The Cape Town suburb of Newlands should be renamed Slanghoek for the welcome it gave to the 250 snakes who turned out for the Cape to Canton Chinese new year festival this afternoon at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa. Here are some of the Chefs who steamed up a storm with spinach dim sums from Haiku firm favourites with snake charmer Jonathan Steyn.
The “sold out” signs are about to go up at Cape to Canton, the festival to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in Newlands from 4-8pm on Sunday. From exhibition matches by the SA Table Tennis Champion to Chinese elevator music, Kung Fu fights to lion dances, all bases are covered. Cape Town’s top Chinese chefs are pulling out all the stops: Haiku, South China Dim Sum Bar, Tao Yuan, Katima. You name it, they’ll be there.
Did WOSA put all its golden eggs in the Cape Wine balasmandjie? It certainly looks that way as the only SA winemaker seen at Megavino Brussels, the leading Belgian wine show, was big Danie Malan (below, with Christoph Merchiers) from Allesverloren (we lost it all). Today is the last day of the show.
“How often does the tail wag the brontosaurus?” asks wine impesario Michael Fridjhon in Business Day this morning. The brontosaurus (below) being the Nederburg brand and the tail the annual Nederburg Auction “where turnovers dropped significantly for reasons that aren’t at all difficult to discern. The sale has lost its sex appeal — which means it’s not attracting the stocks and buyers that would make a difference in a tough market.
A week later it became clear that the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) Auction has usurped much of that polish and gloss — and its turnovers (as well as the average prices paid for a smaller and seemingly more exclusive offering) reflect its current position on the podium.” The only problem with the comparison being the “punters” at each event are quite different.
Driving down to Inchanga yesterday to fetch two dozen Simon Stone paintings to photograph for a monograph Smac Gallery are planning on this master of colour, we passed the wrecks of two burnt out lorries and their containers. The nameless bureaucrats who destroyed the SA railways to such an extent that national roads are now tarmac railways with motor cars playing dodgem with these high speed goliaths, have a lot to answer for. Arriving in Cato Ridge, we received the sad news that Remgro CEO Thys Visser was killed in a head-on collision on the N1 outside Rawsonville; a Princess Diana moment. How is it possible that the CEO of one of SA’s largest industrial concerns is killed in a car or a Princess dies in a tunnel in Paris?
The news that Nederburg has made two special Masterchef wines for Woolies: an 90:10 red blend of Grenache and Carignan and a 60:40 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from the 2010 and 2011 vintages respectively, brings together two of the nicest guys in SA wine: Nederburg cellarmaster Razvan Macici and Woolies wine consultant Allan Mullins. Why did Nederburg do it? Getting four listings on Woolies facings for their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot might have had something to do with it.
Fascinating profile of Pierre Pringuet in the Independent today. This interview with the boss of the world’s #2 liquor company Pernod Ricard, is sure to be required reading at Aan-de-Wagenweg in Stellenbosch. For if this is not an invitation to Distell to elope, then nothing is.
Leanne Jones, bubbly marketing maven for Amarula, will need a holiday after three days in the Kruger Park at Jock Safari. A lodge I thought was named after the Jockey brand of undergarments until I found excerpts of Jock of the Bushveld on my pillow, in lieu of a mint. For what a trip chaperoning the winners of an Amarula competition, this was. While the creamy marula fruited liqueur has an image of laid-back luxury and African drums around a camp fire – sort of Survivor without the luvvies – what we got were outtakes from the Bourne Identity. We even had ranger Lyle Gregg, better looking than Matt Damon even, showing off one of the Small Five, below.Read More…
When will we see our first corporate Wine Ambassador, the face of a brand? Meerlust already has proprietor Hannes Myburgh and Rust en Vrede is blessed with Jean Engelbrecht. But what’s missing is the face of Two Oceans (someone with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on their CV) and Obikwa (the late Henry Cele who was such a great Shaka, would have been perfect) while that Farmer Brown chicken fancier would do great as the visage of Roodeberg. After all, ambassadors sell whisky, as the story below, rejected by a glossy lifestyle magazine in November, attempted to say. They’d commissioned a Q&A and wanted the formula neatly reproduced.
The annual Whisky Live Festival has more ambassadors than the United Nations. But then it is the largest whisky festival on the planet. Which may seem incredible, until you are told that South Africa is the 7th largest market for Scotch in the world by value, ahead of Germany and breathing down the neck of South Korea.
With more brands on bottle store facings from Scotland’s 100+ distilleries than member countries of the United Nations, it makes sense for producers to appoint ambassadors to market their product. Ewan Gunn has landed the job of every whisky wonk’s dream: brand ambassador for Diageo, the largest whisky producer of them all and the face of Johnnie Walker, the top-selling brand of blended whiskies.
WOSA attempts to defend the decision to ban the public from the last day of three day Cape Wine 2012 on their website. The claim is made that “we are not legally able to spend our money on marketing to local consumers” so how do they explain marketing and selling their controversial braii boek in SA? This is a fig leaf WOSA are draping over a stupid decision. It’s King Canute time in Dorp Street as WOSA ignores common sense.