Roodeberg turns 70!

Did you know that Roodeberg, the legendary red blend that has been bringing friends together across the globe since 1949, is celebrating its 70th birthday this year?

In celebration, we’ve taken the liberty of interviewing their winemaker, Louwritz Louw. He’s been part of the Roodeberg family for quite a few years now. He started at KWV in 2012 and 2013 was his first vintage making Roodeberg. That year’s vintage was a big harvest and with Louw still finding his feet in the cellar, it was a rocky ride. But, looking back, that is the vintage that brings back some of the best memories for him.

Roodeberg is a brand with a very rich history. “For me it has always been a true honour to be part of the team,” says Louw.

When it comes to winemaking, Louwritz’s motto is to take it day by day. He says that wines in the cellar are different every day of every year and you need to adjust your decisions accordingly. The latest vintage of Roodeberg (the 2017 vintage) is one of the best yet, according to him. “It’s vibrant, juicy and has lots of ageing potential.” This vintage will be available on their online shop at the end of April 2019.

Roodeberg fans can look forward to a couple of birthday happenings this year. As they share their 70th birthday with two other big names in South Africa (Sarie Magazine and the Labia, Cape Town’s much loved only independent cinema) 2019 is going to be filled with celebrations. In May, Roodeberg will be joining the Labia Cinema for a 70th Anniversary function and in July they will be joining Sarie at a couple of celebratory dinners. Roodeberg will also be running some promotions in store throughout the year and you’ll have to keep an eye out for the 1949 commemorative wine that they will be bringing out later this year.

Louw says his ideal food and wine pairing is a cab sav based blend or a dense Cabernet Sauvignon with a beef fillet. The weirdest food and wine pairing he has ever come across is a spicy white wine with a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

If you are looking for Roodeberg wines to buy to keep for years to come, Louw suggests the 2017 vintage or the 2016 vintage, which is more full bodied. Of course, the ageing conditions are very important. Buy your 2016 vintage HERE.

 

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Restaurant Trends in South Africa

These are the trends that will dominate the restaurants in South Africa this year:

Unique ceilings

Unique ceilings can totally change the look of a restaurant. Some restaurants may opt to design extraordinary ceilings that become the focal point of the interior design.

Marble

Including marble in the interior of a restaurant adds beauty, style and appeal. From kitchen bench tops and bathroom counters to coffee tables and coasters, marble is a trend that will be seen all over.

Incorporating local art

South Africa has so many talented artists. Whether it’s paintings, photographs, sculptures or lighting fixtures, more and more restaurants are looking to connect with their community members by showcasing local talent and designs.

Texture, texture, texture

Texture is what brings a perfectly fine design up to enviable levels.

Menus: A bigger variety in healthy options – Clean eating

Clean eating is a theme that will be seen quite a lot in 2019. Fried and processed ingredients would be minimized and much more fruit, vegetables and non-refined sugar ingredients will be used in dishes.

Blue and copper

To add to a modern, sophisticated look, copper and various hues of blue will dominate the interior of restaurants.

Plants – Plants everywhere!

Many food service establishments are now concerned with offering food that is not only delicious but also healthy and nourishing. As a result, many owners are choosing a fresh design and make use of greenery in their space that reinforce the feeling of vibrancy and health that you get from their food.

Quirky Jo’burg Street Food

Clever wordplay got me to visit Sumting Fresh, a diner-like restaurant that knows everything there is to know about street food. If I only knew what I was getting into…

When I first heard about Sumting Fresh, I thought: “Hey, another healthy eatery in town!” To my surprise, that was not exactly the case. The name rather suggests that its menu is fresh. New. Unique. Different. What it doesn’t suggest is that almost everything on the menu is deep-fried, which I suppose is what street food is all about.

What started out as street food trucks at local markets, evolved into a quirky, yellow-framed, diner-style eatery in Norwoord, Johannesburg. Sumting Fresh has been catering to people in Jo’burg’s streets for about 2 years now, with a menu that seems to be ever evolving as customers dine and comment.

Chef Andrew says things have changed a lot since they originally started. A menu that was initially launched with very similar items to that of other food trucks at local markets, evolved into a menu that features Sumting Fresh in comparison to the usual street food options available at markets, festivals and events.

