Thursday, January 31, 2013

One & Only Cape Town's Wining and Dining evenings are back!

Last year I attended one of these wining and dining evenings and they are a blast!
You get to meet new people, chat to the winemakers, eat scrumptious food carefully paired with gorgeous wines and all for a very reasonable price.

Here is the line-up for 2013:

27 February - Boschendal Wine Estate
27 March - Hamilton Russell Vineyards
24 April - Neil Ellis Wines
29 May - De Grendel Wines
26 June - Simonsig Wines
31 July - Kanonkop Wines
28 August - Bellingham Wines (The Bernard Series from Bellingham)
25 September - De Wetshof Wines
30 October - Ernie Els Wines
27 November - Haute Cabrière Wines

Head Sommelier, Luvo Ntezo and celebrity chef, Reuben Riffel, have worked with some of the top winemakers in the country during the past two years to present these fabulous Wine&Dine evenings - where the finest ingredients are transformed into culinary delights, and perfectly paired with the very best of South African wines. Joined this year by celebrity personality and MC, Aubrey Ngcungama, these evenings are guaranteed to be enjoyed by all. Here’s what guests can look forward to over the coming months.

Prices are R350 per person. (The dinner normally includes a glass of bubbly on arrival and about five courses paired with different wines)
To reserve your Wine&Dine table at Reuben’s One&Only Cape Town, call 021 431 4511 or mail to

Get your bookings in now!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Playing with Fondant Icing

I have been craving chocolate cake recently, and, as timing would have it, a friend gave me a packet of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free chocolate cake mix. I also recently bought fondant icing and was keen to play around with it. Having never used it before, I was amped to try my hand and making fondant roses. So here's how it went:

Fondand icing can be bought at some supermarkets, such as Checkers, and is available through as well. Bob's Red Mill gluten-free products are available from Dischem.

Hmmmmmm Delicious!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Palmiet Valley Wine estate - awesome for a weekend getaway

I came across a stunning wine and accommodation estate this past weekend just outside of Paarl.
The cottages date back to 1750 and the gables are some of the most impressive I have ever seen.
It's a good spot to stay if you want to explore the Paarl winelands as it is fairly central and easy to find. 

I was visiting the estate for a private function and got to try two of their wines, the Pinotage and the Syrah, which I instantly fell in love with and continued drinking the rest of the evening. The wines are exported only, so not available anywhere in SA, but are available for tasting if visiting and staying over on the estate. 

The cottages are surrounded by beautiful hydrangeas and walkways through gardens, making for a lovely romantic weekend getaway or family visit.

Tell: +27 (0)21 862 7741

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Free live music concerts at De Waal Park

This past weekend I went to my first-ever Concert in the Park at De Waal Park. It's a beautiful big park set in Oranjezigt, dog-friendly and family orientated with a beautiful Victorian fountain and lush spots of grass under shady trees – a welcoming picnic spot and chill out zone.

Last Sunday, Karen Zoid (for more info on her, visit her website: – arguably one of South Africa's top female contemporary/rock artists – and her band put on a show as part of the series of free concerts lined up for the season. It was such a cool atmosphere – people picnicing, drinking wine, dancing, kids running around...

Karen Zoid

drummer Tim Rankin

I am determined to go to a few more this season. Here's the line-up for the next couple months:

February 3, 4pm STEVE LOUW & BIG SKY
February 17, 4pm ROBIN AULD
March 3, 3pm ARNO CARSTENS
March 17, 3pm HOT WATER

For info, visit:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Triggerfish Brewery – microbrewery in Somerset West

As everyone knows, you need balls of steel to swim in the Atlantic Sea in Cape Town... but just a 40-50minute drive takes you to Somerset West/ Strand area, where the Indian Ocean current warms the waters to a pleasant, refreshing swimming temperature.

After a morning spent beaching and bathing, we'd had enough of the sun, but weren't quite ready to head home yet. As we left Strand and started heading back towards Somerset West, we saw the sign for Triggerfish Brewery (Saints Burger Joint stocks their beer in Cape Town:

Triggerfish Brewery tasting bar

Triggerfish is based in the Paardevlei complex ( on De Beers Ave. Once in the complex, you have to drive right to the end building where the beer is brewed. They have a small, rustic tasting bar with sets of bench-tables outside and some small eats on offer, depending on the day.

tasting bar

R25 gets you a tasting of 4 beers. My husband and I decided to split two tastings so that we could sample 8 different beers (they have 14 on offer). We tried the Sweetlips Blonde Ale, Bonito Buchu (a local herb) Blonde ale, Ocean Potion American Pale Ale, Roman red Ale, Empowered Sweet Sout, Great Weiss, Black Marlin Russian Imperial Stout (super strong at 9.9%) and the Titan Imperial Indian Pale Ale.

beer tasting

food menu board

My favourite was the 'Sweetlips', it was fairly light and went down very well on that particularly hot summers day. It's worth a visit if you're in the area, and beer can be bought by the bottle to take home.

