Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Passion on the Vine – a review

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

When one looks at a vineyard – you’re not looking at it in the same way as you would look at an orange orchard. Instead one sees a multitude of experiences past and of moments yet to come – moments of intimacy, memorable occasions, conversations and treasured friendships. Since time immemorial, vineyards have not only been the touchstone of certain regions, but have often been the lifeblood of local communities and the cornerstone of entire generations of families. Every vineyard contains a family, a , a and a . This was at least, the sentiment I had before embarking on a mission to City, where I would promote and sell ’s connected to my family in some ways, and more importantly – from my country. During that time – having spent much time in for the mission, I left with those stories and sentiments of culture and family fresh in my blood. But with every -call and I began to feel further and further from the vineyard. Soon it was laid in cost, case-discounts and what kind of Point of Sale material was on offer. I travelled the country in a rental car with a case of , a corskrew and a -point presentation along the way having people from Westchester Wine Warehouse cruelly spit wine on my shoe after having left me waiting for an hour, sitting in cold-rooms of cellars in Maryland, helping do stock-takes in Ohio, presenting to Wholefoods buyers in North Carolina and pushing on-premise retail in : and with every step I became a bit more confused and lost the focus of what I was doing. Having believed that wine was so important to my country and stepping into the States to tell the story of South African wine, it was very dispiriting to suddenly be faced with the fact that no one really cared so long as they could make a profit.

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Wine Proof Pants

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

On a recent to the Benicassim Festival in Spain, I purchased a pair of quick-dry camping pants from Titanium for the trip. Walking to outside the festival grounds and sitting on our back-packs whilst waiting for the campsite to open, we took the opportunity to crack a bottle of we’d got on RENFE (a quick note on RENFE – if you’re on the site and can’t select English you need to select the drop-down labelled Seleccione su Idioma to make it so, which means you have to speak to get the site into English, go figure!)

Red is a perfect libation for festivals – primarily because it doesn’t need to be kept cold; it doesn’t lose its fizz and if you’re wine locally produced its dirt and super-good. Within minutes of popping the however I’d managed to spill the Rioja on my new pants and was questioning the merits of wine in a situation where a shower is hard to find… when suddenly, with a splash of from my water bottle – the wine was gone. Brilliant! Wine proof pants – what more could a young wine-lover at a festival wish for? I reckon the pants specifically as wine-proof and selling it at Bonnaroo could be a good gig.

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Posted in Culture, Events, Lifestyle, Music, Passion, Wine | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday America!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

For all of our readers in the United States, Friday is the Independence Day. For most, this means a day off of work 🙂 and an opportunity to relax, get some sun, , bbq, grill up some Brats (NOTE: do NOT poke a hole in them while you’re grilling), and beer, Red Zinfandel and while we get ready for the evenings fireworks.  When the fireworks finally arrive, we’ll most likely be with family and contributing to the choir of fireworks with our ooh’s and ahhh’s.

If you are in the mood for traveling, or nearby, you should probably set your sites on one of these cities, as they we’re recently ranked The Top 10 Places to Celebrate July 4th:

1. Boston
2. Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard
3. Chicago
4. Mount Rushmore
5. Philadelphia
6. Queen Mary 2
7. San Diego
8. San Juan Islands
9. US Virgin Islands
10. Washington, DC

Enjoy a safe 4th of July and Happy Birthday America!

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Caveau Wine Bar, Heritage Square, Cape Town

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Caveau Wine Bar Caveau is a good escape from Long Street’s chiaroscuro of either uber-pretentious or super-scummy dives… I swear I will never set foot in Miam Miam again but Marvel also grows a little old once you tire of becoming a human bolus being masticated against the gyrating bodies of every tourist and pick-pocket in Cape Town.

Caveau is a breath of fresh air for the city centre, with an urban-rustic feel to it, combining class and elegance with a laid back . The design, lay out and mood leave you feeling like you’ve stepped out of and discovered a more modern Franschoek. On the three occasions I’ve been there I’ve shared a bottle of their 2004 Spice Route Mourvedre. Accustomed to the Cape’s usual Noble varietals it’s amazing to see how well other cultivars benefit from the Cape’s rich soils. This is a nice big red that has a faint bloody-Maryesque note on the nose. It’s great to see how this has done – bring on Tempranillo!

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Posted in Restaurant Review, Travel, Wine Review | No Comments »

Adventures in Champagne and Burgundy

Monday, May 19th, 2008

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I recently traveled to Reims, and to Dijon and Beaune in Burgundy. Reims and Epernay are the two big cities in that attract tourists. Reims was an enjoyable city to walk the streets with cafes lining pedestrian only walkways and a glass of in hand. The cellars were informative but you certainly don’t have to continue from one house to another, you will be receiving the same information at all. For most houses you need an appointment, which gave me the feeling of not being welcomed. should not just be for a certain group of people that can fit the schedule. We were able though to get an appointment at Pommery and then we continued to Taittinger where there were no appointments necessary.The two tours if combined would have been spectacular, but where one lacked the other lacked information. After the tour you are given a glass of Champagne, well actually you paid for it with admission. Most houses are 10 euros, so put a few tours together in one day that will tell you the same information, then you have just wasted a lot of money. Instead I would recommend going to one house and then heading over to a café and popping a bottle and just enjoy your surroundings.

The next stop on the was Dijon in Burgundy…
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Posted in Lifestyle, Travel, Wine | 3 Comments »

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