We have moved!!

Hi Everyone!

We have now moved to http://www.socialsavage.co.za!

New email info@socialsavage.co.za to get hold of is!

Come visit us there! 🙂 See you soon!

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Ides of March: Saying farewell to a legend….

A fond farewell to Ritrovo Ristorante

Noble Savage (he said):

As you may or may not know, the Ides of March (15 March) was traditionally a day of religious observance, particularly relating to Jupiter (every Ides was in honour of him, lucky bastard). It is also notorious for the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. And this year, March also signals the final moments of a legendary Italian eatery in Pretoria: Ritrovo.

The first time we went to Ritrovo was on a whim.  We didn’t really plan it, was ‘lus’ for pizza and (as far as I can remember) saw their name in the Eat Out Guide.  So we went for it!  And our first impression can only be decribed as underwhelmed.

The main issue was that the furniture and fitting were a bit outdated and tatty. We sat down at our table, planning to have a drink and find somewhere else for said pizza. But then we started interacting with the waiter, and could tell this place was not your ordinary pizzeria; this place was authentic. So we decided to stay. And had probably the best Italian experience ever!

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Since then, we’ve been back many times. Birthdays, anniversaries, lazy Saturday lunches, fancy dinners – Ritrovo managed to be ideal for any occasion. So we were crushed to find out that Ritrovo would be closing up shop in March. So, not that we needed an excuse, we decided to do one last lunch with an old favourite.

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And we were, again, not disappointed. I normally judge a restaurant by their seafood pizza – if I see a crab stick on there, I know they don’t really value high standards. At Ritrovo, they have proper seafood on the pizza, perfectly cooked, and deliciously delicious. I was scared that they might, as the end approaches, let the standards slip a bit, but not on the day we went there. I might have been wearing nostalgia-tinted glasses, but they could not put a foot wrong on the day.

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All the big players in the restaurant are moving on to other ventures (luckily the staff will be moving too), among others the new Forti Grill and Bar at the still-in-progress Time Square casino across Menlyn Maine. That being said, the loss of Ritrovo will definitely leave a gap in the restaurant scene.

BoozyFoodie (she said):

Okay, this post is VERY overdue… seeing that Ritrovo officially closed its doors on the 18th of March already.  But this is really quite emotional for me.  Especially because there were actually quite a few experiences at Ritrovo that I was still looking forward to!

I still wanted to attend one of the Opera Evenings.  We arrived at Ritovo on Noble Savage’s Birthday a year or two ago, and saw DAME MIMI COERTSE sipping on a glass of wine, seated right on the little ‘patio’ in front of the restaurant.  I was DYING to ask her for a selfie, but NS insisted that I should not harass her, and that she probably wouldn’t appreciate an overeager, stuttering starstruck fangirl intruding on her ‘sipping on a glass of chilled white wine on Ritrovo’s stoep’ moment.  Sigh.  I personally think he was just threatened by the fact that he was not the belle of the ball in my eyes, it was HIS birthday after all.  Think no one likes Mimi Coertse stealing their thunder 😉

Alas, a missed opportunity – like the fabulous wine dinners that was hosted there (I know they love Saronsberg as much as I do!).  But I’m sure that Chef Forti will have a lot more fantastic events happening at the brand new Forti Grill and Bar!

When we sat down for our last meal at Ritrovo my tummy was actually turning a bit…. Yes, I KNOW that bigger and better things are in store, but I am the sentimental type.

So, what to order….  It took me a while to decide, but luckily we had fantastic company and a few bottles of wine to take the edge off a bit.  Thanks Carli and Burmsie 🙂

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As a started I chose the Arancini all Ragu – decadent rice balls –  stuffed with cheese and pulled Beef Ragu’.

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And behold this gorgeous plate of pasta!  I decided to go with the very traditional Italian pasta – not too extravagant or complex, just real comfort food!

