Tasting kicks off in an hour and here are the 70 red blends in serried columns before being put into their canvas bags to hide their labels. Blind tasting is the only fair way of assessing wines and fervid urban legend insists that Platter pretty boy publisher JP Rossouw is burning up the microwaves, phoning producers who boycott the Standard Bank-owned guide at which assessment is made sighted, asking for an end to the boycott.
Now that Reg Lascaris, a director of Standard subsidiary Diners Club and owner of some major retail wine brands, manages the guide, the problem has become that much worse for his competitors in Distell, DGB and other producers of Co-op wines. Intolerable, actually.
The rumour continues that Platter now plans to taste wines blind which if true, should see a total upset in the next edition and huge savings on red ink as sacred cows get slaughtered and brands on the wrong side of the mountain get pushed to the starry heights.
Of course harassed editor Phil van Zyl will still have to “smooth” the blind scores to make the guide “consistent” with previous editions and to keep advertisers happy. What will the next step be for Platter? Taking price into consideration as we do at our weekly RECM blind tastings?
Looks like Standard Bank is trying desperately to play catch up to RECM, who are not only pioneers in the financial services arena. But as long as Standard owns a wine guide which is managed by their directors with staff drawing lavish Standard Bank salaries, the whole business is fraught with potential conflicts of interest. What happened to corporate governance?
On the subject of things financial, can hard-press KWV shareholders look forward to swapping their unlisted shares for those of major listed shareholders like HCI and RECM? This revolutionary path is being trodden by Jannie Mouton and his listed company Zeder which is swapping Agri Voedsel shares (traded over-the-counter) for its own paper. It makes sense and faithful KWV shareholders could do with a boost to match the recent stellar performance of the company’s wines.
The new selection of RECM best value wines will be available for tasting at the Taj Hotel this afternoon from 5-7pm. Do stop by and say “hello.”
Disclosure: the author is a shareholder in unlisted KWV shares.