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.
Up until yesterday, car makers used to be a bunch of greasy, oil-stained, mechanically minded individuals. Naff things like pencils were a bit of a poke, which in turn created a market for design geniuses and those with suspiciously thin-rimmed spectacles. Design work was, and is, still left to people like Sergio Pininfarina.
[Image Source: Sports Illustrated] 2oceansvibe’s bi-weekly sports columnist, Sean Wilson, covers Lion’s coach, John Mitchell’s recent suspension, and asks: are the Lions a bunch of fancy gentlemen with a low capacity for criticism? You know you’ve had a bad season when the coach has been suspended for abusing the players and the public immediately assume that [...]
2oceansvibe’s bi-weekly sports columnist, Sean Wilson, gives us the low-down on last weekend’s disappointing international rugby test against England, considers Morne du Plessis kissing one’s sister, gives a heads up to the fickle Port Elizabeth crowd, and fires off a warning to Pat Lambie’s hair stylist. 1. Sometimes Morne du Plessis’s quote about sisters doesn’t cut [...]
2oceansvibe’s bi-weekly sports columnist, Sean Wilson, puts his judgment hands together and asks just how many chances Wynand Olivier deserves to prove himself at the top level of professional rugby, when Francois Steyn’s statistics – and hair – trump Wynand at every turn. No-one can divide rugby opinion in South Africa quite like Wynand Olivier can. It [...]
2oceansvibe’s bi-weekly sports columnist, Sean Wilson, gives us the low-down on last weekend’s international rugby test against England, considers a new broadcasting model for SuperSport, and hopes against hope that Frans Steyn’s wedding gets the coverage it deserves in Huisgenoot. 1. Heyneke Meyer really gets into the national anthem We noticed it in the first test, but [...]
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?
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.
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.
Lately I’ve been drifting toward the cheaper end of the wine spectrum as the belt has unwillingly been drawn in these tough economic times. So this column’s for stretched budgets, treats, great bottles, and benchmarks. International wines that I have tasted in the last year or so that stuck in my head, that I woke up the next morning still thinking about.
Making predictions is a fools game, but I feel as though I can see a corner in the distance. It’s a corner that local wine producers are turning, or at least preparing to turn. The big, overworked and oaked wines are on their way out. We present a few wines that demonstrate this turning point, and most importantly, you can afford them.
I recently attended a vertical tasting of Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noirs, with a couple international examples thrown in. It got me thinking about Pinot Noir, and then about language, and then whether it is just better to get drunk. I decided it actually is better to think, so here are my thoughts.
While T.G.I.F. garners praise from all corners of the working world, many of us lack the sort of hard-nosed attitude toward the beginning of the work week that would increase our chances of making it past Wednesday in one piece. To that end, we present our latest satirical column, O.F.I.M. (Oh, [Insert Appropriate Eff Word [...]
Do you ever get frustrated tasting the same wines over and over again? Even if the labels are different, what’s inside never really changes all that much. I can understand this frustration, it happens to me every now and again. Wine is about difference, it’s about different areas, different varieties, different winemakers; at its core wine is about exploration. Wait, that’s not true, at its core wine is fermented grape juice, but you know what I mean. So to aid you in refreshing your palate, this will be the first of two posts listing young winemaker/winemaking teams making exciting personality filled wines from around the country.
Wine is drunk a lot. But what else can we do with the contents of Bachus’s juice bottle? Does wine have to be confined to the glass and stew? Does wine have a life outside sipping and slurping? Surely this most miraculous of beverages has other uses. It does friends, it does. And these uses have got me out of a few scrapes in my lifetime let me tell you about a few.
For the last column or two I have been rather negative, telling you not to drink this, and what not to do. It weighs on a man’s soul to be so negative so often. Today I am going to tell you about a few things that are awesome in the world of wine, things that I am happy to recommend – ideas and wines that will hopefully make your week.
It’s getting to that time when people are saying, “enough with the coffee pinotage already.” I don’t mean they are tired of drinking the stuff, rather that they are fed-up with my rants and raves on the subject. “We get it,” I hear them crying, “you don’t like the stuff. Move on.” I have tried, dear readers, I have tried so hard to seal my lips on the subject. I have tried to make the blasphemy a blasphemy itself. I have kept mum. I have kept it inside. That is, until I came across this: Coffee Pinotage, with bubbles.
Cape Town is one beautiful-ass city. The mountain, the beaches, the women, the wines, the song. Come on. But living in the city can, without you even knowing, start to ever so slowly drag you down. The constant noise, the sirens, the lack of stars, the complete lack of silence. So as your attorney, I advise you to head out to the country for a few nights. All right, I’m not Benicio Del Toro, but it’s the best advice you’ll get this year. Not only that, I am going to tell you how to take that advice, go all in, and take the pot, because there is one place you need to go for your bush getaway, and that’s Kagga-Kamma.
Wine tastings. To state the bleeding amputated and mangled obvious, wine tastings are generally the best places to learn about wine if you don’t have an overflowing bank account, or an incredibly well stocked cellar. I can’t recommend going to tastings strongly enough if you are keen to broaden your vinous horizons. That being said, I thought I would give you a little guide of what not to do when you are there. For the most part, the parameters extend to everyday life, and can be summed up neatly as “don’t be a douche”.
The rough and ready salt-of-the earth winemakers of South Africa have been known to, at times, give me kak for being a soft handed, soutie poofta who spends all his time drinking, and none of it working. And despite the fact that they are not entirely incorrect with this assessment, I readily took Adi Badenhorst (possibly the saltiest and earthiest of the lot) up on an offer to stay on his farm for a few days during the harvest, and help out.
Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who leaked thousands of classified military documents, images and videos to Wikileaks has allegedly been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Is he the most controversial candidate, and who else made the cut?
The CW network in the States has released a much anticipated nugget of casting news related to their hotly-awaited prequel series to HBO’s smash hit, Sex and the City. Ladies and… er, some gentlemen, meet young Carrie Bradshaw!
When I first moved to Cape Town and thought about Constantia, my mind was filled with images of botoxed ladies who lunch, old money and a nest of well to-dos in a leafy green valley. I was aware of the historic importance of the valley, but details were scant. Today botoxed ladies who lunch still wonder about in my imagined view of the valley, but they are all sipping on excellent Sauvignon Blancs. Don’t miss the competition at the end of this column!
A reader sent in this clipping a week ago, and with a glint in his eye questioned whether wine “experts” are as useful as snake-oil salesmen. The man has a point. When people start advising on matters that largely concern taste, you need to be extra careful for bullshitters. Not as careful as for a bullshitting anesthesiologist I’ll admit – a blagging doctor can kill you. But be careful, because there will be more half-arsed winos than there will be doctors.