Here’s a wine column in two parts. First a response to nagging complaint against people like myself, that we should be quiet about the huge amounts of people drinking truly atrocious wines, because, you know, so what. To balance it out, I will suggest some great bargain wines to drink as well.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s full-blown awards season in the wine industry. You can shake the proverbial stick and more than likely poke a winning winemaker’s eye out.
The 2013 Platter guide has been released and the five star wines have been revealed. Are the five star wines that good? Is the Platter guide the vinous present to buy this Christmas? Harry Haddon finds out.
The time is almost upon us. This weekend Riebeek Kasteel will be bathed in fine wine. It’s the third edition of the Swartland Revolution. The wine festival put on by Swartland producers which has seen a massive sucess over the last two years.
I have made jokes about Spier in the past. It’s not hard. They have cheetahs and more tourists than you can shake a stick at. The jokes have never been that fair. So I thought I should visit again, to recalibrate my idea of Spier.
I have mentioned in one or more of these columns that I am not exactly a fan of wine competitions. In this column I report back on the challenges I faced when helping judge in a recent local competition.
Every now and then I get sent some wine. I never tire of this. Even if the wine is insipid, badly labeled, and I have to get my panga out of storage to hack through the multi-layered coating of bubble wrap I am happy. I love free shit. I don’t care that I will probably chuck it away soon after opening; it’s the pure and simple joy of opening something that you know you didn’t pay for but is yours. This feeling lasts but a fleeting moment, but oh, it is sweet.
Is South African Chenin any good? According to two international writers it is, and it isn’t. Frustratingly for local producers, mixed messages are being sent out. Locally we have been all “Yeah SA Chenin is the dog’s bollocks!” and then given a full-on smack-down by international writers: “Steady on there Saffas, your wines are definitely [...]
The joy of being a 2oceansviber is you have embraced the 2oceansvibe brands and you understand your life is better because of it. Because we refuse to compromise – and neither should you! That is why we support our partners at all costs. And so we ask you, the 2oceansvibers, to get behind our wine [...]
I have done two of these posts in the past and I thought I would do another. I made this decision for two reasons. The first is because they are simply fun to write, and secondly because I enjoy poking fun at the hoighty-toighty world of wine, where food and wine pairings are touted as [...]
It’s a big, rich wine and it’s a bargain. I prefer the latter to the former, but it’s such a deal I thought it worth writing about. Everybody loves a good bargain. That’s the appeal of flea-markets and second-hand shops. I recently found awesome steam-punk styled salt ‘n pepper grinders for R100. The joy of [...]
Two wines delivered to me recently seem to show the two sides of South African wine at the moment sits. At least on the supermarket shelf side of things. The one showed progression, innovation (sort of), deliciousness and consideration; the other was a lesson in the typical, the normal and the unsurprising.
Everything must go digital. That’s what it feels like anyway. I reckon if the Luddites were around today they’d probably have blogs. I have had two digital vinous experiences over the last week or so that I thought were pretty interesting. The ubiquitous “digital”. You want to go on a trip? Blog about it. Hey [...]
It’s time for another wine trip. This week I am taking you out on the N2 over Sir Lowry’s Pass and town into the lush, green, pastoral valley of Botrivier. This region usually gets bunched in with Walker Bay and Elgin. But, I believe, it deserves it’s own column and trip.
This week I answer a reader’s question: In a crowded wine market such as SA, is there still space for any new entrants? And if so, how should you approach things to ensure you aren’t destined for the scrapheap of failure?
2oceansvibe Radio recently launched our Melrose Arch Studio to much fanfare in Johannesburg. The launch of the studio was our way of answering the desperate cries of our many thousands of Johannesburg listeners who, since being liberated from Morkels ads, “hump days” and “no repeat workday” radio were craving a stronger taste of the Vibe. [...]
I am sure I have mentioned most of these tips in the past, but there is little harm in reminding you of some solid wine-truths. One thing I promise, if you follow any of these tips, your enjoyment of wine will increase. And, hell, isn’t that what life is all about, drinking wine?
We love to forget to learn from the past. Learning from history has never been a strength of human beings. Even though we are continually reminded of our historical forgetfulness, generation after generation thinks it knows better. We repeat ourselves over time, asking the same questions and making the same mistakes; ignoring our artists and poets who have been obsessing over this phenomenon since the first falcon lost its hearing, and the gyre started getting fat.
Instead of ripping into these competitions again, I thought I would try to find a few ways that they can be of use to you. Let’s see if I can find a couple of ways to make these seemingly silly, almost pointless competitions useful.
This is the first in what I hope to be a fairly regular column that offers you a guide to a day or two out in the wine lands. I, your strong livered, hard-of-constitution wine reporter will plan a weekend trip for you; giving all the directions, the best places to eat and sleep, and, of course, the best wine farms to stop at. I thought I would start with the Swartland.
It’s that time of year again when the De Grendel estate takes part in the fourth annual Soup, Sip and Bread Festival in the Durbanville Wine Valley. Winemakers and chefs from the valley will pair soups, stews and wines that will introduce some wonderful winter combinations. It’s all happening over the weekend of 2 and [...]
This is going to be one of those columns that is more useful if you get involved. That’s why I’m telling you now, right at the start, that it would be fantastic, absolutely bloody marvelous in fact, as wonderful as a ham sandwich and a cup of tea on a bright spring day, if you add your two cents once you have finished reading. I’ll try to keep it short, so you have more time to type your comments. This column is about tasting notes.