Monthly Archives: November 2016

Winemaker Profiles: Rhebokskloof Wine Estate | Paarl, South Africa

Rhebokskloof News BannerRhebokskloof Wine Estate is a magnificent 600-hectare property spanning two lush valleys and lies at the foot of the Cape’s imposing Paarl Mountain. Dating from 1692, this historic estate was carved up into several smaller farms during the early 20th century, though recent owners have sought to reverse this. Rhebokskloof is now under the ownership of a group of wine-passionate South African business people with a vision, to restore it to its former glory. The project will see Rhebokskloof’s splendid Cape Dutch buildings refurbished to their former glory.

Rhebokskloof has an unique terroir, composed of decomposed granite from the hills surrounding the estate and the slopes of the famous Paarl Rock mountain. The estate is especially known for its Shiraz vineyards, but the rolling hills of vineyards surrounding Rhebokskloof produce various varietals, including Grenache, Mourvèdre, Pinotage, Viognier and Chardonnay.

Buy a selection of Rhebokskloof Wines Online at the Hic! Wine Shop:

Rhebokskloof Wines For Sale

Great Value Californian Wines from The Hobo Wine Co.

The Hobo Wine CompanyA great selection of Californian wines from The Hobo Wine Company have found their way onto the Hic! wine portfolio…..and they offer superb value for money too!

Based in Sonoma, The Hobo Wine Company is the the brainchild, side job, menace to the wine industry, hedged bet, cash strain, mental anguish, late night musing, bruised hands, dirty t-shirts and constant companion of Kenny Likitprakong, who despite knowing better started his own label in 2002 with the simple idea to have some good fun.

Kenny has a few different labels under his Hobo Wines brand as well as Ghostwriter in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where he spent his formative winemaking years. This is a proper ghetto winery, brimming with energy and ideas – (skateboards on the walls alongside trophy bottles of JL Chave and Roumier).

Kenny is talented and self-effacing – a real, honest face of the new Californian wine scene, who imparts his extraordinary knowledge with ease and charm. He buys his fruit from all over the place and depicts the essence of each wine with eye-catching packaging that’s simply about great wine from great sites. There’s so much to enjoy with these wines – and at unbelievably good value for money. There’s no doubt about it, Kenny’s wines are extremely finely tuned, expressing a time and place that effortlessly capture the zeitgeist.

The current selection of wines to buy online from the Hic! wine shop can be found here: The Hobo Wine Company Wines For Sale

Astrolabe Wines from New Zealand available at Hic!

Astrolabe Wines For Sale Online

We are very pleased to announce the arrival of Astrolabe Wines to our New Zealand portfolio.

Astrolabe Wines was established in 1996 and is named after the ship that in 1827 charted and explored the Marlborough Coast of New Zealand. It is the personal project for winemaker Simon Waghorn and his wife Jane, and marks the culmination of a winemaking career for Simon that began back in 1982.

Simon and Jane have developed a range of distinctive wines that express the purity and intensity of fruit flavours naturally afforded by the climate and soils of the Marlborough wine region.

Astrolabe own 10 hectares and work with a number of growers scattered all over Marlborough, from Awatere Valley to the Kekerengu Coast and the Wairau Valley. Each site is chosen for the distinctive flavour it produces and the growers who work with Simon and Jane understand the rhythms of the land and know how to grow grapes that express the terroir.

Astrolabe also has a second label called Durvillea whose wines are made in a classic Marlborough style using parcels of fruit from the Astrolabe vineyards.

If you would like to find out more about Astrolabe Wines take a look at their website here: Official Astrolabe Wines Website

To view the range available to buy online either by the bottle, case, or as part of your own mixed case selection then visit the Hic! online wine shop here: Astrolabe Wines For Sale Online

Two Bird Tipples!

Two Birds Countryside Spirits

Two Birds Countryside Spirits are based in the quaint market town of Market Harborough. They produce a range of exceptional, artisanal spirits that capture the amazing flavours and character of the great outdoors. All the Two Birds spirits are produced in small batches of 100 bottles at a time, with care and perfection ensuring each batch is always as good as the first.

The range of Two Birds spirits include an award winning London Dry Gin, Vodka and Absinthe and depending on the botanics available at specific times of the year, they produce hedgerow and seasonal spirits too.

The handcrafted nature and attention to detail in the spirit production is continued throughout in the final presentation, as all the Two Birds bottles have been meticulously designed and hand decorated with organic inks.

We have put together the following serving suggestions to help our customers get the most from their Two Birds Spirits experience.


London Dry Gin ThumbThis is a classic London Dry Gin, packed full of juniper flavour and distilled with only 4 other botanicals. With notes of coriander, citrus and orris root combining with the Two Birds secret ingredient to create a very distinctive and unique flavour.


Something Simple: In a tumbler glass pour a 50ml serve of London Dry Gin, around 150ml of top quality tonic, plenty of ice and then garnish with a cucumber tongue.

