I haven't profiled a wine blogger in a while, so it's good to meet Iain & Julie of A Minute of Wine. They describe their blog as being dedicated to bringing you honest, simple, enjoyable films about some of the top South African wine estates and the personalities that make them so unique. Ian hails from Canada but both of them are now based in Cape Town – all the beter to be near the winelands! Here's the low-down on this dynamic couple:
1. Where are you – in South Africa or out in the wide world?
I [Ian] am originally from Canada but I visited Hout Bay a few years ago, fell in love (with my now wife Julie), and never left…so Julie and I are based in Hout Bay, and spend as much time in the winelands as possible.
2. How long have you been blogging?
As our "medium" is film, we have officially been blogging for six months, but we have been producing Harvest video podcasts for the past three years (we did the worlds' first online video Harvest report in 2007 – a different film for each day of the harvest), and wine video content for the web for four years.
3. What do you enjoy the most about food or wine blogging?
Without a doubt it is the wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know the personalities behind South African wine, from the winemakers to owners to marketers to cellar hands to viticulturists…everyone is open, inviting and willing to share, even in the heat and pressure of a harvest, which is unbelievable.
4. Any downsides or frustrations?
Living in Hout Bay means we have to drive the N2 to the winelands every day (during harvest) for content – BIG frustration….but the biggest frustration is the lack of bandwidth in South Africa. Although it is getting better, we look forward to the day when someone can download and watch 6 of our films, all at the same time (as our subscribers in North America and elsewhere can do).
5. What or who are your inspirations to cook, drink and write?
Both Julie and I have a passion for wine which is how we started in this business (I have a banking background and Julie is a graphic designer by training). We initially wanted to learn more about how to make wine, so we thought "lets make movies about it" and learn as we go….it has since grown into a passion to promote the South African wine industry on an international stage as best we can…to show the glorious beauty of the winelands and its people to viewers from around the world who would otherwise not be able to visit our shores.
6. Where and when do you like to blog?
We blog from home and in the evenings…I usually edit the films at night (when all is quiet) and it is easier to upload at night when the strain on bandwidth is less….
7. What's your signature dish or favourite wine?
Our favourite everyday drinking wine is the Jordan Chameleon Cab/Merlot – it is affordable, but clearly made with love from everyone on the Jordan farm, and while I am editing I like to drink whatever wine the film is about…often we are in the cellars or vineyards during the day, surrounded by these smells and visions of amazing wine, so it is very inspirational to edit while tasting what's in the bottle, which is usually the distillation and summation of everything we experienced during that day.
8. What other food or wine blogs do you read?
I love reading Neil Pendock, because even though I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes, it is obvious he has no sacred cows, no one he is pandering to, and he is not afraid to say something, even if it means offending his "host" and not getting an invite to the next years function! Honest writing (and filmmaking) is what I look for….Oscar Foulkes, Bruce Jack, Kitchen Cowboy…blogs written from the heart.
9. Favourite restaurant?
We have recently opened a restaurant in hout bay with our good friend Pete Goffe-Wood called 'Wild Woods' and even if we weren't partners, our favourite place would be wherever Pete is cooking! It is honest, down to earth, amazing food…he is a magician in the kitchen…the people of Hout bay finally have a local bistro worthy of the world class views!
10. For my last meal on this planet I would order…
An endless plate of Sushi for my wife Julie and as many bottles of Gravel Hill Shiraz from Hartenberg as I could find….