Their jam jars are delightful with choices like Elderflower, Grinadella Passion and Kiwi Apple – all very refreshing and delicious. A popular newcomer to the menu is the Cheese Burger Springrolls and you’d be surprised at how many other things they have found to deep-fry. From deep-fried Mac and Cheese Balls drizzled with a tomato salsa and cheese to Gua Bao (two Taiwanese steamed buns with crumbed, deep-fried chicken) and much more.

I believe the word “fresh” has got a new meaning. At least at Sumting Fresh it has.

New SAA Voyager Cheque Card – What you need to know

Travellers always want to know how they can stretch their budgets and get more out of their trips while simultaneously spending less.

South African Airways officially launched their SAA Voyager Cheque Card in collaboration with Nedbank this week. Obviously, as a frequent traveller, I wanted to know if this card would really be beneficial to my pocket and if it would be worth my while to hop on over and get one.

As SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana explains, the card is a great add-on to SAA‘s initiatives in delivering unmatched customer experiences. With this card “there is no need to increase or have a credit spend.” Mike Brown, Nedbank‘s CEO, adds to that when he says that the card is “a symbol for real customer value.”

With travel being an increasing aspiration worldwide, I wanted to know how I will be able to manage my travel money with this card and what the pitfalls are. Here are the main things you need to know:

  • You get a Voyager mile for every R1. 60 spent.
  • The card has a companion ticket benefit, which gives you the opportunity to pay for your partner’s ticket with your miles. This can only happen, though, if you have reached your spending thresholds and you only get one companion ticket per calendar year. You can get an additional companion ticket if your SAA Voyager Premium Card spend exceeds R1million per calendar year.
  • Your miles expire after three years, so be sure to use them when you can and use them well.
  • It is the only cheque card that earns you Voyager miles.
  • A Premium Cheque Card’s membership fees are R170 per month, where a gold cheque card will cost R60 per month. The credit card will cost R2040 per annum.
  • By using this American Express card, you get the fastest miles earn rate.
  • You get 19 000 bonus miles with the purchase of your first SAA ticket. (These points are, however, only rewarded on completion of that trip).
  • You can earn up to 15 000 bonus miles annually if you spend R300 000 or more.
  • A premium card gains you access to SAA-owned departure lounges. This includes access for companion ticket holders when they accompany you (the primary card holder).
  • With this card you also get premium check-in, irrespective of your class of travel, when travelling on SAA flights.
  • You also get always on-flight discounts on selected SAA flights and promotional flight discounts of up to 40%.
  • In addition to on-flight and promotional flight discounts, you also get 20% discount on top-up travel insurance.

nedbank.co.za/saacheque

How to save Valentine’s Day

This year is going way too fast for me. So fast that even I, quite the fan of Valentine’s Day despite all the red hearts and cheesy love bears, forgot that it’s today.

So, the question is: How do I save the day?

There is still time for a couple of rescue dates. Consider these:

Couples Cooking Class

If you live in Jo’burg, book yourselves a couples cooking class with the Wooden Spoon Kitchen. The evening includes a welcome drink. You’ll also learn how to make maki rolls with pickled ginger and soy sauce, Vietnamese spring rolls with hoisin and peanut butter dip, as well as mango and lime sorbet with passion fruit.

Cost: R900 per couple

Date: 15 February 2019

Venue: 51 Eleven Street, Linden

Time: 18:00 – 21:00

Contact info@woodenspoonkitchen.co.za 

 

Steenberg Bubbly Tasting

Enjoy a complimentary pairing of note at Steenberg Farm, the Cape’s first farm. Enjoy a magical, romantic pairing of Steenberg’s blushing Pinot Noir Rose Méthode Cap Classique and heavenly macaroons. This tasting will be available at Steenberg’s tasting room from today until Sunday, 17 February 2019.

www.steenbergfarm.com

Bring the Cape up North

Not from the Cape, but still feel like enjoying a good bottle of bubbly or wine? Try Kleine Zalze‘s 2018 Cinsault Rosé (R56). It is an easy drinking wine, the ideal summer companion, and can be enjoyed on its own or with a spread of fresh summery snacks. It’s perfect for a picnic under the stars (if the rain allows). Or, if you are feeling in the mood for a dark red, consider Alto‘s Rouge 2016 (R112). It displays powerful berry fruit with cigar box and dark chocolate flavours, followed by vanilla and oak spices. Light a fire, create a romantic ambiance, prepare a tasty red meat dish at home and enjoy each other’s company.

A Homely Setting for a Hearty Meal

The Hussar Grill franchise has been around for many years and it suits Paarl’s streets perfectly.

