A bear hug from MasterChefSA judge Pete Goffe-Wood on Greenmarket Square on Thursday and a quick discussion about the series. I was initially unsure whether to dodge a Glasgow kiss from Pete after my comments on Tuesday’s braai program but chef, the model of decorum, admitted “we get better as the show progresses.”
On the subject of the wine drought, Pete says “this improves once we move to Nederburg and contestants have access to the larder. Sponsor Nederburg quickly realized that wine was not sufficient and parent Distell supplied brandy, whisky and other spirits” so the teetotal, soccer mommy flavour of the show will thankfully diminish.
Which is just as well, as the Nederburg 2010 Grenache on sale in Woolworths, that other MasterChefSA sponsor, is a stonker. This is a consumate anti-elitist wine: well-priced (R60) with accessible flavours of spicy black plums and liquorice. Any braai chef worth her Aromat should lay in supplies along with those Woolies 35-day aged thick cut steaks available at a discount if you have a Woolies card.
Come to think of it, this wine is so good, why wasn’t Woolies voted into the UCT Top 20 Wineries of the Year? They’ve won more Platter five star accolades than almost any other winery and after all, I’m sure the middle-aged, middle-class, all-white UCT panel shop there (and the over 20% soutpiel contingent of media voters in Sainsbury’s, the UK version of Woolies).
But hang on, one UCT voter (Dear Angela) memorably matched those first vintages of Eagle’s Nest with a Woolies take-away lasagne and found them lacking. As soon as the wines were paired with more upmarket fare, ratings soared! Oh, the joys of sighted tastings. Or as another UCT voter and Platter editor Phil told producers on the wrong side of the mountain recently: “net om enige misverstand uit die weg te ruim moet ek noem dat die proëe geskied volgens standaard Platter prosedures, m.a.w. die wyne word NIE blind geproe nie.” Why does editor Phil INSIST on a sighted regional tasting when all the wines are collected at the same place at the same time? Because they’d get the wrong answer if they couldn’t see the labels!
Pete’s wife, the exotic Elize, joined us but sans tongue ring, in dark Elizabeth Taylor sunglasses, I struggled to recognize her. Turns out she swallowed the silver stud and neither of them had the stomach to retrieve it.