Top picks: The Wine Centre’s Cathy Marston

Top picks: The Wine Centre’s Cathy Marston

Wine connoisseur Cathy Marston used to own a wine bar called The Nose, which is apt as she is certainly one of Africa’s top wine noses. Author of Love Your Wine, taster for many top publications and regularly running internationally-recognised wine courses by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), we chatted to Cathy about some of her favourite – and not-so-favourite – things.

What would your 10-year-old self say about the job you do right now?
“Cool! But what happened to the dream of becoming Julie Andrews?”


What’s the absolute best thing and the absolute pits about your job?
“I get lots of wine delivered free for me to review and comment on which is good. Bad bit – I rarely get to drink wines of my choice because I have so much other stuff I have to review.”

What is a food aroma you love?

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
Anything involving coffee. Hate, hate, hate coffee.

Where is your go-to place to shop for food or ingredients?
“Can spend obscene amounts of money at Joostenberg Deli…”


Image via: Melkkos & Merlot

Favourite ingredient to cook with right now?
“It’s winter – red meat, red wine and Oxo cubes.

Is there is food trend that you wish would go away?
“Very bored with ‘gourmet burgers’. Gourmet means refined, elegant, discriminating and a burger is none of the above – it’s messy, collapse-y, for the masses and (if you’re lucky) delicious.”

Favourite spot for lunch?
“Anywhere with nice wine.”

Favourite food or wine hero?
“WC Fields: What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?”


If you were a flavour of ice cream, you would be…
“Raspberry sorbet.”

If you had R1000 to spend, where would you go or what would you cook? (and drink)
“I’d go to The Pot Luck Club and order the entire menu.”


Image: The Pot Luck Club


If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life it would be?
“Fish – can that include seafood too???”

Your last supper would be (don’t forget the drinks!)
“Oysters and 1971 Dom Perignon, Sticky Asian-style Pork Belly with perfect crackling and a great SA Chenin Blanc and some kind of dessert involving raspberries, almonds, pastry, cream, more raspberries and possibly meringues as well. With more 1971 Dom Perignon. And maybe some more cream too.”

What would be the best wine to enjoy with the tanginess of Pronto Mama’s slow-cooked tomatoes?
“You need something to cope with the vinegar as well as something to cope with the acidity of the tomatoes. I think I’d go with a Chenin Blanc – it’s a very versatile, adaptable grape and if you choose a richer, slightly fatter version, it ought to be able to handle both. Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc, Bosman Optenhorst Chenin Blanc or Glen Carlou Curator’s Collection Chenin Blanc are good choices.”

Read more about Cathy’s wine courses here: