la muerte agave de jalisco – win a bottle

Rui Esteves travelled throughout Mexico to bring the best handcrafted agave spirit to South Africans. The reason it’s called agave spirit and neither mescal nor tequila is because, while it’s made in the tequila region of Mexico, it’s actually made like mescal.

Once the Blue Weber Agave plants reach full maturity at ten years, their hearts (piñas) are harvested by hand and then cooked for three days in traditional stone ovens. After the slow-bake, the piñas are crushed and placed in open wooden tanks for a natural 10-day fermentation. The “agave wine” is then distilled in a copper alembique still to produce a clear spirit with a rich agave flavour before resting it in lightly-charred French oak barrels for 10 months. The result is smooth and earthy, with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.

To win a bottle of La Muerte Agave De Jalisco from Collective São Gabriel, either Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter.
Entries close 2 September 2011.

To find out more about Collective São Gabriel’s products, contact Rui Esteves on 083 653 9976 or email

fnb whisky live festival

Showcasing whiskies from all around the world, the FNB Whisky Live Festival has grown into the largest, liveliest whisky and lifestyle event of its kind, attracting more visitors and brands than any other whisky festival – globally. Whether you’re already a passionate connoisseur of the elixir that is whisky, a first-time taster, or an every-man enthusiast keen to learn, see, taste more, the FNB Whisky Live Festival has something for you. Every glass of every dram – new or old – holds some new mystery, some new discovery.

Our top stops on this journey of discovery?

Travel the whisky trails of the world in our Tasting Hall where over 180 whiskies are available for sampling. Click here to find out about the Whiskies at the 2011 Festival. The Tasting Hall is also home to a variety of wonderful first-come, first-serve educational and entertainment zones. For more on this year’s tasting hall treats and surprises, click here.

But why stop there when the journey could lead you into one of our world-renowned whisky workshops, where global master distillers reveal the secrets that go into every drop of every dram? Hosted by whisky experts in private rooms away from the crowd, these one-hour tutorials not only open up a world of discovery, they provide the opportunity to taste unique whiskies generally not available in the Tasting Hall or even in South Africa. For more on what workshops will be wowing visitors this year, click here.

This year, Volvo has created The Volvo Whisky Lifestyle Lounge, the perfect place to entertain and network with friends and clients in complete luxury, while tasting unique whiskies not available to the masses. For more about The Lounge, click here.

But if you’re really looking to impress, or just treat yourself – we recommend The Volvo Connoisseur’s Experience – The Ultimate Guided Whisky Tour. Arrive in chauffeur-driven Volvo luxury; take a personalised guided tour of the festival; marvel at ‘Connoisseurs-only tastings’; and finish with a deluxe dinner in the Volvo Whisky Lifestyle Lounge. With only two tours per night and extremely limited numbers, tickets do sell out. Book now. For more on this unforgettable experience, click here.

Like what you’ve tasted? You’ll find it, onsite, at the Picardi Rebel store. Plus, be sure to look out for plenty of special promotions AND don’t forget to use your discount voucher (valid until 11th November). Just sharing the wonders of whisky – no thanks necessary!

R190 per person. Ticket includes entry into the Tasting Hall; 12 whisky tasting vouchers; a whisky tasting glass; a copy of the SA Whisky Handbook 2012; a bottle of Valpré water; a R15 discount voucher, redeemable at the Picardi Rebel onsite retail shop on any purchase of malt whisky to the value of R350 or more; and a R10 food voucher, redeemable at food delis within the Tasting Hall.

For more information visit the website or buy your ticket at Webtickets

empty the barrel at toro wine bar on 27 january

Toro Wine Bar seeks dedicated Capetonians and visitors to the Mother City who are ready and able to conquer a 55 litre barrel of Sterhuis Chenin Blanc.

Each glass of will be served on ice, as is traditionally done in France to celebrate when the new vintage is ready to be bottled. Your first round, which includes a crystal glass to take home in honour of your achievement, will cost R25. All refills will cost R20.

