Category: Focus/Fokus

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 …

Is green wine really wine?

Beyond the use of artificial colorings, can red and white grapes be made into wine of other colors? We live in a colorful world. No one knows this better than Saint Patrick’s Day revellers, ready to douce green food dye in everything and anything within arm’s reach. Green beer? Definitely! Green egg …

Mike Ratcliffe, MD of Warwick and Vilafonté Wine Estates, is one of the most innovative producers of wine in South Africa. He is deeply involved in many wine industry bodies, one of which is as a founder of the annual Cape Wine Auction which raises millions of rand for charity. We sat down with the …

A meal without wine ...

Ordering wine in a restaurant can be an intimidating and potentially embarrassing experience, akin to the fear of being chosen last for a pick-up cricket game or not being asked to dance at the varsity “sokkie”. An informative wine list will tell you the type of wine, the producer of the wine, where …