Monday, 22 April 2019

Wine Tasting 101 - Sipping

Looked. Swirled. Smelt.

Finally, now you can reward yourself with a sip of wine after all that looking, swirling & smelling. 

Take a sip of wine & let it sit in your mouth for a moment, as to give you a moment to think about what you're tasting. What I like to do is swish around in my mouth as to get a good feel & taste of the wine. By covering all your taste buds, you'll be exposed to the sweet, sour, bitter & salt profiles in the wine. Now, what does it taste like? Do you taste any of the smells that you picked up? Is the wine sweet or dry? What does the wine feel like in your mouth? You may then promptly swallow. 



This is where the fun starts. Now it's time for conversation around the wine. Especially if tasting with others. One thing that I have learnt, is to be confident in what I think I smelled & what I tasted. I love sharing about my opinion & listening to what others have discovered in the same glass. Another incredible aspect to drinking wine that I love, is the memories that a certain smell or taste can bring up. It could be something from 15 years ago when you first had a sip of red wine at the Sunday lunch table & the joke that your Dad shared, or even a moment of nostalgia thinking back on moments shared with your significant other. 

So be openminded & adventurous the next time you pour a glass. Let me know what you taste in your glass.

Happy tasting. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd

Wine Tasting 101 - Smelling

Right, so you've look at that wine & you've swirled it.

Now, one step closer to actually tasting the wine, it's time to smell the wine. What actually happens in this moment, is that you are subconsciously preparing your brain for what you're about to taste. It's amazing just what an important step this actually is, as the sense of smell really has a profound effect on the way in which your brain processes flavours. 

Again, most people have their own preference when smelling wine. Mine is to hold my nose closer to the point of the wine glass furthest from you when on the table. Then move your nose side to side & breathe in deeply whilst keeping your mouth slightly open as to breathe out through your mouth.



Now the interesting part is what you end up smelling. Such an interesting conversation starter most of the time. Because everyone will probably pick up something very different from the each other. So the brain will only pick up scents that you have already smelled before, or something that you smell often & that are in your memory. So whilst smelling, really think about what you are smelling, it could be anything.

On a white wine, you may pick up aromas of fresh lemon, pineapples, guavas, asparagus or even the smell of the beach. It is all dependent on what your brain picks up on & how it connects it to a scent.
Same thing with red wines, you'll probably get prunes, cherries, strawberries, peppers & even tobacco. So let your mind run wild when you're smelling, you may just surprise yourself with what you pick up. I mean, I've picked up on roasted coconut covered marshmallows in a red wine, so anything is possible.

The other important thing about smelling your wine, is that it will also give you an indication if something else is wrong with the wine. For example, the wine may be 'corked', which is not pleasant at all. So when you smell anything that reminds you of wet newspaper, moldy wet spaces or even a wet dog, there is a chance that the bottle is corked. In this instance, always ask those drinking with you, if they are experiencing the same aromas. (Just a heads up, only a bottle that has been sealed with a cork, can be corked. So a bottle with a screw cap has zero chance of being spoiled.)

Happy 'smelling'. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd

Wine Tasting 101 - Swirling

So now you've had a good look at what is in your glass.

Next... it's time for you to swirl your glass. Now, people will always have something to say about how you should swirl & what you shouldn't do. In my opinion; just don't spill. Otherwise you'll end up looking like you're pretentious & don't really know what you're doing. We don't want that. So whether you keep the bottom of the glass on the table & move the glass in a circular motion, or if you swirl your glass in the air by the stem with a slight flick of the wrist, it's completely up to you. (Practice makes perfect in this instance, so pour some water in your glass & give it a whirl or 2. Once you've got it, you'll probably find yourself swirling every other drink you have too, purely out of habit.)



But why? Well, by swirling the glass, you agitate the wine, & by doing this, you are getting more oxygen into the wine. Being referred to as 'airing wine' or 'letting the wine breathe' or 'open up.' What essentially happens with each swirl is that the wine begins to 'break down' which is when it gives off its aroma & tends to 'soften.'

(Too much air is not a good thing in the case of wine, as it will oxidise & in essence ruin the wine, leaving you with a very unpleasant flat & bitter liquid. So don't air your wine overnight.)

