Last year’s Fifa soccer World Cup was a bit of a fizzer in Cape Town as the Western Cape attracted less than half the number of visitors as Gauteng. Even worse was the poor performance of SA wine exports to the UK, largest export market, with sales to supermarkets down 11% by volume and 6% by value over the year.
This in a market which grew volumes by 2% and value by 7% as the UK clawed itself out of recession. How ironic then that Australia, a country sans World Cup, grew volumes by 5% and value by 7% from a much higher base with a currency that appreciated against Sterling even more than the Rand.
While Cape Town in winter is hardly an ideal soccer destination, it is one of the Gay Capitals of the world. So the news that SA is to bid for the Mr Gay World 2012 competition comes as welcome news to hard-pressed SA producers.
How Much? R89;
Where? La Vierge Private Cellar, Hemel & Aarde Ridge, 27 (0)28 313 0130;
Why? This wine reflects the eternal love triangle: three red grapes: Barbera, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo; three Hollywood superstars: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston; three louche Latin lovers: Encolpius, Giton and Ascyltus from the raunchy Roman novel of Gaius Petronius Arbiter, one of the courtiers of that great fiddler Nero, two millennia ago. A fashion consultant to the emperor, Pliny the Elder calls him “a judge of elegance” and this Gavin Rajah of his day certainly got it right with this wine.
It’s been 30 months since I last saw Samantha and judging by appearances, growing wine outside Greyton has been good to her. Now flying solo, her 2008 Viognier is the finest SA example I’ve tasted.
It’s a wine to determine which side of the generational divide you’re on: the Young Turks at Under the Influence and La Colombe restaurant love it. Old Farts in green tracksuits with saggy bottoms on the panels of WINE magazine are less convinced, but to take the test, all you need do is buy a bottle or lunch at La Colombe.Read More…
Casanova was not wrong. Recent research presented to the American Chemical Society confirms that oysters are rich in two rare amino acids that trigger a rise in human sex hormones in those who indulge, with spring being the season for maximum effect. So the 18th century Latin Lothario, whose breakfast consisted of four dozen oysters washed down with champagne, was on the right track.
“Like Brad Pitt stepping out of the shower” was one memorable tasting note from an early issue of WineX magazine, alas now defunct, unlike the pair of consumer wine shows of the same name from the Fridjhon stable.
What is this obsession with showers? Luca Turin’s tasting note for Kouros from another late lamented great, Yves Saint Laurent (who died in June), from his tour de force Perfumes (Profile Books, 2008): “like the tanned skin of a guy with gomina [Spanish for gel] in his hair stepping out of the shower… It has that faintly repellent clean-dirty feel of other people’s bathrooms, and manages to smell at once scrubbed and promissory of an unmade bed.”