Carl Jung’s theory of aesthetic archetypes received a shot in the arm when Piet Grobler’s Good Value Guru cartoon thundered into my inbox. For I’d seen him somewhere before. Then the pfennig dropped – the GVG is the spitting image (pardon the pun) of Bill Baker that Pickwickian UK wine merchant and all round bon vivant, the best thing by a country mile at the Michael Fridjhon/WINE magazine Tasting Academy. Alas, Bill passed away in January, the first of a quartet of players to exeunt left, the most recent being Stefan Schörghuber (owner of Blaauwklippen) preceded by Christoph Dornier of the eponymous Helderberg wine estate and wine journo Ronnie Morris. RIP.
SA wine writing is in disarray. Fynproe, the trendy Afrikaans language wine magazine is to cease publication with the February/March issue after three years of losses subsidized by sister magazine Wineland. Noseweek seems to have dropped its wine column and the controversial Grape communal blog pulled the plug last month, ironically on the very day the biggest scandal of 2008 (the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award) broke. Although not all is doom and gloom. Seems this blog is rated 56th most accessed wine blog in the world and later this month the largest ever SA wine guide will be given away as a Christmas present to Sunday Times readers. 500 000 copies of the Good Value Guru Diaries will be printed and over the next few days, I’ll blog some illustrations from the pen of cartoonist extraordinaire, Piet Grobler.