Tim James: What makes a good tasting note?

Some years ago I had an enjoyable email correspondence with a Californian named Ian Joseph who objected (unfairly, of course!) to a tasting note of mine as “bulls**t”. We had a good-humoured interchange (see here ), which he trumpingly concluded with an enviable wine description from Russell Crowe in A Good Year: “Bouquet of a […]

September 21, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Exploring difference in Cape pinot

One of the great –and perhaps surprising – varietal successes of the Cape wine revolution of the past few decades has been pinot noir. Surprising, because back in the bad old days when pinot was everywhere in the New World known as the “heartbreak grape” and few were convinced that Burgundian supremacy could ever be […]

September 7, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Wine and language

English is a pretty bastard language – only about a third of its current word-hoard is derived from the original Anglo-Saxon, and much of that is either very changed or obsolete. The rest is Norse, Norman French, Latin, etc with minor contributions of everything from Arabic (including “alcohol”!) to Zulu. This is a marvellous strength, […]

September 1, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Cape white blends – what’s in a name?

“Excuse me, what is a ‘Mediterranean White Blend’?” piped up an Australian voice at blind tasting of Cape Winemakers Guild last week? Good question – as so many of David Clarke’s are. He was referring to one of the category headings which, together with vintage, was all the information we were given to proceed with. […]

August 24, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Some conclusions on completing tasting for Platter’s 2016

Soon, I hope, I shall soon return to my customary semi-idleness, with time to go to the occasional wine function or, more interestingly, to visit wine farms (a couple of those already lined up), even to write blogs more frequently. What’s more, I shall be able to choose what to drink with my dinner, and […]

August 17, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Could great old names be rescued?

An almost inevitable topic came up for discussion among those attending the recent grand match between some old Cape stars and their international equivalents: the modern decline in reputation of wines like Chateau Libertas – the 1959 vintage of which had just given us all great satisfaction. I’ve had, incidentally, many fine old vintages of […]

August 3, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: SA legends vs the world

A most remarkable tasting was held in Cape Town last Friday evening. Some 15 people paid quite a bit of money to sit down at a table at Aubergine restaurant and work though five pairs of wines – one South African and one foreign in each pair. The oldest two wines were from 1948, the […]

July 27, 2015
by Tim James
with 8 Comments

Tim James: A “newbies” tasting suggests some trends

I spent a good chunk of last weekend – or so it seems in retrospect – tasting wines from a handful of the Cape’s newest producers. A privilege in the context of our exciting times, you might think – and that’s absolutely right for the most part. I was tasting with the redoutable Cathy van […]

July 14, 2015
by Tim James
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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