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FOR WINE LOVERS, NOT WINE SNOBS

WineExtra MARCH 2013

Improve Your Palate

What exactly is a good wine palate?

TASTE TEAM

Nik Rabinowitz Has a passion for goats

GETTING TO GRIPS WITH pinot GRIS

Thrills, spills and Laughter

a day at Lourensford

Official SA Media Partner

MARGOT JANSE HOW TO INVEST IN WINE FRANSCHHOEK BY TRAM


Contents MARCH 2013

Editor’s letter

5

Taste Team

6

Living the life

Getting to grips with Pinot Gris

Special report

27

Thrills, Spills and Laughter at Lourensford.

12

Improve Your Palate What exactly is a good wine palate?

Interview

15

Nick Rabinowitz, he describes himself as unruly, curly and funny He is one of South Africa’s top comedians!

We’ve been drinking

32

Grande Provence - Chardonnay.

Table Talk

21

Bee - ware: The bees enjoying the fruits of their labour

Now you’re Cooking

33

Get out

35

Our pick of the very best viticultural-based events.

MARCH 2013 WINE EXTRA 3


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Editor’s letter Maryna Strachan maryna@wine-extra.co.za Follow us @WineExtra

I find it pretty daunting to think that the first month of the year has already been and gone. Usually one gets to ease yourself into the new year in January with things only really kicking off later in the month, but somehow most people have hit the ground running. For many of our producers the 2013 harvest is already in full swing and so far things are looking good. Despite some nasty wind damage towards the latter of last year, it seems that the overall feeling is that the harvest is looking very promising with good yields and excellent quality. Besides looking forward to the regular news to come out of the vineyards, we’ve also been busy changing the look of Wine Extra. I still remember publishing the first digital magazine-style layout in October 2011 and how excited we were at Wine Extra HQ. The time has now come for us to up the ante and take things to the next level with this sexy new look, which we’re sure you’ll all love. For me, it’s like the first time you drive your new car, you still need to work out where all the controls and buttons are and get used to how it handles at speed on the open road, but the thrill and excitement of hearing the roar of the engine and smelling the new leather is unlike any other. Hopefully you can share in this joy as you page your way through the new-look Wine Extra. And while you’re at it, please don’t be shy to share your favourite wine-read with your friends. Santé!

MARCH 2013 WINE EXTRA 5


TasteTeam Getting to grips with Pinot Grigio

Whether you call it Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio, it is believed that this varietal is a mutant clone of the popular Pinot Noir grape. The word Pinot translating to ‘pine cone’, whilst Grigio refers to its grey-ish colour. Despite the fact that the grapes are dark, the style of wine that is made tends to be white. In South Africa, the varietal isn’t widely grown, with the effect that it is often misunderstood. Although the flavour profile of this grape can differ vastly, local winemakers are still learning about the grape and how to handle it in order to get the best from it. In the meantime, we can sample them as we come across the wines and extend our knowledge and palates to something just a little bit different from the ordinary. Our guest taster this month is blogger, photographer and adventurer, Angelo, whose love of all things gastronomic and vinous is somewhat contagious. A passionate born and bred Durbanite, he now finds himself in Stellenbosch, and this foodie is never far off the trail of something craft or modish.

From left: Balance Pinot Grigio Sauvignon Blanc, by OverHex, RRP: R30. Robertson Winery Pinot Grigio, by Robertson Winery , RRP: R38. Bianco di Stellenbsoch Pinot Grigio 2012, by Idiom, RRP: R75. Waverley Hills Pinot Grigio 2012, by Waverley Hills, RRP: R75. De Grendel Pinot Gris, by De Grendel, RRP: R70. Usana Pinot Gris, by Usana, RRP: R65

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Abby Buchanan Business student, fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger and lover of the finer things in life - wine being one of them. Abby likes her men like she likes her wine... Complex!

Balance Pinot Grigio Sauvignon Blanc RRP: R30; Stockists: Norman Goodfellows, Wine Village and Montague Wine Boutique; www.overhex.com

TasteTeam

forthcoming, the crisp edge and tropical fruits bring life to your palate. I didn’t particularly like the label, though with a slightly lower alcohol content and its easy drinking attribute, one is bound to savour a few and the label will become merely a blur as the night goes on.

creamy pear notes present themselves and there is an interesting saltiness to its palate too. A delicately lady-like wine.

“A delicately ladylike wine.”

RRP: R38; Stockists: TOPS at Spar, Liquor City and Wine Village; www.robertsonwinery.co.za

Robertson Winery Pinot Grigio

Angelo says: The first of the flight, this wine caught me a little off guard. There’s a complexity and sophistication in it that is somewhat hidden. The 50% Sauvignon Blanc blended into this perhaps pulls it through, as the Pinot Grigio appeared slightly thin. There are some gorgeous pear and citrusy zing flavours on the palate, and coupled with a medium acidity it makes for a delectable summer-loving wine.

Daisy says: I found this wine to be a little thin, but in spite of this I could pick up on a citrus element, particularly lemons and limes. There was also a soft minerality to the palate. I found the Sauvignon Blanc aspect to be the more forward flavour of the two to come through. This wine may be complemented by having it with food – not anything heavy, I think fish – something along the line of yellowtail or Cape salmon served with baby potatoes and steamed asparagus, which would harmonize well with the citrus in the wine. Nathan says: A simple wine where the Sauvignon Blanc adds a nice edge and gives the wine some sort of depth. Although the nose is hardly

Charlotte says: This sprightly blend is zesty and cheerful, with the tart Sauvignon Blanc shining through on the nose, but the softer, floral nature of the Pinot Grigio balancing everything out on the palate. It leaves a refreshingly light, creamy flavour behind and is deceptively moreish. The cheeky elephant on the label promises to “restore my mojo” and after a long day at the office I can safely say that a couple of glasses of this would probably do so. Abby says: This wonderfully light and refreshing wine is very easy drinking. Crystal clear in ones glass, you already presume that this wine will not have much to it, yet it does have some rather enjoyable qualities. It has a simple, sweet nose and an ever so slight hint of acidity on the palate. Divine peach and

Daisy says: It was hard to detect anything on the nose of this wine at first, however leaving it in the glass a little longer, one could then pick up a creaminess and I could taste a hint of pear drop sweets on the palate. I thought afterwards that we could have tried aerating this wine; I’d like to see if this, or even just leaving it aside for a while, would make more flavours push through. Nathan says: Although the nose is slightly more forthcoming, I find this wine somewhat inexpressive and I can’t decide whether it lends itself to either being drunk on its own or being paired

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TasteTeam with food. Maybe on an incredibly hot summers day with the wine chilled to 4 degrees? For me, those are too many factors to take into consideration when I simply want a glass of wine right away.

“…the ideal wine for summer time slurping…”

Daisy Knowles PA at an investment company, she has a love for the tourism industry. She loves food, all aspects of vino, dinner parties, writing, her pyjamas, copious amounts of tea, her make-up bag and her legendary furkid.

Bianco di Stellenbsoch Pinot Grigio 2012 RRP: R75; Stockists: Available from the Cellar Door www.bottegafamilywine.co.za

Charlotte says: As Pinot Grigio is the drink “du jour” in the Mediterranean, it seems somewhat poetic that this specific wine takes me to a distant memory of sitting on a deck of a boat, sipping on a rather nice glass of something as the refreshing sea breeze eases the sunburn on my cheeks. With its soft lime like flavours and its simple elegant finish, this really is just the ideal wine for summer time slurping alongside a caprese salad or a light pasta dish. Abby says: A whirlwind of green juicy notes on the nose this little powerhouse really hits the back of your throat after just one sip, in a way that makes you think that you may have just bitten into a piece of lime or lime sherbet to be more precise. This is actually rather delicious and would be delightful paired with rich figs and creamy mascarpone. Angelo says: This wine seemed to be a little shy initially. It has a quirky lime note on the palate, with a great flinty spin to it. I couldn’t help but imagine this soft and subtle Pinot Grigio pairing up beautifully with light tapas. It’s easy drinking at its finest. You kind of feel that one bottle simply doesn’t quite cut it.

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A fuller mouth feel with far more depth than the previous 2 tasted. Charlotte says: With this bottle’s white, clean design it gives an air of classy elegance and sophistication to the drinking occasion. This would be a perfect aperitif, with its soft aromatic lemon peel flavours and clean finish, which would certainly wake up the palate ahead of a balmy summer’s evening meal with family and friends.

“…I couldn’t help but feel a smile settle across my face with this wine.”

