Saturday, December 19, 2015



Food writer Sarah Graham’s Food Safari is currently flighting on M-NET on Sundays from18:00 to 19:00. Here the well-known foodie personality showcases interesting recipes that take inspiration from local hotspots across the continent.  South African wine favourite Drostdy-Hof has accompanied her on her journey.

It's not hard to understand what makes Sarah so popular.  Her recipes are straight-forward but produce spectacular results, like this simple but super-tasty chorizo and lemon chicken with cauliflower mash that she has partnered with Drostdy-Hof’s Claret Select.

This easy-drinking red blend offers a rich bouquet of complex berry flavours that suit the heartiness of the chicken and chorizo.

Chorizo and lemon chicken with cauliflower mash
Serves 4 | Preparation time 10 minutes | Cooking time 1 hour


For the chicken
8 chicken thighs, with skin
1 tsp thyme, dried
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
3 medium-sized red onions, cut roughly into sixths
200g chorizo, roughly chopped
1 lemon, halved
200ml Drostdy-Hof 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving

For the cauliflower mash
1 medium head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


·         Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and thyme.
·         Heat an oven-proof pot on the stove, add the olive oil and butter and brown the chicken for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
·         Add the onions to the pot, fry for approximately 3 minutes while stirring often. Then add the chorizo and lemon halves and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
·         Remove the pot from the stove and put the chicken back in the pot with the onion and chorizo. Pour in the Drostdy-Hof Sauvignon Blanc, put the lid on the pot and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
·         While the chicken is cooking, prepare the cauliflower. Boil the cauliflower in a separate pot until tender. Remove from the pot and drain well. Add the olive oil and butter and purée using a stick blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
·         To serve, dish up a generous helping of cauliflower mash, top with the chicken and chorizo and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Finally, enjoy a glass of the Claret Select with this hearty meal.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

TSW Elim Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Trizanne Signature Wines is owned and made by Trizanne Barnard, one of South Africa's most dynamic woman winemaker.

I re-discovered the Elim Sauvignon Blanc and Swartland Syrah, following a tasting in Jenda Food & Wine, in Montecasino presented by David Clarke of Ex Animo Wines.

TSW Sauvignon is typical of the Elim ward, peppery profile with subtle grassy and passion fruit note, dusty, sandy note with substantial fruit concentration on texture considering the lightness of 2014  vintage Sauvignon, it seems the wine only getting into its stride when tasted in September, probably drinking better now and up to 2018+

MC 90 Points or 4 Star



Nederburg is accelerating its support for professional cycling, confirming a three-year sponsorship agreement as the exclusive premium wine partner of Team Dimension Data, beginning in January.

Earlier this year, the African team debuted in the Tour de France and took fifth place overall in the team classification. At the time, Nederburg extended its support to the team via renowned South African chef David Higgs, who was brought on board to take care of the squad's daily nutrition.

"David is an avid cyclist and wine enthusiast, who demonstrated that our products can be part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It was as a result of our successful collaboration with him that we took the decision to step up Nederburg's involvement with pro cycling," said Dè-Mari Kellerman, Nederburg's global general manager.

Now, having been granted its World Tour licence for the 2016 season by the International Cycling Union (UCI), the team will make its first appearance in the Santos Down Under race in Australia in January.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, the name under which the squad will compete from 2016, will not only represent Africa in the Tour de France and 150 days of competitive cycling, but will also be riding for a cause, raising funds and awareness for the non-profit Qhubeka, World Bicycle Relief's programme in South Africa. The organisation mobilises for socio-economic progress by distributing bicycles to needy South Africans in exchange for work to improve the environment, community or academic results.  In this way lives are changed, increasing the distance and speed at which beneficiaries can travel.

To date, Qhubeka has distributed bikes to around 60 000 people in South Africa. In return for  work done by the specific beneficiaries to develop communities.  In 2015, the team through its #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, was able to raise funds for 5 000 bicycles. The majority of these were distributed to school children this year, with the balance to be distributed in 2016. Funding for some bicycles was raised during a Make It Count 24-hour ride-a-thon in late November.

Cycling has become one of the fastest-growing sports and attracts huge audiences through multiple viewing channels, reaching millions. In the UK alone, cycling attracts the biggest live attendance of any sport.

