Category: Focus/Fokus

What is natural wine really?

If you’re even slightly into wine, you’ve probably heard about natural wine. Natural wine is the unfiltered, untamed, un-photoshopped version of what we know to be wine. In most cases, natural wine doesn’t look or taste like a typical wine. In fact, some natural wines taste more like a sour beer or …

The wine region that lurks in the shadows!

Back in the 80s Chateau Musar and its winemaker Gaston Hochar caused quite a stir in the UK. “I didn’t know Lebanon made wine”, was the usual reply. It couldn’t have been further from the truth for Lebanon’s ancient people were bottling and shipping wine as early as 3000 BC. Chateau Ksara has now jo …

Viognier in ’n klas van sy eie!

Viognier is ’n witdruifkultivar wat oorspronklik in die Rhônevallei in Frankryk die eerste lig gesien het. Vandag is dit redelik wyd verspreid in die vernaamste wynproduserende streke, insluitend Amerika, Nieu-Seeland, Australië en selfs Israel. Die wyn word meer dikwels as een van die boustene van …

An introduction to soil types and wine

Here are two very common questions when it comes to soil types and wine: Q:Do earthy flavors in wine come from the soil? Answer: No! Believe it or not, the taste of earthiness or “terroir” doesn’t come from directly from the soil. Currently, scientists point to microbes. Q:Do great wines only grow o …

Why you want to drink more Tannat!

Tannat, with its roots in Madiran (a tiny village in South West France), might just be the next Malbec. Why? Well, it has more gusto than Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat wines from up-and-coming Uruguay are surprisingly affordable! Here’s what you need to know. What does Tannat taste like? Tannat tas …

Dinamiet kom in klein pakkies, of so lui die gesegde, maar dis só gepas vir die jongste lid van die Nederberg-wynmaakspan, die 31-jarige Elmarie Botes. Sy voltooi tans haar eerste oes vir dié bekende Paarlse wynkelder, een van Suid-Afrika se mees bekroonde kelders.   “Ek het baie groot skoene o …

Seven wine faults and how to sniff them out!

Oxidized Wine … What it is: Contamination caused by too much oxygen exposure. You know when you leave a sliced apple out on the counter and it turns brown? It’s that same process but in your wine. Oxidization is the most common wine fault in older wines and is easy to replicate at home with any bott …

Grenache: The unlikely hero of a grape

Grenache (or garnacha) is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, where the grape most likely originated, and in South Africa. It is also grown on the Italian island of Sardinia, the south of …

Suid-Afrika se brandewyn maak al vir baie jare wêreldwyd opslae. Die gesaghebbende IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Competition) en die ISC (International Spirits Challenge) wys al vir meer as twee dekades omtrent elke keer ’n Suid-Afrikaanse brandewyn as die algehele wenner aan – die wêreld se …

Drink the ‘old vines’ of South Africa!

A chef recently challenged me to match a wine with Bakewell Tarts, one of England’s favourite cakes. These delicious sweeties have a jam-coated shortcake case filled with sponge, topped with almond flakes and icing. I luv ‘em. What’s more, Bakewell is a village in Derbyshire not far from my home cit …

Cool Climate Wines: What, Where?

The climate greatly affects what wines grow and how they taste. The term “cool climate” refers to wine regions which specialize in varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Cool Climate Wines Certain wine varieties will not fully ripen if grown in a cool climate. For example, you’ll …

South African wine styles

South Africa is blessed with a diverse range of wines and wine styles, which is great news for all true wine lovers who see wine as a wonderful journey of discovery, a gift from earth and heaven to be experienced, enjoyed and appreciated. Let’s look at South Africa’s various wine styles.   Blanc de …

The sparkling wine issue

A handful of key regions dominate the sparkling wine scene, and with good reason. Sparklers are often reserved for special occasions and so we shy away from the unknown. But the truth is that a great number of wine regions are making sparkling wines and many of them are worth the risk. Regardless of …