Sustainable fish lovers may see red in the Algarve for the concept of a red, yellow and green list of permissable pescatores is foreign to the fun loving hairy hedonists of southern Portugal. So what really is the point of SA fish lovers eating sustainably when at the top end of the Atlantic, Russian oligarchs and their child brides tuck into species redder than their sunburn, you may well ask?
Off to Auslese in Gardens this afternoon for the TVM Wines trade tasting and a typical Cape Town experience. At first I thought it was Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards with dyslexia, but it turned out to be Tracy van Maaren, which was even better as the wines were wonderful. Although there was a sting in the tale when the car of gorgeous Kalinka Lombard, of WineStyle fame, parked opposite Auslese, was broken into and her brand new lap top was stolen. The attending car flies then tried to rush her for a phone card to get the computer back. Quite how anyone can run a restaurant in a crime hotspot i.e. central Cape Town, defeats me. Lucky it didn’t happen at Helen Zille’s SA Wine Index gig yesterday. Or does the Premier have better security than rate payers like Harald Bresselschmidt? For Helen, security is so tight, you have to email them your ID a week before the function!
A “curator’s immersion workshop” sounds ominously like a CIA-style debriefing involving waterboarding. So when I was invited to my first last week in the Fugard Annex (which sounds like a particularly tender part of my anatomy), I was relieved to have a defensible out, curating wine for Spar supermarkets in Stellenbosch. But with hindsight and a briefing PowerPoint, was sorry to have missed it, this being the first task as a newly minted curator for the World Design Capital 2014 jol which sees Cape Town, centre stage of global design for a year.
The opening of Luan Nel’s latest exhibition Twitter at the Everard Read Gallery in Cape Town last night was a big fat success and the wines served (Lemoenfontein Pinotage 2010 and Astronaut Chenin Blanc 2011, both terroir treffers from the Siebritskloof of the Paardeberg) were well received. Who says Swartland wines or fine art need to have sky-high prices? The wines were all under R50 a bottle and the small works (below) R6K.
So much for the season. Kyoto Garden, finest sushi restaurant in Cape Town by ten knots, next door to the Power and the Gory pub on Kloofnek, remained closed from November to January. Proprietor Scott Wood (below, right) had gone home to Los Angeles and then took a holiday in Japan but never made it to Hokkaido as the temperature was twenty C below in January. But he did pick up some fine wooden, almost tweezer like, hashi (Japanese chopsticks, otemoto) “which fit the new décor.”
The weekend after next is the busiest one on Cape Town’s dance card. Parliament opens and the Mining Indaba closes and to top it all, ten days of festivities to mark the Chinese New Year, kicks off. The dragons of 2012 are being chased back up Table Mountain and the water snake of 2013 will be welcomed at the Sea Palace outside the Waterfront where Miss Chung expects to feed 5,000 over 10 days.
MasterchefSA hard-man Pete Goffe-Wood (below with Ross Douglas) summed up Food|Wine|Design last night with a typical pithy comment. “There’s nothing like it in Cape Town. It’s better than any Cape Town show.” Setting up a delicious irony on the eve of the Eat Out Awards in the Muther City tonight.
Now that national airline SAA (which costs SA taxpayers billions to keep aloft) has abandoned Cape Town, the DA-hub, its left to KLM to provide daily direct flights from Amsterdam. The clock has been turned back 360 years to the days when the VOC, forerunners to KLM, sent Flying Dutchmen to the Cape. Heck, the airline has even taken ownership of the phrase Flying Dutchman.
Chile, the most effective wine competitor to SA, has stolen a march on the SA industry in economy class with the only wines available a Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and a Cabernet/Merlot 2011 from Terra Andina, shown below near the end of yesterday’s chock-a-block flight from Schiphol.