Happy 'swirling'. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd

Wine Tasting 101 - Looking

Let's just start off by saying that there really is no real wrong way in tasting wine, as for majority of people it, boils down to what's in your glass & whether you like it or not. As simple as that.
However, that being said. There is a more 'formal' way to taste wine, & I'm going to break it down for you.

It's as simple as:
 - Look
 - Swirl
 - Smell
 - Sip

The 1st happens before you even taste the wine. You just look at it. This may seem slightly absurd, as how would just looking at wine help you in tasting it right? Well, the colour of wine will be able to tell you a lot about the wine you're about to taste.
(Quick fact - Did you know that the colour of wine comes from contact with the grape skins after being juiced, ie. the longer the 'juice' is in contact with the skin, the more the skin will impart it's colour on the wine. So, if all wine never came into contact with the skins, wine would have no colour.)



So with a white wine, you're going to look at the shade of yellow.
Is it a very light & bright, almost clear or more of a deeper yellow like straw?
 - the light & bright means, there was very little skin contact ensuring really crisp & refreshing wines, which typically have note been aged in wood.
 - the darker & deeper yellow is an indication that white wine is aged in a wooden barrel, giving it a smoother, richer & fuller, almost creamy taste.

When it comes to red wine, you follow sort of the same principle, by looking at the shade of red.
Is there a light red, almost pink hue, or is it darker in a sense of approaching maroon or purple?
 - the lighter reds should taste light & bright, maybe even slightly fresh as they have probably not been aged in barrels.
 - the darker the hue, the richer & bolder the wine generally. You'd probably immediately think about having this wine with a steak. Also, the deeper the colour, the longer these wines have spent in contact with wood.

Happy 'looking'. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd

Monday, 8 April 2019

EGGSTRA-ORDINARY Cadbury Easter

It's bound to be another EGGSTRA-ORDINARY Cadbury Easter this year, that's filled with lots of Fun & Excitement for the whole family. 

Cadbury has a very cool, 'family-oriented' Easter campaign going at the moment after launching the latest Easter range, which is now available in all major retail stores. 

The new campaign is set to engage & reward fans. Coming with an intriguing animated TVC & digital series, a fun & interactive digital egg hunt & Easter Egg Hunt activations across the nation. An experience that will be enjoyed by all, young & old, as it is the perfect time to make memories.

Introducing 3 main characters - Fluffy the bunny, Felix the fox & Squeak the squirrel. These 3 friends set out on a journey & mission to find Fluffy's brother, the Easter Chicken & the stolen Easter eggs. Determined to save Easter, they leave the farm for the 1st time for the adventure that awaits. 


So where do you come in? Well, it's up to you to help Fluffy save Easter by finding the clues left by the crooks across South Africa. The clues range from audio recordings, torn evidence & puzzles. If your investigation skills lead you to the right answers, you stand a chance to win eggstra-ordinary weekly prizes! Solve the 1st 4 clues & a bonus egg hunt will be unlocked, giving you the chance to win the grand prize of a family getaway worth R30,000.

Join in the fun at the various Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts 
 - Johannesburg: Montecasino - 19-22 April & Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens - 20 April
 - Pretoria: Menlyn Sky - 15-22 April & Pretoria Zoo - 21 April
 - Durban: uShaka Marine World - 20-21 April
 - Cape Town : Bugz Playpark - 22 April

Follow & share the adventure online using - #CadburyEasterSA

It's time to win! Keen to win your share of the new #CadburyEasterSA chocolates? Win a Cadbury Easter Hamper worth R650 with a Fluffy Toy Bunny, Fluffies & 2 Hollow Eggs!

Just answer this question: Name 1 city where a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt will be taking place?

How to enter:
1. Comment with the correct answer on the Facebook Post here & tag a friend.
2. Follow Cadbury Dairy Milk & As Seen By Lloyd on Facebook.
3. Share the Facebook Post using #CadburyEasterSA

Images - Cadbury

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Hudsons on Twelfth

You'd never believe me, if I told you that Hudsons on Twelfth is nestled pretty close to the N1 highway in Rivonia if I had to just drop you off there. It was the 1st thing that I noticed when I arrived on a Friday afternoon. You don't hear any traffic! What a wonderful feeling to still be in the city, but feel like you have left the city? 


