Change in Progress.

I’m cracking something interesting on this site, a complete change from it’s current purpose and concept. Stay tuned for the 2.0 version. Whenever it may come. Till then, keep at the bacon.

Water for your Daughter.

Skatties DRINK *fresh* Cape Town Eau de Tap. A cute little water bottle by Stokperd designed to be filled, yes, from the tap. Exactly, Cape Town water is good. So drink it. And stop wasting your money and screwing the environment buying plastic water bottles yak yak and recycle and yak yak and eat organic and yak yak yak Greenpeace yak yak yak …

Read This: Bacardi and The Long Fight for Cuba.

I just started it and can’t put it down. A pretty amazing and enthralling account of the Bacardi family and how they set up the world’s biggest rum brand in Cuba and then had their business run out of the country, with lots of stories and politics and crazy occurrences in between. The Bacardi company now owns tons of other brands but is still owned by the Bacardi family, the great great grandson of the founder in charge. A fascinating read.

Outlandish Kitchen @ Glen Oakes.

Something to check out this weekend – a Sunday roast on a beautiful farm in the Hemel-en-Aarde done by Jules and the team from Outlandish Kitchen, who set up unique feasts in the countryside. This one is on Glen Oakes in the upper parts of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a beautiful farm where they raise free-range pigs. They also have superb guest cottages worth looking into.

Tickets get you food and wine and a day of good fun. Bookings & more details: jules@outlandishkitchen.com.

Go here: Almenkerk Estate.


I’ve written gushing reports about Almenkerk estate before. With its architectural eye candy of a winery on a hill overlooking the stupidly beautiful Elgin Valley, it’s all rather ridiculous. Then there’s the wines, which are as pleasing on the tongue as the location is on the eye. The Lace range rose a perfect summer quaffer, while the Almenkerk Chardonnay a big-hitting wine that gets your attention from the first sip.

On Saturday a small group of friends and family got together to celebrate my birthday there. A table filled with cured meats, smoked salmon, caprese salad, pretzels, bacon, pea & goats cheese frittata and other delectables (organised by Cookshop catering*) together with an abundance of wine and a lazy game of boules made one of the best afternoons of the year.

Paradise, really. Pay them a visit and see for yourself.

www.almenkerk.co.za

* Cookshop catering – contact Ammy on 082 478 55 26 / ammy@cookshop.co.za

Vietti Barbaresco! Va bene!

Forget tasting notes, ratings and brands. Forget about micro-oxygenation, innoculation and other wine jargon. Forget about fancy glassware and that wine course you did but can’t remember because you were drunk most of the time. Forget about that bottle you had on the hill overlooking the ocean that you thought was the best. Forget what you know or don’t know about Italian wines.

Forget it all. And remember this name: Vietti Barbaresco.

Why? Because it’s fucking fantastic. Stupendous. Not in a “deep plum flavours, hint of cocoa with firm but fine tannins” kind of way (though at the same time it is all that). More like kissing-a-gorgeous-Italian-woman-with-each-sip kind of way. Monica Bellucci in a bottle. A Roman orgy of a red wine. A fucking enlightening moment every time you put your lips to the glass.

I drank it on Sunday to cap off a weekend in Joburg. When it fell a full metre out the boot of the car I had there and landed solidly on the pavement without cracking, it seemed a sure sign from the Gods of Excess I just had to drink it. All of it. Right then and there. On my own. Which made for a very pleasant evening. Every sip had me feeling like I was at the Vietti cellar in Piedmont, barrels of Nebbiolo around me. I was definitely a little drunk on the wine by the end, but I was more drunk on the pleasure such a wine provides.

Yes, a bottle is the price of a meal at a Top 10 restaurant, or a pair of limited editions sneakers or a one-way flight to from Cape Town to Joburg, but you might forget any of those whereas you won’t forget this.

This is the best wine I’ve had this year.

Available via Roberto (roberto@vinotria.co.za) from Bottega Family Wine Portfolio.

 

FoodWineDesign 2012.

FoodWineDesign is back. Like most markets it’s a great excuse to overindulge in boutique wine and craft beer before usual drinking hours, but this upscaled market on a rooftop is different to its many market siblings in several ways. Firstly, the actual setup is far more solid. Stands have separate rooms (almost) with plenty of space to show their wares and own aesthetic style, which they’ve all done well. You won’t find a more beautiful market-style event in the country.

Secondly, they’ve curated the exhibitors very well. There’s no West African chatchki figurines next to Ouma’s konfyt next to some dude trying to hawk some wine nobody wants. Pretty much everything I’ve seen here is worthy of its place. And thirdly, because it doesn’t seem like Joburg has an event like this, the food-, wine- and design-conscious crowds really do flock in. So expect some creative and quirky looking people sidestepping the usual suited Sandton types.

It all makes for a quality product-driven event, whether you’re into that, or just need an excuse to overindulge in boutique wine and craft beer before drinking hours.

Runs Friday – Sunday. More details at www.foodwinedesign.co.za.

 

 

 

Breakfast inspiration.

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If you need some breakfast inspiration, try these two: Mozzarella Bar, for soft scrambled eggs with salami and mozzarella (of course), a great way to start the day; or Tamboerswinkel (top) for simple but delicious toast with cheese and a selection of jams. Both very satisfying.

Honest chocolate x Patron XO Café Dark

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Haven’t even tried the chocolate, but I already love the idea of this. Support local artisan chocolate maker, market global tequila. Clever collaboration by Patron.

Kurt on Wine: Kak Funny.

Kurt Schoonraad makes fun of the poncy side of the South African wine industry in these videos for Tall Horse wines labeled ‘The truth about wine.’ Wearing a lekker two-tone khaki outfit and busting out a few swear words, he can’t quite seem to wrap his head around things like terroir, Bordeaux barrels and Pinotagee. I mean Pinotage.