The orgy of obituaries following the death of silver screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor last week contained a gem from Truman Capote, revealing the luvvie carried her dompas in true SA style. The new dompas is of course, Dom Pérignon Champagne beloved of black diamonds, and not the hated pass of Apartheid.
In the Old South Africa, Black people were forced to carry passes, colloquially known as dompas (stupid pass) as part of influx control, a cornerstone of the Apartheid political system. In the empowered New South Africa, dompas have been superseded by Dom Pérignon, the flagship grande marquee bubbly from Moët.
In fact at last week’s Mining Indaba at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, we invited a dusky director to lunch at the Round House but she was less than enthusiastic when we were unsure whether Dom P was featured on the wine list of Joakim Hansi Blackadder, the restaurant’s stunning Swedish sommelier.
But Dom P is so last season for luvvies as Princess-to-be Charlene Wittstock (from either Benoni or Bulawayo, opinions are divided) will be downing Dombeya when she marries Prince Albert of Monaco in July. Su Birch, WOSA imbongi-in-chief, hit the nail on the head when she observed “The selection of a South African wine for a royal wedding is yet another endorsement of the great quality our top wineries can offer.”
From: House of Krone, Twee Jonge Gezellen Farm, Tulbagh 27 (0)23 230 0680;
Why: “Everything is threes” said TJ winemaker Matthew Krone at brother Luke’s annual Summer Elegance Party yesterday. “We’re 300 years old this year, we made 300 bottles of this wine and it costs R300 – there is also a 3 litre version in an imported bottle that sells for R3000.”
The other shoe dropped this morning when Norman Goodfellows’ Festive Season catalogue 2010 slithered out of my Business Day. I’d been expecting it, after Makro’s Liquor Gift Catalogue pulled the same stunt earlier in the week. For the Spirit World of Johannesburg is controlled by two remarkable women, Carrie Adams and Carolyn Barton, who have unrivalled telepathic abilities. How else do you explain the correlation between prices and synchronization of catalogue deliveries, or is the spirit world really that competitive?
As predicted, the cork has exploded out of the MCC bottle, but perhaps not in the way I anticipated. The day before the Amorim MCC Awards brunch at Waterkloof, the results were posted on the internet by… the panel chairman! Which leaves the auditors with some explaining to do.Read More…
The two fisted pioneer of SA wine, Graham Beck, passed away in London last night. He was 80 years old. His wife of fifty years, Rhona, was at his bedside. SA wine has lost a rude and crude (in the nicest way) visionary who put Robertson on the viticultural map and was the Dom Pérignon of SA sparkling wine, following a relentless quality vision for Méthode Cap Classique. When he bought Steenberg five years ago, Graham fired a shot across the bows of opportunistic property developers and wide boys who were starting to erode the Constantia Valley, the cradle of Southern African winemaking.
It’s a busy time for Dave Smith, the Guardian’s Africa correspondent, as the Barmy Army of UK soccer supporters packs for SA. Dave advises to bring along your own DIY Ikea collapsible bed and sofa as “furniture sold in South Africa is either expensive or tat. I’ve shopped in the malls that service the middle class and found furniture wildly more costly than in Britain or America: a basic bed or sofa can cost several hundred pounds. I’ve also tried discount stores in working-class areas of Johannesburg such as Alexandra or Newtown where cheap and flimsy tables, chairs and beds appear one sneeze away from collapse.” The first requirement for spectating being a decent sofa.Read More…
An occasional posting dedicated to listing some of the expectorations of SA wine that keep the spittoon spinning.
WINE magazine have replaced their magnum of Dom Pérignon as reward for best letter to the editor with three litres of Kanonkop. Is this inflation, recognition of Kanonkop as dinkum local icon after the stellar performance of sales of Black Label or a retreat from cultural cringe? Will it have any effect on quality or quantity of letters?
What better way to celebrate the end of the recession than with oysters and bubbly (both French and Méthode Cap Classique) at Belthazar at the Cape Town Waterfront yesterday. As mine host Jonathan Steyn insisted in his yoga gear “Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends” quoting the late British artist Francis Bacon, famous for paintings humans as slabs of meat, so a most appropriate quote for the Cape’s best steakhouse. And the recession really does seem to be lifting “September was our worst month in the past 18 and then someone switched on the tourists in October.”Read More…
Right on cue, the Cape wine spittoon whipped its wee into a froth over the fizz served at Jacob Zuma’s inauguration on Saturday. Cape of Good Bubbles leading bubble-ist Melvyn Minnaar, erstwhile Bacchanalian bibulist for Rooi Rose magazine, writing on the Grape blog-nest opined “surely not serving one of South Africa’s smart Cap Classique wines at the presidential inauguration is insulting and unpatriotic? Perhaps the local MCC interest should have gotten a court interdict on the lunch wines…” Although acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe probably has little appetite left for bringing even more charges against fireproof JZ.
Besides it all falls a bit flat when you recall that JZ is a teetotaler and “the only person in the ANC who doesn’t drink” as Beeld editor Tim du Plessis noted last week. But then if Pallo Jordan wasn’t good enough to greet Muammar al-Gaddafi, could Pongracz really fill the elegant crystal slippers of Dom Pérignon, even if Muammar is presumably a teetotaler for the usual religious reasons?Read More…