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And, by the way – I should’ve asked if those plates were for sale!  Love the old school branding 🙂 So part of the 20-plus year old Ritrovo tradition!

Thanks for the memories Chef Forti – wishing you only the best with your brand new venture!  We will DEFINITELY pop in as soon as the doors open!

http://www.ritrovoristorante.com/

https://www.forti.co.za/  – really enjoying the blow-by-blow updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/FortiGrill/  Shivering with antici….pation!

Black Bamboo: An Encounter with Magnificence

Social Savage (he said):

Black Bamboo has for some time now been on our restaurant bucket list. We had a brief introduction during the Constantia wine evening (A Week of Wine Part 1: Constantia Wine Route Tasting at Black Bamboo), and were very impressed by what we saw, particularly the sculptures all around. So to our surprise, we were invited for an evening of magnificent food, shitloads of wine, and a nice bed to sleep it all off in. How could we refuse?

The whole day was filled with surprises. The first one came early – they booked us into the Presidential Suite. Which is, as you can see, pretty fucking presidential (which president is up to you). Basically, the room is as big as our entire townhouse. It even has a bigger Nespresso machine!

I have mentioned the sculptures, and this time around we could get a much more comprehensive look. Walking around the complex, you’ll find these everywhere; right out there in the open, and hidden away in all sorts of nooks and crannies. FYI, all these sculptures are for sale. We roamed around for about half an hour, and then we decided it’s time for a drink on the comfy couches outside the dining room.

Then it was time for dinner. Walking in, the wine rack welcomes you to what is in store – rarities and works of art. We were treated to their seven course tasting menu, with each course being paired with a wine that best brings out its characteristics. I’m not going to deprive you of the experience by going into too much detail. Just know this: the food is absolutely incredible. As in Michelin Star type incredible. The Sommelier paired each dish with such expertise, that no wine ever overpowered the food. Everything was always in perfect balance. My surprise of the meal was the AA Bardenhorst Papegaai – a Chenin Blanc-based blend. I’m not the biggest fan of Chenin, but this one legit blew me away.

After a lekker chat with Chef Pellie, it was time to call it a night.  With our bellies full of incredible food, heads numb from incredible wine, and hearts content we drifted off to sleep (read:  passed out) in a magnificent bed.

Black Bamboo is not exactly a budget-friendly restaurant. But save up and go do the tasting menu with the wine pairing. You will leave there with a new-found appreciation for Chef Pellie’s art. Because what he does is without a doubt art. And to see his art interacting with all the wines is equally worth it. Round it off with a stay at the Menlyn Boutique Hotel, and you have all the ingredients for a spectacular weekend.

Accommodation and all meals were graciously sponsored by Menlyn Boutique Hotel and Black Bamboo.

BoozyFoodie (she said): 

I can honestly say that this was one of the most impressive and purely luxurious experience.  It was an absolute thrill to be invited to experience this venue to the full extent, so we immediately organised babysitters for our pugs before anyone could say ‘what the….’

And everything was just perfect right from the start – Menlyn Boutique Hotel and Black Bamboo is in my humble opinion the ultimate innercity escape in Pretoria.  The room we stayed in had all the luxuries that you would expect from a boutique hotel – and will be the perfect stayover for the discerning business traveller as well.  Nespresso machine with a good variety of pods, and other drinks as well.  My pet hate is getting two sachets of coffee and sugar per day, and then having to ask the reception desk for more. The mini-bar is well-stocked with snacks as well – but I contained myself, we had a feast to look forward to! It is so relaxing to stroll around on the grounds of the hotel, can sip cocktails at the crystal blue pool, or go for a relaxing massage at the spa.  Told you, the ideal staycation – and more!

I’ve been fascinated by this venue for quite a while now – two things immediately grabbed my attention.  The dramatic and bold works of art by renowned local artist Anton Smit and Chef Pellie Grobler’s gorgeous looking dishes.  And as we found out, it isn’t only striking and stunning on photos, but also in real life.

