Monday, 23 December 2013


Have you ever wanted to host all your friends and fellow wine enthusiasts for a winetasting event in your home. Since I started food and wine blogging, I have thought about taking this brand from the pages of my site to a normal setting.Like start my own wine tasting /cocktail event eventually.Well I have thought about it a lot of times and in 2014 I should organise such an event. I want a low key event of swirling, sniffing and tasting wine and cheese.

If you think wine-tasting shindigs are boring and bland think again. you have the power to transform your low key events into something spectacular and unforgettable. My greatest worry is what to serve, how many wines to buy, what to entertain your guests with and how to make sure that the event is great.

You should limit your drinks to six, 3white wines, and 3 reds. for a group if eight, buy two bottles of each. this will make sure that you have plenty of wine to taste. This will help you calculate the number of wines to buy.

You should have a sink to rinse the glasses between every pour. Space is essential so that people can interact freely. This event cannot take place in a small house. I am planning to get a bigger house but meanwhile I will have to look for a venue. I plan to have 15-25 people for my first event. I don't want a number that will overwhelm me since it will be a first event.This will involve shopping for glasses, shopping for wine, cheese, honey,tea, food and choosing a theme.

When all that is set, then i can plan a date and send invites. While tasting the wines, it is important to move from the lighter whites to the heavier reds(shiraz, sauvignons, chardonnay, pinot noir). Take a few minutes between pours.You must look for an expert/ connoisseur/ sommelier to help in the understanding and tasting the wine. Invite both ladies and men so that people can chat through the event. There are two factors that determine how the event will be conducted. First if you opt for a formal event, the people sit down on a large table that is set. This has a systematic format of wine and cheese tasting. The group is encouraged to discuss and define the taste of the wine and some people even take notes in their wine journals. This helps to build the knowledge on wines.

There is a less formal option where the people stand up like in a cocktail party. There is music in the background and the guests chat as they stand in groups.The cheese and biting are arranged in large trays and platters. Guests are free to mingle.The emphasis here is mingling.

Iam opting for the second option because it is more practical for the people i plan to invite. The people I am inviting are In the age bracket of 23-30. They are more liberal and this will be a good starting point.

For more information on how to pair food and wine for a cocktail party, ii had done a post on this here. Photos courtesy of Nicci pain


Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Brandy from south Africa is great. You have probably drank it a lot,but never realized. Viceroy is South African Brandy. Ive never really been a huge fan of Brandy because of the misconception that clouds this particular drink.if the after effects are grueling you probably drank it wrong or over indulged.Most people I know steer clear of Brandy but those who take it claim that it’s a great drink if well taken. The Dutch made Brandy from distilling their wine. This is a method used to preserve wine. South African Brandy is one of the world’s finest. This title has been awarded to S.A for six years at the International Wines & Spirits completion. Impressive, huh?
 The process involves making the base wine then distilling it twice in copper postills. After this it is oaked (aged in oak barrels) for over 3 years. This is called maturation. The time can vary. There are three classes of brandy.
Postill-38% alcohol content.

Vintage-Matured with whiskey. Content is 38%

Blended-Content 43%

You might be tasting your brandy wrong. Taste it from a clean glass. Add a dash of water while tasting it. Don’t use chlorinated water. Don’t warm the brandy.Brandies should be taken with a fruity mixer like ginger , fruit juice or cola. You can also make a variety of cocktails that I will be uploading through 2014.Drink responsibly.

Heres a list of the Brandys from south Africa. some of them like Viceroy, Nedeburg and Martell are available in Kenya.

  • Backsberg
  •  Barrydale Cellar by Southern cape Vineyards
  • Chateau vo brandy by henry Taylor & Ries
  • Collision by Distell
  • Commando brandy by Distell
  •  De Compagnie
  • Flight of the fish eagle by Distell
  • Klipdrift by Distell
  • Ladismith by Southern Cape vineyards.
  • Limosin extra fine brandy by Henry Taylor and Ries.
  • Martell by Pernod Ricard
  • Nedeburg by Distell
  • Viceroy by distell.

 Remember to drink responsibly.



Tuesday, 17 December 2013


This is a restaurant that is located in Pedimont plaza, Ngong Road Nairobi. In 2009 The Big Five Breweries Company opened its doors to the world debuting the Brew Bistro and Lounge offering you a gastronomic journey in the presence of premium brewed craft beer. This is a restaurant that has a striking setting. The menu takes you on a journey through the world. This continental cuisine leaves your mouth asking for more.This space has great ambience. It is serene and sophisticated. The Brew Bistro and Lounge is open for lunch from Monday through to Sunday. It has a great packages including business lunches, executive fine dining and express a la carte.  The brewery is cased in glass giving a pristine backdrop to this setting. It gives the ultimate fine wine and dining experience.Guests can pay with either cash or credit card. The bar has a variety of beers and wines. This is a quintessential upper-middle class spot for the individual who appreciates fine wine and great food. It is a place ahead of the pack in both service and quality. It has a lounge and an expansive terrace where guests can enjoy their meals. Their champagne is also top brand. They have a smoke-onomy menu with the finest cigars and Sheeshas.
Next time you have an event why not plan it here or attend their great events all year round. This is a nice place to come with friends for a meal, a dinner or to hold that business lunch.

These photos showcase the quality standards.

  Their cocktails are to die for. They have the most extensive wine list with an array of over 1000 different wines. 80% of these come from South Africa.The cocktails are brewed by an in-house professional master brewer.Their wines are carefully chosen by their Somellier.

The food is amazing and is prepered by a professional chef.

creole eggs.

They call this the Butchers block.

Beetroot and blue cheese Ravioli.
 Their sister company 'The Wine Shop' Is located underground. I had done a post about The Wine Shop a few weeks ago.

Amazing cocktails

 The fish special.

 To know more about this amazing place visit their website or page.


Sunday, 15 December 2013


Le Decanter is a Gourmet shop in Westlands Nairobi. It is in ABC place and it stocks a collection of different wines . Examples are Chateau le Gay, Bordeaux Blanc.This place has French wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and Provence. For all of you who are planning cocktail parties, they have cocktail mixes to mix with your rum or vodka.So you don't have to worry about what drinks to serve your guests.These mixes come in a variety of flavours like candy floss, raspberry and lemon among others. There are innumerable types of gourmet mustard, cheese and vinegars. They have amazing gift wraps and boxes for those who plan to buy gifts .They stock different non-alcoholic syrups too.Here are a few photos showcasing their products.

photo credit

This place is open from Monday to Sunday. The prices are affordable. Its a nice spot for winelovers in the country.For more information visit their page here .