I haven’t posted much lately. Sorry about that. It’s just that I haven’t been feeling the urge to write anything, and the last time I blogged just for the sake of blogging, well, it was like someone who tried to force out some wind and ended up shitting their pants. Crap. But worry not, this week there will be blogging aplenty. There is some wine action going down at King Shaka International that I will post about tomorrow, I will be reviewing some wine books – 30 odd years too late, am going to reinstate wine of the week – now called wine of the fortnight and soon to be wine of the month, and finally I’ll be doing another ‘live’ tasting’ blog on a bottle of 1974 Meerendaal Pinotage (damn I hope it is good).
I was up in Durban for the weekend missing out on the Wacky Wine Weekend. Not terribly bothered, as I get stressed in amongst crowds. Take the recently held public tasting for the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Awards. There were some lovely wines, especially among the whites, but I cannot seriously offer any opinions on them. Why? Because every time I tried to sip some member of the hoi polloi would come charging toward the stand – drenched in litres of cheap perfume or cologne – sticking out their little glasses like it was a soup kitchen. Urgh. Disgusting. For example when I tasted Waterford’s Kevin Arnold Shiraz amongst the slurping masses I didn’t like it. Don’t ask me why, I just didn’t. Yet when I managed to sneak a nice sized glass of it – a friend of mine took a bottle with him – to have with a post tasting cigarette it was delicious.
Wine tastes terrible in crowds. Beer is the drink for when you are amongst the masses. You can sip easily on a bottle of it whilst jostling in a mass of people waiting for a band to start, or in a rowdy bar. Wine is meant for the table, or on a blanket in a field, wine asks for space. Fresh air to bring out its aroma, room to swirl your glass, peace in which to contemplate its complexities and time to let them develop.
Ice cold beers after strenuous activities are a special pleasure. Even the crispest Sauvignon Blanc cannot compete here. Wine is a drink meant for long lunches, late dinners, candlelit discussions on literary paradoxes, it is the time piece of a long afternoon as each cork pulled signals one step closer to dinner.
Don’t get me wrong I love beer (far more than strenuous activities in fact) , a nice cold hoppy brew is a special thing, and a harmonious pairing with sausage and spicy meats. When there is a crowd, a jostle, a push and a shove, when I must fight for a space at the bar then give me beer, pour me a pint.