produced 5 stunning books, A Season's Bounty and a quartet of handbag [or manbag] sized little gems in the style of Flavours and Traditions. Perfect as stocking stuffers. Season's Bounty by

Ommiberg Celebrating a Decade of Young Wines

Ommiberg Celebrating a Decade of Young Wines Paarl Wine Route is celebrating the 2017 harvest in spectacular style with the 10th OmmiBerg ‘Round the Rock’ festival on Saturday, 4 March.  Harvest season is a special time in this award-winning wine region and participating farms will host fun harvest activities for young and old to give

Nederburg The Winemasters Riesling 2015, the highest scoring S A Wine At International Competition

Nederburg’s The Winemasters Riesling 2015 The 2015 vintage of Nederburg’s The Winemasters Riesling was awarded a gold medal in the £10 to £15 price category at the 2016 The Drinks Business Global Riesling Masters. With a score of 94 points, it is the highest scoring South African wine on the show. Nederburg Cellar Master Andrea

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky – Leopard & Lime Cocktail

Bain's Leopard & Lime cocktail for laid-back summer days Cocktails are fun to make and always a crowd-pleaser when relaxing around the pool or as a pre-dinner drink. Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, South Africa’s first single grain whisky made from 100% locally grown maize, is one of those versatile whiskies that lends itself to preparing

The Cape Winemakers Guild welcomes two new members

Morné Vrey, Miles Mossop & Bruwer Raats The Cape Winemakers Guild announced today that two accomplished Stellenbosch winemakers, Bruwer Raats of Raats Family Wines and Morné Vrey of Delaire Graff Estate have joined the ranks of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Specialising in Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc during his winemaking career spanning over 16 years,

KWV’s Double Festive Delight with Berry Glazed Gammon with Candied Apples & Fresh Berries By Mynhardt Joubert, TV personality & well-known chef

Mynhardt Joubert, KWV Consultant Chef Christmas is my absolute best time of the year because it is filled with smells and goodwill that no other time of the year can convey.  Gammon is an iconic Christmas meat to cook and this recipe offers double festive delight because it can be served hot or cold. With

2016 Veritas Young Wine Writer announced

Tshephang Molisana with her award Very exciting announcement this week as budding young wine writer, Tshephang Molisana, walked away with the prestigious Veritas Young Wine Writer title for 2016. Tshepang, a freelance writer for wine.co.za and former Classic Wine columnist, impressed the judging panel with her article entitled “A world class African vineyard”. In the

Books for Cooks for Christmas – Errieda du Toit’s Tuistafel

Errieda Du Toit's Tuistafel This book has been a long time coming for those of us who love Errieda du Toit. Errieda is content provider for the hugely successful Kokkedoor and Koekedoor Reality Television Cookery programmes for which she wrote four cookery books.  She is a broadcaster each week on her Radio Sonder Grense programme

Books for Cooks for Christmas – Dine van Zyl’s Potjiekos & Pot-Pourri

Dine van Zyl's Potjiekos & Pot-Pourri I have written before about Dine van Zyl where I suggested that she was a Living National Living Treasure.  She is a curator of traditional Boerekos and heritage foods.  She also promotes the use of Afrikaans, to many a language of great beauty, especially when it is used by