Michael Fridjhon: Pinot Noir and the problem of “sameness”

The first session tasting at January’s Pinot Celebration provided me with something of a light bulb moment when it came to the red wines: every one of the examples was recognisably Pinot Noir, in a way that placed the Hemel-en-Aarde production quite close in style to regional Burgundy (at least as it was produced in […]

February 24, 2016
by Michael Fridjhon
with 0 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: Cab vs Shiraz – which will prevail?

I arrived recently at what turned out to be a BYO restaurant (there are still a few about) located quite close to an Ultra Liquors suburban store, so I went to the off-licence to find something suitable. There was a pretty impressive selection – so choosing was actually more difficult than I imagined it would […]

January 27, 2016
by Michael Fridjhon
with 1 Comment

Michael Fridjhon: Is age-worthiness still important?

As human life expectancy – at least in the first world (and excluding white middle class middle-aged Americans without college degrees) – increases, we have become less patient about ageing our wines. In an era (not so long ago) when middle class males could not expect to reach their three score years, they customarily bought […]

December 9, 2015
by Michael Fridjhon
with 0 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: How to build a strong South African wine culture

I’m beginning to think that wine courses – for most people (as opposed to those in the trade) – are a little like book clubs. Lots of people attend them, but they go in order to be able to drink wine and chat to their mates. The book club crowd – as far as I […]

November 25, 2015
by Michael Fridjhon
with 2 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: Import prospects

The recent precipitate plummet of the Rand is arguably just another steeper-than-usual plunge in a trajectory which began in the early 1980s, and gained real momentum after the “Rubicon” speech in June 1985. Those who still have price-tagged bottles of imported wines dating from before this era of currency instability enjoy an excursion into unreality […]

October 28, 2015
by Michael Fridjhon
with 0 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: SA’s white blends are great but do they sell?

If you put a bunch of South African wine geeks in a room and leave them to talk about what’s on their collective mind, sometime quite soon, alongside discussion about the Swartland, natural ferments and the unsung heroes of the revolution, the issue of Cape white blends will get an airing. Typically there will be […]

September 23, 2015
by Michael Fridjhon
with 3 Comments

Michael Fridjhon: How to fix Merlot

In the 1960s European and American electricity providers replaced coal-fired power stations with “clean” nuclear facilities. Fifty years later, the swing of the pendulum has made atomic the dirtiest source in town. Addressing the WineLand seminar in late July, the Wine Cellar’s Roland Peens exhorted the industry to grub up its merlot vineyards and replace […]

August 24, 2015
by Michael Fridjhon
with 4 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.