I had what can only be described as a blessed day yesterday. It began with the realization, very early in the morning, that winter is almost over. I went outside to feed Charlotte and noticed that the lawn on the courtyard outside my kitchen was becoming green again.

With a spring in my step I took my basket off to the village fruit and veg shop and did my fresh produce shopping and stopped for a quick coffee at Scusi, where everybody shared my mood.
I’ve been awarded the very great honour of being the resident food writer on the soon-to-be-launched new website of First Sighting, so – next – I went shopping for styling props that will only be used with the food I cook for them. I spent the afternoon experimenting in the kitchen for my first article, which will feature their Shiraz. My kids (my step-daughter has been with us for the past few weeks and returns to Cape Town today) reaped the rewards of sticky short ribs and potato wedges.

I almost ran out of time and had to hurry to get ready for the evening; I’d been invited to attend a wine tasting with Winestyle magazine at the Intercontinental Sandton Sun Towers Hotel. The event was a ‘pros versus punters’ challenge: 3 wine industry professionals and 3 individuals who simply enjoy wine would blind-taste 6 wines (the bottles wrapped in brown paper bags so that the labels were hidden). The pros were Miguel Chan (Group Somelier for Southern Sun International), Carrie Adams (co-owner of Norman Goodfellow’s and radio personality) and Keith Dudula (wine merchant at Norman Goodfellow’s).
Intimidating company for us punters: Thembi Machaba (Organisational Development Consultant at SA Breweries), Ricardo Gouveia (a handsome young man who is ‘in property’) and moi. I won’t say too much about the evening, you will have to wait for the next issue of the magazine (which is delivered free to subscribers in South Africa and available online to overseas readers). All of us are to be feature in the mag; we’re going to a photo shoot on the 30th.

Our hosts for the evening were Jenny and Jeanne (from the magazine) and young winemaker Haidee Marklew of Marklew wines (she gave me a half-bottle of her beautiful 2005 Merlot to bring home).
We finished earlier than the time I’d arranged for my driver to fetch me and the very chivalrous Ricardo sat with me to wait, with a glass of wine and the Sandton skyline as a backdrop.

I little observation I made during the evening was how divided opinions are about Sandton. I think it is monstrous, others thought it breathtaking and were effusive in their admiration of the views. What do you think?