'Flu Remedy

In the wake of the snotneus fiasco that demolished the credibility of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show last year, sponsors might like to consider Dutch winemaker and musician Ilya Gort as a potential judge.

ig 'Flu Remedy

In 2007, cringe-worthy boasting by a leading UK wine identity that she somehow managed to rate 151 Shirazes without a sense of smell (she had the ‘flu) sparked howls of outrage from producers who paid to enter and howls of mirth from punters asked to accept that SA Shiraz was “a pile of pants”, pace Prince “Big Ginger” Harry. After all, the variety earned Eben Sadie the first ever classic rating (a score of 95/100) for an SA wine from Wine Spectator later that year. And an inconvenient truth for those pundits insisting SA whites are better than SA reds.

The news that Gort has insured his snozzle for R60 million with Lloyd’s of London, will ensure that Trophy entrants receive a full refund on their hefty entrance fee if his olfactory bulbs cannot perform. Gort is well equipped to be a Trophy judge – with extravagant facial hair, he certainly cannot be called a “bare-faced liar” and in a fetching black beret, he bears more than a passing resemblance to Nosey Pieterse, president of the Black Association of the Wine & Spirits Industry.

At 57 years old, he will not perturb the existing age-dynamic of the judging panel, which should keep the editor of WINE (who spun a few bowties last week when he criticized the Methuselah-like character of Platter’s sighted pundits) happy.

Owner of Château de la Garde in Bordeaux, Gort’s wine was voted best Bordeaux wine of 2003 at the International Wine Challenge in London. He is also a published author: Het Wijnsurvivalboek is one of his. With coffee and mocha popular flavours in SA Shiraz, the news that his advertising jingles for Nescafé are flighted in 160 countries around the world confirm he is no loose cannon. Even if his most famous composition, wildly popular in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany (all important SA wine export destinations now that SA producers are advised to retreat from the USA by the exporter’s association) is called “Don’t come stoned and don’t tell Trude”, written for the duo Max & Specs. Although just who Trude is remains a mystery – his wife rejoices in the name Turf.