Nestled between old trees and vines, The Hussar Grill in Paarl has much more to offer than good steak. I must admit, I wished it was winter while visiting, as the fireplace looked all too cozy and the warm ambiance was perfect for those wet winters of the Cape.

The Hussar Grill franchise is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and with it comes a lot of perks for diners, including a fine bottle of birthday wine. Couple this with a well prepared steak or even some of their other dishes like their Parmesan Chicken – a lovely meal for someone who would rather keep it light. It wasn’t in the cards to go for dessert too, but when the waitress (bless her) brought the menu and asked if we’d like dessert, I spotted it: Baked Cheese Cake. I’m a sucker, I know, but it was so worth it. It came with ice cream – the vanilla seeds clearly visible in those scoops of indulgence – and a small glass filled with a mixture of chocolate sauce, vodka and cream. I know, right?

It might be Paarl’s historic buildings and oak lined streets that add to the ambiance, but The Hussar Grill‘s interior creates an an old world charm with loads of books and antique artifacts that are perfectly positioned. The furniture and bottle green couches fit in well with this nostalgic setting and the wine bottles, stacked up against the walls, add that final touch. Dark wooden tables and homely fireplaces round off the overall ambiance of the restaurant – a homely setting for a hearty meal.

South Africa’s premier grill room, The Hussar Grill, will be sharing some of the expertise behind its successful 50-year legacy in a series of Steak Masterclasses. Aspirant cooks and foodies are welcome to attend these stand-alone evening events, which will be held in a professional kitchen at the prestigious Silwood School of Cookery in Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest cookery school.

To book your place, contact Azraa Bedford, the Academic Manager at Silwood Cookery School on +27 (0)21 686 4894 or visit http://www.silwood.co.za/.

South Africa – The perfect bleisure destination

South Africa certainly has it sorted when it comes to the bleisure trend. In fact, Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism and member of the advisory board of The United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s QUEST program (focusing on leadership and governance within Destination Management Organisations) says it’s a fact that people who visit South Africa for trade shows, tend to stay for longer or they return and bring their families.

Here is why you should combine your business trip to South Africa with some leisure time and activities:

Semi- or fully sponsored trip

Seeing that your company is already sponsoring the business part of your trip, you should have some extra cash to spend on leisure activities. Make it the adventure of a lifetime – take a trip to the beautiful Western Cape, drive the Garden Route, fly up North to the Kruger National Park or halt halfway at the majestic and super underrated Drakensberg.

Family friendly

South Africa has always been a family friendly destination and even while travelling for business, there are always ways in which you can combine it with a holiday. In fact, it is the best excuse to bring them along and show them what the country has to offer.

Scout and set up

Scouting has never been so much fun. See why your next meeting or exhibition should be hosted in South Africa and make a proper trip of it.

Competitive destination

Because of the bleisure trend that is so well nestled into what South Africa has to offer, South Africa is a highly competitive destination to host events and meetings in.

The know-how

South Africa has been investing in its MICE industry for quite some time. In fact, the Meetings Africa business events trade show that is coming up has been hosted here for 12 years and it has grown and attained competitive strength in the global market. Visiting this event will show you why South Africa is capable of hosting world-class business events and meetings.

Packaged for you

Many travel companies and hospitality specialists will admit to doing in-depth research into what business travellers expect from a visit to South Africa. This, in effect, allows them to tailor make packages for you, including both the best business and leisure experiences to your liking. Tsogo Sun, for one, is definitely one of the leaders in the field of customer profiling and the designing of customized experiences.

Sustaining and developing

With these things on everyone’s lips worldwide, greening, sustaining, uplifting and developing the environment and South Africa’s economy is certainly top of mind. Supporting initiatives and entrepreneurial enterprises that are key in getting these things done, are reason enough to take a bleisure trip to the sunny South.

Job creation

Bringing business to South Africa obviously means creating more jobs. Your leisure activities, in addition to your meetings and business endeavors, put bread on one or two families’ tables.

These upcoming trade shows are also another reason to visit South Africa:

Meetings Africa | 25 – 27 February 2019, Johannesburg

Seamless Africa | 12 – 13 March 2019, Cape Town

Decorex | 21 – 24 March 2019, Durban

IBTM Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

International Luxury Travel Market Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

World Travel Market Africa | 10 – 12 April 2019, Cape Town

Indaba | 7 – 9 May 2019, Durban