This is such a stylish venue, and the service is utterly professional and courteous.  So yes, as expected.  But there’s something else in the mix as well – passion and pride.  And that is so obvious from every dish served.  Chef Pellie strives to change the menu up every 3 weeks or so, which is no mean feat. So that also means that you will always be treated to fresh and innovative flavours and be surprised by new seasonal creations every time.  I take my hat off!

But let me run you through a few highlights of the dinner and wine pairing.  At first I thought that I may not go into too much detail, because I want you all to take the time to experience these delicious dishes yourself – but let me at least give you a taste!  Pardon the pun.

The food and wine pairings were on par – and beyond.  What I really enjoyed is the fact that a lot of smaller, boutique wineries were featured – some known as ‘to look out for’ and some I must admit, I had to Google first.  And that is exactly how it should be – to learn and experience, and to be exposed to new and hidden talents.

The pea veloute with grilled asparagus, burnt onion dust and crispy quail egg was one of the most beautiful dishes I’ve had in a very long time.  A true feast of the senses – colour, texture, taste – perfection.  This paired so well with the AA Badenhorst Papegaai blend Noble Savage raved about.

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On that note – I must just mention, most of the dishes served were simply almost too beautiful to eat.  Almost.  I just sighed, took a photo, stared a bit, and dug in!

Our sommelier also greatly contributed to our enjoyment of the evening.  He was extremely knowledgeable (but not in the patronising wine snob way), and shared a lot of interesting titbits about the wine and the winemakers.  What we also thoroughly enjoyed, was that the wine servings were quite generous. No tasting glass portions in sight, which was great. Especially if you want the full winepairing experience.

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I am very thankful that I don’t have the choose a ‘favourite dish’ of the evening!  Because honestly, it will be impossible.  Next up was this gustatory Ricotta Gnudi. Ricotta dumpling with pickled fennel, parmesan shavings and fennel oil.  Two words people – freaking (f……g) astounding!  Once again, perfectly complimented by a Highlands Road Sauvignon Blanc.

And yes, I do suspect that I may run out of descriptive nouns soon.  Especially looking at this:

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Let it roll of your tongue while you read it out loud:  “Blackened Cod on the Grill with Beetroot Mousse, Apple Balls, Goats Cheese Quenelle and Smoked Blackberries”.  Heavenly!  Another perfect combination of colour, taste, texture. Dreamy indeed.

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And yes, more to come!  This is the slowcooked Lamb Belly with smoked chakalaka.  Such an innovative and interesting twist on a tradition South African favourite! Succulent and bursting with flavour.

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And the magic just kept coming out of the kitchen!  Behold…. Roasted Springbok Loin wiht carrot puree, crispy carrot tops, and oh man….  just pure perfection.  I know I sound like a stuck record, but it is what it is.

Decadent desserts to follow – two of them!

This beaauuuutiful creation is the Raspberry and Tarragon Roulade with raspberry cookie dough mousse, fresh raspberries, raspberry crisp and raspberry sorbet. The combination of slightly tart raspberries and tarragon was just mindboggling.  Enjoy this while sipping on Radford Dale Thirst Gamay and again – bliss.

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And the spectacular Baked Alaska with burnt honey custard, cranberry puree and cranberry vodka sauce.  Served with the delicious Paul Cluver Gewurztraminer. Luscious.

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By this time, as you can imagine, we were on a food-and-wine high!  How much awesomeness can you squeeze into one evening?  All of it, it tell you!

A phenominal experience!

And, it is still not the end of our heavenly gastronomic tour de force didn’t end there.  The next morning we woke up to a feast o’ breakfast. With the most perfect Eggs Benedict – and an impressive spread of pastries, fresh fruit, cheese, spreads….

The perfect ending to the perfect staycation.

