Categorized | Introduction

Let me Introduce Myself

Posted on 24 October 2013 by David Biggs

Let me introduce myself.

I was born and raised in the Karoo, where my parents lived on a sheep farm. After trying several careers, including milk testing, cattle ranching and Basotho blanket designing, I settled on journalism and found a job as a reporter on the historic The Friend newspaper (now closed) in Bloemfontein, where I worked for 10 years before being transferred to Cape Town to work on the Cape Argus.

In Cape Town I discovered the delights of wine and attended two wine courses at the Gilbeys Wine academy in Stellenbosch. This was before the establishment of the Cape Wine Academy.

I produced a weekly wine column for the Cape Argus for some 30 years before retiring in 1999. During that time I qualified as a Cape wine judge and have served on various wine judging panels, including the Veritas Awards panel (since its inception) and the Wine of the Month Club panel, also since its inception in 1986.

I also serve on the annual Terroir Awards and Muscadel Association judging panels.

For the past 30 years or more I have written a daily column for the Cape Argus, under the heading of Tavern of the Seas, and contribute regularly to Good Taste Magazine.

I’ve also written several books on wine and cocktails, as well as a collection of short stories called Karoo Ramblings and a guide to Cape Town called This Is Cape Town, published by Struik. My books have been translated into a number of languages including Chinese and Japanese.

I live in Fish Hoek with two second-hand cats and sometimes irritate my neighbours by playing a piano accordion. I also paint very amateur pictures, usually of dragons.

I enjoy riding a Vespa scooter and have managed several long scooter journeys in South African and Europe.

I think life is fun.




5 Comments For This Post

  1. Nick Goldie Says:

    (not for publication)

    Dave – sorry to drop in and out of your life in this bouncy way.

    Shortly after you replied to my first message, my computer was wiped by an electrical storm. This sort of thing always happens when the technical people are away on their (well deserved) holidays which can last from Christmas to Easter. I’m now back in the world of the electronic living, but have no memories, addresses, saved correspondence or anything of that sort – hence using this venue. Meanwhile, I’ve been somewhat busy for the past two weeks with a major bushfire (2012 ha) in very rough gorge country, just down the road. My fire brigade radio tells me – as I write – that there are still some hot-spots which have to be found and doused. For a while we thought that it was going to head north by way of Namadgi National Park into the suburbs of Canberra, 60km away. This sounds improbable, but in January 2003 the fire which started just outside Canberra made its way, by way of the Namadgi National Park, to shower us with embers across the river. You probably have no idea of where I am: my wife Jenny and I have 100 acres of scrubby country beside the Murrumbidgee, 60km south of Canberra, with non-productive olive trees, kangaroos, feral fallow deer, weeds, gum trees. We do our weekly shopping in Cooma.
    Enough already … I look forward to hearing from you -


  2. Johne907 Says:

    Its actually a nice and helpful piece of information. Im glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing. kaagfeedkefe

  3. David Biggs Says:

    Great. Keep in touch with this space.

  4. Ingrid de Beer Says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the introduction :)
    I recently worked on a television show about the Karoo- it truly is a magical place. I would like to send you a box set of the series.Please pop me a mail so we can get in touch?


  5. David Biggs Says:

    Hi Ingrid,
    My e-mail address is
    My postal address is PO Box 236, Muizenburg, 7950.
    You’re absolutely right about the Karoo being a magical place.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

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Tavern of the Seas

Tavern of the Seas readers often ask for details of past issues. To make things easier (and to amuse you… or make you think) past columns will now appear here, roughly two days after they are first printed in the Cape Argus. Thanks to Independent Newspapers for allowing us to do this.

  • Why are we so desperate to believe the impossible?

    April 24, 2015 at 6:22 am by David Biggs

    (Published: 23rd April 2015)
    It seems there’s no limit to the rubbish a good sales person can sell these days.Until recently an American couple, Tito and Amanda Watts, were making quite a good living by selling tickets to Heaven at $99.99 a time.They offered these solid gold tickets to gullible customers along with the guarantee that, on presentation at the pearly gates, the ticket would ensure instant entry to Heaven.
    Sadly for them their plans were thwarted by the police. A spokesman for the Jacksonville Police explained that there was no law against selling tickets to Heaven. What caused the couple to be arrested was the fact that they claimed the tickets were solid gold, when in fact they were simply made of wood sprayed gold and marked in felt-tipped pen: “Ticket to heaven. Admit One.” If they’d been real gold no law would have been broken.
    What interests me about this scam is that hundred of customers had bought their tickets before the Wattses were arrested.
    I don’t suppose we should really be surprised. On several occasions recently gullible people in South Africa have been sold magic potions by witch doctors who promised them the muti would make them safe from bullets.
    I suppose that’s a pretty fool-proof scam, really. Your customer is unlikely to go back for a refund if the bullet-proofing potion didn’t work.

    Great Cape

    At times like these when humanity seems to have gone stark raving, viciously mad, it’s hard to remember that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. How can people who have grown up surrounded by such beauty turn so savagely on their fellow human beings?
    I was reminded of this by professional artist James Yates, who has been painting Cape scenes for more than 50 years.
    “Is the beauty of our environment still relevant in today’s world?” Yates asks sadly, adding: “I ask the question because of all the sad news and ugly images one is bombarded with these days.”
    I wonder whether the electronic age in which we live has not blinded us to our beautiful surroundngs. We live with our heads down, concentrating on computer and cell-phone screens and being pounded by scenes of crime and violence until we feel that’s all there is.
    Let’s lift our heads and look around us. It’s a beautiful world. Or you can see it through the eyes of James Yates, who is holding an exhibition of his work at the American International School in Constantia from April 25 to April 17, from 10am to 5pm daily.
    Maybe it will soften our attitude to life.

    Continue Reading
  • The stange eating habits of those glamorous celebrities

    April 24, 2015 at 5:13 am by David Biggs

    Continue Reading
  • There is nothing quite as stupid as a a Smartphone

    April 23, 2015 at 5:48 am by David Biggs

    Continue Reading
  • Using violence to stop violence is like trying to stop a fire by pouring petrol on it

    April 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm by David Biggs

    Continue Reading
     Have 126 more links to previous articles please

    Nederburg 2013 Interviews David Biggs