I was looking at a dead goat and drinking the finest Chardonnay in the land. The goat was big and fleshy and red, and this being the Restaurant at the Newton Johnson winery in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Chef Eric Bulpitt was deftly dissecting the creature with a razor-sharp knife, the kind used for settling old scores in Sicily. He was preparing lunch for a few hungry wine-tasters, which brings me to the Chardonnay.
So far, it has been a good year for Port drinking. And if things continue in this vein, my Douro resident permit should surely be in the mail. What’s more, since committing to dropping two bottles orfPort a week three months ago, my GP reckons I am in far better shape than ever. Blood pressure is temperate. The pulse is as calm and regular enough to manage a Formula One pit stop. And a painful stabbing check produced the verdict of my liver being is as unblemished and pure as a nun’s thigh.
South Africa’s oldest ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ and longest surviving ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ wine publication, Wineland, recently celebrated its 80th birthday with a restraint uncharacteristic of the local wine scene. No big splash, tweet-fountain or six course lunch complemented by a few shaky speeches. Wineland editor Cassie du Plessis just got his troops and a few guests together for a braai at the magazine’s Paarl office, sunk a few bottles of wine and knowing Cassie, there would well have been a few words said.
All palates are created equal, but some are created more equal than others. No matter, with a bit of training and discipline you too can taste wine like an aficionado, using your skill to contribute to sighted and unsighted wine guides, holding court at fancy dinner parties and be able to sweep a recently Wine Judging Academy babe from her feet.
But it takes a bit of hard work, so be warned: honing a palate is not for sissies or persons unwilling to experiment with the things they put in their mouths.