Kanonkop Estate

Kanonkop (pronounced ka-NON-kop) is an esteemed wine estate producing only red wines. Established in 1910, it is certainly not the oldest wine estate in South Africa (Groot Constantia, est 1685), but it consistently produces some of the very best wines that the country has to offer. Situated about 50km from Cape Town, it is right at the centre of the beating heart of South African wine production that is the postcard-beautiful town of Stellenbosch. Continue reading

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…and we’re back!

So, some of you may have noticed that not much has happened here for a while. Others may also have noticed that my site URL has changed. This is due to my domain fatgary.net expiring whilst I was away on holiday, and some b*stard snatching it up before I could renew it. Oh well, out with the old and in with the new, eh?

Anyway, since my last update I’ve been travelling, eating and drinking myself stupid. I’ve also taken lots of pictures and I hope to get some of them up here as soon as possible. Watch this space!


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Hot Smoked Salmon, Saffa Style

I love smoked food. I love it all, and I love it beyond the point that most people would consider healthy. I also think most smoked food is extremely wine-friendly (my favourite pairing for smoked salmon is a rich, stinky champagne or MCC¹). As such, I take every opportunity I get to indulge in it and every now and again I try and smoke something in my kettle barbeque. Recently, I made in it what I consider to be the best smoked dish I’ve ever made – hot smoked salmon.

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National Homebrew Competition 2011

Well this is admittedly a little late, considering that the first BJCP-sanctioned UK National Homebrew Competition was in fact held in September. I’ve just got back from a holiday in South Africa and I have tons of cool stuff to write up but I had to shamelessly pop this in first :p Continue reading

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Homegrown Hop Harvest 2011

Another year has passed since I planted my little hop cuttings and now my hop plants are well and truly established. Continue reading


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There are few things I like eating as much as steak. There are many good cuts, of which rump, rib-eye, fillet, sirloin and t-bone are probably the most well known and I love them all. Personally I usually go for sirloin or t-bone, char grilled over a charcoal fire and sometimes basted with a sticky basting. If the weather’s too crap to fire up the braai, then I’ll pan fry it in butter and serve with black pepper and fresh parsley but to me this is definitely second best to the flame-grilled method. Continue reading


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Smokey, Sticky, Barbecued Poussin

Well, it’s been stinking hot here for the last couple of days. Believe it or not, but England can actually get stinking hot, just not that often. The thing about a hot day here is that it is usually accompanied by a large dose of steamy humidity and that tends to make a 30°C day feel more like a 40°C day. Yesterday was 31°C and my office is without air conditioning, so it was with great pleasure that I exercised my contractors’ right to leg it early, leaving all the other suckers to duke it out in the sauna that is the development department. Continue reading


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Noble Pils @ THBF’s Spring Thing 2011

It’s been a while since I posted my brewday and recipe for my Noble Pils. A beer like this tends to be a bit of a long-term project for a few reasons, mainly because it is a lager and as well as taking longer on the day to brew, lagers also take about twice as long as ales to ferment. Add to this the so-called ‘lagering’ (cold storage) process whereby the beer conditions and clarifies at near-freezing temperatures and we’re up to a few months. If this wasn’t bad enough, this was a very hoppy beer and over-hopping takes some time to mellow out (bitterness and hop flavour diminishes with age). Continue reading

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A Taste of Home

Every so often I have visitors from South Africa come to stay with me – usually family or close friends. One of the benefits of having said visitors is that sometimes they can be persuaded to mule some South African produce over the Atlantic for me. Any ex-pat saffa will tell you how awesome it is to be presented with treats such as biltong, Nik naks, Snacker bars, Strawberry Whirls, Klipdrift brandy and the like from our homeland and while I love all of these, my personal preference is for a bottle or two of fine South African wine. Continue reading


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Directly translated, ‘bitterballen’ means ‘bitter balls’. There are so many jokes I could make here, but I’ll refrain as it’s not in my nature to take the low-hanging fruit (oh dear, and I tried so hard). Does this description sound appetising? Well, I’ll let you decide. Continue reading


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