Daisy says: A soft, tropical wine with a fragrant, floral nose of acacia and honeysuckle. Flavours of melon and pineapple elegantly pushed their way through on this wine, lingering on the palate in comparison to the first two. A fresh, clean mouth feel with a puckering finish of lemon sorbet had me thinking that this would be a delightful accompaniment to prawns – skewered and fresh off the braai with a sweet chili and coriander dipping sauce. Nathan says: A good attempt by Italians themselves, the Bottega family has pulled off a good representation of Pinot Gris. White peaches followed by creaminess on the nose that flows through to the palate where the minerality and acidity come to the fore showing off an interesting complexity.

Abby says: With a sparkling, clear colour in one’s glass with a pretty fresh floral nose, you simply have to go “mmm”. The palate is delicious with juicy peach and delicate floral notes of jasmine and other pretty little white flowers wafting by. This is definitely a Prada-like wine, perfect for relaxing by the pool on sun loungers with the girls! Angelo says: You know when a wine can transport you back to a time and place? This did it for me. I’m sitting in Italy with friends sharing a bottle of wine, and the company and atmosphere is as warm as the weather is. Peaches and citrus notes sneaked up on the nose, and immediately the wine began to get my tongue doing a little jive. A fuller mouthfeel with a lemon kicker, I couldn’t help but feel a smile settle across my face with this wine.


Nathan Blair Nathan was raised in the windy city of Port Elizabeth, but fell in love with wine once he started to live in Stellenbosch. He admires the incredible success and level-headedness of Sir Richard Branson and believes that life happens whilst making other plans.

Waverley Hills Pinot Grigio 2012 RRP: R75; Stockists: Frogitt & Vonkel Private Wine Merchants; www.waverleyhills.co.za a

Daisy says: The Pinot Grigio is the maiden release of this varietal from its organic producer. I feel the organic stance definitely lends itself to an entirely different flavour profile, which I have tried and been indifferent to before. On the nose you could smell the tropical fruit flavours of peach and nectarine pushing through. You could also taste the minerality on the palate, which was lovely, but only lasted a moment or two. Nathan says: More along the lines of “Savoury Hills”. I know a lot of people have an adverse idea of organic wines and automatically assume that they will taste so different or that it being organic will be the reason they don’t enjoy the style of the wine and so on. I struggle to believe that the taste of this wine is down to it being organic. It has an almost

musty barnyard like smell, which follows through onto the palate. After a while in the glass, a distinct fruitiness emerges. Charlotte says: I’m not ever sure what to expect from Organic wines when I see them, as they always tend to be a unique variation on the normally produced cultivar. This one is no exception as the nose has more of a lemony, creamed leeks flavour to it – earthy, yet bright with a touch of green olive brine. Altogether quite quirky, but still refreshingly enticing enough to make you reach for the second glass with ease.

“…enticing enough to make you reach for the second glass with ease.” Abby says: A very unusual wine, the nose resembles burnt toast or even pretzels with a hint of saltiness. The palate is pungent with sweaty earth and overpowering plum notes. A very strong flavoured wine, one that would be best paired with rich cheeses and dips. Angelo says: This wine’s character was difficult to place. He was like the stubborn kid that didn’t want to play by the rules. The nose was minerally and flinty, with a tropical fruit array. I imagine this guy being the perfect kitchen companion. A glass for me and a glass for the cracking mushroom risotto on the bubble. It’s giddy-wine at its best.

TasteTeam De Grendel Pinot Gris RRP: R70; Stockists: Makro and selected exclusive wine retailers; www.degrendel.co.za

Daisy says: This Pinot Grigio smelled lusciously green on the nose – which I found to be a beautiful contrast to the ‘tropicalness’ we had picked up on the others in the line-up. The classic fresh cut grass, hay and green pepper were the forefront aromas, followed by lemon and pineapple. This gave it a crisp, zesty mouth-feel, which together with the slight creaminess, made for a very pleasant palate. After the taster, we put this in the freezer and chilled it right down – and it was even better served very cold. Nathan says: Quite well known for their representation of Pinot Gris, I immediately understand why. Still not convinced by the grape varietal as a whole, at least I now have a basic understanding of why someone would be inclined to enjoy it. Pineapple, green

MARCH 2013 WINE EXTRA 9


TasteTeam fruit notes and a slight grassiness to it coupled with a citrus zest and lemon cream finish. Interesting, intriguing and complex…a good change to what you may normally pull out of your wine fridge.

Charlotte Spicer Charlotte is known amongst her friends and exasperated family as a professional “Intoxicologist”. She has worked in the wine and spirits industry for a number of years now. Apart from enjoying the odd glass or two of wine, she is partial to a wee dram of whisky and also likes to think she puts Nigella to shame in the kitchen – but doubts that she could lick her spoon that seductively…

Usana Pinot Gris RRP: R 65 ; Stockists: Stockists: Carolines, Wine Concepts and Vino Pronto; www.usanawines.co.za

Charlotte says: Being English this one instantly reminds me of the green gooseberries of home, with their sharp tart skin yet sweet inner juice. There are also elements of earthy, herbaceaousness as well as a slight creaminess on the finish, so lots of lovely layers to ponder about as you take another sip. All of the complexity comes together to form an elegant wine that is ideal for alfresco dining and easy every day drinking.

Charlotte says: Bare with me on this one – but this takes me right back to sitting at my gran’s as she proudly shows off the classic vanilla sponge with lemon icing she’s just made, which was always served on a little white lace tablecloth. I’m not sure if it’s the tangy lemon, lime aromas in the glass or the soft almost vanilla like layer on the palate that conjures up this fond memory, but I was certainly thankful for it.. Abby says: This delightful wine has a fragrant nose of pretty sugary treats, which translates over to the palate with notes of Madeira cake and lime icing. Petit fours and creamy lime are very prominent, but this wine manages to maintain a wonderful depth to it. The ideal picnic wine.

“…a good change to what you may normally pull out of your wine fridge!” Angelo says: Yippee there’s something more to Pinot Grigio! What a treat! There is a wallop of apples and pineapples and an almost fruity sherbet-like fizziness on the nose. And just when you think you’ve hit the home run, along comes a decadent little lemon cream biscuit just to top it off. It’s dainty and delicate, and offers just enough fruit to keep you happy without overcomplicating the whole affair.

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No such luck and it just seems to fall somewhat flat on its nose (no pun intended). Not to my personal liking… but that is the wonderful thing about wine…every person, every palate and every wine is different. Try it.

Daisy says: Green apple and gooseberry were the aromas I picked up on the nose. The mellower, less racy, yet creamy palate made this my preferred choice of the line-up. It was heavier than the others, a ‘sturdier’ Pinot Grigio with a bit of a backbone. I found it to be richer, with a honey-like element, giving it a medium-length palate in comparison to the rest. A little perfumed, I felt this to be a wine which you could enjoy a glass (or bottle) of on your own, or one that would stand up well to food. The slight fragrant component to it made me think it would fare rather well with a mild butter chicken curry. Nathan says: Yet again it feels as though I am in the veld tending to sheep or horse stables…you get the picture. Barnyard deluxe, acidity attempts to bring a complexity to the wine and hopefully cut through the existing nuances and bring about a fruitiness.

“…it is thought provoking in its simplicity.” Abby says: A scrumptious nose this complex wine has a strong pear note to it. Notes of lime, pineapple and gooseberry linger on ones palate too. The subtle acidity fleshes out this wine. It has a wonderfully crisp and fresh roundedness to it. Best served chilled. Overall I am very impressed with this French style Pinot Gris. Angelo says: A cheeky underlying toastiness ushers in beautiful summer melon with this. There is a glorious fruitiness on the palate, and it is thought provoking in its simplicity. It tastes like gran’s marmalade. An honest and timeless concoction of citrus goodness, without the frills or spills. There’s a little acidic bite on the palate, but pulled through with a beautiful and crisp finish.


OCTOBER 2012 WINE EXTRA 11


Special Report

Caption head: How did winning the Miss Universe pageant in 1992 shape you into the person you are today?

Improve Your Palate What exactly is a good wine palate? Do you have one? Of course you do!

I

t is just that everyone’s palate is different. The ability to identify off-balance wines, high-oak wines or high-acid wines is indeed useful for pairing wine with food, but not exactly the most important thing when it comes to the overall enjoyment, especially for the less developed palate. Winemakers particularly need to be able to identify chemical irregularities in winemaking that can affect the taste and shelf life of a wine. There are wine geeks who are “super tasters” and can identify producers and styles of wine blindly. Some of them can even identify the year of harvest! But to the typical wine consumer, too much is made in the wine world about the “quality of one’s palate.”

