Entries tagged with “Neil Pendock”.


Platter's South African Wine Guide 2014 'Aquamarine' EditionSlowly a number of changes are being introduced to the publishing and marketing of ‘Platter’s South African Wines’ since JP Rossouw took over as Publisher of the wine guide about six months ago.  Not all the changes may be to the liking of the wine estates, users, and advertisers of the Guide.

For the first time Platter’s has advertised!  Yesterday I saw an advertisement for Platter’s in the Sunday Times Food Weekly supplement, advertising the Guide, with its newish parent Diners Club benefiting from it too.   The advertisementPlatter ad Whale Cottage bears the headline ‘Platter’s Wine Guide discovers the perfect pairing’, being a self-aggrandizing accolade to the marriage between Platter’s and Diners Club!  The copy reads: ‘Platter’s Wine Guide, South Africa’s original and most authoritative guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Winelands, has the perfect partner in Diners Club, the world’s original and most prestigious charge card. Platter’s has always been  the go-to-guide to discovering, rating, pairing and sharing South African wines. Now there’s a quick and easy way to also enjoy Platter’s on your mobile device or desktop. Filled with the latest wine news, festival alerts, hot picks and competitions, Platter’s has become an even more valuable guide.  Whether you are shopping for wine, wanting to learn more, or need help planning a trip to cellars, Platter’s will enhance your journey. No App required.  Simply go to www.wineonaplatter.com to subscribe’.  The pay-off line is corny and meaningless: ‘When your thirst for knowledge coincides with the means to enjoy it, you BELONG‘!  One would hope that Rossouw was not the copywriter of this nonsensical ad, given his past copywriting career!  More likely is that the advertisement comes from the Marketing department of Diners Club, the give-away being that it contains the Facebook page address and Twitter handle of Diners Club, but not of Platter’s, a bizarre omission! (more…)

Wines1WineDude wine blogger Joe Roberts recently blogged about Wine Blogging, referring to the results of a 3-year study by the Burgundy School of Business, entitled ‘World Wide Wines: Digital Writing on Wine’.  The key finding of the study was that wine consumers and wine bloggers are one and the same, and that wine blogging is far from dead, Roberts writes.
Other interesting highlights about Wine Blogging from the study are:
*  the main reason for blogging by Chinese as well as American wine bloggers is sharing their passion for wine, Americans also referring to blogging as their hobby. Roberts describes bloggers as passionate wine consumers who are just more vocal about their passion digitally!
*   wine bloggers reach other bloggers and wine drinkers, bloggers’ passion for wine giving them credibility and reader interest.
*   there are an estimated 1000 wine bloggers in the USA, and about 150 in Europe.
*   only a third of wine bloggers in the USA are professional journalists, while the bulk of the balance have no wine industry job link (more…)

Taj logoDear Michael

I laughed when I received your letter of 28 February in the post this weekend, to advise that I have been banned from your five star establishment, a member of Leading Hotels of the World!

You wrote: ‘This letter serves to inform you of our shock and disappointment at the manner in which you have dealt with our establishment in the social media.  As a fellow colleague in the hospitality industry I have been (sic) amazed that you have failed to address our perceived shortcomings and your concerns, (sic) directly with me, the general manager. We are fully supportive of social media, however, one should have details 100% correct before publicly. (sic) Slandering (sic) one of my team and our establishment, it is so unnecessary and unprofessional.  To this end, we wish to advise you that you are no longer welcome nor permitted to enter or be in the Taj Cape Town hotel without my personal permission. Should you enter the premises, you will be apprehended by our Security Department and asked to leave’.

You do not state which 0f the references by us to the Taj in ‘Social Media‘ you refer to:

*   was it the Tweet about the rude service from your barman during the interval of a concert at the St George’s Cathedral a few weeks ago, which I reported to your Duty Manager?

*   was it the poor accommodation at your hotel after the poor Gastronauts gourmet dinner at Mint more than 3 years ago, so bad that I chose to go home in the middle of the night?

*   was it the Tweet four months ago about the poor non-caring attitude of your Banqueting Manager Eugene Myburgh, when he showed no regard for my complaint about slipping on your dangerous highly polished wooden floor in your Banqueting section, once again reported to your Duty Manager, with no response?

*   was it the mention a month ago about your new Conference facility you are opening in The Reserve this month, mentioning my doubt that your Manager Myburgh will be capable in running it if he cannot even run the tiny Banqueting section in your hotel? (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Speculation about the reason for the stepping down of Koos Bekker as CEO of Naspers at the end of last month is that Bekker may be planning to create the world’s largest global internet, media, and digital group.

*   Bloomberg Businessweek has highlighted Cape Town as the jet set holiday destination of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey, paying R50000 per day to stay in the new villa at Ellerman House, which houses owner Paul Harris’ art collection and new Wine Gallery (a serious one, not a six bottle one like that of the petite Pendock Wine Gallery)! Unfortunately the article contrasts the opulence of the villa and its guests with the poverty of the inhabitants of the townships in Cape Town, and highlights the city’s poor reputation as the ‘most violent city in Africa‘!

*   Top UK chef Michel Roux Jnr has resigned from the BBC produced ‘MasterChef: the Professionals’ and ‘Food and Drink‘, describing negotiations with the BBC as a ‘frustrating process’, the corporation not having an appreciation of Roux’s commercial relationships.

