Ripped Sauvignon Blanc from the Kaalvoet Meisie

kalvoet

The nearest South Africa comes to Chablis has nothing to do with Chardonnay. That searing slash of steely minerality found in Chablis is amiss from unwooded South African Chardonnays. Whilst some wines do offer some of those features wine boffins refer to as tense, nervous, edgy or wired, the country’s southern sunshine and its eagerness to ripen Chardonnay prevent the stony and anguished structure of the fruit from penetrating the juice.

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Good Wine and the Great Heart

There is an assumption that dog-owners begin to look like their hounds after a while. While I am not hung like a dachshund nor have attempts to housetrain me been unsuccessful, I do share some similarities with Friedl. A keen sense of smell and on-cue drooling upon seeing a slice of beef biltong – as well as a knack for getting on with bitches – are shared similarities of the uncanny kind.

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Thirst for Wine and the Divine

One of the rules about imbibing states one should never drink alcohol when thirsty. I never got the memo.

Thirst, real throat-scorching, spleen-drying thirst can for me only be quenched by a few healthy slurps of cold booze. Beer, icy and foamy, is an obvious candidate. Novelist Jay McInerney even used beer when reviewing a particularly good batch of cocaine in Bright Lights, Big City. Something about the snort of Bolivian marching powder being as gorgeously satisfying as a “sip of cold beer on a hot summer’s day”.

Jay McInerney
Jay McInerney

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Mouth Tastes the South at Elim

I have pulled hundreds of fish from the foamy blue sea along the continent’s great south coast, but had never visited the wine region some six clicks from the ocean at Elim. This is the Big South, an evocative sparse, windswept and empty land. Flowing green fynbos slopes with vineyards in-between. Charming old farm buildings with walls thick enough to ward-off a tribe of armed abalone smugglers. And pretty good juice, too.

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