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It is probably worth suggesting that you spend less time worrying about the quality of your palate and more time simply enjoying your palate and refining your understanding of what you like in wines, the flavour profiles and varietals that you prefer. The process is fun and simple. First, read all you can on a wine varietal. Second, if you’re able, visit the region the varietal is known for and enjoy a learning vacation. There’s nothing like a trip to Durbanville or Constantia to learn about Sauvignon Blanc. A weekend in the Hemel and Aarde valley to get to grips with Pinot Noir whilst the Paarl and Swartland regions will refine your Shiraz palate for sure. Can’t afford that trip right now? In that case, you have to conduct your “extended study” at home. Search the Internet or other resources to obtain a list of flavours common to a specific wine such as


Special Report black pepper, blackberries, apricots and oak. Write these flavours down in your wine journal. This process can be highly enjoyable, and there is no test or (perceived) humiliation that often accompanies wine tastings or events such as shows or wine pairing dinners. Simply take the next 60 or 90 days and drink only two varietals of wine. For example, if you want to refine your palate on Chenin Blanc and Pinotage, then for the next 60 to 90 days drink all of the different Chenins and Pinotages you can find, and be sure each are from different regions and price points. See how the varietal differs from region to region, then you’ll begin to realise a profile on whether you prefer warmer or cooler climate wines. The terroir (location) of the vineyard has a major influence on the overall taste of the wine as does the style in which it was made once in the cellar. Some wines are kept in 100% new oak barrels for several months. The flavour of these wines will differ vastly from other oaked wines, which were only kept in second or third-fill oak barrels for a shorter period of time.

Not only will you enjoy the wines more, but at the end of your extended journey into the varietals, you will have refined your palate on these two varietals as well as any expert. You will be more than familiar with the pricing of the wines and will certainly be able to identify your favourite source for the varietal in question when asked at the next wine tasting or dinner with friends. Trying a multitude of wine varietals in contrast will only confuse you and cause one of those shocking credit-card bill moments when the bill arrives. Your palate will be overwhelmed, and the lack of an indepth study in any varietal will leave you with a superficial wine palate as well. The above method of staying with two varietals for a lengthy period will build your knowledge base, but more importantly, the varietal will “imprint� in your memory and last. You can only learn so much if you taste in small sips, but if you focus and concentrate on simply two varietals over a lengthy period, you will accumulate a complete understanding of the varietal, and the memory and palate will last.

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Special Report

Everyone’s palate is different as well. As Terry Theise notes in his excellent book, “Reading between the Wines” (University of California Press, 2010), “Each of us relates to our palates based on our own temperament: a geek will have a geeky relationship with his palate, a right brainer will have an elliptical and inferential relationship with his palate, and a linear, cataloguing person will organize his palate like a well oiled machine. No single system is ‘best’; it’s important to have the relationship that comes naturally. If you try to force it, you’ll be doomed to frustration.” We are all born with the same taste capabilities for the most part. How you arrange what you taste and file it in your memory bank will ultimately lead to your personal palate profile. Describe the wine as you wish. Enjoy what you enjoy. Don’t rush the learning, and enjoy the process. Taking notes and an exam are not necessary. Oh, so many wines and so little time… Better get started!

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Exclusive Interview

Nik Rabinowitz Mr Funny He describes himself as unruly, curly and funny, he’s seen as one of South Africa’s top comedians and has cemented himself as a top entertainer with passion for his country and his fellow countrymen.

“Before we start, I just want to say that I really like my mother-in-law’s homemade Jewish wine. It’s called Lily’s Sweet Mountain Wine. I’d describe it as having a hint of fermentation, but the 2012 is a particularly great vintage.” Images by: Mark Freeborough Shot on location at: Eagles Nest, Constantia

“That would make me one of two wellknown Jewish boys who were born in a stable...”

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Exclusive Interview

Where did your career start?

My career started on this very farm (Eagles Nest) where I was raised. We stayed in a converted stable. Effectively I was born in a stable. That would make me one of two well-known Jewish boys who were born in a stable, which is pretty cool. As a teenager my best friend and I would walk to the top of the hill where a whole bunch of us would regularly get together and I’d tell my stories around a big fire. When did you realize that you were funny?

I used to collect interesting stories from my godfather who was a very interesting man. So I used to memorize them and relay them to my friends in my own unique way.

as project manager skivvie and that’s where I got interested in acting. I was pretty bad at acting, but then luckily I tried my hand at stand-up comedy a few months later in Observatory at the Comedy Collective and that’s when I turned amateur. I did about a year of unpaid gigs and open mic performances before things really started to happen for me. What shows have you been doing lately?

I recently did a show for a bunch of wine farmers in Wellington. I told them that I was particularly impressed by the fact that they didn’t pay me in wine, which proves that the dop-system is truly a thing of the past. They also paid me above minimum wage, which was great, but I did go on strike for a week beforehand. They’re truly progressive. When did you realize that wine was pretty good?

And then you went pro. How did that happen?

I was initially encouraged not to do anything remotely involved with the arts because it was a financially unstable career path, so I studied Business Science, which didn’t particularly interest me. I then got a job with a production company 16 WINE EXTRA OCTOBER 2012

I remember at the age of about 13/14, going through a phase of mixing everything together. Partly because you’d have to be clever about your parents not noticing any loss in their stash, so I suppose you could say that I was into blending from a young age. We’d use pretty much whatever was available and


Nik Rabinowitz wine would always be included in the lineup. I also remember the UCT Rag “Anything That Floats” party in about 1997 at Kalk Bay Harbour. We got really drunk with some kind of white wine and I remember thinking that was pretty good. We used to drink a lot of the usual Tassies too. Today, what wine do you prefer?

We have quite a vast collection of wine that has been given to us over the years. Sadly my wife doesn’t really drink, so I tend to abstain too as it’s just not nice to drink wine by yourself. So, when do you really enjoy a good bottle of wine?

At times like this. A nice glass of wine in the afternoon when you feel a nice little afternoon buzz, but the secret is to have a little bit of time afterwards when you know you’ll be able to fit in a nice afternoon nap, which I think is very important. I find that if I drink wine at night, especially red wine, I just conk out as it makes me very tired. It’s quite funny actually, because when I got this glass of wine and gave it a sniff, I could actually smell an


Exclusive Interview afternoon nap. It was rather uncanny. Do you prefer white over red wine? I definitely prefer white wine. Any specific cultivars or styles?

I’m quite fond of a wooded Chardonnay. I’m very much enjoying this Viognier. [Nik starts speaking with a French accent ] Why is it called Viognier? Well, zis is from a particular family in France, zey had six beautiful daughters and Viognier was only 23 when she died of a broken heart, because this guy, Hervé (wis a silent ‘h’) was romantically involved with him, but then she discovered he was gay and she died. You can taste ze sadness, it’s got a hint of suicide, you can feel ze dronkverdriet after drinking zis. Magnifique. Say the guys at Eagles Nest decided to make a wine in your honour, what would it be called?


nik Rabinowitz

Hmmmm… I’d say, Rabbis Do Roam. I do have a passion for goats. I once tried to convince Charles Back’s wife to sell me a goat to slaughter for Sangoma purposes, but she wasn’t too keen on that. Rabbi was my nickname as a young boy and I used to roam a lot. And what would we find in a bottle of Rabbis Do Roam?

I think it should be a black wine. Perhaps it will have a hint of strawberry with a touch of hemp to bring in my teenage years? It must be organic and kosher and ideal for religious occasions. It will be filtered through the hemp and that hemp can be reused to produce clothing for underprivileged kids. I also feel that a smidgeon of horse manure should be added for good measure. If we add a slogan “Shit wine” then no one would have any pre-conceived ideas and thus they can only be pleasantly surprised if it’s marginally good. [Dear Reader, just go with us on this… - Ed ]

After

Where would your ideal place be for enjoying a good bottle of wine?

For me, a nice chilled white wine conjures up images of the sea. I think sitting on a rock with the waves crashing against it and the sun glistening on the water. Perhaps even a little fish-braai on the side, that sounds like it. Let the good times roll? Now and again my good friend, Julius Malema and I would reminisce over the good old days together over a bottle of Johnny Blue. He doesn’t have many friends these days, but we’d chat about all kinds of things like cabbage farming, but I fear we’ll have to start drinking Johnny Red from now on… Do you visit any of our wine farms?

Yes, I do. I actually got married on Backsberg. I enjoy visiting Tokara, recently went to Lourensford, which was great and one of my favourites is Constantia Uitsig. I also play social cricket there, at which for me must be one of the most picturesque

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on the fArm Allesverloren where DAnie mAlAn wAs born AnD breD - A pAssionAte mAn, he tries his hAnD At Anything, be it fishing or mAking wine, hAlf meAsures simply Do not exist. (Just Ask his frienDs.) but his biggest pAssion will AlwAys be wine, As the cupboArD full of AwArDs he hAs won over the yeArs cleArly shows. Although he is internAtionAlly recogniseD As one of the wine-mAking greAts of our country, DAnie remAins A humble fArm mAn At heArt. in fAct, he wAs once referreD to As “the nAkeD winemAker” (Ask him why!). this unpretentious ApproAch to life shows in his bAckyArD blenD - no frills, Just fAntAstic.”

