Did Diners invite the wrong kind of media to the larger-than-usual Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Awards bash on Saturday night or is Franschhoek beyond the event horizon for Cape Town’s notoriously stay-at-home blogosphere? Nederburg red winemaker Wilhelm Pienaar tweets this morning “I find it fascinating that the airwaves are so quiet about Razvan’s triumph at
#DCWinemaker2012 with his @Nederburg Eminence. Sour grapes?”
With the Platter Guide now betrothed to Diners Club, two Platter pundits have hit the airwaves speculating that Marc Kent will join the elite of the elite and win the much sought after Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award for a second time on Saturday night.
While the Cape gears up for Jörg Pfützner’s Big Bottle boogaloo at the Cellars Hohenort on Friday night, Mr. Meat aka Alan Pick has stolen a march by hosting a lunchtime auction tomorrow to send the final year of Elsenberg wine making students to France to see what all the fuss is around French vin.
The auction catalogue (below) is stellar and arguably the best ever offered in SA this millennium. So to all those banksters who missed out on Quoin Rock and hipsters not yet retired to Hermanus, hurry to the Butcher’s Shop & Grill tomorrow lunchtime for some Wagu steaks and a chance at vinous immortality and the best wine south of Beaune.
De Morgenzon winemaker Carl van der Merwe (below) is one lucky round-eyed winemaker. He left Quoin Rock before Kenny Kunene arrived and will now NOT have to eat sushi off the pygies of naked models in Dave King’s Tales of King Arthur-inspired crypt on the Simonsberg. Since his new employer Wendy Appelbaum cancelled her winning auction bid for The Rock, he does not have to deal with those dodgy grapes, either.
The best dressed couple at this evening’s cocktail party at La Motte to raise the curtain on a Bastille Day weekend packed full of fun was Marc and Brigitte Kent (below).
As SA wine becomes increasingly and perhaps unavoidably politicized, its worth considering pressures on that silent constituency: the winemakers. At a splendid lunch at Societi Bistro yesterday of pork neck and brocolli soup with final year Elsenburg student Adriaan van Ellewee (below) to discuss August’s Wagu & Wine fundraising lunch and auction at Alan Pick’s The Butcher’s Shop & Grill, the state of the national cellar came up for discussion. Adriaan and his colleagues are resucitating the annual Elsenburg Auction, last held in 2005, to raise funds to send 22 students to France for an end-of-year study tour. A worthy cause, if ever there was one, if SA wine is serious about breaking out of the “cellar palate” death spiral to start focusing on wine styles the rest of the world is buying.
Pressing questions (press shown below) are being raised as to how the Swartland came to dominate yesterday’s UCT Top 20 SA wineries poll. First placed Boekenhoutskloof mackintosh-hillhouse-chair Marc Kent, second placed baby Jesus of SA wine Eben Sadie and charming Chris and beautiful Andrea Mullineux in tenth position are all leading lights in the annual Swartland Revolution. An event that poll organizer Tim James is involved with.
Not that any impropriety is implied. After all, that Marc was first past the post is to be expected, as Boekenhoutskloof is Winery of the Year in the 2012 Platter sighted wine guide. But even with ten 2011 Platter pundits voting plus editor Phil, the 2011 Platter Winery of the Year, Nederburg, could not make the Top 20. A fantastic result and quite frankly, unbelievable as Nederburg had three five star stunners in 2012 and a record breaking five in 2011. Nederburg cellarmaster and TV star Razvan Macici must be wondering what you have to do to get into the Top 20! Surely the last shred of credibility at Platter has been lost by this result. Or is the poll perhaps a fix?
The news that Nederburg has made two special Masterchef wines for Woolies: an 90:10 red blend of Grenache and Carignan and a 60:40 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay from the 2010 and 2011 vintages respectively, brings together two of the nicest guys in SA wine: Nederburg cellarmaster Razvan Macici and Woolies wine consultant Allan Mullins. Why did Nederburg do it? Getting four listings on Woolies facings for their Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot might have had something to do with it.
The Portuguese economy may have collapsed like a boma in Mozambique during this week’s cyclone Funso, but Lisbon’s marketing mavens are at no loss for inspiration as the billboard for Licor Beirão (below) demonstrates. Now we know where Nando’s get their advertorial inspiration from and if Distell thought they were pretty smart getting Jamie Foxx to pimp for Oude Meester brandy, did they even think of asking Helen Zille?
The spittoon is foaming over the identity of the author of The SA Pinotage Guide “a new publication on Pinotage, its pioneers and history, intrinsics of the grape, the major producers and Pinotage personalities.” It’s not Peter May, author of PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine and since food is not mentioned in the title or blurb, its unlikely to be Guido Francque, the Belgian chef with a bee in his bonnet for the culitivar. Commissioned by the Pinotage Association, the book will be released in mid-January at Diemersfontein, an estate which changed the direction of Pinotage forever with its coffee/mocha variant. Peter will be in SA at the time, so let’s hope someone remembers to invite him!Read More…