Chef Pellie, this was truely a world-class experience!  My only regret was that we didn’t spend more time chatting to you – but yes, during peak service time on a Saturday night isn’t the best time to make chitchat! And I hope I managed to get all the dishes right 😉 LOL! And yes, I agree with your motto – changing Pretoria, one meal at a time!  And you, Sir, is doing it in style.

PS:  I am thrilled to see that Black Bamboo will be taking part in Restaurant Week’s Autumn edition!  The ideal opportunity to experience this incredible restaurant!  But you honestly don’t have to wait for that long!  The menu is on the website http://www.theblackbamboo.co.za/  You will find something on the menu for every taste, and I actually think the meals are very well priced.  We WILL be back!

Accommodation and all meals were graciously sponsored by Menlyn Boutique Hotel and Black Bamboo.

Wellness Warehouse is on a mission! #LiveLifeWellClearwater

BoozyFoodie (she said):

This year, on their 10th birthday, Wellness Warehouse is just going from strenght to strenght!  The first time I heard about them, was a good couple of years ago – and I was a regular visitor to their online shop.  Believe it or not, I am actually very aware of health trends and healthy food options, it is only recently that I fell off the wagon a bit (okay, let’s be honest – bliksemed off the wagon, with no grace or flair) – and gained quite a bit of weight. Less than a year ago I was one of the top group leaders of a very well known weight management franchise, and… I guess life happenend!

But I think that is why I love Wellness Warehouse so much – because it is a reminder that healthy eating is not that difficult – or as boring and bland as some may imagine it would be.  And a visit to Wellness Warehouse always inspires me so much!  It really awakens the inner ‘thinner and healthy me’ and I know I will meet her again one day!  🙂

Okay, that was very personal.  But I guess the reason for sharing this intimate detail is to say that I firmly believe that Wellness Warehouse makes healthy eating and healthy living convenient and accessible – not just for the super healthy know-it-alls, but to the general public as well – and a chubby chick like myself.  And I am thankful for that!

I’ve been a regular visitor to the various Wellness Warehouse stores in Pretoria – mainly at Menlyn Maine.  Quite a few stores opened that side of the valley recently, so it was fabulous to hear that the next one will be opening it’s doors at Clearwater Mall, in the West Rand. (#LiveLifeWellClearwater!)  Was thrilled to be invited to experience this brand new store!  And once again, Wellness Warehouse use the opportunity to show that healthy eating can be exciting – and very delicious!   I mean, just look at this spread!

We were treated to a breakfast of champions – gluten free muffins, salmon egg wraps, fresh fruit skewers, guilt-free pancakes with nut butter, delicious vegetarian quiches, fresh hummus, banting-friendly bread, tasty breakfast cups with coconut yogurt and nuts – oh my god, the list goes on and on.  And every bite was a real treat.  Not a sign of wilted lettuce or boring salads!  Just real good food.

The Wellness Warehouse Magazine, Twitter page, website and Facebook page provides a wealth of information and healthy living hints and tips – it will really help you to #LiveLifeWell  Check it out, I insist 🙂   Wellness Warehouse Webpage  and Wellness Warehouse Facebook Page

I have a few favourite products that I often buy at Wellness Warehouse – the one I use most often would be the chia seeds!  http://www.wellnesswarehouse.com/shop/foodmarket/superfoods/dried-fruits-beans-seeds/organic-chia-seeds  It features often on my breakfast menu, especially in ‘overnight oats’ or in smoothies 🙂   Here are some ideas https://tastehealthyum.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/overnight-oats-with-chia-seeds-3-variations/

Apart from the wide variety of ‘on the shelf products’ available (including skincare, beauty, aromatherapy, etc), what I enjoy most about Wellness Warehouse is their ‘fast food’ options.  No deepfrying or drive-throughs here!  With some inspiration from Antonia DeLuca from the wellknown Leafy Greens Cafe – just a fresh variety of wraps, salads and juices – convenient, and freshly prepared every day at the central kitchens in Pretoria and Johannesburg:

What more can you want 🙂

And then, some more good news!  As part of this ever-growing and successful company’s expansion plans (told you their on a mission to make healthy living accessible to the masses!), the next store is opening up at the Thrupps Centre in Illovo – like… tomorrow! #WellnessWarehouseThrupps!  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley Beer Yard: Craft Beer 101

Noble Savage (he said):

As you may well know, Craft Beer has developed into a booming industry over the last few years. Breweries are literally popping up like mushrooms, and it seems that the thirst (pun intended) for the various brands are unquenchable. This popularity has led to some establishments being established around craft beer (you might remember our review of The Beer House). Stanley Beer Yard is another such establishment.

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Stanley Beer Yard forms part of 44 Stanley, an upmarket boutique shopping centre in Milpark, Johannesburg. It has quite an interesting history, starting its life as the Automobile Association’s workshop in the 1930’s. When the AA moved out, vagrants moved in, and almost caused these buildings to be reduced to rubble. Luckily, the buildings were saved by Group 44, who tried to retain many of the 1930’s features.

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Stanley Beer Yard will do these beer tasting events on a regular basis, so follow them on their via Social Media Channels for the details. They invite qualified beer judges (yup, it’s apparently a thing) to take their guests through the different beers, giving background to the type, brewing technique, and other interesting stories. The tasting will set you back R50, which is really not a bad deal. Disclaimer: we were hosted by the folks at Stanley Beer Yard.

On the evening we would go through five local craft beers with beer judges Wayne Johnson and Rob Cass. These two guys are very approachable when it comes to their passion, and one can tell they really want to introduce and educate everyone on the intricacies of beer. The beers we had started form light and refreshing, moving gradually to the heavier, hoppy beers. I quite liked the progression, as it allowed the judges to really get into different brewing techniques and history of the various types of beer.

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I’m not going to go into details of the beers – you can go there and try them yourselves, you lazy bastards! Worth mentioning though is the Three Stags Brewery Moose Oatmeal Stout. An interesting, chocolaty, coffee stout that is the perfect after dinner beer. Much better than having a cup of coffee!

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While tasting, our hosts graciously plied us with platters, and they went down a treat with the beer. Seriously, if you go for the tasting, treat yourself to at least one of the platters on offer. They have platter for most tastes – I preferred the sausage platter. They have various other food options, and I’m sure we’ll be back for one of their artisanal hot dogs.

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I really enjoyed the evening at Stanley Beer Yard. The whole vibe is relaxed, while still focusing on imparting beer knowledge to both beginners and experts alike. There is no pretence here, just good beer and good company. Give them a try and I’m sure you’ll be back for more.

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Just a note w.r.t upcoming events: these tastings will be scheduled on a monthly basis – the next one on the 6th of April will be hosted by “Hello Joburg” (ticket price to be confirmed).

https://www.facebook.com/stanleybeeryard/ and https://twitter.com/StanleyBeerYard

 

 

 

 

 

What’s up at Ciao Baby Cucina?

Boozy Foodie (she said):

We were invited to Ciao Baby Cucina’s flagship store at Montecasino to taste and sample some of the new and revamped menu items – ready to be launched in April 2017!

The hospitality of the team was top notch, hosted by manager Micheal Holiasmenos – and the service was friendly and efficient.  For those of you who don’t know (I sure didn’t), this is a family run business with restauranteur Theo Holiasmenos at the helm and his other sun, Basil Holiamenos, in charge of whipping up fabulous creations in the kitchen.

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We started off with a few virgin cocktails – I had a ginger mojito, and really enjoyed the fresh combination of mint and ginger.  We also digged into a pre-starter of crispy focaccia, served with fresh garlic, chillies, parmesan and a delicious olive tapenade.  Enough to whet your appetite.

It also gave us time to appreciated our surroundings.  This restaurant is conveniently located next to the Teatro at Montecasino, with a full view of the piazza area and the water fountain.  Real relaxing – the ideal spot for long and lazy lunches or romantic dinners.