Not for Sale to Persons Under the Age of 18.


Exclusive interview Have you done anything sublimely ridiculous after a glass or six too many?

I’m sure there are many, but it all seems quite murky like ‘Gorillas in the mist’… What do you think of the Eagles Nest Viognier?

“A whiff of afternoon nap with a hint of Freudian slip and a little smack on the bottom. Perfection.”

cricket grounds in the world. If you had to quickly pick up a bottle of wine from your local supermarket and there were no specialist shops around, which wine would you choose straight off the shelf, knowing it would not let you down?

Hmmm… probably something from Backsberg, but what I want to know is why nobody has ever come up with a label called “Chateaux Doos”? I would buy that. Or maybe one that was called “Dronk Verdriet” or “Oppie Vloer Sauvignon Plonk”. www.eaglesnestwines.com RRP: R140


TableTalk

This month: How to Invest in Wine Oddbins cuts prices for Germans and gingers Franschhoek by Tram Two Cuts Transform Old Wine Bottles Into 3 Useful Objects

How to Invest in Wine!

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Article courtesy of http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk

or centuries, investing in wine was fairly straightforward. Yo u w o u l d b u y as many cases of classed-growth claret en primeur ( a s f u t u re s ) a s yo u r b u d g e t allowed, watch their value double over the next few years, take delivery of half of them, and sell the remainder to recoup your initial investment. Your capital

was returned to you, and your interest was carried in all the fine wine you would need to entertain your guests over a lifetime. Things have changed dramatically in the last few years. Fine wine is still a highly investable asset - over the past 20 years a basket of fine wines will have outperformed global equities, bonds, property and, until recently, even gold, in terms

of capital appreciation. In the UK wine is, remarkably, still exempt from capital gains tax, being viewed as a ‘wasting asset’ by HMRC - meaning you can take home 100% of the profit from the sale of your wines, without recourse to constructive accounting. (Things are different if you are a wine trader or fund.) There is a school of thought among many wine professionals MARCH 2013 WINE EXTRA 21


TableTalk

that wine should never be seen as an investment, and that investors are destroying the market by inflating prices of once-loved connoisseur ’s wines. This is undeniably true, but there are still plenty of excellent wines - more every year - that don’t figure on the investor’s radar. Those are the wines to buy to drink. You won’t make your fortune by investing in wine, but if you are judicious and fortunate, you can make enough to fund some very pleasant holidays to wine-growing regions. Here are some tips. 1. Do it yourself. You don’t need to sign up to a fine wine merchant’s investment scheme: you can find better wines yourself, by doing a little homework. This isn’t rocket science, although some in the wine trade like to try and make you think it is.

If you enjoyed that single-site Barolo, buy, drink and enjoy. But invest in wines that perform (see below). These may seem overpriced and/or less appealing to you than the wines you like. 4. Invest in wines with a record. Fi rst growth B ordeaux (the likes of Chateaux Lafite, Latour, Haut-Brion etc) has provided sound returns for centuries. Top Burgundies and Rhones have performed well over the past five years. Some Italian super-Tuscans and a few Australians have taken off over the past two years. Most other wines, even very expensive ones like Napa’s ‘cult Cabernets’, have never appreciated. You’d better have a good reason for thinking they’re about to start.

2. Do it properly. Buying a single bottle is not going to yield you any kind of value later on except if it is a larger size or has individual packaging, like a special wooden case. Go for full cases instead and know that you effectively have a ‘set’.

5. K n ow yo u r b u ye r s. ( T h i s applies to the slightly more committed/involved investor.) Are you planning on selling to speculators or into emerging markets? You can make money out of either, but their rhythms are different. You can find out a lot about both from Twitter, blogs and other social media, as well as websites like Liv-Ex, Cellar Watch, Wine Searcher, Decanter. com and Winespectator.com.

3. Don’t invest in wine you like.

6. Pay more for the best

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provenance. Many people have made good money in the past from buying and selling wine w h o s e p rove n a n c e t h e y a re unsure of. But with forgeries of both Bordeaux and Burgundy becoming more prevalent, and the condition of wine which has been shipped around the world in tropical conditions being an increasing concern, there will be an increasing gap opening between ‘perfect’ wines with impeccable provenance - ideally, direct from the producer - and others. 7. Don’t invest in white wine. Drink it instead. 8. Invest for the long-term. Blue-chip wines have always performed well over 10 years. 9. Only invest what you can afford to lose, or drink; and only buy through blue-chip merchants (this applies 200% to en primeur). If you don’t know who these are, you should probably not be in this game. 10. Wine is illiquid. Reckon on weeks to sell Bordeaux well; months for more esoteric wines like Grand Cru Burgundies. You may be lucky and sell sooner, but never be desperate.


TableTalk Oddbins cuts prices for Germans and gingers Article courtesy of www.thedrinksbusiness.com

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icking out “four groups of people who, in 2012, did not always receive the love that they probably deserved”, UK retailer Oddbins has been offering each group a 10% discount on successive weekends in January. This first weekend of January saw Oddbins thank mothers who have spent Christmas being “run ragged by the family, shopping, cooking, wrapping, cleaning, transporting and planning.” Proof of identity was accepted in various forms, including: “toys in

the handbag, baby sick on your shoulder, a bag of new school uniforms, a post on Mumsnet, a grumpy teenager in the back of the car or a menacing letter from the government.” From 11-13 January, the discount wa s o p e n e d t o b a n ke r s a n d journalists. Calling on the public to give these two groups a break after their crisis and scandalridden 2012, Oddbins suggested: “Maybe the more love the UK gives the press and bankers, the more they will give back.” T h e f o l l ow i n g we e ke n d n o t only seeked to recognise G e r m a ny ’s “ wo r k e t h i c a n d

technological superiority”, but also its production of “the world’s most underrated wines”. Those without official identity documentation “may be asked to answer a few questions to prove your Teutonic descent.” The final weekend of January saw Oddbins turn its attention to “the final taboo”, as it recognises the high profile 2012 for redheads such as Olympic gold medal winner Greg Rutherford and Prince Harry. For anyone who managed to qualify for all four discounts, Oddbins promised “some bonus extra loving”. MARCH 2013 WINE EXTRA 23


TableTalk Franschhoek by Tram

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ne of South A f r i c a ’s leading wine producing re g i o n s, as well as the country’s premier culinary destination, the Franschhoek Wine Valley, has once again every reason to raise a glass with the launch of the Franschhoek Wine Tram, a new and unique way to experience this picturesque wine valley. Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and openair tram-bus stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates. A combination of tram and tram-bus transports passengers around a loop of stops allowing them to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and when they are ready, hop-on to 24 WINE EXTRA MARCH 2013

continue the tour. The tour takes passengers right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a commentary guided tour and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards. “ T h i s p ro j e c t i s a s u c c e s s story,” says General Manager of Franschhoek Wine Tram, Duncan Gordon. “The benefits to the local community are already being felt with the creation of thirteen fulltime jobs with the expectation to further increase that number in the near future. We believe the Franschhoek Wine Tram will give local tourism the boost it needs and create further opportunities in our own community.” The newly constructed tram is modelled after the open-sided Brill Trams of circa 1890 and was built by Prof Engineering, a South African specialist engineering firm. As a green initiative, it utilises the latest in bio-diesel engine technology to reduce greenhouse gasses and other environmentally hazardous emissions. It seats 32 passengers on eight benches with six of the benches having

flip-over, tram-style seat-backs that allow passengers to enjoy the breathtaking view in both directions. The tram-bus design is based on the open-sided road trams commonly seen in the USA , which are used to transport tourists on sightseeing excursions. “Tourists are continually looking for new ways of experiencing a location whether by foot, road or rail and no other wine growing area in the world can boast its own rail and road based tram system giving tourists direct a c c e s s t o w i n e e st a t e s, t h i s truly is a unique project. The service will provide another hugely popular and distinct reason to visit Franschhoek further strengthening Franschhoek’s appeal locally and internationally,” explains Duncan. The hop-on hop-off tour departs from the Franschhoek Wine Tram ticket office, located in the centre of the historic Franschhoek Village, and includes six stops: Grande Provence, Rickety Bridge, Dieu Donne, Haute Cabrière,


TableTalk Chamonix and the Huguenot Museum. A commentary guided tour, focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the Valley, and a complimentary wine tasting are included.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram operates daily from 10:00 to 15:20 with departures every 4 0 m i n u t e s. T i c ke t s c a n b e purchased at the Franschhoek Wine Tram ticket office located at

Bijoux Square or online at www. winetram.co.za. Ticket prices are R130 for adults, R65 for children 5 to 17 years of age and no charge for children four years of age and under. For more information, contact 021-300 0338.

