Category Archives: Wine

Maputo restaurants

Not everyone would automatically think of Mozambique for its culinary excellence – but for those who like fine seafood, Maputo’s restaurants are definitely worth exploring.  Mozambique is a forgiving country, and despite the violent war of independence it still retains certain classic Portuguese traditions, not least the tendency to serve rice and chips with most main courses.  It is also possible to find great Portuguese wines – definitely a step up from most of the South African onesprawns available on the wine lists.  Here are just a few of my favourite places to eat in Maputo:

  • Costa do Sol – on the coast to the north of Maputo – serves fantastic fresh seafood in an art deco atmosphere.  The vinhos verdes go down well with the lobster and prawns!
  • Restaurante Escorpião (Recinto da Feira Popular – Maputo. Tel. 21302180. E-mail: restauranteescorpiao@hotmail.com) – serves typical ‘Portuguese’ cuisine – and has one of the best collections of Portugese wine outside Portugal (try the Borba with one of the meat dishes).
  • Maputo Waterfront restaurante (Av 10 Novembro 74,http://www.paginasamarelas.co.mz/pag/2226032468_PAG_A.html) – serves excellent seafood and meat dishes – try one of the combination dishes, such as chicken and seafood.  As its name suggests, it is right on the waterfront
  • Restaurante 1908 (Av. Eduardo Mondlane,946 – Maputo. Tel. 21424834.) – a sophisticated restaurant in the centre of Maputo, serving Mozambican and Italian food.  As its name suggests it is in a building constructed in 1908!

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The proposed High Mosel bridge

Approval has apparently recently been given for the building of a 4-lane 160 metre high concrete road bridge, the B50 High Mosel Bridge.  Campaigners note that this will have a severe impact on the vineyards and villages of Ürzig, Zeltingen-Rachtig and Wehlen, which make some great wines (visual impression).  Where the road is planned to continue on above Graach, it also threatens the stability of the vineyard, and disregards the landscape integrity of the Graacher Schanzen hillfort.  For an open letter written to Angel Merkel about this by Sarah Washington, see http://mobile-radio.net/bridge.html .

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Brussels restaurants

Continuing my periodic restaurant commentaries, last week in Brussels provided a great opportunity to listen to advice from friends who live there, and explore hidden away restaurants.  While I am tempted to keep these to myself, I enjoyed them so much that I thought I would share them here in the hope that these excellent restaurants will benefit from additional business.  Just don’t be there when I am!

  • La Quincaillerie – Rue du Page 45, B-1050 Brussels.  As one of the first restaurants to set up in the trendy Chatelain neighbourhood, La Quincaillerie stands out among the many fashion boutiques and purveyors of upmarket knick-knacks. It has an excellent wine list, and particularly good seafood and chicken; I really enjoyed the Tartare de boeuf au parmesan et à la roquette.  To drink, I would recommend the 2005 Gewürztraminer from Louis Sipp à Ribeauvillé in Alsace
  • La Canne en Ville – Rue de la Réforme 22, B-1050 Brussels.  Exceptional!  Try the Duo de coquilles Saint Jacques rôties et filet de sole farci à la mousseline d’écrevisses, beurre fouetté au citron.  And to drink, be adventurous and taste the Bourgogne rosé Marsannay Regis Bouvier 2005.

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Berlin restaurants…

sagrantino-smallWalking through Berlin, I came across a restaurant named after one of my favourite grape varieties (Sagrantino) and apparently serving wines made by one of my favourite producers (Arnaldo Caprai, from Montefalco in Umbria)!  The restaurant is Sagrantino – does anyone know if I would be disappointed going there?

In the meanwhile, four other interesting places to eat in Berlin, each with their own distinctive atmospheres are:

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Kaz

OK – who’s interested in finding out more about one of the most quirky wineries in Sonoma?

A short trip to Berkeley last year, and the generosity of friends who took me up into the Sonoma Valley for a quick wine exploration before catching the plane, provided the opportunity to visit wineries that I had never previously been to.  Our last stop was without doubt the best – at the Kaz Vineyard and Winery.  It claims to be the smallest winery in the valley that sells to the public – but it produces some of the best wines I have tasted recently. Part of the success is that the winemaker/owner, Richard Kasmier, picks his fruit earlier than many of his neighbours.  This means that the wines tend to have slightly higher acidity, and this contribute to the richness and complexities of the flavours.  Great names for the wines as well:  Moo Vedra for the Mourvedre, and Hooligans for the Grenache!

For their contact details, check out

Kaz winery

Kaz winery

Kaz Vineyard & Winery
233 Adobe Canyon Rd.
Kenwood, CA 95452

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December – Online Educa, Berlin

In late November or early December every year, many of the world’s leading figures in e-learning make their way to Berlin for Online Educa.  This (14th) year was no exception – as ever, those left on the dance floor early on Friday morning somehow recovered enough to participate enthusiastically later in the day!!!gtz-workshop-small

Members of the ICT4D Collective were involved in two main activities:

  • sessions on technology supported learning in the UN system, and the launching of UNeLearn – led by UNEP
  • workshop on OER convened with GTZ

… and then there were the cocktails ….

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