Wine Critics Blow Hot Air on Sustainability Issues

It didn’t take long for a bit of guilt-laden virtue-signalling to get a hold of certain sectors of the wine writing community. With climate change the overriding force in the determination of how we should conduct ourselves in the world – quite rightly so, I might add – certain wine commentators feel it their duty to vocally announce the new awe-inspiring role they are playing in the battle against elements perceived to be destroying the ecology of Planet Earth.

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Debunking the Myth of the Cape’s Sherry Origins

With my sherry consumption taking its annual steep upward-curve during the Season of Goodwill, I was reminded of the quaint story outlining the manner in which sherry-making began in South Africa. It involves a thing called flor and a handkerchief. And a Cape wine legend by the name of Charlie Niehaus, a brilliant oenologist known for his scientific approach to wine-making and the guy who also made Roodeberg for the KWV.

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Bonnievale’s New Wines Show Big can be Best

In the co-operative wine cellar we trust. Or should trust. Co-operatives are the heartbeat of the South Africa wine industry, some would say the unsung heroes. They produce large volumes of wine, most are situated in locations deemed untrendy by commentators on matters vinous and do not have the sex appeal of single estates or irreverent fashionable brand of hot, hip and happening kind.

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Eating Talk: Chapmans Peak Hotel and Squid

A visit to a seaside hotel to devour dead squid is a holistic experience affecting diverse senses of the physical and spiritual kind. Especially if said hotel is the famous Chapmans Peak one at the end of Hout Bay, a congenial building offering an atmosphere that is both cosy and airy. As well as having a tremendous view over the blue bay onto that vast tilted rock that looks like an Afro-Centric and bulkier version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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For South African Vineyards, it’s in with the Old

The wine industry tends to change trends and fashions about as regularly as a teenager revamps its Instagram profile, but this one isn’t going anywhere. It’s the one about the South African winelands’ old vine project, conserving decades-old vineyards sunk into the country’s ancient soils, often in far-flung places up on the West Coast and the Citrusdal Mountains. The story is of the vines and their evocative regional identity complemented by the intriguing profiles of the wines made from them; wines bottled and crafted by red-blooded South Africans wanting to express the land, its old vineyards and the provenance of the country’s vinous legacy in a bottle. And to pour it for the world with a straight backbone, rigid with pride.

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First Certified Wines in Cans Roll into South Africa

Good content like this takes time and effort to create. But it is our pleasure, plus all the freebies and nice people we get to meet make up for it. Cheers!

Wine in a can is not a new thing, as anyone growing-up in Earl’s Court in the 1970’s can attest to – two-pint cans of rough Australian wine was all the rage, and you still had to puncture the pouring holes in yourself with one of those ubiquitous beer openers. Pull-open cans with tabs had yet to be invented, despite Mankind already having made it to the moon.

The trend did not last. Poor quality tin made the wine taste like sweaty pennies after a few months in tin. A lack of science in the wine-making process saw the stuff canned overly sulphured and as unstable as ’70s rock-groupie on bad acid.

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Competitions and Ratings: A Winemaker’s Thoughts

With more wine competitions taking place than ever, opinions on the merits and value of these awards events have never been as divided. Danielle le Roux (photo) from the Institute of Cape Wine Masters and a winemaker with 20 years’ experience says that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Just when I think the debates surrounding wine awards, scores and competitions are reaching saturation point, the hyperbole intensifies. Especially in this era of constant digital communication on wine – which is mostly a positive – the talk on the nature and relevance of ratings and wine judging is more frenetic than ever.

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