Two Cuts Transform Old Wine Bottles Into 3 Useful Objects Courtesy of www.dornob.com

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f yo u a re a n e c o - m i n d e d person, the joy of drinking wine is effectively cancelled out when you look at the pile of wasted bottles that are left over. Barcelona-based studio Lucirmรกs has come up with an innovative way to upcycle empty wine bottles with no waste. The Pure-Bottle is a three-part set of objects made from a single wine bottle. With two strategic cuts, one bottle becomes a spoon, a lantern and a drinking glass. The glass is sandblasted to remove any sharp edges, leaving surprisingly elegant objects that would be equally at home in a four-star restaurant or at your breakfast table. Enterprising DIYers with the right equipment could easily replicate these objects at home. Glass cutting tools and fine-grit sandpaper, along with plenty of safety gear and the appropriate training with those tools, are all that is needed to make something useful and entirely wonderful out of your discarded wine bottles. MARCH 2013 WINE EXTRA 25


Livin’thelife by Maryna Strachan

Thrills, Spills and Laughter at Lourensford Images by Mark Freeborough “This time I was given the opportunity to wield the sword and sabrage my own bottle. It was the newly released Pinot Noir MCC, which has firmly placed itself amongst my Top 10 local bubblies.”

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Livin’thelife N

ot a week goes by that I don’t visit at least one wine estate. Mostly I just attend meetings and other times I go to launches or events, but on occasion I get invited to ‘experience’ the farm and all it has to offer in order to share my story and experience with you. With spectacular views of False Bay, Lourensford stretches across 10km of land with 980km of kept roads just on the farm. The day started off somewhat hazy, but the sun was shining and we had our ‘fun-time’ hats on. Winemakers Hannes Nel and Chris Joubert joined us with Janine de Roubaix and we were excited to learn that we would be the first guests to bare witness to Hannes performing a sabrage (chopping off the cork with a sword) of his beloved MCC in the actual Chardonnay vineyard that produces the wine for this light, fruity and zesty wine. Hannes also reckons that the best food pairing for this bubbly is traditional fish and chips. Well worth checking out.

Fo r t h e f o r m i d a b l e w i n e m a k i n g t e a m a t Lourensford, harvesting comes down to the final taste of the grapes. They spend a lot of time in the vineyards and a good indicator is the local baboons. “If we see them eating the grapes, then we know it’s time to start harvesting”, comments Chris.

From one of the lowest vineyards, we moved all the way up the mountainside to the lookout deck with views stretching across to Cape Point. This time I


Livin’thelife was given the opportunity to wield the sword and sabrage my own bottle. It was the newly released Pinot Noir MCC, which has firmly placed itself amongst my Top 10 local bubblies. We had some fresh cherries with this and the combo was a hit. According to the team, Lourensford owner Christo Wiese is all about heritage, “that’s what makes him tick” said Chris. This is one of the reasons why the estate belongs to the Cape Leopard Trust, which protects the endangered species of wild cat of which sadly only 135 remain on earth. There are a number of large dams on the estate, some with braai facilities for use on prior arrangement. They supply the numerous orchards and vineyards with irrigation and one of the big ones is a fully operational trout farm. Back in the car we were treated to yet another ‘farm first’ the sampling of the famous Lourensford

Honey Liqueur… Right next to the beehives where the actual honey is made. Nestled amongst a small plantation of Bluegum trees we made our way to a small clearing where several beehives were grouped. As we got closer, we could hear the incessant humming of the bees, working away to produce their golden nectar. We w e r e w a r n e d t o n o t m a k e a n y s u d d e n movements or loud noises. Chris gingerly opened the bottle of gold coloured liquid and poured it. You could instantly smell the honey and bluegum fragrance of it. Sweet and thick, I could imagine serving this over some good vanilla ice cream. Instead, it was served over my arms, legs and even in my hair… My photographer, Mark, decided to be clever and placed the bottle and glass with liqueur right next to the hive opening. It wasn’t long before the bees got a whiff of it and decided that they were somewhat pee’d off. They attacked and the five of us had to leg it out of there, arms flailing,


Livin’thelife chocolate merely highlighting the complex qualities of each wine. Marionette’s Chocolates from Knysna did a superb job on this.

shouting and honey liqueur flying all over the show! I can’t help but imagine what we must’ve looked like had someone seen us all charging out of the bushes. Chris and Mark were stung a few times, but fortunately the rest of us came off it lightly, albeit somewhat sticky. From the ridiculous to the sublime, our next stop was yet another first for everyone when we had the (as yet unreleased) Winemaker’s Selection Merlot 2011 in its very own vineyard. A proud winner of a Double Gold Michaelangelo award, winemaker Chris’ aim was to make something that could compare with the expensive icon-wines from Europe, figuring “Why can’t we make something that tastes even better than Chateaux Petrus, but is affordable and local?” And so this wine was born. After our extensive estate tour, it was time for a decadent chocolate and wine pairing at the tasting room. The chocolates were made with a lot of input from the winemakers and the brief was that the wine should remain the ultimate star with the

The Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 was paired with a melted plum chocolate, the Merlot 2010 was beautifully complemented by a kirch cherry grape chocolate, the Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier blend worked beautifully alongside the spiced Malay chocolate. The tasting was rounded off perfectly with the pairing of mint chocolate and the now infamous Honey Liqueur. Even Chris had never experienced the pairing before, commenting to Tasting Room Manager, Jaco, “Dit was nogal briljant be… gewees!” I couldn’t have said it better. And at only R45 for this tasting, it’s a winner. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we meandered across to the restaurant, Millhouse Kitchen. Head Chef Jacques Theron’s menu is excellent and caters for all kinds from gourmet salads to mains including steak, risotto, burgers, pasta, pork belly, fish and lamb shoulder and a


Livin’thelife range of pizzas. Entertainment isn’t guaranteed, however our entertainment for the day was when our photographer, Mark, decided to step outside to photograph his Honey Mojito (made from the now infamous Honey Liqueur). It would seem that the windows at Millhouse Kitchen are impeccably clean as Mark managed to walk slap-bang into a closed sliding door, with his camera and Mojito flying all over the show. Needless to say, we (read: the entire packed restaurant) were in hysterics!!!

don’t have a sweet tooth, but the Vanilla Cheesecake has got to be the best I have EVER had. Pure ecstasy.

Once the laughter had died down, we were spoiled to dessert and I feel this needs a special mention. I

Lourensford rocks!

Fully sated and rather merry we once more piled into the car for the final leg of our day – the trout dam. Nestled in the far corner of Lourensford, the beautiful dam lay, water glistening… and inviting us to cool down after what was a long and hot day. So that’s just what we did, bringing a refreshing end to what was one of the best days out.


We’ve Been Drinking Grande Provence Chardonnay 2011

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he history of this noble estate tells of freedom found and fortunes made, of valour, savoirfaire and fruitful ventures. It is a past as spirited as Grande Provence herself. Grande Provence Wine Estate wears her 300-year history with dignity. She sits in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape – her lush vines spread across 30 hectares, with gentle vistas over the valley floor, at odds almost with the rugged mountains beyond. This is heartland South African wine country. Centuries of life well lived and barrels of resting wine give this estate its sincere but elegant cultivars. Producing world-class award winning wines under the Count Agusta and Agusta labels, Grande Provence also believes that fine wine should be accessible to everyone, which is the raison d’être behind their renowned, but comfortably priced Angels Tears collection.

This is an elegant, full-bodied, well-balanced white wine with outstanding fruit and wood integration. The wine was matured for 11 months in 60% first fill and 40% second fill French oak barrels. On the nose and palate there is upfront citrus, almond and creamy aromas. These are complemented by vanilla and butterscotch from the well-integrated wood. The mouth feel is soft and the finish is lingering and elegant. This wine will develop and mature over a period of 2 – 3 years from vintage and can be enjoyed on its own or served with smoked fish, seafood with creamy sauces, pork dishes, and ripened soft cheeses. Price: R170 Caption head: How did winning the URL: www.grandeprovence.co.za Miss Universe pageant in 1992 shape you into the person you are today?

With the perfect fusion of tradition, innovation and passion, Grande Provence’s new allure is set to remain as timeless as the lingering notes of her reds and whites. Grande Provence wines are created using classic cultivars of the highest quality. The distinctive vintages that are produced reflect the passion and enthusiasm of the wine making team at Grande Provence. The wine that literally had our team in raptures this month, was the Grande Provence Chardonnay 2011. The grapes are grown in a vineyard where low canopies allow high sun penetration, and minimal irrigation is used.

