A Rosé by any Other Name is Still Damn Fine

That one-dimensional slogan once used by a beer company was totally off-the mark. Because real men – and women – do, in fact, drink pink drinks. And a hell of a lot of it when it comes to matters wine.

Anyone who has spent a spring or summer in the South of France would know that rosé wine is not so much drunk there as inhaled. And here, further South, Africans have reconnected with rosé now that more producers are creating wines of a less syrupy sweet nature than those that were so hip, hot and happening in the bygone era of bell-bottoms, tie-dye, Monkey Gland steaks and Ford Cortinas.

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Joy of Taj Trophy Wines Masks French Disasters

Despite having the blood of La Grande Nation coursing through my robust veins, the French can really get on my pods of pectoral muscle, commonly known as tits. Take the current form of Les Bleus in the Rugby Six Nations. Not only are they playing with the listlessness of an unbaked baguette, but their tight five – traditionally the mainstay of French rugby – appear to be sponsored by Weigh-Less and the Peace Brigade. And as far as passion goes, they apparently left their spines in the Montmartre whorehouse where their mothers worked.


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Death of a Vineyard

No matter what the reason, the death of a vineyard is a sad occasion, one which calls for black attire, gleaming shoes and a slow march to the rhythmic tapping of drums in unison. If there is an old gun-carriage lying around, bring that along too. But do try to look manly as the warm wet tears roll down your clean-shaven cheeks while the trucks drive off with the lifeless gnarled shapes of uprooted vines.

Full Honors Military Funeral Service

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Go Cru the Chardonnay Crew

Public Holiday Nation, this has been South Africa over the past few weeks. Good Friday. Bad Friday. Workers Day. Freedom Day. Election. I am just waiting for a public holiday honouring the date on which Simon van der Stel stopped beating his first slave on 7 September 1689 after said slave, Pielkopius Witman, discovered how to make the original Vin de Constance.

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Wow Factor in No-Man’s Land

The folks responsible for the demarcation of the Cape Winelands have turned some weird tricks in their time, but non as crazy as in drawing the borders between Stellenbosch and Paarl in the Simonsberg vicinity. Cruising the R44 ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ South Africa’s Golden Highway in wine terms – Wine of Origin Stellenbosch suddenly becomes WO Paarl. Just like that. No warning, no perceptible change in landscape or terroir. One moment things are Le Bonheur and Lievland and Stellenbosch, and then suddenly the origin system turns to Paarl without any logic, rhyme or reason.

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Young, Willing and Very Able

I wanted wines from the World Cup vintage, not fleeting virginal un-wooded Sauvignon Blancs or Chenins, but something that had been given the full monty. Autolysis and batonage and wood, and time.

Fortunately in the release-them-quick environs of the South African wine industry, this is not hard to find. Actually, it is immensely easy. All you have to do is look like a writer, hack, blogger kind-of-thing, walk into a winery where you happen to know the owner-manager-PR-poppie, and Bob’s your Auntie?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-+?-+..an unlabelled bottle of 2010-whatever is yours, on the house.

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David Finlayson leaves Glen Carlou to focus on Edgebaston

David and Walther Finlayson.
David and Walter Finlayson.

Wine maker David Finlayson has resigned as cellarmaster and CEO of Glen Carlou with immediate effect. Along with his father and Glen Carlou founder, Walter Finlayson, David built Glen Carlou into a premier wine estate known for world-class Chardonnay, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Bordeaux blends. A 50% share-holding in Glen Carlou was purchased by the Hess Group of Switzerland in 1995, where-after David progressed to winemaker and CEO. The Hess Group took complete control of the Paarl Estate in 2003.
“I will now be concentrating exclusively on my Edgebaston wine brand which I started a few years ago from my own vineyards in Stellenbosch,” says David. “The experience I gained with Glen Carlou in the South African and international wine markets will hopefully stand me in good stead to continue growing Edgebaston and underscoring my commitment to the South African wine industry.”