I was looking at a stuffed wild cat when the morning’s first sip of vermouth was taken. Like the cat, the vermouth was Adi Badenhorst’s, he of the big hair and short, stocky Swartland swagger. The sun was bright, and a few white spring flowers had appeared in the view from Adi’s Kalmoesfontein spread of farmland, which was broad and wide and green. No “swart” (black) in this land, unless you include beaming faces of the smiling workers ambling past.
The words ?+¦?+º?+¦good and clean and fresh?+¦?+º?+æ may have sold trillions of boxes of washing powder, but these descriptors also reflect the whims of the majority of wine drinkers. And seeing as most South Africans drink white wine, clean and fresh wines are sought, with good being non-negotiable.
The prospect of tasting 14 Pinotage wines barely out of their nappies is about as daunting as engaging in a bit of face-sucking with a komodo dragon. At the best of times, three-month-old red wines are a tad tough on the mouth of any human not involved with the profession of tasting barrel samples before the day’s All Bran. And in its youth Pinotage can be an especially trying customer due to its penchant for infantile volatility and the wine’s love of,clinging onto any trace of wood like baby-shit to a Pep Stores blanket.