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Margot Janse is the incredibly talented woman and the Executive Chef at the award winning, Relais and Châteaux Le Quartier Français Hotel in Franschhoek. Born and educated in The Netherlands her creative talents were evident right from the start.

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argot Janse is the incredibly talented woman and the Executive Chef at the award w i n n i n g, Re l a i s a n d C h â t e a u x L e Q u a r t i e r F ra n ç a i s Ho t e l i n Franschhoek. Born and educated in The Netherlands her creative talents were evident right from the start. At the age of 23 the ‘Magic of the Kitchen’ beckoned and she a p p r o a c h e d C i r o Mo l i n a r o, a highly respected Johannesburg restaurateur, who agreed to teach her in his own kitchen. It was two years of long shifts and hard work but Margot learned every aspect of managing a kitchen. More importantly Ciro encouraged her to experiment and play with food, creating in Margot an ability to explore beyond traditional ‘food boundaries’. In 1995 Margot joined the culinary t e a m a t L e Q u a r t i e r F ra n ç a i s. The hotel restaurant was already considered one of South Africa’s best, so it was an enormous challenge for Margot when she was asked to take over as Executive Chef shortly after her arrival. However, sixteen years and many national and international awards later, Margot continues to thrive in the career of her choice and enthrall serious diners from around the globe.

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It is Margot’s belief that food is constantly evolving; and unforgettable dishes always have an element of surprise and nostalgia about them. This approach ensures that Margot ’s kitchen consistently overflows with innovative and creative energy. In this space Margot prides herself on developing exceptional and engaging culinary delights. Every dish of Margot’s is truly refined and, at the same time, unexpectedly exciting. It is this contradiction that results in her menu’s outstanding balance and ensures that her cuisine is theatre. Margot finds it difficult to put her constantly evolving style in a box. Instead she prefers to allow

Chocolate Pavlova with Passion Fruit Sabayon and Fresh Berries Ingredients: (Serves 10) 2 tbs Cocoa powder 2 tbs Boiling water 175g Egg whites (left over
from the sabayon) 225g Castor sugar 2 tsp Cornflour 1 tsp White wine vinegar 
 1 cup Passion fruit pulp
 7 High-quality, free-range egg yolks
 100g Castor sugar
 Pinch of salt
 250ml Cream, whipped
 2 cups Mixed fresh berries

herself the room to be creative, to experiment with new things. She works fearlessly with textures and balance because she believes that each dish has to say something. As she once famously exclaimed “I don’t like bland food. I don’t like safe food.” This - more than anything else - sums up her food and life philosophies. In fact it’s this philosophy that has led to Margot’s unique approach extending further than just phenomenal cuisine; it has moved into the captivating realm of stories and magic. A place where each dish, and its African inspired elements, have the ability to captivate the hearts and minds of diners.

Method: Preheat the oven to 120°C. Mix the cocoa powder and water together well. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while whisking until all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue has stiff peaks. Transfer to a big bowl and fold in the cornflour and white wine vinegar. Fold in the cocoa mix and then spoon onto a tray, lined with silicone paper. Remember that this will be the base of the dessert so make sure it is nice and deep, with high edges. Bake for 1 hour, cool and set aside until you are ready to serve. Place the passion fruit in a small pot and reduce to 150ml. Strain out the pips. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar, salt and passion fruit in a stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot with 3cm of simmering water. (The bowl must not

touch the water). Whisk continuously until the eggs are cooked and very fluffy. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Fold through the whipped cre cream. To assemble the pavlova, pipe the sabayon onto the meringue and add fresh berries to garnish.

Pair it with Slanghoek Créme de Chenin 2010 www.slanghoek. co.za RRP: R40

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Get Out Caption head: How did winning the Miss Universe pageant in 1992 shape you into the person you are today?

March 2013

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This month: Romancing in the Colour of Red at Nederburg Cloud Nine Valentine’s Experience at Waterkloof Treat Your Valentine to Heaven on Earth Spoil Your Valentine at Durbanville Hills Constantia Fresh Hanepoot picking at De Krans Classical Music Concert at La Mottei The Vineyard Hotel MCC Festival Veuve Clicquot Masters at Val de Vie The Robertson Wine Valley’s HandsLots more.... On Harvest

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Get Out C l o u d N i n e Va l e n t i n e’s Experience at Waterkloof

14, the Red Table adds an exciting twist

Romancing in the Colour of Red to its standard menu. For something a little different a Valentine picnic basket at Nederburg Add an extra touch of the colour of love to Valentine’s Day and treat the one closest to your heart to a romantic lunch or dinner at Nederburg’s novel restaurant, the Red Table. With the restaurant’s unique configuration of red tables meandering through the Manor House and into the gorgeous gardens to add to the atmosphere, this makes for an ideal setting for a date to remember. On Thursday, February

for two or more can also be pre-ordered for R250 per person. The baskets are packed to the brim and there is also a bottle of Nederburg Brut to add to the occasion. Booking is essential. For reservations at the restaurant, or to pre-book picnic baskets, call 021-862 3104 or send an e-mail to theredtable@nederburg. co.za.

Swap the roses and chocolates for a ‘head-in-the-clouds’ Valentine’s dinner at Waterkloof Restaurant, perched high in the sky on the slopes of the Schapenberg outside Somerset West, where a fairy tale six course Food & Wine Experience will marry a breathtaking view on Thursday, 14 February 2013. French Chef Grégory Czarnecki knows just which fine dining buttons to push with six dishes, complemented by Waterkloof’s elegant wines, to woo all senses on Valentine’s eve. Your dreamy dinner will start with a complimentary flute of Cap Classique on arrival and ends on a decadent high with mignardises (tiny bitesized desserts). The exclusive ‘Waterkloof Valentine’s Dinner with View’ costs R650 per person, which includes all the wines on the evening or R500 per person excluding the wine pairings. Bookings are essential. To reserve your table call 021-858 1491 or email restaurant@waterkloofwines.co.za.

Love is in the Air at Plaisir de Merle

Treat Your Valentine to Heaven on Earth At Creation in the heart of the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, romance is in the air – and we look forward to treating you and your loved one to a Valentine’s Feast guaranteed to make all resistance crumble!
Between 11:30 and 19:00 on Thursday, 14 February we’ll be serving an irresistible 7-course tapas menu. To further tantalize your taste buds each dish will be lovingly paired with the perfect Creation wines. The feast costs R200 per couple and booking is essential by emailing info@ creationwines.com or call 028-212 1107

Bring the love of your life and a picnic blanket and enjoy a romantic Valentine’s picnic in the stunning surroundings of Plaisir de Merle. In your basket with a bottle of Plaisir de Merle Sauvignon Blanc you will find: Cheeses and preserves; French loaf and focaccia wafers; lightly peppered sirloin wraps with baby leaves and red onion relish; dukkah coated chicken wraps; hummus; roast tomato and goat’s cheese tartlets; sliced biltong, droewors, roasted mixed nuts and root vegetable crisps; fruit skewers with vanilla drizzle and

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CAPE TOWN home-made chocolate brownies.

S p o i l Y o u r V a l e n t i n e a t two and includes the use of a picnic blanket, cushions, cutlery, crockery and Durbanville Hills

R425 for two inclusive of wine. Arrival from 18:00. Please book your basket with Renee on 021-874 1071 or email plaisirdemerle@capelegends.co.za.

Whisper sweet nothings in your beloved’s ear when you head to Durbanville Hills Wines for a feast of Valentine’s Day treats on 14 February. The Eatery at Durbanville Hills will be offering something for everyone whether it be a romantic picnic under the olive trees, lunch served either inside the newly refurbished restaurant or on the deck overlooking the magnificent valley, as well as a special Valentine’s Day three-course dinner. The picnics are offered from 12:00 to 15:30 and again from 19:00 to 21:00. Cost is R420 per basket serving

The Vineyard Hotel MCC Festival The Vineyard Hotel & Spa will be showcasing some of the best bubblies the Cape region has to offer when it hosts the Cape’s Finest MCC Festival on 3 March 2013. Top producers of world-renowned sparkling wines will be celebrating the Méthode Cap Classique tradition in the stunning hotel gardens. From 15:00 to 18:00, guests can enjoy a delightful Sunday afternoon, tasting carefully selected MCC vintages from as many as fourteen top Cape wine farms. Light entertainment and mouthwatering canapés prepared by the hotel’s expert chefs will round off the experience. Bookings are essential. Please contact the Vineyard Hotel & Spa on 021-657 4500 or eat@ vineyard.co.za to make a booking. Cost per person is R165 and includes a complimentary Vineyard souvenir glass. For more information please visit www.vineyard.co.za.

