Your access to the Wine 101 course portal ended on 11 Sept 2020

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Join us for our next online course
Local & Lekker - Starting 29 Sept

We received such awesome feedback from our free WINE 101 course that we’ve decided to give you another opportunity to enhance your wine skills in our next LIVE course with Cathy Marston!

‘Local & Lekker’ takes you on a journey into SA wine over 4 x 60-minute interactive zoom sessions, giving you the chance to ask Cathy any questions directly! The course is valued at R495 but we’re running an exclusive offer of R200 for all those who completed the survey!
YOU SAVE R295!

"Its more like an online wine club than a course. We had so much fun!"

Local & Lekker - SA Wine

R495
R 200
  • Session 1 - WINEderful Whites
  • Session 2 - Robust and Red
  • Session 3 - The Fun of Fortified Wines
  • Session 4 - Fabulous Fizz!
  • Tues & Thurs, 6 - 7 PM (29 Sept - 8 Oct)

Welcome to your WINE 101 Online Course Portal

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Great BIG Wine Survey!

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on our local wine industry, and we wanted to use this time wisely by carefully crafting SA’s biggest ever wine survey to assist wine producers to understand YOU better!

In return for your valuable insights we’ve provided you with access to another one of our exciting projects born out of COVID-19; the perfect beginners guide to wine where all your questions can finally be answered!

Quick Links

Your access is still valid until 11 September 2020

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We have extended your access due to the Government ban on the sale of alcohol

Session 1: ABC's of Wine

Wine Suggestions: Either a crisp, fresh white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or an unwooded Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay. If you are a red wine drinker, something rich and round like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Pinotage will do!

Play Video
Play Video

Session 2: Great Whites

Wine Suggestions: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay. However any white wine will work just fine!

Session 3: Romantic Reds

Wine Suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage or Pinot Noir. However any red wine will work just fine!

Play Video
Play Video

Session 4: Mystery of Pairings

Wine Suggestions: Your wine of choice is perfect for this session

Pairing Options: A slice of lemon (or lemon juice), pinch of salt, something sweet (ice cream, dried fruit or chocolate) and a microwaved mushroom or piece of nori (dried seaweed)!

Q & A's: Get all your questions answered!

Cathy will do her best to answer any questions you have on the course!

120 Responses

  1. Hi All! If you have any questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer each of your questions!

      1. Hi Cornelia, Wines under cork: Over time a small amount of oxygen is released into the wine. The wine will age (oxidise) with a cork. The colour will fade on reds, whites go darker towards orange and brown and the fruit fades away to leave nutty and dried fruit flavour in whites and meaty, mushroom flavours and aromas in reds.
        Wines under screw cap change very slowly over time and tend to retain fresh fruit flavours. Traditionally more white wines are screw cap where you want to keep the fruit flavour and reds that are made to drink Young are often screw cap.

      1. Hi Nalize, Other woods can be used and are used. Some winemakers around the world use woods such as cherry, chestnut, acacia and ash. Although they might choose these out of their desired results, some use them as they are much more affordable alternatives. Oak, however, has many different qualities that make it worth its cost.
        Oak, compared to other alternatives, is much easier to shape into a barrel. It is also one of the most abundant woods available and one of the fastest growing. Oak is also coveted for its ability to retain liquids inside due to its tight grain, yet it possesses the ability to allow contents to breathe. The oak barrel can remain water-tight, however, its pores allow for a controlled and necessary evaporation to take place.

    1. Thank you Cathy! This was so much fun. I’ve been enjoying Malbec lately. I would like to know more about this wine and how to pair it. I mostly drink as after work relaxation.

    1. I have been looking for this course for long time and excited that finaly will know more about wines is there a certificate after the complwtion of this course

  2. Thank you for the very insightful information! I am ready to go out and drink now. When my boss asks me why I did not get any work done this afternoon, I will tell her to place the blame elsewhere =P

    1. Hi Marco, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hi Mpumelelo, unfortunately there will be no certificate of completion. Hope you’re enjoying the sessions!

      1. This was awesome! I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about wine and a new way to look at different wines. I cannot wait to share this new found knowledge with the people I would enjoy some wine with.

        I would love to do more online courses in the future!

        Thank you, Cathy! You were awesome!
        Thank you!

  3. Thanks for a great course. I enjoyed it, informative, practical and fun. I would have likes one more lesson on MCC only. Next time?

    1. Hi Achmed, great to hear you enjoyed the sessions! Keep an eye on the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show Facebook Page, we are planning something specifically on bubbles later in the year, so don’t miss out!

    1. Hi Kathy, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hey TC, we’re glad that you found the course interesting. Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses!