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A variety of dishes appeared out of the kitchen, starting off with a combination platter of various buschettas. Fresh toppings and interesting flavour combinations – beautiful presented, a charcuterie board to die for and 2 vegetarian options as well – one being a gorgeous looking mushroom mousse withe exotic mushrooms and gorgonzola.  I am actually reluctant to give too much detail, will just tease you with the photos – because I really would prefer if you go and experience the tastes and flavours yourself!

 

A real treat was this lemony palette cleanser in a glass!  (Apologies, this isn’t the best picture – our sunny afternoon weather changed, so we lost some ‘natural’ light!)

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This is the ideal time to mention that Ciao Baby Cucina makes their own gelato, a wide variety of tastes and flavours – made on-site every day.  So this palette cleanser was also a sneak peak of that – some lemon sorbet, pomegranate syrup and soda water.

And the we were treated to the new risottos to be added to the menu!  A beautifully presented Beetroot Risotto and, my favourite of the day, a Lamb Risotto.  Yes, lamb!  Meaty and super tasty.  And yes, I have so much more than ‘just a taste’!

We had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with this family, and got a personal insight into their vision and future plans of the establishment and franchise.

I was very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the team who is on a mission to revive and enhance the experience of dining at Ciao Baby – with improved service and improved menu offerings. They have listened to their customers and also want to offer a more comtemporary take on the current menu items, both the food and cocktails – and on what we think “Italian food” should be.  This family business wants to introduce the public to lighter and more trendy food items, modern presentation and new taste combinations.  With fresh inspiration and ideas coming straight from the current food vibe in the UK, bringing it home to local customers.  Watch this space – more exciting things coming from this dynamic team soon! This are definitely looking up for Ciao Baby Cucina – bigger and better.

A Week of Wine!  Part III: Brooklyn Bubbles

And yes, we’re still going! 

Brooklyn Bubbles (Saturday):

Noble Savage (he said):

And finally, it was time for Brooklyn Bubbles. The idea behind this is also simple: get a bunch of Sparkling and MCC producers together. Add people. Repeat. The event was supposed to be at the open area between the restaurants, but with all the rain we’ve had, they wisely decided to move it indoors.

It seems that, all of a sudden, everyone and their mothers are making either a Sparkling wine or a MCC. This is AN good thing – the popularity of bubbles means that more is sold, which in turn gives the producers more money to invest in their more traditional wines (i.e. Cabernet Sauvignon). Not that I mind the bubbles. In fact, we enjoy a good MCC almost every Sunday while braaiing.

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There was a good variety of producers, and as it was relatively quiet in the morning, we had the representatives’ full attention at every table. We were regaled with behind-the-scenes stories of the different brands, different methods of production, and also a few kak praatjies along the way. I’m not sure if things got busier later in the day, but I quite enjoyed the relative reserved atmosphere of the morning.

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And yes, we had some MCC on Sunday.

BoozyFoodie (she says):

Who doesn’t love bubbly! Oh man, I am a sucker for a gorgeous MCC or a sip of French champagne!  So getting invited to Brooklyn Bubbles made me a VERY happy girl! 

See the big smile??!  The HUGE grin on the left.  Pictured here with my bubbly buddy Nadia Barnard. 

Of course we were there when the doors opened, ready to go! SA’s best bubbly producers.  All in one place, awesome! 

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Again, one of the reasons we love these kind of wine events – it is usually an interesting mix of the well-known favorites and a fresh newcomer or two. 

So once again, if I must list my favorite top three, it will take a while! Especially after our Wonderful Week of Wine. Seriously good value and quality out there.  And Brooklyn Bubbles is the ideal showcase for the best and the awesome. 

Bargain, they even had dessert! *grin*

A Week of Wine! Part II: #JoziWineRoute

The#JoziWineRoute (Wednesday)

Noble Savage (he said):

Then it was time for the Jozi Wine Route.  Because, let’s be honest, being the City of Gold is fine if you’re into gold, but what Joburg (and Pretoria, for than matter) has always been lacking is a wine route.  So after launching the concept in Slaapstad, they decided to bring it to the real city!