Established back in 1995, the then 'Melleney's' was one of the 1st guest houses in the area with only 4 rooms, which was later renamed. Hudsons on Twelfth has since then been under new ownership of Caroline Hudson, who has been doing renovations to keep the property oozing with the old school charm.


The gardens are still filled with some of the original features from when the property opened & sure add to the look & old school - English Country House feel.


There are now a full 10 en-suite bedrooms, that have been individually decorated & done up with some of the original home ornaments. From your room, you could find yourself overlooking your own private garden, the classic gardens & sparkling pool or the forest that stretches out to the end of the property.


Still feeling the old school vibes, yet with the modern renovations, the rooms have just about everything that you'll need. And if it's not there, you just call through to the reception & it's sorted out for you.  


The room we stayed in was large & done up elegantly. An added bonus in this room, is the under-roof, outdoor shower. A must mention, is the linen. I need to find myself some of that linen. It makes your stay so much better when you get into a comfortable bed at night, that has incredible linen. You won't be disappointed. 


And then it was dinner time. The evening's dinner was prepared by Chef Wayne Burgin from Chef Knows Best & this is where we got to sit, have dinner & enjoy the evening. 


The Amuse Bouche - a Springbok Carpaccio served on a Crostini.


The Starter - a Tian of Tomato & Basil Pesto, served with a Parmesan Crisp & Raspberry Vinaigrette. 


Main Course - Beef Fillet wrapped in Prosciutto served with a leak & pea puree on mash.  


Dessert - Melted Chocolate Fondant, Raspberry Macarons, Chocolate Cake Crumble & Berries. 


What an incredible evening of dinner. You should definitely check out Chef Wayne Burgin & Chef Knows Best, they have some really cool concepts that they work with, which you may actually be in need of. 

Breakfast the next morning was served in the dining room. It's a picture perfect haven to enjoy your freshly homemade breakfast after a wonderful evening of rest. 



One thing to remember, is that Caroline Hudson wants to keep the old school elements of the property, as that is what makes it so unique. So if you are looking for that ultra modern/state of the art kind of night stay, then this one won't be for you. But, if you are one to enjoy the finer elegance of the years gone by, then this is where you want to find yourself spending some time thinking about the days gone by. 

Check them out on Facebook or at www.hudsons12.co.za

Friday, 8 March 2019

#IAmEnoughZA

So I got this press release a few days ago & it really made me think. We all live in a world where people are more often than not 'punished' for being different & through this, more & more people slowly become social 'outcasts', as we don't fit into that 'perfect' box that society has labelled: 'Normal.'


The #IAmEnoughZA campaign is an initiative that was started by 2018 Mrs South Africa contest - Adele Koolen. (I'll get to her story just now.) It is to help empower anyone that is being teased, bullied or just being treated differently because of who they are. The emphasis of the campaign is that it really doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from & where you are going to, what car you do or don't drive or what goes on in your personal life; as NONE of this defines who you are as person.

So essentially the message behind it all is, that no matter the challenges you face in life, you are more than enough!

So to make your story heard & be part of the #IAmEnoughZA movement, join us in lending your voice to the campaign. Post a selfie on Instagram with your personalised #IAmEnoughZA message to start the conversation to empower more people to be be proud of themselves & help change other's lives. 

A guideline or 2 to help you make this as effective as possible.
1. Tag @iamenoughza in your post.
2. Use the #IAmEnoughZA hashtag as to let other people track your message & be inspired. 
3. Your message needs to be true to you & something relevant in your life.


If you want to find out more about the initiative, please visit www.iamenoughza.co.za

I told you I'd get to the lady behind this initiative. So Adele Koolen may look like she's got your idea of a perfect life. She's beautiful, runs a successful company & has been married for over 9 years to the love of her life. But as she put it, there is something missing in this picture & that is children.

After deciding to start a family in 2010, ended up being a rough 7 years of not being able to conceive & have children of her own. Feeling as if she had failed at being a woman & a wife, she slowly started the journey as to discover herself again.

