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thumbnailWhy is it that early morning coffee (filter or instant) tastes tremendous sipped from a mug; whereas espresso 'demands' a demi tasse? Tea whether Indian on China, seems to prefer bone china yet rooibos adapts happily to all beakers including a tin mug.

Whisky has its own short tumbler used also for before dinner brandy but after dinner a brandy balloon is preferred. Incidentally the narrow neck of the balloon concentrates the bouquet but especially the alcohol so, in order not to damage the fragility of your nose by inhaling only alcohol, a dash of water should be added to the spirit to release the complex aromas. Just a dash is sufficient, swirl the glass and note the difference. Did you know that professional tasters of cognac often use a blue coloured tulip glass? This is in order that the taster is not influenced by the colour of the spirit.

thumbnail2Being surrounded by superb wine producing farms, here's another excellent article by Merran. -Ed.

Vines grow in the temperate regions of the world, between latitudes 28 and 50 and has done since time immemorial. Noah planted a vineyard on Mount Ararat after the flood and later was reproved by Jehovah for his drunkenness. A wine list has been found in Babylon dated in the reign of King Nebuchadnezzer; we also know that in Babylon only women were permitted to keep the taverns! Could they possibly be called the first 'madams'? Over 4000 years ago wine was being made in Bessarabia now the Republic of Moldova. Today, in Moldova, one winery holds the largest wine library in the world. (Library is the term applied to the collection of wines from each vintage that a producer holds, these assist in monitoring the maturation potential of each wine. Producers also collect wines from other wineries). At Milestii Mici winery in Moldova, listed in the Guiness World Records for its library; one and a half million bottles of wine dating from 1968 are stored in the cellars in their fifty five kilometres of underground galleries which had been excavated during lime mining.

thumbnailWhen a group of wine lovers sit around a table, there is tremendous camaraderie, never one upmanship or snobbishness; for each knows that there is a wine to suit every individual palate and none will say his preference is better than another's. Discovering new wines is always exciting and someone will say 'this is MY wine; but you will probably prefer that'. Discovering wine is never intimidating and my interest has widened my knowledge – no not just about cultivating the vine or pressing the grape but also geography, archaeology, chemistry, religion, social habits etc.

The Silversands Art Group was formed in 2009 by the late Stella Dicken. Members were all part of a group of people taking an art class in Betty’s Bay. They held their first exhibition in December 2010 at Café Jack. When Stella passed away in January 2012 leadership of the group was taken over by Judith Haefele. On 18 and 19 July 2012 some members from the group held an exhibition in the Kleinmond library hall. On Saturday 29 September yet another exhibition was held. This time in Disa Kloof. During the 2013 Big Blues festival an exhibition was also held in the old Harbour shed in Kleinmond.