Cathy Marston spread the gospel according to normal wine drinkers at the launch of her book, Love Your Wine: Get to grips with what you are drinking.
In conversation with Carrie Adams from Norman Goodfellows at Love Books recently, Marston said she doesn’t understand why the wine industry spends so much time and effort making people feel bad about what they choose to drink. “I find a lot of people are quite intimidated by overseas wine,” she said.
Marston presented a wine tasting at the book launch to answer the question, “Do you get what you pay for when you buy wine?”
The audience tastes two white wines, two reds, and a sparkling wine, all from Stellenbosch Vineyards. Marston said she only has two rules when it comes to tasting wine: The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask, and what you taste in the wine is correct.
The first wine for tasting was a Welmoed Chenin Blanc. Marston said Chenin Blanc is one of the most widely planted grape varieties with an enormous yield and is quite underrated money-wise.
The second wine was the Credo Chenin Blanc. Whereas the first bottle costs about R30, the Credo Chenin costs R100 per bottle, despite it being the same grape and the same wine maker. So what is the difference?
Marston said it comes down to wood and sex. The R100 Chenin Blanc was stored in wooden barrels which gave it a wooden, nutty, butterscotch flavour. New wooden barrels cost R10 000 each.
The second reason is sex, said Marston. She explained that when a vine is young its sole purpose is to produce lots of grapes so that the birds will eat the them and spread the seeds. Young vines produce many grapes, but they are young, “quick and unsatisfactory”. Older vines grow deeper into the soil and don’t produce as many bunches of grapes but the wines contain a much richer and deeper flavour, with a long and lingering aftertaste.
Marston explained: “The one is like sleeping with Justin Bieber and the other is like sleeping with George Clooney.”
The first red wine for tasting was the Welmoed Merlot, which consisted of 100 percent Merlot grapes, but Adams and Marston agreed that a red blend is often superior.
To demonstrate they poured a Joostenberg Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon. Marston said many people believe that a blend is the winemaker’s way of getting rid of surplus wine, but in fact when it comes to a blend “one plus one equals three”.
In response to a question from the audience regarding the infamous student favourite Tassies, Marston debunked the myth that Tassenberg is a blend of all the dregs at the bottom of many barrels, calling that an urban legend and adding that winemakers “know what they’re doing”.
She also rose to the defense of sulphur, saying: “Sulphur isn’t bad for you, it’s the third bottle that gets you.”
The speakers ended off the evening with sparkling wine and bubbling conversation.
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Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:
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New from Jacana, Girls on Fire by Camilla Comins:
Girls on Fire is typically aimed at girls who feel sick of going to braais where the guys stand around the fire drinking and chatting and burning the meat. It is time for girls to claim their right to cook decent food and pretty up the braai area for this pivotal South African social activity.
In these pages you will find tips on how to light and maintain a braai fire in the most common types of braai and look beyond the tjop and the wors to more delicate, well-crafted and healthy options from the fire.
About the author
Camilla Comins can cook anything on an open fire. Her former restaurant, The Table at Meye, won best country-style restaurant in the 2011 Eat Out Awards. She is a graduate of the Christina Martin Cookery School and has cooked and worked – often with open fires – in South Africa and in Germany and the USA. She was a food product developer with the Woolworths Group, and now runs a bustling confectionery business based at her new restaurant Overgaauw on a wine estate near Stellenbosch.
Jonno Proudfoot, co-author of Real Meal Revolution, has shared his top five tips for people on the banting diet.
The banting eating plan, which involves a low carbohydrate high fat diet, has taken South Africa by storm, and Real Meal Revolution (available in Afrikaans as Die kosrevolusie) recently won the 2014 Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award.
Chef and long-distance swimmer Proudfoot says the most important thing for banters is to get rid of temptation in the kitchen.
Jonno’s Top 5 tips for Banters:
1. Before you start, clean the cupboard of filth. Keeping hold of flour or sugar for ‘just in case’ shows fear of commitment. Fortune favours the bold.
2. Eat breakfast every day, and make it fatty. This will keep you going for most of the day
Jan Braai is the author of Fireworks, director of the National Braai Day Initiative and a generally enthusiastic braai master.
Jan Braai has shared his list of Braai Basics on Superbalist. His shopping list includes the extras and accessories befitting a matter of national heritage.
Braai tools, beer kits, mugs, knives, portable speakers and even a hamburger maker: these are the things you need to make your next braai as good as a national holiday. Because every day can be National Braai Day.
See the list:
Traditional South African Cooking by Magdaleen van Wyk and Pat Barton (available in Afrikaans as Tradisionele Suid-Afrikaanse Kookkuns) was first published in 1993, and is now in its fifth edition.
Jenny Morris, for The Next 48 Hours wrote an article on the book, which she considers needed for anyone who ever longs for a beloved grandmother’s best traditional dish: “South African cuisine is a unique blend of the culinary art of many different cultures. Dutch, French, German and British settlers, as well as the Malays who came from the East, all brought their own recipes to this country.”
She also shared a recipe for Buttermilk Rusks from the book. Try the recipe:
- 1 kg self-raising flour
- 5 ml baking powder
- 10 ml salt
- 2 large eggs
- 200 ml white sugar
- 500 ml buttermilk
- 190 g butter, melted
Tannie Poppie Kook deur Poppie Coetzer verskyn eersdaags by Human & Rousseau:
“Die Chuck Norris van Suid-Afrikaanse kos” en “almal se ouma” is maar van die talle maniere waarop Tannie Poppie bekend is aan haar duisende aanhangers. Dié gewildste van al die TV-Kokkedore het nou haar eie kookboek.
Tannie Poppie kook is nie net nog ’n kookboek nie, dis ’n ode aan alle smulpape en lekkerbekke – die mense wat weet dat lekker kos nie net ’n toevallige gebeurtenis is nie. In hierdie pragstuk deel Suid-Afrika se gewildste kos-ouma al haar gunsteling versamelresepte met ons.
Die klem is op lékker kos. Die boek bied heerlike resep-idees vir liplekker hoender, brode, smaaklike poedings, lekkernye vir die teetafel en nog vele meer. Dit spog deurgaans met volkleurfoto’s van die geregte en lesers sal hul lippe aflek.
Hierdie is staatmakerresepte wat jy keer op keer sal gebruik, ideaal vir beginners in die kombuis sowel as ervare kokke.
Oor die outeur
Tannie Poppie is ’n fenomeen! Maar voor kykNET se Kokkedoor TV-program was Tannie Poppie net ’n gewone huisvrou, bekend in haar kontrei as topbakster. Alhoewel sy nie die Kokkedoor-reeks gewen het nie was sy een van die gewildste deelnemers. Haar positiewe lewenslus, vrolike gemoed, eenvoudige benadering tot kos en lekker resepte het haar vinnig in kykers se harte laat kruip. Deesdae is sy ’n huishoudelike naam en bak en kook die land aan die brand.
Aanhangers kan haar kontak:
Op Facebook: Poppie Coetzer
Op Twitter: @poppiecoetzer