Is the current blitzkrieg trashing all things South African part of the campaign to elect Mormon Mitt Romney to high office next month? First up were the economic attacks in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Next come the cultural drive-by shootings of Die Antwoord in the Guardian which asks whether the Black and White Minstrel get-up of Yolandi Vi$$er “will improve perceptions of Africans?” Yesterday a predator drone attack on Pinotage by Lettie Teague (below). When will chicks with red hair leave SA wine alone? wonders one exasperated farmer.
Last week Lettie interviewed billionaire Bill Foley (rated 86/100 by Robert Parker) who summed up SA wine as “unstable government and bad wine.” This week, in a story on Merlot, Lettie closes with a gratuitous kick in the goolies. “The tasting was a useful reminder not only that Merlot can be good, but also that a wine drinker should try not to hold unreasonable prejudices. I only hope that a reader doesn’t ask me to recommend a good Pinotage (the rubber-inflected native red wine of South Africa). I just don’t think I could endure 25 examples of that.”
How can a serious newspaper give column centimetres to such a prejudiced palate? For on her own PR website Lettie is proud to announce “she loves most wines of the world except Pinotage. She has never had a good Pinotage.” South Africans have had their fill of prejudice in all its forms and will fervently hopes that Jay McInerney will pick up his WSJ corkscrew again after the elections are over.
Declaration: the author grows Pinotage on the Paardeberg in the Swartland.
Lettie being a dike, so she knowing what rubber taste like. Don’t fek with her.
Yes, isn’t that one (of the many) wonderful thngis about wine – memories of particular bottles arc us directly back through time to places, events, people that might otherwise be lost. Sure our high-tech gadgets are fantastic for capturing external facts, but lack that essential Proustian insight.