Posts Tagged ‘oude meester


Movie Review: Django Unchained

DjangoUnchained_TeaserPoster_Print.inddOn Friday last week me and the missus were treated to the premier of Tarantino’s new offering Django Unchained by the kind folks at Oude Meester because their posterboy for the brand, Jamie Foxx, IS Django.

After wining and dining us with a few signature Oude Meester cocktails and some light finger foods, we were ushered into the cinema and given a brief welcome by the Oude Meester p1mp daddy himself, Arthur Lindani.

To the brand’s credit they didn’t dwell on the formalities for too long – we were shown the extended version of the Jamie Foxx Oude Meester commercial (which was shot entirely in Cape Town) and right after that the movie started and wow! We were BLOWN AWAY!

The best way I could describe it is that it felt like we were watching a live performance. The audience was so engaged in the film that the atmosphere in the cinema was alive in a way I haven’t felt in a long, long time.



This was not your normal cinema experience where the audience sits there slack-jawed, eyes glazed over munching their popcorn while scene after scene floats on by until the end credits when everyone files out in silence.

This was like watching a goddamn play. There was this palpable energy in the cinema that moved with the story. Tarantino had us hook, line and sinker from the first scene to the last and we left the cinema still buzzing even though we were almost completely emotionally spent.

THAT is the mark of a truly excellent film. It strikes every emotional chord in you, keeps you glued to the screen throughout, delivers a satisfying ending and keeps you thinking about it for weeks afterward.

Like almost everyone else I know, I’m a HUGE Tarantino fan and went into Django Unchained with very high expectations.

With the possible exception of Jacky Brown and Death Proof I’ve loved every film Tarantino’s written and / OR directed, my favourites being Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction (obvious!), Natural Born Killers (which he co-wrote), Four Rooms, Kill Bill (especially Vol.2) and Inglorious Basterds.



Like a true master of his craft, Tarantino seems hell-bent to master every genre of filmmaking and he’s doing a pretty bang-up job so far.

He revolutionised the gangster / heist movie with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, gave us two unforgettably cool Kung Fu movies in Kill Bill 1 & 2, tried his hand at European-styled filmmaking with Inglorious Basterds and knocked it out of the park and now with Django Unchained he tackles the spaghetti western genre and delivers one of the best films I’ve seen in a very long time.

Django Unchained is set in 1858 in the Deep South and follows the story of the film’s titular character Django from when he is freed from slavery by Dr King Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz) a bounty hunter posing as a dentist who is on a mission to track down and kill the Brittle Brothers.

Dr. Schultz enlists Django’s help because Django knows what the Brittle Brothers look like as they are the very same people that captured Django and his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) and sold them into slavery.



Thus begins an adventure that forges a strong friendship between Django and the good doctor and culminates in the two of them hatching a plan to track down and free Broomhilda from “Candyland” a plantation owned by the maleficent Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

It’s a truly epic story and is by far the funniest movie Tarantino’s ever written and directed.

All the best playwrights knew it – humour is the most effective way to make your audience connect with your characters and follow them willingly through the story, and I’d have to say that Tarantino’s use of humour in Django Unchained is one of the films strongest points.

Another is the undeniably high standard of acting in the film. Tarantino has this way of coaxing the best performances out of his actors – he brought Travolta back from the dead, practically made Samuel L. Jackson, turned Uma Thurman into one of the most badass female leads a film’s ever seen and don’t get me started on Christoph Waltz.

“Christoph who?” I hear you ask. Christoph Waltz – the man who played the “Jew Hunter” Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds.


His portrayal of Dr Schultz in Django Unchained is so riveting that I swear to God, if all he does in his next movie is paint a fence for two hours, I’ll be queuing at the cinema for tickets on the opening night.

If he doesn’t get the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor I will hunt down the Academy and take them out one-by-one, bounty-hunter style.

Though his performance stands out, that is not to say that the rest of the cast fade like wilted wallflowers in the background.

Jamie Foxx, the master himself, brings the tough-as-coffin-nails Django to life and though he’s a man of few words, when he speaks, you listen.

Leonardo DiCaprio shows us a character we’ve never seen him play before and thank God for that.

Sure, he’s one of the very best actors in Hollywood but let’s be honest, he honed a certain type of character in The Departed and he’s played the same character type in Blood Diamond, Revolutionary Road, Shutter Island and Inception.

He brings something new to the screen as Calvin Candie. A malevolence that is made all the more chilling by his easy charm and charisma.



Simply put, DiCaprio looks like he’s finally having fun again in Django. He’s loving every minute of playing the ruthless Calvin Candie and his performance is exceptionally entertaining.

Then there’s good ol’ Samuel L. and the less I say about his performance and character the better because I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys. I was NOT expecting the knock-out performance he delivered – the man practically steals every scene he’s in.

