Sometimes I almost wish the SA University of Wine had got off the ground at Quoin Rock, as wine education is now a toss up between the Cape Wine Academy and Cathy Marston and her WSET machine. While I have my own anarchic thoughts on teaching wine – they’re usually all about inadequacy and power – what a cast the Quoin Rock ivory tower would have had: Dillie, Wendy, Rael and a battle Royale between the Universities of Stellenbosch and UCT Business School for the DTI billions waiting to sommeliarize the great unwashed. Professors of cork. Readers of reds. Chancellors of Cabernet. Secretaries of Sauvignon. Rectors of Riesling. Better even than the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizzardry owned by Earl Percy (below). Clearly a descendant of Harry Hotspur.
Things are equally dire in the UK, the largest export market for SA wine, with the Spectator magazine offering a Father’s Day Wine School. But talk about a biased syllabus:
While £399 for 8 lectures beats expat WSET fees and 30 students per class makes for cosy swotting and a certificate always comes in handy as UCT Tasting Academy “graduates” will confirm, does France really deserve 50% of the tuition time? SA gets a single lecture as part of the New World along with Chile, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, USA, Australia and New Zealand. For heaven’s sake chaps, SA wine has been supplying Speccie readers and their ancestors for 355 years. Don’t we deserve a slightly larger slice?