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The idea follows a very simple three step process.  Step one:  take a very popular streets littered with trendy restaurants (4th Avenue, Parkhurst).  Step two:  set up different wineries at said restaurants.  Step three:  there is no step theree.  Simple!  All you need is your ticket, and off you go on a wine adventure.  Glasses (some call it stemless; I prefer tumbler) are supplied, as well as funky wine tattoos of the temporary variety.  That being said, I’m pretty pretty sure my next tattoo will copy some elements of their designs….

Those of you familiar with 4th Avenue would know that there are a metric fucktonne of interesting restaurants lining hte strip.  There really is something for every taste, price and level of hangry-ness.  We have been wondering about some of these for some time, and the event afforded us the opportunity to check all of these out first hand.  The vibe around the street was very festive, and everyone seemed to be in a great mood (also pretty sure the wine had something to do with that).

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The next event will be on the 5th of April 2017, and I can really recommend a visit.  Also, go early:  it got really busy later on, and the wine tables aren’t exactly massive.  Another alos, parking could be an issue, because Parkhurst. There are designated parking areas available, just confirm beforehand.

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BoozyFoodie (she said):

I’ve been super stoked about this event the first time I heard about it – a good couple of months ago.  So imagine how excited I was when we received an invite to take part in the very first #JoziWineRoute! And it is such a fantastic concept.  Strolling the streets of Parkhurst, mingling with fellow winelovers and sipping and munching as you go along.  Can’t think of a better night out!

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And the wine estates present included the best of the best!  To name a few – Creation, Warwick, Idiom, Vondeling, Saxenburg, Steenberg  – and LOTS more.

And I thoroughly enjoyed the “Taste of Chenin” set up at Hudsons – with a variety of Chenin Blanc on hand to sip and sample.  And the most delicious bites from the Feast Fairy – adding to the chilled vibe at  White House Interiors.

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And I must admit, we simply ran out of time – there was still a few that we wanted to sample.  And, still wanted to have dinner at one of the highly acclaimed restaurants on the 4th Avenue strip.  Alas, so much wine, too little time!  😉

But, of course, there will be another opportunity! (First one – 5th of April – follow http://www.tuningthevine.co.za/joziwineroute/ for all the deets!)  And I am now even more obsessed with stemless wine (NOT tumblers!) glasses – and eager to get my permanent ‘flying wine bottle’ tattoo!  #JoziWineRoute is in our blood now!

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See you there!

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A Week of Wine! Part I: Constantia Wine Route Tasting at Black Bamboo

Last week (from 28 Feb to 4 March) was a real treat for wine lovers!  And we were fortunate enough to take full advantage of most of the various events happening all over Gauteng):

So, I decided to share it in three different posts – not to overwhelm you with too much information 😉

Noble Savage (he said):

Constantia Valley (Tuesday, 28 February)

First up was the Constantia Valley wine tasting at Black Bamboo. The valley is one of South Africa’s oldest wine regions, and home to some of the country’s best known wines. And the venue perfectly fit the wines on offer. It was my first time at Black Bamboo (has been on our list for a while), and I was not disappointed. The sculptures around the hotel and dining area are breath-taking – so much so that I really want to spend a night there (and dreams do come true – watch this space!).

I really liked the fact that this wasn’t just another wine event – from my observation it was more aimed at restauranteurs investigating new options for their wine lists. So the conversations around the tables had a bit more depth, and I learned a lot from just listening to some of the conversations taking place.

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As the Constantia Valley is one of our oldest, the wines were definitely ballsier than your “easy -drinking-for-new-pallets” varieties. Most of the wines (the reds, at least) were full bodied and rich; a welcome change from the “We developed this Cabernet Sauvignon specifically for weaklings that need a safe space.” In all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and many wines that need to find their way to my wine rack.