Empty the Barrel’ runs from 6pm on Friday, 27 January to 2am the following morning and while booking is not required, it’s worth noting that only 100 glasses will be given away.

Are you up to the task?

tutored tastings at bouchard finlayson

Bouchard Finlayson, a boutique winery in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is known for its Pinot noirs, Chardonnays and Sauvignon blanc and offers a few other interesting wines.

The first of the Tutored Tastings for 2012 will be offered by the winemaker himself on ‘older Chardonnays’ – this is an opportunity not to be missed, as knowledge is shared and this cultivar explored as it comes to its own with time in the bottle. A variety of eight wines will be included, some of which are Bouchard Finlayson wines, as well as one or two international examples.

It takes place on Saturday, 11 February from 11am to 12:30pm and if you’re still feeling the festive season financial pinch, it’s free of charge! There is space for only 20 guests, however, so please r.s.v.p. soonest in order to secure your seat at this fun and interactive tasting.

Details can be found here.

R320, Hemel-&-Aarde Valley
028 312 3515

real music wednesday at &union starts 7 march

Brewers & Union and PUMA present REAL MUSIC WEDNESDAY in Cape Town, which kicks off on Wednesday, 7 March 2012 with Andy Lund and The Mission Men.

Back by popular demand, the sport lifestyle brand has once again teamed up with uber-cool Cape Town beer salon &Union, as well as Rolling Stone magazine, to bring another round of great South African music to the public.

The Cape Town series runs for 40 weeks, with one live act every Wednesday night at &Union. The REAL MUSIC WEDNESDAY experience that PUMA, Rolling Stone magazine and & Union have created, serves to foster SA music and gives artists the opportunity to play for audiences in a relaxed, social space.

Gigs start at 8pm every Wednesday and the line up for the next few weeks is as follows:

  • 07 March 2012 – Andy Lund and The Mission Men
  • 14 March 2012 – Crossfire Collision
  • 21 March 2012 – Stoker
  • 28 March 2012 – Wolftown
  • 04 April 2012 – The Rescu
  • 11 April 2012 – Shotgun Tori
  • 18 April 2012 – Janie Bay
  • 25 April 2012 – Reburn

Up for a night of sampling great local music, tasting a variety of unique craft beer and being spotted at the coolest gig in town? Then this one’s for you! Drinks and food will be available to purchase, and entrance is free. Seating is limited so get there early to avoid disappointment.

Visit the &Union Facebook page for more information.

021 422 2770
110 Bree Street, Cape Town

beaumont wines port stomp

Join Beaumont Wines for a unique evening spent dancing in the grapes in our candlelit cellar with plenty of delicious wine and food to keep the spirits and energy levels high.

The dress code is seriously casual; make sure you take old clothes for the stomp, towels and something warm for later in the evening.

Cost per person is R150 and includes:
* Delicious Beaumont wines and supper in our barrel cellar
* Bottling of your own port to take home
* Deluxe grape seed foot exfoliation!

Tickets can be booked via the website.

028 284 9194

head to botriver for the barrels & beards post-harvest celebration

Savour the true spirit of the Botriver Wine Route on Saturday 21st April 2012. Harvest is over and local winemakers celebrate by showing off the latest gems from their cellars and their post-harvest looks. This fun-filled event attests that ‘beauty comes from within the bottle’ as friends, family and wine lovers gather to enjoy delectable new wines and the raging beards, moustaches and facial fluff grown during the harvest.

“During the manic harvest season we focus all our efforts on the vines to ensure that only the finest quality is harnessed in each bottle of wine. This leaves us with very little time for ‘self pruning and pampering’. Even if the harvest takes its toll on the winemaker, the vine is the perfect expression of nature’s ability to renew itself every year and on this evening the wine folk of Botriver literally let our hair down to toast to that,” shares an exuberant Melissa Nelsen. Melissa lends extra sparkle to the celebrations with her adored Genevieve Cap Classique. (Which Rivendell has in stock when you feel like bubbles.