Again, this is a character Samuel L. has never played before but wow, he does it with so much panache, so much meticulous attention to detail that you’d swear he’s been playing this character for the past 20 years.

In a way this review is a little superfluous because you were probably going to see Django Unchained anyway, but if you were umming and ahhing about going to see it at the big screen, you can stop right now.

Get to the movies tonight, buy the biggest drink and popcorn you can (it’s a LONG movie), make sure you make a bathroom stop before it starts and go lose yourself completely in the epic tale that is Django Unchained.

Final verdict: 9/10



The Tiger Hits Up The Man U / Ajax Game, Gets Deliriously Happy for 4 Minutes

Man U Lead PicIf there’s one thing I can never get enough of, it’s articles written by PRs and people in marketing about “How To Approach Bloggers”.

Why anyone would waste their time writing Captain Obvious advice like that is beyond me. Just pick up a phone, call us, have a chat and send us cool free stuff.

My man Arthur from Oude Meester followed that advice to the letter last week Friday when he called me up, asked me if I wanted two tickets to the Oude Meester box for the Man U / Ajax game on Saturday, met me at the Engen on Orange in a black beemer and hooked a brother up.

Fast forward to Saturday afternnoon and J-Rab and I were squeezing our way through the crowds at Cape Town Stadium 5 minutes before kick-off, desperately trying to get to the Oude Meester box in time for the first whistle.



We managed to fight our way through the crowds and get to the Oude Meester box literally one minute after kick-off.

Had the game not just started I would definitely have done the typical blogger thing and taken pictures of the free food and brandy cocktails, but the atmosphere in the stadium was electric and we wanted in on the action yo.



I’m not much of a soccer fan, I get into it when the World Cup rolls around and sometimes I find myself watching a game or two in the pub. Like like most sports though, watching it live is always awesome and Saturday’s game was no exception.

Ajax played with a lot of heart and come half time both teams were tied at 0-0.

Watching our boys play I was struck by two things; the first was how much better they handled Man U than AmaZulu did (I was lucky enough to watch that game live in Durbs last week) and the second was how very small they looked.



After half-time the game started to get a little stale and the atmosphere in the stadium died down considerably as most of us resigned ourselves to a 0-0 draw.

Then shit got real. Alcardo Van Graan charged onto the field and a minute later back-heel flicked the ball into Manchester United’s net and every Saffer in the stadium, whether they were Manchester supporters or not, lost their damn minds.



It looked like Ajax were going to take it. They were 86 minutes into the game, all they had to do was keep their defence water-tight and stick to the Man U players like a bad rash.

But sadly, that didn’t happen. Man U came down the right flank like a goddamned steamroller and Bebe fired home with military precision, levelling the score at 1-1.



We were robbed I tell ya. Straight up. And the thing that pissed me off the most was how quickly Man U equalised.

I’d bet good money they huddled after Ajax scored and were like, “Ok. On three, unleash Hell.”

Then again, like I said I’m not the world’s most avid soccer fan so what do I know. Maybe Man U were giving it their all throughout, who’s to say?

It was an exciting game any way you look at it and J-Rab and I had a killer time, staying in the Oude Meester box long after the game was done because we were cabbing it home and were in the mood for a cheeky brandy cocktail or two.

This is the last thing I remember. Running up and down the stadium stairs while J-Rab took pics because, um, yeah. I seemed like a good idea at the time.



Good times I tell ya, good times Winking smile



Brandy. Not Just for Grandad

Fine brandy by designIf I asked you how long you think South Africa has been making brandy for, what would you guess? A hundred years? Two hundred? Two-fiddy?

No. South Africa has been making brandy for no less than three hundred and forty years and nine days.

On the 19th May 1672 the first brandy was made on South African soil by a cook off a Dutch ship called “De Pijl”. The man was nothing short of a visionary and his brandy was of such exceptional quality that it was rumoured that he even accepted patron’s clothing in exchange for a tot of his product.

Which is the PC way of saying his brandy was so off the chizain that people would gladly get NEKKED for a taste.



From there, South Africa went on to become one of the producers of some of the best brandies in the world, I mean think about it. How many other nations can boast winning the “Worldwide Brandy Trophy” at the International Wine And Spirit Awards not once, but 10 times!

Guys, it’s time we started looking at brandy, which has a regrettable reputation for being associated with leery old men and drunken fisticuffs, in a whole new light.

People that think brandy is a “boys only” drink for “old people” that can only be drunk “wiff coke” need to catch a flippin wake up. As I write this, 56% of the people drinking brandy in SA are between the ages of 18 and 34, a figure that is set to skyrocket to about 89% thanks to this blog post alone.



