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Aug
05

Popping Bottles & Cathy’s Top 5 of the Year

© Cape Times Thursday 31st December 2015 Were you at the Nederburg Auction this year? If so, you’d have heard the brilliant UK wine journalist Robert Joseph talking about how to sell more wine. One idea which I particularly remember, mostly because it was so simple, was to put your wine in a box. He was talking about sales of wine at duty-free shop...
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Aug
05

Fruitful families

© Cape Times Friday 13th November 2015 I’ve been thinking a lot about friends and family these past weeks, partly from personal circumstances, but also because a couple of recent events have reinforced the importance of both within the SA wine industry. This industry (like every other industry) is all about money – we all know that – dictating what...
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Aug
05

Celebrating bubbles

© Cape Times Friday 30th October 2015 I’ve had a very bubbly last few weeks.The Amorim MCC Challenge results came out (congrats to all winners), the Nederburg Auction served one of my favourite fizzes, Scintilla, non-stop to very thirsty guests, Avondale’s Armilla won a major international award and two icons of the SA world of bubbles celebrated S...
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Aug
05

Restaurant Mosaic announces the winner of its Sommelier Protege Bursary Programme

Veronica Nomphelo Plaatjies, who will also be representing Team SA in France next month is the winner of the three year Restaurant Mosaic Sommelier Protégé Bursary and was selected from a search held nationwide in conjunction with the South African Wine Tasting Championships (SAWTC). The Restaurant Mosaic Sommelier Protégé Program annually offers a...
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Aug
05

South Africa on the world stage

© Cape Times Friday 11th September 2015 Next week sees the start of the biggest event in the South African wine industry since 2012. Cape Wine 2015 is an open invitation to the world’s wine buyers, critics, tasters, media and more to come and experience the very finest the country can offer. It’s the second such event and it is fair to say that the...
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Aug
05

Schoolyard, vineyard

© Cape Times Friday 17th July 2015 “In a cottage ‘neath the mountain was the seed of Wynberg sown.” This is the school song of Wynberg Boys High, one of the oldest boys’ schools in the Western Cape, which is celebrating its 175th birthday next year. The metaphor develops further and is clearly about nurturing young minds and growing fine, upstandin...
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Aug
05

Wines worth the wait

© Cape Times Friday 26th June 2015 According to all the stats, the majority of wines are drunk within a few hours of purchase, most people barely having time to chill them down before knocking them back. It’s all a part of our ‘instant gratification’ generation – ain’t nobody got time for laying down wines for 20 years, we want to drink them now! W...
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Aug
05

10 Things you can learn with Vertical Tasting

© Cape Times Friday 15th May 2015 Firstly – what’s a ‘vertical tasting’? Nope – not one conducted standing up (nor is a horizontal tasting one where you end up measuring your length on the floor. Although that happens. From time to time.), it’s where you taste a series of different vintages of the same wine, all lined up alongside each other to loo...
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Aug
05

Malbec Musings

© Cape Times Friday 17th April 2015 Recently, I’ve been musing on Malbec, one of the ‘also-ran’ grapes in a red Bordeaux blend. Yes, I said red Bordeaux and I bet a few of you thought that that stopped at Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot didn’t you? Actually, there are six black grape varieties permitted in Bordeaux with Malbec, Petit Verdot and Caber...
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Aug
05

Attention grabbers

© Cape Times Friday 20th March 2015 As our retail shelves become busier and busier with more choices of wines, labels, closures and brands cropping up every day, you really need a USP or Unique Selling Point to stand out. Sometimes it’s consistency and quality over a number of years, sometimes it’s a name calculated to make you stop and look (I tas...
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Aug
05

Cheers for a good cause

© Cape Times Friday 13th February 2015 What’s on your wine wish list? I’ve just been seeing some Facebook friends winning a single bottle of 1965 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, autographed by the owner, and if that doesn’t mean much to you then perhaps you’ll be more impressed when I tell you it’s worth £9,500 so not your everyday braai-wine! I don’t...
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Aug
05

Restless, in need of change

Hartenburg Riesling© Cape Times Friday 16th January 2015I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit Chardonnay-ed out at the moment. Also, a bit over-Chenin-ed and even a teensy bit sick of Sauvvies as well. Not that I don’t want to drink wine – can’t ever see that happening if truth be told – but I’m just feeling a bit restless and in need of a ...
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Aug
05

Best of the bubblies

© Cape Times Wednesday 24th December 2014 There is such a variation of different bubblies available on the shelves at the moment. Different styles, prices, grapes used, amount of time spent on lees, no time on lees whatsoever, sugar levels etc etc – so many options that it is getting very confusing for consumers to work out the differences. So wher...
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Aug
05

Family Christmas with Nederburg

Family Christmas with Nederburg The Boney M is blaring out in malls, the holly and the ivy are festooned in every shop window and all I can think about is Christmas. For most people, Christmas is a time for families and I’m certainly no exception, even though most of my family is approximately 11,000km away in the chilly UK. If they were here, they...
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Aug
05

Cider made from real fruit

Cluver and Jack Cider© Cape Times Friday 12th December 2014 How did you spend the last weekend in November? I was torn – literally – torn this year between what are traditionally two of my favourite events – the Franschhoek MCC & Champagne Festival and the Cape Town Festival of Beer. Holding them on the same days was cruel indeed, forcing me to...
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Aug
05

It’s a match

© Cape Times Friday 17th October 2014 Is food and wine matching a real art or a load of rubbish? It’s a fair question with every hotel and restaurant offering wine-matching dinners and events, every recipe site suggesting the best tipple to suit the food and every back label on every bottle giving droolicious ideas of exotic-sounding dishes which w...
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Aug
05

Awards do matter

© Cape Times Friday 19th September 2014 It seems to be competition season again and my inbox is reeling under the weight of yet another announcement of yet another gold medal/top trophy/five star rating from yet another competition of some kind or other around the world. Excuse me if I seem a bit cynical but with so many awards stickers on bottles ...
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Aug
05

Why praise women?

© Cape Times Friday 29th August 2014 Several years ago, I was a judge on a competition for South African women winemakers which, even at the time, I found a little confusing because I can’t really see that a wine made by a woman is going to be any better or worse than one made by a man. The theory behind the competition was that the wine industry l...
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Aug
05

Celebrating a landmark

© Cape Times Friday 13th June 2014 2014 is definitely the Year of Anniversaries. Of course the most important one is the celebrations of Twenty Years of Freedom, remembering the 1994 elections which signalled a new era of hope and excitement for many. So it’s probably no coincidence that a lot of businesses date their inception back to the same dat...
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Aug
05

When is a dry wine not a dry wine?

© Cape Times Friday 16th May 2014 South Africa has one of the most regulated wine industries in the world – which is great for consumers because it means that we can enjoy the wines we drink, safe in the knowledge that they contain only what the label says they contain and that their provenance is minutely-recorded at every stage. If you want to kn...
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