Fatwa on Freebees

News of the WINE fatwa against your blogger has clearly not yet percolated down to the IT department of that magazine’s Pinelands nerve centre, as my grinning visage still shimmers, Hagrid-like, from their website.
sebastian Fatwa on Freebees
The author of the fatwa appears to be WINE Managing editor Mike Froud(e) who was moved to boycott by my blogging of the recent Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award. At the risk of committing a cultural insensitivity, the joke “I used be a Greek God and now I look like a Goddamn Greek” is certainly true in my case. I even feel like a Greek – a Greek messenger, full of tiny arrows fired at the bearer of bad news. In this case, reporting the observation of two of the Diners judges that a late entry wine was added to the final tasting round of the competition.

While I am quite happy to accept chairman of judges Dave Hughes contention that a sixth wine was added to the top five, or even a fifth wine was added to the top four by Mr. Froud(e) – pronounced as in “loud” and not “fraud” – when he discovered it had the same score, that there was some confusion around the final tasting round seems undisputed. But I do reserve the right to report on what the judges tell me, on or off the record. And even pass on the impressions of my fungiform papillae with respect to the winning wine – in this case “v. good indeed.” And if Nicolo Machiavelli , that wine pundit from a bygone age, was around, he would have approved of the process, too.

My punishment for telling the truth is exclusion from future WINE functions and banishment from the pages of the Pinelands Pundits’ organ. The pearls of vinous wisdom from my oyster will pollute the pristine pages of WINE no more. Which completes a spectacular fall from grace: at the start of the year, I was voted “most trusted palate” by readers of that organ. In the middle of the year, my monthly column Free Run fell foul of a “re-design”, in spite of the sacrifice I paid of offering up an afternoon to a celebrity photographer in Maitland (surely a contradiction in terms?) for a portfolio of byline photographs for the column. I’d even sourced four new outfits from Mr. Price, one for each season of the year…

The extra days I’ll gain from not partying at WINE’s divers functions (paid for by Spar, Amorim Corkamorimcork Fatwa on Freebees
by Amorim Cork
, Diners Club and other sponsors) will be put to good use, putting the finishing touches to Sour Grapes, the warts and all view of SA wine that Tafelberg commissioned at the Sunday Times Cape Town Book Fair earlier in the year.

Anoraks might like to note that the “e” in Froud(e) appears to be optional. When the Grape website took up cudgels on behalf of Pendock Uncorked, the first half of the Froud(e) response dealt with the spelling of his handle. While a polite tailor will soon determine which side a gentleman prefers to wear his organ, when it comes to the positioning of e’s, the jury is still out. Wines of SA, the exporter’s association, prefer circumcised first names as CEO Su Birch and UK market manager Jo Mason, confirm. Of course, with so many of the vowels in the surname of WINE publisher Harold Eedes, adding one to his own surname by the managing editor could be a clumsy attempt at ingratiation.

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