20 articles trended in South Africa on

<< Wednesday 7 January 2015 >

The ‘wine and eggs’ crash diet was recommended by Helen Gurley Brown in her book ‘Sex and the Single Girl’, written in 1962.


A new federally funded cellphone app allows people who may have had one too many to get an idea just how drunk they are—and hail a ride home.


South Africa’s 2015 Chef of the Year – Mosaic’s Chantel Dartnall – leaves this week for Italy to cook with some of the world’s top culinary artists. Dartnall was named Chef of the Year at


Growing winegrapes may be the most backward form of horticulture that exists. The vast majority of the world’s production uses only about 20 cultivars out of thousands of available grape varieties. The wine industry is convinced these traditionally-cultivated varieties alone provide all the diversity necessary and that newly-bred varieties can’t compete on wine quality. This belief persists in the face of modern genetic evidence that many of the world’s traditional varieties were intentionally bred from older ones. But things may start to shift as wineries in highly-recognized regions cope with a changing climate.

Breeding through the centuries

Improvement of the limited set of traditional varieties is done through clonal selection. People watch for natural mutations in vine offshoots called bud-sports. When these mutations are beneficial (better color, berry size, or ripening dates) the new forms – which are clones – are propagated by cuttings and distributed.

But these naturally-occurring mutations don’t provide the range of fruit and wine quality needed to maintain excellence in a changing climate. Varieties do exist outside the 20 usual suspects that would provide better fruit quality under warmer or colder conditions, but they would have to be tested and promoted. New varieties can be bred, but they will need to be selected for multiple traits, which could take decades. It will be faster and more precise to take advantage of advances in molecular genetics to optimize traditional breeding and select for improved quality, better climatic adaptation and better pest and disease resistance.


If you’re a teetotaller, your friends have likely tried to convince you to taste red wine by swearing on its multiple health benefits. These benefits have been credited to a compound found in red wine: resveratrol. But claims for this compound have been a subject of major debate – while some argue that it can prevent cancer and promote heart health, others say there is no proof.

Resveratrol is a compound produced by certain plants in response to stress, injury, or fungal infection. Its natural function is to ensure the survival of the plant under these harsh conditions, and it has been used as an oriental medicine to treat diseases related to blood vessels and the liver. However, some studies have failed to observe the same “elixir” function. Because of the lack of enough human clinical data and a lack of understanding of how exactly resveratrol might work, the jury has remained out on whether this compound actually does lead to health benefits.

Now, Sajish Matthew and Paul Schimmel at the Scripps Research Institute have taken a key step in addressing this. In a study published in Nature, they explain the mechanism through which resveratrol does have anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and cardio-protective effects. And their findings open up avenues for its use in therapeutics.


Maybe wine has made it onto your New Year’s resolution list. Maybe you’d like to learn more about it, or drink more of it, or finally — finally! — look like you actually know what you’re doing when you taste it.


Check out your drink’s personality


In a bid to stop the city’s roads being clogged up with beer lorries, Bruges in Belgium is to re-route its beer underground, through 3km of pipeline capable of carrying 6,000 litres per hour.


Among the tendrils of grape vines, the plump, juicy green and tempting, sultry red orbs, the workers at the innovative Solms-Delta wine estate get to crush the fruit and have their taste of the profits too.


One of the most beautiful destinations to spend a leisurely afternoon, this time of the year, is picturesque Tulbagh.


Join Peter Falke Wines for an evening of live music, fine wines and delicious eats on Saturday 10 January! French ensemble “Ooh La La!” will delight with their repertoire of timeless French favourites from 16h00-18h00.


With our Lemoenfontein exhibition opening tomorrow evening at the Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj at 6pm, I thought about why we bought our piece of Swartland heaven back in 2007, before the Swartland Rev


I’m not so naive as to think that honesty is always the best policy. “No officer, it was actually 145 kilos per hour. That’s really the sweet spot for 3rd gear wheelies. At 120, I re


Solms-Astor Cape Jazz Shiraz, is about as Cape as you can get. Cape Jazz is something so typical of the music of the Cape bringing together the carnival, the church, Africa and America in the most unp


This brother and sister team of food professionals are on the cutting edge of food in the Cape. They are also happy to look back at some real old favourites.  These spicy Sosaties love the spicy fizz


Further to the news about the ownership changes at Lammershoek – and the worryingly prompt exit of the winemaking team – I can report that there is a new winemaker in place for the harvest due to


Ginger kisses – makes 24: 250g soft butter 115g icing sugar, sieved 1 egg, lightly beaten 15ml ground ginger 225g plain/cake flour 150g cornflour (Maizena) Filling: 250g mascarpone 50g stem ginger o


DeMorgenzon, the Stellenbosch property owned by high-flying Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum is getting plenty of a critical acclaim at the moment but I worry that some of the wines are a little too brazen,


As a new year rolls in, so predictably, I delve in the cellar for ten year old wines. The time span is arbitrary though it does feel like a neat circle and good test of South African wines’ – both


Roberto Moni started his wine company in Paarl in 1906. There is evidence at the winery in central Paarl that Moni’s tradition with Sherry started in the 1920s. Almost 100 years later, though we are