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glassware. Lunch will be served from the à la carte menu from 12:00 to 15:00 and includes a complimentary glass of Merlot Rosé on arrival. The special Valentine’s Day dinner costs R350 per person and dinner is served from19:00 until 22:30. Bookings are essential for the picnics and three-course dinner and recommended for lunch. Contact The Eatery on 021-558 1337 or send an email to info@dheatery.co.za to book or for more information.

Hanepoot picking at De Krans During the months of February and March, De Krans Wine Cellar will once again offer visitors to the area the opportunity to pick deliciously sweet Hanepoot grapes. This fun-filled picking experience will take place from 13 February to 10 March, and will be made available every day (except Sundays) from 8:00 until 16:00. Grapes cost R5.40/kg and visitors are welcome to bring their own containers. Alternatively containers can be purchased at De Krans at a minimal cost. Picking grapes can lead to visitors working up a hefty appetite, and to cater for this need Vygieshof Home for the Aged will be offering delicious braaivleis meals on Wednesdays and Saturdays, between 11:00 and 14:00. As these meals have proven to be extremely popular in the past, booking is essential. For bookings and further enquiries contact Helet or Bessie at the farm on 044-213 3314 or e-mail dekrans@mweb.co.za

Classical Music Concert at La Motte Visit the estate on the 16th of February for a truly enchanting experience. Stefan Temmingh is part of the young generation of world-class recorder players busy changing all perceptions of the instrument drastically. Born in Cape Town in 1978, he now lives in Munich. As an Early Music specialist he plays with his baroque ensemble at renowned festivals and in a series of concerts throughout Europe. His second CD “The Gentleman’s Flute” was immediately nominated for the International Classical Music Awards 2011. The lute virtuoso Axel Wolf will accompany him on this, his first, South African concert tour. Tickets cost R170. The concert starts at 19:00 with gates opening at 18:00. For more information or to book, visit www.la-motte.co.za.


Get Out Mix Chocolate and Wine at Durbanville Hills Chocolate and wine are natural companions offering both complex flavours and nuances, and their individual tannin structures combine effortlessly to add a new dimension to the wine. The tasting includes five Durbanville Hills wines paired with an assortment of decadent chocolates and is offered daily. The cost is R60pp and booking is advised for groups of eight or more. For more info contact Laura Carswell at LACarswell@durbanvillehills.co.za or on 021-558 1300.

Blend Word & Wine during 2013 Woordfees Loose lips and long legs take on a whole different meaning when the Greater Simonsberg sub-route of the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes celebrates literary art and vinous culture during the 2013 Woordfees (Festival of the Word), and closes this festive chapter with a vibrant Market Day at Delvera Estate on Sunday, 10 March 2013. Leading up to the buzzing Simonsberg Wine Route Market Day, esteemed wine estates jotted along the foot of the Simonsberg will be hosting exclusive Word & Wine celebrations on Friday, 8 March, during which literature fanatics can meet and mingle with some of the country’s finest authors and personalities in the company of quality wines. These bespoke Word & Wine encounters feature Liz Meiring who will be adding her quirky flair to Uitkyk; Dana Snyman for some wit and wisdom at Neil Ellis Estate, and Stellenbosch author Karin Brynard who will be sharing the spotlight with Delheim wines, while South Africa’s famous ‘Oupa and Ouma’, Johan & Lida Botha will cater for some great story-telling at Muratie. But if all you want to read is the back label of a quality bottle of wine and just chill out with your friends and family then the Simonsberg Wine Route Market Day, which takes place at the Delvera agri-village, is your ticket to soak up the last bit of summer Winelands fun. Young and old can delight in a festive day blended with the finest wines from the Simonsberg area, country fare, craft stalls with proudly local produce, harvest activities, horse rides and live music. The little ones will have barrels of fun in the play corner with gocart rides, a trampoline, jungle gym and a Kids Theater to keep them busy. The Simonsberg Wine Route Market Day starts at 10am and entry is FREE. The Vine Hopper will provide a shuttle service to and from Stellenbosch on the day. For more information about the Simonsberg Wine Route Market Day or the individual Word & Wine events contact the Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes at 021-886 8275 or visit www.wineroute.co.za. Tickets for the individual ‘Word-and-Wine’ events are available at Computicket. Seating is limited so be sure to book early! Click on www. woordfees.co.za for the 2013 Woordfees programme.

Veuve Clicquot Masters at Val de Vie The prestigious Champagne House sponsors some of the world’s leading polo events such as the Manhattan Classic, the LA Polo Classic and the UK’s Gold Cup. Veuve Clicquot Masters Cape Town, one of five international tournaments, is their first and only on the African continent. Proven a resounding success and enjoyed by SA’s glamorous elite, guests include top celebrities, fashionable socialites and avid polo lovers. A Hilton Weiner and Jenni Button Fashion Show will form part of the day’s activities. The Veuve Clicquot Masters Cape Town has grown considerably since its first year and is expected to draw in more than 1,200 guests this year. Val de Vie’s world-class polo fields and luxurious club house facilities provide the ideal venue to host an event of this caliber. VIP guests can expect a day out filled with champagne, gourmet canapés, sophisticated fashion, traditional games of pétanque, pamper lounges and of course a riveting game of world class polo. The event takes place on 23 February and starts at 14:00. Various ticket options are available from R190 to R1,750. For more information or for ticket purchases, visit www.valdevie.co.za.

Constantia Fresh 2013 This year’s Constantia Fresh will invite the finest South African wine producers to showcase not just their Sauvignon Blanc, but other wines exhibiting that all important character: Freshness. The 2013 Constantia Fresh Festival kicks off on the 1st of March where Jörg Pfützner of Fine Wine Events will host a fine wine dinner alongside the notable Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse, Cellar Hohenort’s esteemed restaurant, regarded as one of the best in South Africa. Guests will be welcomed with a selection of Constantia’s

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CAPE TOWN Méthode Cap Classiques, and a welcome address presented by Peter Tempelhoff. Tempelhoff will prepare a delectable five-course degustation menu carefully paired with 16 local and international wines. Guests can expect to savour wines from producers such as Buitenverwachting, Steenberg, Luciano Sandrone, Tenuta San Guido S a ss i c a i a , C h â te a u G ra n d - P u yLacoste, Constantia Glen, Groot and Klein Constantia, Eagles Nest and many more. Seats at the dinner are limited due to the intimate nature of the restaurant. Tickets to attend this dinner are on sale at R1500 per person. The March 2nd main event will have wine enthusiasts wandering about the lawns of Buitenverwachting sampling South Africa’s finest and freshest wines paired with canapés made by South Africa’s best chefs. An elegantly constructed braai will take place in the early evening. Tickets to this tasting are on sale at R400 per person. As an advocate of new perspectives, Pfützner has extended the invitation to other top South African wine producers, with the emphasis on freshness in their wine. ‘Constantia Fresh’, now in its fourth year running, is possible thanks to the support of the host region and participating Constantia producers namely Klein Constantia, Groot Constantia, Steenberg, Eagle’s Nest, Buitenverwachting and Constantia Glen. Tickets to these events can be bought at the participating local and regional wine farms or from www.webtickets. co.za. For further information, please visit www.constantiafresh.com or contact Fine Wine Events on enjoy@ finewineevents.co.za

Reuben’s One & Only Wine and Dine Joined this year by celebrity personality and MC, Aubrey Ngcungama, these evenings are guaranteed to be enjoyed by all. The Wine&Dine series launches in style with one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious estates. Boschendal has long been regarded as one of the finest makers of sparkling wine in SA, but under cellarmaster JC Bekker and winemaker Lizelle Gerber, they are gradually carving a new niche for themselves as makers of premium quality still wines as well. With a Five Star Platter award for their Cecil John Reserve Shiraz, their Wine&Dine event on 27th February will marry the very best wines with exciting and innovative food combinations to set the bar for the rest of the year. The dinner is limited as to numbers, and is priced at R350pp. To reserve your Wine&Dine table at Reuben’s One&Only Cape Town, call 021-431 4511 or mail to restaurant.reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com

The Robertson Wine Valley’s Hands-On Harvest With the harvest in full swing, it is time to make plans to head out to the Robertson Wine Valley to experience the ‘magic of harvest’ from 22 to 24 February. As some of the wineries participating in ‘Hands-On Harvest’ are not ordinarily open to the public, the focus will be on hosting a series of intimate events. This ensures that guests enjoy the best, most personalised and ‘hands-on’ experiences. Visit www.handsonharvest.com for the programme of activities (which includes contact details for participating wineries). All bookings to be made direct with participating wineries by no later than 20 February 2013. Payment is required in advance. Visit the web-based regional brochure, www.robertsonwinevalley.com for accommodation options.