Other wine producers that will be flaunting their whiskers and wines include Gabriëlskloof, Boutros, Maremanna, Goedvertrouw, Wildekrans, Beaumont, Eerstehoop, Feiteiras, Rivendell and Luddite.

“We only get one chance a year to make the best wines we can and we invite enthusiasts to come and catch a glimpse of what 2012 has produced. Not only can you rub shoulders with our fine winemakers and barrel taste the youngest wines and some all-time favourites from each winery, you also get to vote for the best and boldest beard in the valley,” explains Sebastian Beaumont.

Experience an exclusive taste of Botriver hospitality at its best. A sumptuous, homegrown feast is included with a Luddite pig on a spit; artisan breads baked by Beaumont Estate, made from stone ground flour, and hearty side dishes.

The local ‘boere-orkes’, Die Stoepsitters, will get this grapes and gourmet vibe going with live, foot-stomping music to end your Saturday evening on a high.

The Botriver Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration takes place at The Old Shed at Anysbos, Swartrivier road, Botrivier and starts at 5pm. Tickets to the event cost R150 per person and it includes a complimentary tasting of the latest wines; a souvenir wine glass, and the dinner.

For more information about the Botriver Barrels & Beards Harvest Celebration or to book your tickets contact Nicolene Heyns at 082 852 6547 or send an email to Seating is limited and early bookings are advised. A booking form is downloadable at the Botriver Wines website

journey of hope: vertical tasting at beaumont wines

Despite the direction of my questionable imagination, vertical and horizontal wine tastings have nothing to do with how much – or little – wine one has consumed. A horizontal tasting is one in which all the wines are from the same vintage, but are from different wineries. A vertical tasting, on the other hand, is different vintages of the same wine, from the same wine estate.

Beaumont Wines hosts Journey of Hope on 21 April, from 11 am to 3pm. Journey of Hope is a vertical tasting of their Hope Marguerite. The tasting is followed by a delicious lunch. Cost is R300. Space is limited to only 30 people, so booking early is essential.

Beaumont’s fabulous Barrel Lunch – gourmet lunches in the Barrel Cellar – is back, and takes place in a refurbished and authentic barrel cellar that dates back to the early 1900s on 27 May. Again, seating is limited so early booking is advised.

For more info, contact Sebastian Beaumont on 028 284 9194, email or visit the website

what’s the big deal at wine style?

Wine Style is a website and magazine devoted to wine, food and travel, and the lifestyles that revolve around all three. As the team at Wine Style loves wine and loves their community of readers, it stands to reason that they love recommending great wine at great prices, especially with their Big Deal. Every month they pull some strings and somehow manage to get a once-off deal with a great winemaker to sell delicious wine at big discounts for a limited time.

This month you have the chance to buy Ernie Els’ 2010 Merlot at 35percent less, saving over R580!

This is the wine for winter and here’s why you should buy it:

  • Merlot is soft and juicy and can be drunk now, or cellared for a year or two
  • Original price is R140 per bottle, but Wine Style is selling it exclusively for a limited time for R91
  • Succulent, with a creamy texture, the tannins are fine but mouth-coating and provide a good frame to the sultry flavours.
  • Chocolate and cedar spice linger on the close.
  • It tastes better than sinking a 100 meter putt in front of your future father-in-law to win the match (and his beautiful daughter)
  • We love Ernie and the best way to show our love is by drinking his wines
  • It’s from a posh award-winning winery; you can really brag to your friends

What’s more:

  • If you buy three cases, Wine Style will send you a bottle of the Ernie Els Proprietor’s Syrah worth R210 free of charge. This wine is on strict allocation from the winery and is impossible to get hold of.
  • If you buy two cases, they’ll send you an Ernie Els golf cap. Either way, you win – big time.

And it that’s not enough:

  • Delivery is free and Wine Style delivers a week after the deal has closed.

For more info and to order the Ernie Els Big Deal, click here.

Visit the Wine Style website where you can sign up for the free newsletter or subscribe to their stunning quarterly print magazine for just R140 per year.