  4. This session was very informative. Thank you. It left me with so much basic understanding of Wine. May I please get more Clarity on the Fault part of Wines. What are they in detail?

    1. Hi Mihle… Wine is a natural product – like bread – so there are always things that can go wrong. So if we don’t store our wine correctly or if we leave it open too long, then we run the risk of bacteria interacting with the wine and turning it bad. It’s exactly the same as bread – if we leave it in the bread bin for too long, then it gets blue and mouldy. If we leave it out of the packet, it gets dry and hard. And similar things will happen to wine if we leave it open too long or expose it to bacteria.

  5. Thank you very much, very interesting. I’ve been working on wine farms for about 6 years and really enjoy learning everyone’s opinion about wine. Was a fun recap

    1. Hi Carika, We’re glad that you enjoyed the recap! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  6. I’m a red wine drinker and I love my blends. I take it with everything; from fish to dessert. I was hoping you’ll talk about petit Verdot as most blends that I seem to enjoy have it in the mix. Thanks for a lovely course.

    1. Good choice Refilwe – I also think there is a great future for Petit Verdot although it’s still quite a minority variety in SA, which is why we haven’t really mentioned it. ‘Petit Verdot’ means ‘little green one’ and it refers to the fact that in Bordeaux (which is where it’s from), it often fails to ripen fully so can give very green flavours. In SA, however, we have loads of sunshine and warmth so we can ripen it easily and it adds ripe blackcurrant fruit and firm tannins to lots of Bordeaux-style blends.

    1. Hi Hildegarde, this is a way of telling how much acid there is in wine. Acid makes your mouth very dry and your brain can’t cope with your mouth being dry because there are good bacteria living in your mouth which need to be kept moist. So if your brain works out that something with a lot of acid has made your mouth dry, it goes into emergency mode and sends in saliva to make your mouth moist again. Measuring how quickly saliva is sent into your mouth is an indication of how high the acid is in the wine – the higher the acid, the quicker your brain will react and send saliva in. So take a mouthful of wine & after you’ve swallowed it, lean forward with your mouth open and count how long it takes before your mouth fills with saliva and it drips out of your open mouth. The quicker you drip, the higher the acid!

  7. Thank you very much for the free course and not knowing much about wine, I found your course very interesting and informative.

    1. Hi Carol, We’re glad that you found the course informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hi Christine, don’t worry if your wine supply is low/finished! All the info learn’t can be applied once the alcohol ban is lifted, so don’t miss out on getting the best out of your future tastings!

  8. Thank you so much for this course.I truly loved the whole slide setup its a really fun and easy way of learning.
    Im a red wine lover and now i know what to pair it with

    1. Hi Zintle, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  9. Hi Cathy
    What are the names of the wines you drink during the 4 sessions please?
    Would love to try those.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Vanessa, We’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  10. Short but well informed wine course. Thank you for providing us with such great content, hope to receive more in the future!

    1. Hi Charlton, we’re glad you found the course well informed! Keep an eye on our social media pages for our upcoming wine courses.

  11. Thank you for the informative wine course. I do love white wine, especially Sauvignon blanc.

    Could you please explain Brettanomyces (‘Brett’) and Malolactic fermentation.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rosmarie, trfThank you for the great feedback! Brettanomyces is a yeast strain but unlike the one which turns sugar into alcohol, this is what’s known as a ‘spoilage yeast’. So it will interact with sugar but instead of producing nice clean flavours, it gives you flavours of plasters, iodine and horse manure. Not nice!
      Malolactic fermentation or malolactic conversion is the result of a bacteria. This interacts with the acids in the wine and changes them from sour, green apple, malic acids into softer, creamier, more buttery lactic acids.

    1. Hi Clarah, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hi Unathi, We’re glad you found the course informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hi Nomasakhe, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  12. Thanks for the intro course. I have been collecting and tasting mainly reds for 20 years now. I am now looking to go to the next level to train my palette on a more advanced course please.

  13. Very informative and to think I have always just drank red wine, an eye opener really I will definitely be looking out for the whites once the ban has been lifted

  14. The alcohol seems to play a vital role on the blend. White ends to go for less sunshine and heat where red is the opposite (my understanding). Can you please elaborate more on the alcohol % for you want to enjoy not to get drunk, how it influence the different blends. Thanks for making one to want to know more.

    1. Hi Willem, in a good wine, all the different elements which make up the wine should be in balance in order for the wine to be harmonious. Things like acid, tannins, oak and alcohol need to integrate with each other and not stand apart in the wine. Dry wines with low alcohol can seem insipid because alcohol, like fat in food, carries flavour with it so you will often find that low alcohol wines have a good dollop of sugar in them to bump up the flavours. But wines with too much unbalanced alcohol can seem fiery and burny in the mouth and become unpleasant to drink. Most wines are between 12.5% and 14% alcohol – by law, no supermarket can sell wines that are over 14% alcohol so this would be regarded as the norm.