*   Moderate wine drinking could help prevent heart attacks and reduce heart-related deaths amongst (more…)

2013Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of  how bad it could become.  While it has many negative associations, it also was  a year of highlights, from our perspective.

For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April.  He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful.   He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers.   Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time.    It felt like a double whammy loss year.  Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.

2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month.  We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry.  We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! (more…)

Diners Club Winemaker of the YearTwice this past weekend über-nasty Neil Pendock has publicly shared that he has been fired from the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judging panel, clearly very angry about this, and lashing out at Diners Club, its CEO Ebrahim Matthews, and its management and Board members.

One wonders how precocious Pendock can be surprised about being fired, when he:

*   has attacked the ‘Platter’s South African Wines 2014′ guide and the evaluation of wines in it ever since his services as a wine taster were no longer required.  The Guide is now owned by Diners Club.  He described the Platter’s Guide as ‘a cynical vuvuzela for fashionable wine brands‘!

*   has implied that as a director of Diners Club, Reg Lascaris’ part ownership of Boekenhoutskloof has earned its Cabernet Sauvignon a 5-star rating in the Platter’s guide.  He asks: ‘…is the Reg Lascaris/Diners Club cosy monopoly about to be challenged?’

*   wrote critically about the Diners Club gala dinner held at La Residence ten (more…)

Diners Club Christiaan Groenewald Whale Cottage PortfolioLa Residence pulled out all the stops in hosting the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Awards last night, seating and serving 150 guests in its massive entrance hall, lounge and dining room, demonstrating why it was recently voted joint Best Hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler.  The Awards evening was described as ‘a gathering of wine aristocracy’, and the ‘Oscars of the Wine Awards’! The Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award is the only award given to an individual, and is even more special in that it is received in the presence of an audience of experts and peers.

Gareth Cliff of 5FM was a good MC, admitting his ignorance as a wine drinker, and doing a brilliant Julius Malema impersonation based on wines (with Ed Morton and Nick Solomon of La Residence in the photograph below).  As the venue was so large, video screens were set up throughout the venue, allowing each table to see  a screen close by.  A Twitter Feed ran on the screen, Cliff being a heavy Tweeter, which will have pleased his hosts at Diners Club Ed, Gareth Cliff Nick Whale Cottage PortfolioLa Residence and Diners Club, with his 571343 Twitter Followers.  Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Finalist Johan Jordaan from Spier was an informative and fun table neighbour, as was Franschhoek Tatler editor Siegfried Schäfer and  Helgard van Schalkwyk from Lynx Wines.  Johan was an excellent ‘lighting assistant’, in lighting my plates with his phone to photograph the food! (more…)

Delaire Graff The Chinese Girl painting Whale Cottage PortfolioOne of the social highlights of this year was the unveiling yesterday of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘The Chinese Girl’, South Africa’s most internationally recognised painting, at its new home at Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch, which celebrates its 10th year of being in Mr Graff’s ownership.  The 40th Graff jewellery store was also opened at the wine estate, the first in Africa.

Delaire was bought by Laurence Graff OBE in 2003, and he invested a lot of money in setting up a cellar, a winetasting centre, the main restaurant, and investing in interior design created by the late David Collins from London. The Boutique Hotel followed, which houses Indochine and the Spa, also decorated by Collins.  Commendable has been Mr Graff’s investment in South African art, and his William Kentridge dominates the main restaurant,  while Lionel Smit’s work is striking, a four-piece work as well as a portrait of Mr Graff dominating the reception of the main building. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The 15th Cape Town International Jazz Festival will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 28 and 29 March.  The top artists performing in the past fifteen years  can be expected on the stage next year.  Last year 60000 jazz lovers attended the jazz performances.   Early bird specials are available for the first 1000 tickets booked at Computicket.

Rashid Lombard, CEO of espAfrika, organisers of the Jazz Festival, said: ‘Fifteen years ago, we couldn’t have imagined that the festival would have such a massive impact. It’s got its own beat now – and we just love the fact that we are able to keep giving people what they want and to promote jazz and jazz related as a music genre in this country’. (received via media release from networx public relations)

*  Taipei has been announced as World Design Capital 2016, it was announced today by Cape Town Design NPC, the company managing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town. (received via newsletter)

*   Ellerman House has opened a Wine Gallery, to the irritation of Neil Pendock, whose petite (2 x 4 m space, and 6 bottles only per month) Wine (more…)

Cape Town Art Fair Ebony Whale Cottage PortfolioTonight it’s the first Thursday of November, and Capetonians and the city’s visitors can look forward to visiting 31 art galleries (some with coffee shops too) in the centre of Cape Town, including Bo-Kaap, until as late as 21h00 this evening on ‘First Thursdays’.

A unique concept which has been successful in other cities such as London, Ontario and Seattle, First Thursdays is designed to attract locals back into the city centre at a time of day in which parking is freely available and the city is free of its aggressive parking marshalls. Most of the galleries offer a free glass of wine, and even some snacks, many galleries using the occasion to launch new art exhibitions.  Many art enthusiasts walk from gallery to gallery, and pop in at pop-up restaurants such as food trucks which were introduced in October, as well as a City All Sessions free concert on Greenmarket Square at 17h30.  The use of the MyCiTi Bus is encouraged.

The First Thursday website is disappointing in explaining little, and (more…)