I had wondered about the intensity (judging by my extremely limited Twitter observations) with which some locals had reacted to the admittedly rather weird majority Brit decision to leave the EU (the proximity of “the Continent” has always seemed to one of the nicest aspects of Britain). But now I’m also deeply bitter about it all.
Brexit has cost me money! Today I received a welcome 600 quid from World of Fine Wine for a couple of short pieces in the current edition of that remarkably good wine magazine. If I’d been paid before Brexit sent the pound plunging, I’d have got a whole lot more in rands. But I mustn’t complain – the dear old rand has hurtled down so much faster in the last year, that it still seems like a lot of money for a perennially underpaid wine-writer.
Incidentally, the one short piece was about last year’s brilliant tasting of “South Africa versus the world, 1948–1993”, organised in Cape Town last year by Wine Cellar (I had also written about it here), featuring as its highlight a showdown between GS Cabernet Sauvignon 1966 and Château Latour 1966.
The second short piece was about cinsaut’s interesting place in the continuing Cape wine revolution. This was the first offering in what is actually a bi-annual column by me (the column is called “Good Hope”, which is quite nice). Perhaps this is the first regular column about South African wine to appear in an international wine magazine. World of Fine Wine has actually been extraordinarily positive and comparatively voluminous in its coverage of Cape wine over the years. Possibly more coverage than any other New World country, apart from California (which is a country, after all).
I suspect I might come to regret this.
I have been watching, closer to enthralled by moving images than I’ve been for a while, an Icelandic TV drama series. Icelandic! It’s called “Trapped” (that’s not even a translation; clearly English is not an entirely foreign language in Iceland, though I’ve, also obviously, been watching with subtitles). And if my fellow Capetonians think that today has been a rather grim winter’s day – well, when you see what winter (and quite possibly summer too) throws at one in Iceland, today’s offering of rain and cold has been NOTHING. It would probably have passed for a glorious day in the fishing town of Seyðisfjörður.
The wine connection is the problem, and concerns the police chief hero of the series. Name of Andri. I’m afraid that he reminds me continually of a younger Neil Pendock. It’s not just the shape, but some of the details. In fact many of the characters have rather iffy appearances, which does make a nice change from TV shows with Hollywood values. The show’s creator, Baltasar Kormákur, has said of the actor in question, one Ólafur Darri Ólafsson: “I didn’t want to go with a typical leading man, although I got pressure to. Ólafur Darri was always my first choice. He has become something of a Gérard Depardieu figure in Iceland. Women here swoon over him, believe it or not.”
Not swooning, even occasionally having to grit my teeth, I shall continue to the end of “Trapped”, God willing. It’s a great TV series despite any shortcomings.