SA stars in the July edition of Wine Spectator – incredibly, the first ever cover story on SA and its wines – but unfortunately there seems to be a shortage of fact checkers and sub-editors in New York and the lead article by lead taster James Molesworth contains some schoolboy howlers you’d not expect from Marvin Shanken’s well-lubricated machine. James notes that Stellenbosch has taken over from Franschhoek as “culinary capital of the Winelands” and comments “the cuisine draws from local ingredients – meats such as Springbok or Namibian beef as well as seafood such as crayfish and kingfish” (below).
Does James realize that Namibia is pretty far from Nietvoorbij or that kingfish is more illegal than marijuana in SA? So I wonder what James was smoking when he wrote the story. The SA Sustainable Seafood Initiative reports “there are 54 species of kingfish known in South African waters, many are important game and trophy fish. Spawning of most species does not occur in South Africa but off tropical East Africa. All kingish species are Red-listed no-sale species, this means that it is illegal to sell or buy these species anywhere in South Africa” including Stellenbosch.
Is this another tsunami in a spittoon? Does it matter and are the tasting notes so cavalierly written? Let’s hope not but rather hope the hordes of American tourists destined for Stellenbosch on the strength of this story will enjoy organic grass-fed beef from Spier – or better yet Karoo lamb – and kingklip, which is back on the SASSI green list.
PS 28/6 It has be pointed out that kingklip, while under review, remains on the SASSI Orange List so sustainable Speccie readers should stick with snoek. In which case, Kanonkop is worth a visit as owner Johann Krige does the best snoek braai in the Cape.