The Warm South is a place you can travel to – as I did to the sunny skies of the Fairest Cape from England’s unremitting grey nearly 25 years ago; but it is also – to hammer a heavily over-used cliché – a state of mind. As a jobbing writer across a number of fields from finance to food, my gees is generalist, my tastes catholic (small c).

I do not purport to be an expert in anything, having not exerted Eriksson’s 10,000 hours in any one topic, except perhaps buying and reading car magazines. To no noticeable positive benefit for humanity. Sad but true. Ask me what cars are available on the SA market and, indeed, in much of the world, and I will be able to tell you. Even sadder. But an obsession, without a doubt.

However, I also have a good handle on the wine tourism industry in South Africa – all 450 or so wine farms and 150 plus wine farm restaurants of it – and am increasingly discovering that grand old wine-making Europe has a lot to learn from us. We’re even, here in SA, growing a craft beer industry as well – there are now over 70 independent breweries across the nation, making some very fine ales. That’s a passion, I guess.

So there you have two or three abiding interests – cars and wine and beer: not great bedfellows, it has to be said. But there are ways to appreciate both without damaging livers or limbs to excess. Read on to find out how.

PS I seem, increasingly, to be writing memoir-biased stuff as well – mostly in some sort of blank verse. So you’re going to be inflicted (or blessed) with that too: some of it is happy verse, some of it is less happy, midlifey verse: that gets it into the Worse category. Consider yourselves warned.