Michael Fridjhon: Sommeliers and the state of restaurant wine service in SA

Ten years ago the word “sommelier” did not exist in the active vocabulary of any but the most wine-literate of South Africans. “Wine steward” was the jumped-up version of “wine waiter” but even in the best of establishments the maitre d’ would usually say – having taken the meal order – “should I send the […]

July 26, 2017
by Michael Fridjhon
with 1 Comment

Michael Fridjhon: Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon – not waving but drowning

  Before the 20 or so producers who participated in the Stellenbosch Cabernet jamboree in Johannesburg earlier this month do themselves an injury by prolonged mutual back-thumping, they would do well to ask themselves if the undoubtedly successful event was not too little, too late. Roughly 150 guests each paid almost R1000 to attend an […]

June 28, 2017
by Michael Fridjhon
with 5 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: Is there a difference between authentic wine vs wine made to taste expensive?

What makes a wine “nerdy” – and for that matter, are these the same features which communicate authenticity? I recently – somewhat frivolously – wrote that “if you fancy yourself a wine geek, you dare not mention that you drank – let alone enjoyed – a bottle of Nederburg or even Diemersdal. You’re not supposed […]

April 26, 2017
by Michael Fridjhon
with 3 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: On the Nederburg Auction selection process

The Nederburg Auction has been changing the way it goes about its business, a decision which both reflects a change of guard at Distell, and also the recognition that for South Africa’s oldest and best established rare wine sale to remain relevant it has to move from the Dark Ages to the 21st century. One […]

March 29, 2017
by Michael Fridjhon
with 0 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: SA – two wine industries and very little media

It seems that there are at least two South African wine industries, and implicit in this dichotomy lie the seeds which might lead to the destruction of both of them. On the one hand we have what used to be the portion of the industry which thrived under the protection of the KWV, and now […]

February 22, 2017
by Michael Fridjhon
with 6 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: Does a wine’s age-worthiness go towards investment potential?

In wine geek circles the discussion around investment wines continues unabated. Linked to this – for obvious reasons – is the question of age-ability. If a wine is to be kept long enough to appreciate meaningfully in the hands of a speculator, it will need more than a few years of life in it. This […]

January 25, 2017
by Michael Fridjhon
with 1 Comment

Michael Fridjhon: Succession Crisis? What succession crisis?

There’s no one who seriously disputes that the Cape wine industry has made enormous progress in the past decade. From playing serious catch-up after 1994, and achieving something of a middle-of-the-road equilibrium by 2010, it has powered ahead, garnering critical acclaim, stronger-than-ever exports, and a real visibility amongst modern wine aficionados all over the world. […]

September 28, 2016
by Michael Fridjhon
with 4 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: Possible effects of climate change on the wine industry

Climate change is not an uncontroversial subject, with a spectrum of opinions which range from whether or not we are still living in a period of global warming, to the possible causes, and to whether or not it is within our power to do anything about it. The extreme denialists (of which I am not […]

August 31, 2016
by Michael Fridjhon
with 0 Comments
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with SA fine wine.

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