Archive for October, 2010

Sometimes the beauty is in the simplicity and this is the case with this amazing straight forward pasta salad. The fact that it is called a ‘corkscrew pasta salad’ makes it even more inviting to open a bottle of crisp Chenin or Sauvignon Blanc with this salad.



  • 2 cups fusilli or corkscrew pasta
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 120g fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces
  • 60 g salami, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  •  salt and black pepper



 – Cook pasta according to the package directions; drain and rinse under cold water. Toss in a large bowl with the spinach, grape tomatoes, mozzarella, and salami.

-Whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Transport the pasta mixture and vinaigrette separately; drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette before serving.

Source: realsimple.com


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There are hundreds of different cheese in the world and (just as wine) they differ in  styles, textures and flavours. The French are famous for their cheeses and wines and Brie and Camembert are two of the most renowned cheeses in the world.

But what is the difference between the two cheeses?

Brie is a soft cows’ cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated. It is pale in colour with a slight greyish tinge under a rind of white mould; very soft and savoury with a hint of ammonia. The whitish mouldy rind is typically eaten, the flavor quality of which depends largely upon the ingredients used and its fabrication environment.

Camembert is a similar soft cheese, also made from cow milk. However, there are differences beyond the simple geographical fact that brie originates from the Ile de France and camembert from Normandy.

Brie is produced in large wheels and thus ripens differently: when sold it typically has been cut from a wheel, and therefore its side is not covered by the rind; camembert, meanwhile, is ripened as a small round cheese and sold as such, so it is fully covered by rind. This changes the ratio between the rind and the inner part of the cheese. Furthermore, brie contains more fat than camembert.


The Douglas Green Merlot will pair exceptionally well with both these cheese styles

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Douglas Green was one of the wine sponsors at this year’s Maties Tennis Dance.

The night was roaring success and it seems that Maties Tennis club members know how to enjoy themselves.

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Wine serving rules and traditions were developed centuries ago,  before air conditioning and central heating was part of our daily lives. This implies that serving wine at room temperature is probably the Western European room temperature of centuries ago.

The rooms in those were cold which means that serving wine at 17°C -20 °C is probably the right temperature for red wines. I suggest that on warm days you can put red wine in the fridge for while just to bring temperature down a bit.

White wine has more personal temperature preferences. Some people say that adding ice to white wine is an absolute no-no while others say an ice cold glass of white wine is the perfect drink.  My opinion is go for what works for you , just as long as you enjoy your glass of wine.



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Women who drink a couple of glasses of red wine, beer or spirits a day are better at keeping the kilos off than women who do not drink at all, according to a  recent study conducted in Boston.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston asked more than 19 000, normal-weight US women aged 39 or older how many alcoholic beverages they typically drank in a day, and then tracked the women for around 13 years.

Over the 13-year follow-up period, the women who did not drink at all gained the most weight, and the women who had the equivalent of two drinks a day were the least likely to pack on pounds.

The best drink for keeping the pounds off was red wine, but all four types of tipple included in the study – red or white wine, beer and spirits – showed the same “inverse association between alcohol intake and risk of becoming overweight or obese”, the study found.

Read more on  news24

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It is great to make a ‘gadget’ out of an old thing that is normally used for something completely different. We get very creative in getting new uses for old things.

Here are some of the smartest ways to rethink common items:

Binder clip as money/key chain

Binder clip serves as a key chain/money holder you can clamp to your waistband for a purse-free morning walk.

Foil the oops!

No more oops! moments. When painting, if you cover doorknobs and hardware with aluminum foil.

Silence the cabinet by putting a cork in it

Silence cabinet doors that slam with cork sliced into thin disks and glued onto the inside corners.

Soap case for the camera, ipod etc.

A hard plastic soap case is the perfect size to protect a camera stashed in a carry-on bag.

Source: realsimple.com

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Congratulations to Jillian Hill, Lucinda Kartzen and Colleen Rens

They have won tickets to the Douglas Green Vintage Wine Experience and will join us tonight for this great event.

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