After a hectic week, Julius Malema found time to speak to WineGoggle.
,You have been pretty quiet over the past few days. Is this as a result of Jacob Zuma’s rebuke?
Not at all. I have been trying to ascertain the distinct difference between the wines of Pommard and Volnay in Burgundy. I, like I am sure others, am counfounded by these differences in wines made from vineyards grown a few hundred metres apart. Volnay’s floral elegance and Pommard’s aggressive power are as different as President Zuma’s first and third wife, and for a child of the soil ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ like me ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ it is fascinating to be reminded of the vagaries of soil science.
Getting back to that last trick you pulled by chasing a British journalist our of your news conference ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ wasn’t that a bit churlish?
I honestly thought the journalist was the British wine writer Tim Atkin. I did not know it was a gentleman from the BBC. My aggression may have been misplaced, but I have been driven to fury by Atkin and the other colonialist media trashing South African wines. It was a simple case of mistaken identity, something most wine judges and critics are familiar with.
Since your most recent visit to Zimbabwe you have spread fears among South African farmers that land is to be nationalised. How serious are you about this?
Only wine farmers daring to grow grape varieties in areas unsuited to these cultivars will be nationalised. In other words, if you are growing Sauvignon Blanc in the Northern Cape, my people will come a calling. Or Colombard in Constantia. That sort of thing. I mean, would Napoleon have allowed Shiraz to be planted in the Olifantsrivier? I think not. We have to let the farmers know that they can’t just do as they please by offering assertive guidance in the form of land restitution.
But you won’t actually shoot the “Boers”?
No man, of course not. And we at the ANC don’t need to. They are such an argumentative bunch they are already shooting themselves in the foot. Attend any gathering of Vinpro, the Pinotage Association of Wosa and you will see that there are more warring factions than there were in Bosnia. No, they don’t need us, they are doing it themselves.
Wine farmers are also pretty stupid in choosing their actions. Look at the recent hoopla over mining in the winelands. News had scarcely hit the streets that a prospecting licence was being sought when winemakers took to the street in protest, led by a chanting red-haired Mamma. A few days later the Government ANC comrades announced plans to nationalise farmland. Not one winemaker raised an eyebrow. I may have failed woodwork, but you guys obviously failed geography.
Where did your interest in wine begin?
,My woodwork teacher gave extra lessons at his flat. After a hefty sanding session, there was nothing like a cold glass of Graca to cool down the parched throat. He taught me about screws, hard wood, diameter, length and wine. Come to thing of it, I wonder how I ever did manage to fail.
Do you hate white people?
Only if they don’t know their Bordeaux vintages, leave lipstick marks on my Riedels and don’t pay the bill at the Butcher’s Shop. They are an OK bunch, just very reactionary and hysterical. I can’t even threaten to kill them and they go all misty-eyed. They still have very hot women, enough of whom are fortunately crazy about a lover boy like me.
What is your opinion on the state of black empowerment in the local wine industry?
Doesn’t really faze me, as there is not much bucks in the industry ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ 2 percent of GDP? What a joke. We are after the big stuff, like mines and industry. But most of the people involved in the wine industry are coloured, who are really not blacks, so I am really not concerned. Quality is an issue: as long as we get quality wines, I don’t care who the hell makes it.
What are your favourite wines?
That’s like asking me who my favourite anti-imperialist revolutionary is. I enjoy a bit of bubbles, preferring French. The mousse is far more integrated in French fizz than with the local stuff, and the Chardonnay element is more limey and understated than they pronounced biscuity nuances the South African bubblies have. I also love Shiraz, but not in the Northern Rhone style ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ why add white to the red? Do they think the Shiraz needs white (viognier) because the red on its own is not good enough? See, imperialism is found everywhere.
Singer Steve Hofmeyr has invited you to a braai (barbecue). Will you attend?
Most certainly. Steve is a dab hand at outdoor cooking and we will enjoy his famous one fillet-three-lady sauce cooked medium rare. I shall be bringing the wine, which in this case will be Rust-en-Vrede Estate 1998, which was a fantastic vintage, as well as a magnum of KWV Roodeberg lovingly looted by one of my members. Wine that has been hard,won ,tastes so much better, you know.
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