Necking a few buckets of Berne at &Union (as you do, for the imported beers are sold there, like religion, as a trinity for R90) yesterday with Bertus Osbloed van Niekerk, I realized the time has come for SAWi (SA Wine index, pronounced savvy as in knowledgeable). Perhaps not to be the über arbiter of SA wine quality as advertised, but rather as a voice of reason and spokesman for sensible producers. An industry representative body, if you like; a WOSA with wisdom.
Here he is (above) with another white van man, Phil, editor of Platter, my favourite sighted wine guide, which is alas left out of the compilation of SAWi scores as increasingly fewer producers allow their wines to be viewed by dodgy soccer moms, take-away lasagne junkies, dental victims and foot fetishists. Oh, and Platter points are awarded sighted, a no-no for sippers of even the meanest intelligence. Bertus did take my point that un-audited competitions, like the controversial Michelangelo Mishegoss, should also be taken with a pinch of salt and thrown over the left shoulder into the face of the devil.
Devils and trinities are right up his street, for Osbloed was a predekant in Carletonville for 16 years and Hervoremd to boot, before he hit the bottle. Phil van Zyl rates his Cinsault the best in SA and since the grapes come from Koelenhof, this Cinsault lover is not surprised.
Savvy is desperately needed in SA wine at the minute as the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Take next year’s Vindaba as an example – a wine tourism show with the public unable to taste wine as it’s in the next room, at Cape Wine 2012, a holy of holies they may not enter like rich men in a haberdashery (think needles). This elitism will help domestic wine sales, no end. NOT.
So that leaves an audience of paid for travel agents (a dying breed indeed) and flying wine hacks (ditto) who, if they behave like Jamie Goode at the Swartland Revolution last month who missed the trinity of Platter five star Mullineaux miracles on account of a babelas straight from Beelzebub, will leave the poppies on their biodegradable stands, fiddling with their banana leaves.