How is SA wine doing in the real world? Better than expected. On Saturday I flew BA from Los Angeles to London on a brand spanking new A380 and enjoyed several bottles of 2013 Cape Spring Pinotage. Uncertified by SAWIS, so I wonder if it was all Pinotage or indeed all SA fruit. Pinotage has finally arrived on the international scene in spite of a vicious hate campaigns by UK wine writers.
Shows how much power they have these days, at least in economy class. What a pity Cape Town cannot accept A380s or instead of two direct flights of BA jumbo jets from London to Cape Town each day, they’d surely be replaced by A380s with the ensuing tourist bonanza a bonus for SA wine producers, restaurants, hotels and guest houses alike. Who knows, the dreadful Whale Cottage may snare a few unsuspecting suckers into his Palace of Pubes in Camps Bay!
The LHR/CPT route is rumoured to be the most profitable in the world for BA and if SAA didn’t keep objecting, there would surely be at least one more direct flight. SAA has certainly shot itself in the foot this time and like a spoilt child, is trying to ruin the party for everyone. If I’d got Su’s WOSA job, I’d have fired everyone and used the R35 million to encourage Ryan Air and Easy Jet to fly to Cape Town. For the very best way to sell SA wine is to bring the punters here for in situ tastings. The people who buy wine and not the media freeloaders WOSA waste their cash on at the minute.
Heaven knows, with the UK flooded, the weather terminally inclement and Sterling strong, the time has never been more favourable to sell bottled SA wine. No excuses. If SA wine can’t cash in this time, we should all rather grow vegetables, as Vergelegen’s Andre van Rensburg memorably remarked after SA lost to Australia in that ill-fated SAA wine test match organized by the wine lizard back in 1995.
Of course the lizard boasts of flying first class, so the pleasures of Cape Spring probably slip past his buds like fluffy cumulus clouds under an A380 belting along at 1130 Km/hr, as was the case on Saturday. Although he would surely give the reptile seal of approval to the aluminium screw cap. In fact, with aluminium smelters closing at an alarming rate down under, the lizard’s campaign to convert SA wine from cork to cap seems to be bearing little fruit. Like an old bushvine vineyard.
Back in the day when the lizard was wine advisor to SAA, one of the best gigs was flying off to France to choose Champagnes you’d never heard of for on board service. We stayed at Les Creyères in Reims with wall-to-wall French maids serving truffled scrambled eggs in bed. So what a thrill to read in the Guardian today that the wheels are falling of the Michelin Guide even faster than Platter, our own much loved but fatally flawed sighted wine guide, now owned by Standard Bank.
“Pudlowski told the Guardian that his phone had not stopped ringing since he divulged in his column that the newest three-star restaurant outside Paris to enter the 2014 guide would be l’Assiette Champenoise, in Reims. Its chef, Arnaud Lallement, 39, offers dishes such as black pork with bacon, foie gras and potatoes. Pudlowski said Lallement’s rival of the same age in the city, Philippe Mille at Les Creyères, would have been a worthier choice.”
But the cherry on the top was Pud’s comment “can’t they find any French people to run this guide?” Looking at this year’s Platter five star stunnas, Afrikaans speaking winemakers must be wondering something equivalent in the salty language of Ninja from Die Antwoord.