Douglas Ryder, team principal, said: "I am really excited to welcome Nederburg as a team partner to Team Dimension Data in the coming years. Its involvement in our team this year at the Tour de France was incredibly impactful and valuable. To have the support of South Africa’s most awarded wine brand is so fitting for South Africa’s first ever-registered World Tour team in cycling.  We look forward to celebrating many successes together with our partners, fans, media and event organisers."

To amplify the brand's involvement with cycling, Kellerman said Nederburg would be running a range of consumer activations globally to reflect the busy schedule of the cycle team.

Kellerman added: "By partnering with pro cycling, we hope to ignite the curiosity of wine lovers and biking enthusiasts, inviting them to experience the best of both worlds."

Nederburg is South Africa's most awarded wine brand and distributed in 70 countries worldwide.  The brand will soon unveil a new, curiosity-themed communications campaign as part of its new positioning that also includes revitalised packaging.

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for the latest news, events and wine and food pairing ideas. 

Join the conversation using: #NederburgDiscover #BicyclesChangeLives

Fans can register at to donate.

Shiraz vines cuttings

In August 2014 whilst staying at the Grande Roche hotel in Paarl, judging the wine selections for South African Airways, one afternoon after the tasting I went for a run in the vineyards above my room adjacent to the conference center and there I found freshly prunes Shiraz / Syrah on the ground.

I gather enough cuttings which I brought back to Johannesburg, 46 in total and prepare them for planting last spring, by dipping the tip in rooting hormone as shown in the picture.
I was curious to see if any will root.

A year later, 7 survived the dry and cold Gauteng winter, budding late september and are growing well, will have a separate post on their progress.

Since it is well documented that phylloxera does not live at altitude of over a 1000's above sea level, Joburg averages 1300 ASL, will be interesting to see the fruit in 2018!

More to follow, who knows?

Christina van Loveren Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Christina van Loveren is the flagship / reserve range from  Van Loveren in Robertson.
Produced in limited quantities from fruits grown in the valley as well as sourced from prime vineyards.

This Western Cape Sauvignon Blanc is a prime example of multi regions blends, their best to date (2011 was 88+ MC Points).

An overt, powerful and fragrant style bursting with green guava, greengage, spicy lemon and grassy, green pepper note, a consumer favorite style and by far the best seller on wine lists, versus tropical style Sauvignon, which are pretty much travestite in profile!

Bracing freshness,peppery spices, fruit follows through in a juicy green lime juice and touch of salt, this is their best effort to date, seek it out.

Drink now until 2019+

MC 90 Points or 4 Star

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rijk's Touch of Oak Coastal Region Chenin Blanc 2014

Rijk's is one of South Africa's best Chenin Blanc producer, having consistent produced four excellent versions, namely their value for money Touch of Oak, Private Cellar, Reserve and the occasional  and world class Cape Wine Makers Guild, all four have their merits to be for their price points amongst the finest expression of Chenin Blanc in the world.

Touch of Oak 2014 is the finest to date, it shows the fine tuning and spinal precision started with the 2010 vintage, with salivating bright freshness, almost salty tang, delicately ripe apples, citrus and burst of green lime, racy, with lots of energy.

Lively texture with delicate concentration of fruit, subtle touch of spicy oak, chiselled freshness, moreish.

It is available by the glass at The Palazzo hotel in Montecasino.

Now until 2019+

MC 91 Points  or 4 Stars

Stellenrust Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Alcohol: high| 14 %abv

Origin: Stellenbosch

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: sugar beans soup and pan fried chicken livers and gizzard in soya sauce

Drink: now until 2017

MC 83 Points or 3.4 Star

Porcupine Ridge Coastal Region Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Porcupine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon is produced by Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek from widely sourced grapes, hence the Coastal Region Wine of Origin!

This 2014 is ripe with subtle characteristic of Cabernet, it is more red fruit driven than cassis or blackcurrant, juicy, medium bodied masking it's 14% abv very well.

On the lighter side compared to previous vintages, could do with more concentration and Cabernet grip!

Around R 49 retail.

Drink now until 2016+

MC  - 80 Points or 3 Star