Hocus-pocus, preconceptions and kelp

Forgive me, after a day editing other people’s tasting notes and winery introductions for Platter, if I feel the difficulty of thoughts expressed in prose other than staccato and (&) abbreviated – and often the teeeniest bit banal.

I am left wondering about many things that probably aren’t worth worrying about. For example, I learnt today what Mike Dobrovic meant when he said he was moving “to a much smaller cellar” in order to have “more time to myself to reflect, meditate and develop [his] spiritual side”. He meant he’s going from Mulderbosch, which produces about 30 000 cases of wine per annum, to Havana Hills, which produces about 35 000 cases  (forgetting about the associated Virgin Earth estate in the Karoo, which will also be Mike’s province). Perhaps you have to be rather more spiritually inclined than I am to work out that one. Perhaps the clue was in the lines in Mike’s farewell taken from the off-beat Catholic philosophy of the great airport-bookshop Brazilan novelist-sage Paolo Coelho.



Meanwhile my enfeebled mind was whipped into a froth of anticipation by the subject matter of Wine mag’s latest email posting: “Shiraz Challenge causes massive debate”. Quite an achievement, this debate, given that only a small handful of people know the results until they’re announced later this week. Sounds fun, though, doesn’t it? Apparently “the wine in second place [is] sure to raise an eyebrow or two with it confronting preconceived notions of the category”. “Preconceived notions” presumably refers to careful observation over many years.


Bamboo and kelp

One of the many esoteric things I’ve learnt from Platter preoccupations is about Bamboes Bay, that tiny but splendid ward up the West Coast that contains Fryer’s Cove Vineyards, the very-maritime little set of vines producing one of the Cape’s very finest and most interesting sauvignon blancs (not necessarily an oxymoron, as that wine proves…).

Some people have translated “Bamboes Baai” as “Bamboo Bay” and that was valid for about six months, as we learnt from Sawis. Apparently, in 2001 the ward was declared with the bilingual alternative ‘Bamboesbaai/Bamboo Bay”. Six months later the English version was changed to “Bamboes Bay”. Perhaps, as someone drily remarked it me, it was pointed out to the authorities that a more accurate translation would have been “Kelp Bay” (bamboes, I’m told, means bamboo only in non-maritime situations). Depending on one’s seaside experiences, Kelp Bay might not have a great deal of vinous allure.

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