"It took me 7 years to realise that I did not fail at being a woman, a wife, a daughter or a sister. The fact that I can't have children does not make me any less of a woman." This was the start of the #IAmEnoughZA campaign. 

Monday, 4 March 2019

Ed Sheeran in SA Updates...

Today, Big Concerts confirmed that the English singer/songwriter Passenger is joining Ed Sheeran for all of his SA tour dates!


And extra bonus... Due to the exceptional demand, additional seated tickets have been released for the 2nd Cape Town date on 28 March. If you don't have one yet. Now is your last chance! So get one before these sell out. 

Johannesburg - FNB Stadium
 - 23 March (SOLD OUT)
 - 24 March (SOLD OUT)
Cape Town - Stadium
 - 27 March (SOLD OUT)
 - 28 March (Limited tickets available)

Very important transport & show info has also been released.

'Constantia Glen - A timeless vision'

So last year I visited Constantia Glen on my #WineRoutingWithLloyd trip & it's in one of the most beautiful areas, that is rich in South African history & heritage that so few people actually know. That is until now. The journey over the last 140 years of this gem of a wine farm in the oldest wine region in SA, is something real special.



One of the best things about this wine estate, is that it is about a 20 min drive from Cape Town City Centre, so it's deceptively close, but far enough from the urban bustle. 


Image - Craig Fraser

So, there has been research & writing by author Clare O'Donoghue. And photography by Craig Fraser. Which has led to the this journey finally being bound in 'Constantia Glen - A timeless vision.'


It is a visual feast, as some would say, of the history & intimate story of the Waibel family, who have loved & nurtured the land for over 4 generations. Capturing the life & times of the the boutique wine estate through its early history & eventual transformation from a forest, to one of the Cape's premier family owned estates. 

"There's a lot to be said for continuity," says Alexander Waibel - 3rd generatioin custodian of Constantia Glen. "It's in the way we learn about our vineyards & the way we value the people who work in them."


Image - Craig Fraser

Image - Craig Fraser

Image - Craig Fraser

With the 1st vines only being planted in 2000, the first vintage of Sauvignon Blanc was harvested in 2005 on the 60 hectares of undulating landscape. Winemaker, Justin van Wyk believes that they are able to steer the grapes into wines that are a reflection of where they are grown.


Image - Craig Fraser

'Constantia Glen - A timeless vision' is available at selected book stores & retails at R500.

Check out my #WineRoutingWithLloyd visit to Constantia Glen here


(Just a heads up. I'll be popping in there again this year, so keep your eyes out on the #WineRoutingWithLloyd developments.)

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

MALT - Barrel & Fire @ Monte

I love discovering new places in places that I'm always at. Popped in at Montecasino the other eve & headed to Malt Barrel & Fire. 


My initial thought was chilled pub vibes & I expected a pub-lunch kind of menu. Well, not entirely wrong, but Malt offers an unique 'gastro pub' experience with an extensive variety of food & drinks that is a gourmet version of any pub menu. 


I'm gonna start off with just telling you how cool the interior & decor is. Think industrial upmarket New York loft apartment. (Already I'm sold on just that concept to be honest.) The name 'Malt Barrel & Fire' comes from the 4 fireplaces & 4 burning barrels in the venue, & with a mixture of wooden & copper features & soft lighting, all add to the warmth of the restaurant & offering an incredible ambience for any night out. 




So on the menu, you will currently find a huge selection of malts - 16 draught beers on tap; over 40 bottled beers from all over the world; & an ever-growing selection of more than 80 different whiskies. Then not to forget, the list of cocktails & wine is one that I still think I need to work my way through, because they all look incredible. So you'll definitely find something that you'll like on their drinks menu. 


The food menu has been designed as to delight even the most discerning palate, offering the best fresh ingredients. Some of my favourites from the night include the Firecracker Ribs & the Pizza's. You could pop in here for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or even that in-between meal snacks & get something light. Other dishes that I enjoyed were the fried haloumi, spatchcock chicken & chicken kebabs.



We had some real fun on the evening with a beer tasting, beer pong & whiskey tastings. 



So most definitely an up-market restaurant with cuisine & drinks to match, which makes it a new favourite spot at Montecasino.


#MaltMonte