  15. Very entertaining and informative , well explained, I now feel better able to understand the various influences of weather and altitude on the wine making process, thanks to this short well presented course.

  16. Thank you so much for this course.

    i so enjoyed it and I actually did pairing whilst going through the course…hubby wasn’t happy about all the open wines though..

    1. Hi Kobie, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  17. Thanks Cathy and the Tops at Wine Show team,

    My wine journey is just a bit more than a decade old, without any formal training and/or learning. But I still got value and more clarity on
    (1) Brettanomyces (Brett) and (2) Malolactic Fermentation.

    I will carry this information over to people stepping into the world of wines. It’s such a beautiful place with so much to learn.

    Cheers
    Jacques #JakkalsOnderDieTrap

  18. I dont really like red wine, I love my white wine but after this course I want to give red a chance and I think with the basic understanding of how it’s made it’ll be fun and very interesting to compare. I might just like Red after all

  19. Hi there,

    I have not been able to start the wine course due to the alcohol ban, thus unable to purchase the recommended wines.
    Will there be an extension to work through the course once the ban is lifted? Would hate to miss out on this lovely course put together by yourselves.

    1. Hi Renata, thank you for getting in touch. We have extended the course access until 11 September due to the government ban on the sale of alcohol. Hope you enjoy the sessions once you start watching!

  20. This was very interesting, I will be looking at wine with new eyes now. I Can not wait for lockdown to be done, So I can start going around tasting different wines.

  21. Very interesting information. Enjoyed the course. So now I am going to be a know it all among my friends 🙃😜when this covid is business is over. I didn’t know thers a difference in making red and white, l thought you apply same method… And also cool and wine climate… 🤔 Thank you guys 👌I just miss wine tasting events, but l am hanging in there.

  22. For the length of the survey i had to take, i was expecting a much more informative “course”.
    Slides were repetitive, boring, and contained very little information.
    One question of the survey was about how much i would pay for an online course…if this in anything to go by, i would like to change my answer.
    Just glad i didn’t convince too many of my friends to take the survey so they could qualify for a free “course”.

  23. Hi Cathy, have been wine tasting with my dad for years but still learned quite a bit! Missing him down in CPT but already planning wine trips with him for when we can travel interprovincially and I can umpress him with my newfound knowledge. I’ve already booked a course in October. Looking forward to it!

  24. Thanks so much for a great course. I learn so much about wine……

    What do you think about a wine @ chocolate pairing?

    1. Hi Nompumelelo, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  25. Hi Cathy many thanks, very enlightening. A little bit to much to remember if not practiced, which has been rather difficult of late.

  26. Being a wine promoter for , A large distributor, two wine farms, an Italian Presecco importer and a small Cape Town agency I found the course refreshing and very enlightening.
    The various areas ie cold and warm producing the different amounts of sugar was something new to me.

    Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to study the course. It will be a tremendous help in my promoting efforts once the lock-down levels are further reduced and wine tasting in stores and eatery’s are permitted.

    1. Hi Marion, We’re glad that you enjoyed WINE 101! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hi Alma, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  27. A very basic “course” . More like general knowledge about wine on an intro basis. However, love wine and enjoy trying out less known cultivars.

    1. Hi Gerhard, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  28. Hi Cathy Marston
    Thank you for the opportunity to do this course. We learnt some new facts. Please let us know if there are any slightly higher level courses that we can take.

    1. Hi Sally, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

    1. Hi Florence, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  29. Thank you somuch for this course. I particularly enjoyed the romantic reds and the mysteries of pairing because I love my reds and I am still learning how to pair food with wine. looking forward to attending more in person wine tastings and online courses.

  30. I have succesfully completed this fruitful course. I will gladly open a club in my hometown and share this informative knowledge with my team. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

    1. Hi Lesedi, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  31. Hi Cathy,

    Really enjoying the course and learning so much! I really struggle though to identify the smells and flavours in the wine, is this just down to practice or does that part of my brain not work, hahaha?!

    1. Hi Pam, we’re glad that you found WINE 101 informative! Keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future wine courses.

  32. Hi there, i must say this course really opened my mind and made me enjoy red, white and MCC, it had opened another level towards wine drinking and has made me enjoy drinking and appreciating wine. Thank you so much.

  33. what a lovely course. so informative and it’s given me a new appreciation for white wine. i’m also looking forward to enjoying my reds even more now!

  34. Hi Cathy
    Would it be at all possible to extend the course? I’ve missed the deadline and with all the great comments, feel that I’ve missed out.
    Many thanks
    Candice

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