Bottoms up, Gugs!

2012-05-18 14:08

It’s time to warm up those winter evenings with this year’s TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival, which kicks off on Friday, Africa Day.

Excitement is building up in Western Cape as the Gugulethu Square Mall roof top is being set up for the event, dubbed “the” highlight on the social calendar of this sprawling township.

Festival co-founders Mzoli Ngcawuzele – owner of the popular buy and braai joint Mzoli’s Place – and businessman Lungile Mbalo jumped on the Africa Day bandwagon, saying the day and the festival are founded on similar principles – diversity and success.

Says Mzoli: “Our festival belongs to the people of Africa.

Our country is abundantly cosmopolitan and this is richly visibly at our event. We can all learn so much from each other.”

This year, patrons can chill out at the TOPS food and fun zone, where they can enjoy food from a variety of restaurants, including Mzoli’s Place.

On arrival, guests will receive a free branded wine tasting glass and the festival wine buying guide. There will also be lots of prizes to be won on the opening evening.

The interactive Taste Theatre is definitely the highlight of the event and this year, the organisers have roped in MasterChef South Africa judge Pete Goffe-Wood. Goffe-Wood will on Friday co-present three shows with Nederburg.

Lynette Harris, global marketing manager for Nederburg, says the Taste Theatre idea is to bring wine to life in a fun, entertaining and accessible way.

“We want to demonstrate how a wine can either enrich the enjoyment of food or spoil it if paired with the wrong dish,” says Harris. “We look at the basics of what works, what doesn’t, keeping it simple and straightforward.”

Harris adds that they will show patrons how to use common sense when it comes to wine.

“For instance, if you have a big chunky red wine and pair it with a very acidic pasta sauce, both will suffer. But if you were to match it with a wine with a lively acidity, like the Winemaster’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, for instance, that same pasta sauce is going to be delicious.

“The Taste Theatre allows you to use your five taste sensations and to find easy pairing guidelines.”

Popular red, white and dessert wines from the Nederburg range will be lined up to try with foods such as beef, tuna, cheddar cheese and chocolate.
The winery has the highest number of five-star rated wines in this year’s Platter’s South African Wine Guide.

More than 40 other wineries are set to showcase over 300 wines. They include, among others, JC Le Roux, Pongracz, 4th Street, The Saints and a DGB merlot wine bar.

And to add some glitz, Metro FM DJ and Idols judge Unathi Msengana will be performing live.

» Tickets are selling for R80 per person. For more details, visit

» City Press is a media partner of the TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival 

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