Was Friday’s 24 hours in Ribeek-Kasteel jol the best press trip of the year to date? If not the best, then certainly the kifste, as can be guessed at from the pap taken in the bar of the Royal Hotel on Friday afternoon (below).
“Shots!” was the password, although only Tequila Gold works as Silver turns Anel Grobler (“anal with an e”) into a “zombie” as we found out at Luke and Ross Krone’s wedding. The common denominator seemed to be a complete absence of that soccer mom mentality that has hijacked SA wine writing in English language newspapers and turned it into Purina. After many years asleep, Afrikaans koerant koverage of wyn, is on a roll. Once advertisers like Tops at Spar and Shoprite/Checkers wake up to this, those old boring titles of yore will make like dinosaurs, even faster.
There were two Jans and two Sams on the trip: Smith (if that’s not a pseudonym then I’m a chiskop) and Linsell plus a Lucille (Botha) who found a copy of a wine book written by Tinus van Niekerk for R10 at a farmers’ market in Riebeek-Wes (above). Wes was the birthplace of Jan Smuts and seems to be a heck of a lot more moral than Kasteel, a potential den of iniquity if ever I saw one. There was one Johnny Bravo (aka Morne Rall) and Emile Joubert who was in recovery mode from being rejected as a Zanzibar gigolo (too white).
A good example of the ethics of Wes is the Ikusasa School of Cooking founded by famous boxing promoter turned chef Don King and his wife. Correction, this is another Don and not the promoter of Rumble in the Jungle and Thriller in Manila. I just put that in to get more hits.
Boy can these Ikusasans cook as we found out when they plied us with double baked cheese souffles and small boats made out of chocolate (above). Veritas needs to contract out their catering to Ikusasa as their food is way better than that served up at the awards dinner this year and these guys could do with the money. They’re located in the heart of the Winelands and it makes ethical, moral and culinary sense.