The Prez and the Wine Press

Despite an international furore, the South African government is forging ahead with plans to curb the South African media. Winegoggle spoke to Jacob Zuma, a.k.a The People’s Prez, on this issue.

WingGoggle: Many countries and many people disagree with your plans for a Media Tribunal as well as an information lock-out which will hamper the flow of information. Does this not concern you?

Jacob Zuma: There was a French philosopher, John Paul Young, I think, who said: “Eish, I disagree with every word you say, but I’ll sommer die defending your right to say it.” The French Philosopher is dead, and I’m living, so now I make the rules. And anyway, we are not French.

WG: You say the wine media played a major role in your decision to follow the route of media censorship?

JZ: It is not a well-known fact, but yes, I really got pissed off with the South African wine media.

WG: How so?

JZ: Everyone knows our country’s 2002 vintage was far superior to that of 2003 and 2005, but all we read about is of the latter two. This smacks of conspiracy ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ my whole cabinet knows that the fresh Atlantic breezes of January 2002 caused a sudden pause in ripening, leading to mellow phenolics and unprecedented maritime character in the wines, especially post malolactic fermentation. But the 2003 and 2005 gets better copy and more colourful mentions, for what reason I do not know. It is our right to be subjected to the truth and not the whims of a select few commentators.

For another example, look at this coffee pinotage thing. All the commentators seem to be against it _ even the SA Pinotage Association – while it truly is a wine for the people. This shows large sections of the media are still being run by imperialist forces wishing they were in London Club’s sipping Claret while enforcing their whims on the developing nations. They should be in touch with the people if they want to talk about wine.

Coffee Pinotage is great, especially if you have a couple of wives to look after and need the energy.

Viva vino, vino!

WG: Which sections of the wine media especially irk you?

JZ: I go over the print stuff, and get RSS feeds from major blogs. Internationally I am a Spectator and Decanter dude, especially helpful for en primeur purchases. (How about the 2008 Calon Segur!),And I dig Jancis ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ what a white woman! She’s the kind that made me regret most the fact I never went to school. To have a teacher like that…

WG: But why does the wine media get your goat up?

JZ: There is not Ubuntu, and I must have Ubuntu. You know, after a day’s bitching and fighting and denying corruption in Parliament, you want to relax with a good read before the wives start making their demands. Most of the wine writing does not represent the peaceful and accommodating spirit we wish to see in our people. I mean, after a stint with the,wine publications I want to tackle another arms,deal, never mind snuggling with the mamas.

Reading wine j0urnalism,should not be like reading a list of Helen Zille’s daily complaints. And the fact that it does, stresses the hell out of me.

WG: So how would you like to see the wine media running itself?

JZ: No problem, we’ll do the running for them. All tasting notes to Parliament plus wine samples, and we’ll have a panel ready to see whether the correct scores for the relevant wines have been allocated. We don’t want to place any pressure on wine magazines or columns, we’ll just have the final say. My friend and terminally ill wine connoisseur Schabir Shaik should have recovered well enough from his deadly disease by next year to lead this panel. Hell knows, he’s had enough time to practise!

WG: Does this include the Platter Wine Guide? I mean, how are you going to get through all those wines?

JZ: No problem, meneer. We have our representatives on the Platter panel. That is one place in the media where everything is going smoothly. Nothing like a uncovered wine guide with which to get your wishes across.

WG: So you are a sighted tasting kind of guy?

JZ: Its democracy in action! I have to see the wood from the trees. And don’t forget the 2002 vintage.

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