I attended the Fine Brandy By Design stand at the Good Food And Wine Show last week and was suitably impressed by not only the great entertainment that had been arranged (by brother and sister duo Sarah Jane And Angelo Thomas – book these guys if you’re ever doing an event. They did very slick, soulful covers of everything from Foster The People to Rihanna) but also by the brandy cocktail / food pairings that were being served.

This is not your grandad’s brandy. Check it:





The Franklin was my favourite of the cocktails above, so much so that I did an on-camera tasting at the stand, which should be live on their Facebook page either today or tomorrow.

Do I think it’s a better spirit than whisky? Hell no. Wizzo will always be my friend, muse, confidant, psychologist and mid-morning tipple, but brandy makes a nice change and is a lot more affordable than whisky if you want to taste the good stuff.



Slicky-T Hits Up A Brandy Tasting, Learns Stuff

Jamie5-high-resI’m lucky enough to have attended at least 7 or 8 whisky tastings over the past four years and have completed two training courses to be a whisky presenter because I really, really love the stuff.

Being part Irish, a good deal of my DNA is actually comprised of whiskey, which is why I’ll drink you under the table without even breaking a sweat, or in the case of my good buddy Mr D, down a flight of stairs (long story).

So when asked by the good folks over at Oude Meester if I’d like to attend a brandy tasting I was more than a little sceptical.

“Taste brandy? Who tastes brandy?! You throw some coke in that bad boy, knock back a few doubles and go find the nearest oke to moer, end of story right?”


What I soon realised when I arrived at Blake’s for the Oude Meester tasting last week was that my ignorance when it comes to brandy, and the Oude Meester brand itself, is pretty shocking.

Prior to the Jamie Foxx ads for Oude Meester that have been playing on TV, I hadn’t been exposed to the brand in any way, shape or form, so naturally my Cro-Magnon brain put two and two together and was like “Jamie Foxx! American advert! Oude Meester must be an international brand!”



That was the first thing I learned shortly after arriving. Oude Meester is as South African as boerewors and Bles Bridges.

The second thing I learned is that the new ad with Jamie Foxx isn’t shot in America, it’s shot right here in Cape Town.

To make it look more American, they flipped all the street shots so that it looks like they’re driving on the right-hand side of the road. But that hotdog vendor stand is in town somewhere, as is the boxing gym, and the recording studio is the SABC studio in Seapoint.

We got to watch all the behind-the-scenes footage from when they shot the ad and were given some insights as to why Jamie Foxx was chosen as the new face of the brand.



Simply puy, Foxx has street cred with a younger target audience and with an older, more sophisticated crowd and like Benjamin Franklin, Jamie Foxx is a man of many talents and was actually going to pursue a career in music before he tried his hand at stand-up comedy and acting.

Then we got to the actual tasting itself and tasted all four brandies in the Oude Meester range – the VSOB, Demant, Oude Meester 12 Year Old Reserve and Oude Meester Souverein 18 Year Old.



Here’s what my soupy brain remembered:

  • South Africa has extremely strict guidelines when it comes to brandy production, making ours some of the finest brandy in the world. By law, it has to mature for a minimum of 3 years in a barrel (French Oak is most commonly used) so the quality of our brandy is exceptionally high
  • What we call brandy, the rest of the world calls cognac. This blew my mind. How have I lived for 28 years without knowing that?!
  • As a general rule, brandy is a lot softer on the palate than whisky as it doesn’t have the same amount of spice or peat in it, but because they toast the inside of the barrels, there is a hint of smoke in brandies like the Oude Meeste 12 Year Old Special Reserve that lends a lovely scotch-like character to the spirit
  • The Oude Meester Demant is a seriously underrated brandy. It’s the newest in the Oude Meester range and has some wonderful apricot / fresh-cut grass flavour notes, complimented by subtle hints of tobacco and chocolate that makes it great to drink on its own or as a mixer (more on that later)
  • 18 year old brandy is the shiz! Dark chocolate notes abound in the Oude Meester Souverein, followed by fruitier notes of apple / pear and ending with a velvety almond / ginger finish

The tasting was followed by one of the best selections of food I’ve ever seen at a tasting, the highlight of which were the honey glazed beef ribs. Even writing that last sentence is making my mouth water.

The things I did to those delicious hunks of perfectly-cooked meat are not fit to be published on a site that children might accidentally stumble on, so let’s just say I loved them like no man has ever loved ribs before and leave it at that.



It was a great evening and while wizzo will always be my weapon of choice, if I’m ever in the mood to change it up a little, brandy will definitely be my go-to drink.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a badass cocktail this summer, buy yourself a bottle of Oude Meester Demant (retails for roughly R140 if I’m not mistaken), mix it with ginger ale, add a dash of bitters, a slice of lemon and some ice and tell me that’s not a great cocktail.

It’s called a “Franklin” and like the man himself, it’s right at home on a lilo in the pool on a scorching summer’s day, surrounded by flippin’ hot BELTERS Winking smile