Share in the Best of the Harvest at Nederburg Summer with friends and family can make for memorable occasions and Nederburg’s annual harvest and feast at dusk is another golden opportunity to create fun-filled memories of summer. On February 23 you can share in a grapepicking adventure in the vineyards before stomping grapes and enjoying a delicious braai under the Paarl skies. Guided by Nederburg’s harvest team, you will learn to identify and pick perfectly ripe grapes off the vines, knowing their juice will go into producing some of Nederburg’s famous wines. While the picking continues guests can help themselves to mezze platters and juice in the gardens surrounding the manor house. In the meanwhile a braai will be prepared by The Red Table restaurant where guests can relax at their tables with their favourite Nederburg wine and a hearty meal hot off the coals. A selection of the winery’s fine wines, including its recently-launched 56Hundred label and wines from its Winemaster’s Reserve range, will be on offer. Live music will be played from the stoep of the manor house. The hosts suggest wearing comfortable clothing and shoes for the event, which starts at 18:30. Tickets cost R250pp (including juices, mineral water, mezze platters and braai), R100 per scholar aged 12-18 and R50 per child under 12.

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CAPE TOWN Ommiberg ‘Round the Rock’ Festivities at Laborie Join in the festivities of the annual Paarl Ommiberg ‘Round the Rock’ festival and make your way to Laborie Wine Farm on Saturday, 9 March for an unforgettable experience for young and old. The focal point of Laborie’s festivities will be an exciting pairing of young unfiltered wines with traditional onion tart - a custom originating in Germany and adapted by OmmiBerg. Other fun filled activities include a blending competition and grape stomping – with a winning prize for each. Children can look forward to a demarcated kiddies’ area which will include face painting and balloon modelling. Participate in a fun filled game of boules which will take place at Harvest at Laborie restaurant. With so much on offer the day promises to be one filled with laughter, fun and enjoyment. A shuttle service will be operational between participating farms, at no charge. Prepaid tickets, at R80 per person, can be purchased directly from www.computicket.com. Tickets purchased on the day cost R100 per person. Your ticket includes a tasting glass, access pass and programme. Adding to the day’s festivities visitors can look forward to a live music performance by Mathys Roets and 2003 SA Idols winner Anke Pietrangeli. Tickets to the concert, which starts at 7:30pm (gates open at 6:30pm) at a cost R120 per adult and R60 per child (under 18). Picnic baskets will also be available to purchase at a cost of R250 per two adults and R80 per child. Pre-booking for the concert and picnic baskets is essential and can be done through info@dnaevents.co.za. For more information contact 021-807 3390 or visit our website www. laboriewines.co.za.

Ommiberg Festival Fun at Nederburg Gather family and friends on the 9th of March for a day filled with exciting harvesting activities, live entertainment, wine tasting and delicious food at the beautiful wine farm. An access card valid at participating wineries which includes a tasting glass and a programme can be purchased for R100. Tickets are on sale for R80 per person at Computicket. At Nederburg your ticket entitles you to a free tasting of young wines straight from the tank or barrel and an oven-fresh onion tartlet, to complement the young wines. You can choose from the wholesome breakfast and lunch options from The Red Table restaurant’s menu or browse the various food and beverage stalls set up on the lawns in front of the Cape-Dutch manor house. Live music will be played from the stoep of the manor house during lunchtime. Wine tasting takes place at the Nederburg Visitor Centre from 10:00 to 18:00. Various tastings and tours take place at the centre every hour from 10:00 to 17:00. Test your palate in a blind tasting or pair wines with artisanal cheeses. Prices range from no charge to R25 per person depending on the items included in the tasting. From 14:00 to 15:00 a grape-stomping challenge will take place next to the vineyards. Added to all this is kids’ entertainmen, that includes a puppet show during lunch. To book tickets for festival activities call 021-862 3104 or email nedwines@distell.co.za.

Get Out Harvest High Jinks at Eikendal WEINTAUFE 2013 Laid-back weekend vibes meet family fun on the farm, when Eikendal Estate sets the scene for its popular Weintaufe Harvest Celebration teeming with great wines, wholesome country-style fare and barrels of entertainment for young and old on Sunday, 3 March 2013. Eikendal is known for its fine Chardonnay and superb flagship reds and visitors will get to taste the cellar’s first wine of the 2013 harvest – the flagship Chardonnay– straight from the barrel, after the baptism of this new wine. Other attractions include Eikendal wine tastings, live music entertainment, craft stalls, lucky draws, vineyard tractor rides, fly fishing, barrel stomping, pony rides and lots of activities for the little ones. Delicious food and wine will be on sale, so bring your friends, family and picnic blanket and claim your spot at the water’s edge for the perfect ending to your weekend in the warm company of Eikendal. Entrance to the Eikendal Weintaufe 2013 is R60 per person and includes a complimentary glass and barrel tasting of the 2013 Chardonnay for adults, whilst children under the age of 12 get in for FREE. Tickets are available at Eikendal or at the gates on the day. The event starts at 10:00 with the official baptism and tasting of the new Eikendal wine at 12:00. For more information or to book your tickets prior to the event contact the cellar on 021-855 1422 or send an email to info@ eikendal.co.za.

Franschhoek Summer Wines Celebrate the last few days of summer in style and head off to Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards on 16 March, set in the picturesque Franschhoek Wine Valley, for the annual Franschhoek Summer Wines. Regarded as one of South Africa’s

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CAPE TOWN leading wine destinations, more than 30 of the Valley’s finest wineries will be showcasing their top summer wines at this exclusive event. Wine lovers will have the opportunity to browse at their leisure or engage with the winemakers. To ensure you don’t go hungry visitors will be able to purchase mouth-watering deli-style food from the Harvest Table, prepared by the chefs in the Leopard’s Leap Kitchen. Relax and unwind, taking in the scenery of the valley as live entertainment ensures an unforgettable experience throughout the day. Taking full advantage of the glorious summer days the festival will be open from 12pm until 5pm, and the theme for this year’s event is ‘elegantly white’. Tickets cost R180 per person which includes a tasting of all the wines on show. Wine aficionadas can look forward to tutored tastings which will take place at 1pm and 3pm on the day. As seating is limited visitors are requested to pre-book their seats which can be done via events@ franschhoek.org.za. Tickets can be purchased directly from www.webtickets.co.za and booking is essential as tickets are limited to 500 people only. For more information contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley offices on 021-876 2861.

Charity Wine Auction with the Rotary Club The Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth West is a blessing to Nelson Mandela Bay and many of its charities. Through signature events like the Tree of Joy where over 3,000 people received Christmas gifts, to the Medieval Fayre each May, this Club creates opportunities for our community to come and support charities in innovative and meaningful ways. The Charity Wine Auction on 1 March 2013 will be no different. The primary beneficiary will be the Paediatric Ward at Dora Nginza Hospital. The Rotary Foundation and other charities serviced by the Rotary Club of PE West will also benefit. A full list of items to be auctioned can be viewed at http://rotary.apix.co.za/. The evening will include wine tastings and fabulous food. The food is being prepared to complement the wines. Many of Port Elizabeth’s connoisseurs are already planning to be there. We are pleased to be hosted at Volvo in Cape Road for this prestigious event and entry is by ticket only. Entry is R150 for the entire experience. Tickets can be bought from members of the Rotary Club of PE West and their Satellite Club, Diverse Generations. For further information or to book your ticket, call Lindi Gillespie at 082 800 9234.

Feast of the Grape in Durbanville Join in the fun as local wineries from the Durbanville Wine Valley celebrate the harvest season at its annual Feast of the Grape, which takes place at the Durbanville Race Course over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd March (12:00 to 17:00 daily). The bumper festival offers visitors the complete package from superb wine, live entertainment, to nonstop kiddies’ entertainment. Old school games will keep young and old entertained throughout the day, and kids can look forward to a jumping castle, face painting and so much more. While the kids are having fun the adults can sip and sample superb wines from the 11 wineries on show from the Durbanville region. Try your hand at grape stomping, milking a dairy cow, be amazed at the latest and greatest on offer at the tractor exhibition or simply browse the stalls for delectable local produce on offer. Local restaurants will ensure you’re kept well fed throughout the day. Tickets to the festival cost R100 for adults and R50 for children, which can be booked directly through www.webtickets.co.za. Your ticket allows you access to the venue, as well as a complimentary tasting glass and tasting coupons. Additional coupons can be purchased throughout the day. For more information visit www.durbanvillewine.co.za.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW JO-ANNE STRAUSS

Wine Extra March 2013  

South Africa's favourite wine magazine. For the wine lover, Wine Extra is fun and informative without being intimidating for the everyday wi...