Opening hours:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Noble Hill Winery and Restaurant

Determined to expand our knowledge and palate, we ventured off in search of wine farms that we hadn't visited before, and, upon recommendation from my one my wine guys – Terence of Siris Vintners – we stopped in at Noble Hill ( for lunch and wine tasting.

This boutique wine farm is perfect for family outings as they have lovely grass lawns and a relaxed atmosphere. They have a fantastic little restaurant called Cosecha ( with Mexican/Spanish-style cuisine and tapas. They are quite popular, so it's advisable to book in advance. We just managed to squeeze in for a late lunch at 3:30pm. The restaurant looks over the vineyards and a lovely lake, perfect for sunny afternoons. They also make picnic baskets, including ones specially for small children.

I had the Guacamole, which is fresh avocado, tomato, onion, homemade spices and warm tortilla chips made fresh from scratch at the table by one of the guaquistadors. Its was delicious, but quite garlicy (*R58). 

My husband had the Beef enchiladas: Shredded fillet, potatoes, onions, borracho beans and rice in homemade tortillas with guacamole on the side.

lunch at Cosecha Restaurant

 Ingredients are grown on the farm where possible, and guests are welcome to visit the pepper and vegetable garden. For bookings contact: 0218743844

After our quick lunch we headed to the tasting room next door to sample the wines. There wasn't one I didn't like. But my favourites were the Viognier, Chardonnay and the Syrah. I bought a bottle of each and unfortunately have not been able to keep them as they were far to tempting to drink straight away... If you purchase a bottle of wine, the tasting is free and totally worth it. 

Noble Hill wine-tasting room
olive oils

Besides the wines on offer, the olive oil is also worth sampling and taking a bottle home. I'll have to visit again soon to replenish my stock :-)

The tasting room is open every day from from 10am to 5pm.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Wine and Beer tasting at Spice Route

Naturally, when on holiday and in Cape Town, it means that wine farms are to be visited... We set off on the N1 in search of a wine farm we hadn't been to before and ended up at Spice Route, which offers so much more than we initially thought. 

DV chocolates, which used to operate out of Hermanus, have now moved to Spice Route Winery ( and, in spirit of merging the two brands together, there is a chocolate and wine pairing on offer (R60 per person). The chocolate is gorgeously dark and full of rich flavours, matched to specific varietals (for more info, visit: the pairing consists of 4 chocolates and 6 wines. The regular wine tasting is R25 per person for 6 wines.

Chocolate and Wine Pairing

I enjoyed the Spice Route Chakalaka red wine blend and the 2009 and the flagship Syrah 2007.

Upon further exploration, we found out the estate also offers beer tasting at the Barley & Biltong Emporium. They have various types of biltong, including a wide range of venison – we had the kudu – and a number of beers on tap for tasting and enjoying while looking over the beautiful views of the Paarl wine valley beyond.

Barley & Biltong Emporium

Beers are made by the Cape Brewery Company, also known as CBC, under highly skilled Brewmaster, Wolfgang Koedel. On offer were: Smoked Malt – a mild rauchbier, which is a German-style beer with a distinctive smoke flavour; Gold No 1 – a pilsner; Original – classic blonde lager; and the Devil – a full-bodied lager.

Select your piece of biltong, pay per weight and enjoy at the emporium or take some home with you

the view from the emporium

Christmas, Resolutions and Beer adventures...

After a lovely holiday, including a trip up the East Coast of SA, lots of beach time, wine time and beer time, I am finally back in the office and ready to get a grip on this year!

I haven't made any resolutions for this year... I must have forgotten about them in between shots of tequila and caramel vodka on New Years Eve... But I do aim to enjoy life to the max, continuing with my journey into WINEdom and BEERdom, while fantasizing about the house on a small patch of Indonesian Island paradise I will one day own.

On my trip up the coast I made it a mission to find some local beer. In MosselBay I drank Glenhoff draught, which is made by the micro brewery called South Cape Breweries (check them out here: It was super delicious!

Drinking Glenhoff Lager on Santos Beach, Mossel Bay
While in Port Alfred visiting my family for Christmas, we spent one evening at my favourite pub, The Highlander (attached to The St Andrew's Lodge: We bumped into friends we haven't seen in years and ended up having such a fabulous time, I was truly sorry to leave for Cape Town the next day.

While there, we sampled some local beer again, which is available on tap in the pub. They offer a pilsner, ale and a porter, all made by the Little Brewery on the River ( I loved the porter.

Double parking at The Highlander

Kowie Gold Pilsner, Squire's Porter and Coin Ale
The Highlander Pub, Port Alfred

All in all a great vacation with far too much good food, beverages and fun times...

Well, here's to 2013, and may it be a goodie!!