Archive for January, 2011

The shape of a wine

Next time you are browsing down the wine isle at your local supplier, take a closer look at the shapes of the bottles. Bottle shapes are all about tradition and many wine producing areas in Europe have developed unique shapes that are still being used for wines that originated in those regions. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common shapes:

A – This is the “Bordeaux” style bottle and is usually dark green for dry red wine and lighter green for white wines. Sweeter wines will mostly be in a clear bottle to show off its colour. This bottle is known for its straight sides and tall shoulders and is by far the most frequently used shape. Wines associated with this shape bottle include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Semillon.

B – The “Burgundy” bottle is slightly fatter with gently sloping shoulders and is generally used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (sometimes even Shiraz). This bottle suits both red and white wine alike and has a dark green colour.

C – I am sure you will recognize this one as the “Champagne” bottle. This type of bottle also has sloping shoulders, but much thicker glass and a pronounced punt (the dent at the bottom of the bottle). All these features make this bottle much stronger than the rest, as it is designed to withstand a pressure of up to 3 times that of the inside of a normal bottle of wine. The Champagne bottle is used for all sparkling wines.

D – Commonly used for Riesling and Gewürztraminer, the “Alsace” or “Hoch” bottle is slightly more slender than normal bottles and ranges from green to brown in colour (with mostly green being used in South Africa). The wine in these bottles can range from dry, to off-dry, to sweet.

E – It’s the bottle used for fortified wines. Most fortified wines (such as Port, Sherry and Muscadel) are packaged in these sturdy bottles, but sometimes with a shorter, fatter body. Quite often you will find that these bottles have a bulge in their neck – this is supposedly to catch any sediment when the wine is being decanted. Many of these bottles will be sealed with a cork stopper and not the normal long cork.

So next time you are doing a blind tasting, you might be able to narrow the wines down just by looking at the shape of the bottle!

Source: SA Wine Advocate


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Spring in the Cape Vineyards

Great clip: Spring in the Cape Vineyards

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Douglas Green Chenin Blanc 2010 was named best value Chenin Blanc in the recent Chenin Blanc Challange.

“The Best Value wine to emerge from the Challenge was the 4-Star Douglas Green 2010, selling at R31.50.Panel chairman for the Wine magazine Chenin Blanc category, Michael Fridjhon, said he was happy to see that the wines – and the styles on offer – have continued to evolve.”

Click here to view the full results.

About the Chenin Blanc challenge:

Started in 1996, the Chenin Blanc Challenge is Wine magazine’s longest running annual competition. It came about at a time when the local wine industry was undergoing a dramatic shift in the way it operated.

Perhaps the primary motivation behind the launch of the Chenin Blanc Challenge was therefore to unlock the noble variety potential of what had been planted to produce vin ordinaire, to turn a work horse into a show pony.

Read more on winemag.co.za

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Pork chops is probably one of the most underrated dishes. It is easy to prepare and it is very versatile. This recipe is and nice and easy recipe for a spicy pork chops with some cabbage and raisins. Truly divine.


  • – 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • – 4 bone-in pork rib chops (about 2.5cm thick; 500g total)
  • – 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • – salt and black pepper
  • – 1 onion, sliced
  • – ½ small head red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • – ½ cup golden raisins
  • – ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • – ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • – bread (optional)


  1. – Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the pork with the cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side.
  2. – Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, raisins, vinegar, ¼ cup water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes; stir in the dill. Serve with the pork and bread, if using.


The Douglas Green Reserve Selection Merlot: This elegant wine displays aromas of cherries, dark chocolate and coffee. Well-integrated oak and fruit flavours give way to a lasting aftertaste.

Source: realsimple

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Great Wine Quotes



Wine and socializing go hand in hand. A dinner party that does not have wine as a part of the drinks seems to be incomplete. So popular is wine amongst people that many of the great personalities; like Benjamin Franklin, William Shakespeare and even Homer Simpson, have written or said great quotes about it. Here’s a few great quotes.

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. – Benjamin Franklin

What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile. – William Sokolin

Wine is bottled poetry. – Robert Louis Stevenson

This is one of the disadvantages of wine; it makes a man mistake words for thoughts. – Samuel Johnson

Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized. – Andre Simon

Blind tastings are to wine what strip poker is to love. – Kermit Lynch

The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars. – Benjamin Franklin

If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good! – Cardinal Richelieu

Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it. – Anonymous

Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age. – Pope John XXIII

Life is too short to drink bad wine. – Anonymous

If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul. – Clifton Fadiman

The best use of bad wine is to drive away poor relations. – French proverb

Alcohol – the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems. – Homer Simpson

Source: lifestyle.iloveindia.com

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