Cheers 2016! Pair your wine with your year.

-By Elke Zeki


I gave myself a fun little exercise to do this morning.  In one minute I had to write down what came to mind first when reflecting on this year.

Here goes:

  • I became a mom
  • Erol is a dad
  • Trump what?!
  • The Saxonworld Shebeen and other Zupta shenanigans
  • It seems that more than ever before, market and investor behavior was driven by uncertainty and fear
  • I love Bali
  • Where are the mangos?

It’s become a custom for me to write an article on wines to try over December. This year I thought the list above could be my inspiration…


I’m someone’s Mom. Cheers. I’m raising my glass full of Silverthorn The Genie. 

Such a life changing and wonderful occasion calls for bubbly! My current favorite is definitely the salmon pink Silverthorn MCC with hints of rosewater and Turkish delight.



Erol is a DAD. Let’s pull out the Tokara Five-year Potstill Brandy.

He needs something stronger than the bubbles. Society often focusses on what poor mom has to endure with a newborn, and forgets how huge this is for the dad.  It’s been amazing seeing the transformation.  This beautiful brandy is best served neat with dark chocolate (when the baby is in bed)!




Trump what?????

This calls for lots of cheap wine.  You will wake up with a headache but it will be worth not remembering a thing!




Saxonworld Shebeen and the Gupta shenanigans

King Fisher Premium Lager. This Indian favorite will go down a treat at your next braai. Or you could pack a cooler box and head for the lawns near the old Zoo Lake Bowling Club. Don’t forget to invite Brian.




Markets and fear. Somebody get me a homemade green smoothie please?

It’s been a tough year and we all need to take care of ourselves.  A green smoothie is packed with energy boosting, disease-fighting goodness and the perfect way to start your day. Has also been known to help with the morning after the night before.




I love Bali. Please pour me another Caperatif/ or Inverroche gin?

We were privileged enough to travel to Thailand and Bali this year to celebrate good friends getting married and Erol’s 40th. It was an unforgettable trip and again made me realize how much I love scuba diving and rustic, tropical destinations. And there’s nothing better than a refreshing drink on a hot and humid day. My two favorites are Caperatif and Inverroche gin. Both are best served with a good quality tonic ( ) and some lovely fruit like cucumber and lemon rind.



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Where are the mangos? Chenin Blanc revival.

The drought this year has been the worst most of us have ever experienced.  Who can forget the heartbreaking photos of cattle and other livestock dying of hunger across Southern Africa?

I love mangos and it’s not until this week that they have made an appearance at the green grocer for the first time this season.  This drought has affected thousands and no one more so than the farmers.  Its forever altered my view on water and how we should use it sparingly.

The shortage of mangos made me think of the fresh-and- fruity iconic white wine – Chenin Blanc. Meant to be consumed young, it’s a refreshing and approachable style of wine. One of the county’s oldest and most widely planted grapes, it’s often used as the cornerstone or workhorse for brandy distillation and bulk blends.

Today however, Chenin Blanc is having a moment of reinvention and reintroduction into the world – proving that a noble variety can produce world-class wines.

Here are a few of my favorites to try:

  • Babelonstoren Chenin Blanc
  • Millineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc
  • AA Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc
  • DeMorgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc
  • Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc


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As I look at this, it’s clear that it’s been a whirlwind year, but I look at 2016 with fondness because it has given me so much to be thankful for.

Over the festive season, I hope you get some time to reflect on your year and what it’s meant to you.

Cheers, Elke.


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