In addition to frottage, fromage was also popular in Franschhoek this Bastille Day and the place to get well and truly cheesed-off was the stand of the Queen of Cheese, Lodine Maske, in the Franschhoek town hall, location of the VIP lavatories so absent from the canvas VIP tent next door. Lodine had specially imported fromage from Xavier David, an artisanal producer fighting like King Canute to keep the tsunami of commercial cheese at bay. It may cost a few rands more, but the taste is Next Level, according to Lodine, who is her own best customer.
Lodine also ran a special on Veuve Clicquot Champagne at R435 a bottle and her display of orange tennis balls was only missed Wimbledon by a week. Although the “Made in China” sticker on the plastic tube (below) did clash culturally with the Veuve Cliquot tennis & terroir image.
It was from the stoep of Lodine’s shop that I caught the exuberant Solms-Delta march (below). Chef Shaun Schoeman from Fyndraai Restaurant was absent as he was in Copenhagen for a two week busman’s holiday at Noma with Rene Redzepi, a great name for a cartoon character and best chef in the world. For the eponymous Mark Solms – he’s the one with the blue flag, below – believes in education (he is a Professor, after all) and sending your chef to collect seaweed and barnacles from the feet of a master, is an investment in the future.
Something SA wine desperately needs to do, rather than blasting R4.5 million on Cape Wine 2012 with organizers WOSA refusing even to divulge the names of wine buyers to producers. Guests the industry pays for twice for via the R35 million levy and the +R20K for their green stands at CW2012 made from banana fronds and string – a similar design to that used for the coffin of celebrity chef Keith Floyd, perhaps.
Once again, the tail is wagging the dog. Especially when you hear wines of producers who didn’t take a stand at CW2012 are being summarily ejected from tastings organized to showcase SA wine styles. Incredible and incredibly unfair – but that’s WOSA for you!