This afternoon was dominated by two of my favourite red wines.

First, a near impromptu outing to Constantia Glen led to one (or more) glasses of their Five blend:


And then, having come home and lit the braai, it seemed a shame not to keep the high quality red wine theme going.
Thus, the contents of a bottle of my very favourite wine of all, Neethlingshof’s The Caracal found its way into my glass (bit by bit).

They didn’t stay there for ever so long…

This was a good afternoon.

Is It Ever OK to Drink Wine From Tumblers?

This is the “Are You Beach Body Ready?” question of wine-drinking circles. And, much as some argue that all you have to do to make your body beach ready is go to the beach (and not threaten to bomb the offices of a nutritional supplement company), I would argue that it’s ok to drink wine out of whatever vessel you like.

In fact, I drink all my red wine out of a tumbler. Really.
And it seems that other people also think that’s absolutely fine:

Contrary to what you might expect, wine served in a tumbler isn’t a sign of bad wine or bad service — it’s a sign of tradition. According to chef Matteo Clivati, a Milanese native, currently the chef de partie at A16, and SF’s newest pop-up restaurateur, it’s common to see wine served in short tumblers in Italy, especially if the cuisine is rustic and traditional and if the owner makes his or her own wine. Some might also say that because wine is a part of every meal in the Old Country, serving wine in such a casual way only enforces its impact on Italian culture — wine isn’t as much of a “special occasion” drink as it is here in America.

I’m no hipster. I just prefer drinking wine from a tumbler, so I do. In summer, sometimes I even put it in the fridge first. Purists would spit at me in the street if they only knew.

So let’s leave it our little secret, ok?

Keep warm

We’re off out for a longstanding dinner date this evening – the arrangement of which, incidentally, demonstrated exactly how busy modern life can be – but having checked the weather forecast, I thought that my local readers would appreciate this photo given the wet, windy conditions expected over the weekend.

It doesn’t move, I’ll admit. That’s because it’s a photo. If you want movement, you’ll have to head over here and buy the DVD. That also comes with “a selection of different styles of fire and authentic noises”.

Here at, you get “my braai” and you have to imagine the sound of the bottle opener hard at work behind the camera. Red wine will be the order of the day, I would imagine.

Red wine and web chat

I have just spent a very pleasant afternoon with Ian MacDonald of SA The Good News, two bottles of rather decent red wine* and our respective families. Which, with the toddler to adult ratio of 3:4, kept us fairly busy chasing around the house and garden. And slightly overdoing the steaks as a result. Sorry about that. How very emboeressing.

What amazed me is that, although Ian and I strongly agree on certain things – principally optimistic realism instead of pessimism when looking at South Africa –  we do so despite coming from very different backgrounds and, it turns out, fundamentally different political standpoints as well. Which obviously just proves that all you need is brains (and – perhaps coincidentally – good looks) and the ability to look at things reasonably and objectively, and while you may be approaching things from different angles, the conclusion is the same.
I can’t speak for Ian, but this sort of discovery gives me further belief that my theories and thought processes are valid and sensible.
And that red wine is just great.

I had a bit of a pop at SA The Good News back in June last year, which earned me a mild rebuke from Ian. Today, fuelled by red wine and an obvious passion for his work, he outlined his mission to me once again; that SAGN is there to balance the ridiculous and sensational negativity presented by news sites like and As Ian pointed out, while SA The Good News does have an obvious bias because of its agenda, at least it clearly states it from the title onwards. Which is more than you get from those news sites. 

Another interesting thing about our conversation was discussing the trolls we get on our respective sites. Several names that he came out with have certainly popped onto 6000 miles… now and again and been offensive, racist or – more often – offensive and racist.  Which, once again, made me wonder how many of them there actually are out there. The thousands that they claim, or six of them with a RSS reader and no life?

All in all, it was a great way of spending a Sunday afternoon. And now, blogging, listening to Placebo, AFI and Apoptygma Berzerk and reading (amongst others) Brian Micklethwait, who just came out with this gem:

…a friend from foreign parts is in town and we are, we have just decided, meeting up for a drink.  And I hold drink with all the effortless facility of a kitten holding a packed suitcase on its back.

Which reminds me why, having been up since 4:30 this morning and having consumed my fair share of damn good grape juice, I must now head to my bed via the kettle.  

* Warwick Estate Cabernet Sauvignon(1998, nogal) & Groot Constantia Merlot (2004)