BoozyFoodie (she said):

We were invited to the Constantia Wine Route tasting last week (a biiig thank you to Margot from Groot Constantia!).  Again, as above – have been so excited to attend the event at Black Bamboo – this venue has been on my radar and bucket list for quite a while now.  And boy, it didn’t disappoint!  From the event set-up to the canapes served – a great experience!  We will be back!

The wine farms represented were (reading it from the ‘checklist’ received):  Beau Constantia, Constantia Glen, Eagle’s Nest, Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig and Steenberg.  A note about this card – a clever way to make sure that everyone visits and taste a few wines from all the wine estates represented. PS:  Not to be used as a ‘speed’ challenge!

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This wasn’t a ‘public’ tasting (if I can call it like that), it was aimed at trade, restauranteurs, etc.  So it was great to see some of the ‘who’s who’ in the Pretoria restaurant scene visiting the various stalls and interacting with the wine estates and their representatives.

I can honestly say that each of the wine farms had some real gems – the history and the unique terrior of the Constantia Valley definitely shone through!

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I started out making a list of ‘favourites’ – started out with a Top 3 list – which grew to a Top 5 list, and then got out of control!  LOL!  So let me rather not complicate things.

In short, a great opportunity to interact and get to know the Constantia Wine Route estates, and a fantastic reminder of some old favourites, and some amazing new kids on the block as well!

 

 

An Epic Mid-Week Adventure Not to Be Missed#JoziWineRoute

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BoozyFoodie (she said):

I’ve been keeping my eye on this event for a while now!

Was beyond excited to hear that Tuning the Vine is planning to create a similar wine ‘safari’ here in Johannesburg .

Being an expert social media stalker, I’ve been watching their Twitter and Facebook accounts with great envy.  Sigh!  A inner city winelands experience, how cool with that be!

And then… lo and behold, we’re getting our turn!  Oh joy!

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So here are the details!

  • The date to pen into your diary:  Wednesday, 1 March 2017
  • The place to Uber to: 4th Avenue, Parkhurst
  • Time to get there:  Starting at 18.00
  • What the expect:  More than 20 of South Africa’s most exciting wine producers, at some of Jozi’s finest eateries 
  • What to wear: comfortable shoes. 

Just listen to this – to mention a few wine estates – Creation, Waterford, Vondeling, Hermanuspietersfontein, Idiom, Spier, The Drift, Durbanville Hills, Steenberg, Jordan, Montpellier – wines from all over our most  well-known wine regions.  From the luscious Hemel-en-Aarde Valley to the exquisite Tulbagh area. I honestly will have to sit down and make a list, don’t want to miss anything!

And you don’t have to be a vino aficionado at all, so no need to feel intimidated!  This is the ideal relaxed environment to get to know the various wine estates, ask questions, be curious, explore and spend some time lingering at some of the most delightful eateries in Johannesburg, and most important of all, have fun experimenting and sampling the best South Africa has got to offer.

Talking about restaurants – it is a true adventure on it’s own!  The restaurants taking part includes The Art Room, Bottega Café, Bistro Vine, Vovo Telo, Classic Bond, Craft, YuMe, Café del Sol Tre, Coobs, Hudsons The Burger Joint, Dry Dock Liquor, White House Interiors and The Beautiful Life. So a few firm favourites and quite a few I am super keen to try out!  We will have to pace ourselves!  Not 🙂

So, as you can see – this is an unique experience you simply can not miss!  When else did you attend an event like this in Jozi?  Don’t miss out 🙂  So get your tickets from Quicket http://www.tuningthevine.co.za/jozi/  and keep following the excitement on Social Media!

Think about it so long!  Which wine estate is on your MUST TASTE list?  Which one of the restaurants can’t you wait to visit?

#JoziWineRoute

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JoziWineRoute

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JoziWineRoute/

See you there!

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