In important and very real ways, South Africa's winemaking history is one of the youngest on the planet. A modern industry emerged only with the fall of the apartheid regime. That was a mere 24 years ago, and it is fair to say that over the decades since South Africa's industry has been unusually dynamic.
For those living under a restaurant shaped rock, you will not have noticed the launch of possibly the largest steak house in London, MASH, nestled inconspicuously on the corner of Brewer and Air St. in Soho.
It's simple. Take a wander in to your nearest wine store, or supermarket, and have a wee peak at the range of quality half bottles on their shelves. Not too many eh! In my time as a retailer I have lost count the amount of times where someone asked me for a half bottle of wine. Not everybody wants to spend money on a full bottle, especially if they only fancy a tipple once a week.
It has been quite a successful year for Brent Marris and his team down at New Zealand's Marisco Vineyards. Following on from picking up last year's International Wine & Spirit Competition award for New Zealand winery of the year, both his labels, The Ned and King Series, have been reaping the accolades too.
Beaujolais, or Bojo for short, has had to live with the stigma of the once successful Beaujolais Nouveau, in its day a great marketing ploy. During the wines heyday, Beaujolais Nouveau consumers would wait patiently, or race to France, for the third Thursday of November when Nouveau day would come around.
10 April will celebrate my wine blogs first birthday. When I began www.magicsnewbiewines.com it was meant as an educational tool for new wine drinkers.