Something Fancy:  NegroniInto an old fashioned glass filled with ice, pour 20ml London Dry Gin, 20ml Vermouth and 20ml Campari. Stir with a bar spoon and drop in a fresh orange peel.



Old Tom Gin ThumbnailNothing to do with a chap called ‘Tom’…..this Gin gets it’s name from the unusual Tom cat-shaped plaque that hung outside illegal gin houses at the height of the ‘Gin Craze’. Two Birds have refined the original 18th Century recipe a touch, while still retaining the slightly sweeter taste which made this spirit so popular.


Something Simple: In a highball glass pour a 50ml serve of Old Tom Gin, around 150ml of top quality Indian tonic water, plenty of ice and add a squeeze of lemon and lime. Garnish with a lemon and lime peel.

Something Fancy:  Old Tom Collins – Add the juice from half a freshly squeezed lemon, 2 tsp of sugar and 50ml Old Tom Gin to a highball glass and stir. Add plenty of cubed ice and stir again. Top with soda water and stir for a final time and garnish with lemon wedge.



Cocktail Gin ThumbnailOne of the most popular base spirits in cocktail making. Two Birds have developed a specially distilled version of their award winning London Dry Gin by ramping up the juniper intensity – yet still keeping to a modest 40% alcohol-by-volume for a well balanced finish.


Something Simple: Take a large balloon Brandy glass, fill with ice and pour in 50ml Two Birds Speciality Cocktail Gin, 200ml pressed apple juice, 25ml elderflower syrup and muddle in bottom of glass. Serve with cucumber garnish.

Something Fancy: Passion Fruit Vesper Martini – Take 5ml extra dry martini, 25ml Speciality Cocktail Gin, 25ml Passion Fruit Vodka and 10ml simple sugar syrup and pour into a Boston shaker with ice. Slowly shake and strain into chilled martini glass. Run a lime wedge round the rim of the glass and leave as garnish.



Sipping Gin ThumbnailMade in ridiculously small batches (only ever 50 bottles available at any one time) the Two Birds Sipping Gin is cask rested for a whole three months prior to bottling. Distilled with a rich mix of classic gin botanicals and then left to rest in two different kind of wood chippings and bottled at 47% alcohol-by-volume.


Something Simple: Enjoy neat in a rocks glass with ice and served with fresh orange peel to garnish.

Something Fancy:  Old Fashioned Wood Gin – In a rocks glass muddle a touch of demerara sugar and a dash of bitters (such as Angostura). Add 60ml Sipping Gin and a large ice cube. Twist slices of lemon and orange peel over the drink and drop slices in.



English Vodka ThumbnailSmooth, is the only word to describe Two Birds English countryside Vodka. Made from an infusion of distilled English barley and sugar beet, this classic combination of cereal and root crops creates a naturally sweetened and exceptionally smooth spirit.


Something Simple: In a collins glass pour 50ml English Vodka, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and 125ml of ginger beer, fill with ice and garnish with lime wedge.

Something Fancy: Dirty English Martini – Pit four olives and muddle them with olive brine in a Boston glass. Then add 60ml English Vodka and 10ml dry vermouth, top with ice cubes and stir. Finally, drain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with Mediterranean olives.



After Dinner Mint Vodka ThumbnailBased on a well known chocolate mint, the Two Birds After Dinner Mint Vodka delivers bountiful notes of chocolate to start, then rounds off with a refreshing taste of peppermint.


Something Simple: Serve in a tallboy (half pint) glass with plenty of ice, 25ml measure of After Dinner Mint Vodka and top with approximately 175ml coca cola.

Something Different: Serve in a glass of your choice, fill with ice, 25ml measure of After Dinner Mint Vodka and 125ml of cherry juice. Garnish with a glacé cherry and a straw.

Something Fancy: The One – Half fill a large tallboy with crushed ice, squeeze in 2 lime wedges and add 50ml After Dinner Mint Vodka, 12.5ml sugar syrup and a batch (7ish) of mint leaves. Muddle well with the flat end of a bar spoon. Add the rest of the ice and top with root beer then garnish with a mint sprig, lime wedge and two straws.



Salted Caramel ThumbnailThe Two Birds Salted English Caramel Vodka is the classic English Vodka infused with a little indulgence of organic caramel and finished with a hint of salt, to create a wondrous drink of pure delight.


Something Simple: Pour 50ml Salted Caramel Vodka and 150ml quality Soda water into a large tallboy, over ice and then garnish with an apple slice and 2 straws.

Something Different: Pour 50ml Salted Caramel Vodka and 100ml coke over ice in a large tallboy glass. Garnish with a caramel stick and 2 straws.

Something Fancy: Salted Caramel Espresso Martini – Into an ice filled Boston shaker pour 50ml Salted Caramel Vodka; 12.5ml Tia Maria; 5ml simple sugar syrup and a single shot of espresso. Shake well, double/fine strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with caramel wafer  quarter & coffee beans.