Opinion, Rants, and Stories

A Cautionary Tale

Dear friends,

I know you are all waiting impatiently for my account of the Swartland Revolution. It is coming, it just takes longer to recount something when the memories are so murky. Today I promise, or perhaps tomorrow.

But I feel I need to get this off my chest quickly. I have already tweeted it, but I thought a little post would not be amiss.

The awards season in South Africa has reached its high point with the announcement of the Platter 5 star winners. This year a whopping 58 wines have been awarded the honour. But I do not want to talk about that; instead I want to offer a word of caution.


Do not be suckered into believing that the best wines are the ones with the most bling. Remember that drinking wine is a personal experience, and that your palate (even if it is somewhat plebeian and delights in chocolate flavoured wines) is your guide to good wine.

You do, obviously, need to train your palate by buying different wines as much as possible. Experiment, maybe spend a little more, attend tastings, read, explore, try different varieties even if you can’t pronounce their names. If you find a wine you don’t like think about why, and the same with wines that excite and delight you. The world of wine is mind-numbingly diverse; celebrate that diversity. 

And please remember that awards are guides, useful sure, but they do not deal in truths.


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