Sour Grapes Launched


Sour Grapes, my celebration of the enthusiastic amateur approach to wine, was launched last night at the Book Lounge in Roeland Street, Cape Town. We decided to adopt a novel format with Emile Joubert, described as a “great controversialist” by Tafelberg’s Kerneels Breytenbach interviewing yours truly in front of the 100-or-so invited guests. Cederberg supplied the wines, which were so good, they soon ran out (18 bottles of white, 18 red). I’m off to India for a week on Saturday, so will drip feed social pictures and my recall of answer’s to Emile’s questions over the next week.

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EJ: Sum up Sour Grapes in a nutshell.

NP: Sour Grapes is a personal view of the SA wine scene from the point of view of an enthusiastic amateur – a person who writes about wine out of love, rather than a need to make money. A perspective of Bacchus rather than Mammon. It seeks to be irreverent, opinionated, but always amusing and I take aim at the emperors of wine (both local and imported) parading around in public with pendulous breasts and bulging boepe, wearing nothing but bowties and the occasional anorak. No holds are barred, no sacred cows are worshipped and charlatans, barkers and shills are mercilessly savaged.

EJ: Why is most wine writing English, when most of the industry is Afrikaans.

NP: It’s a hangover from colonial times when SA wine was made for foreign consumption: first by the captains and officers of VOC ships and merchants of Amsterdam and then for the British Empire, periodically embroiled in bloody squabbles with France which denied French wine to the British upperclasses. Cultural cringe continues to this day with pronouncements of UK and American wine writers taken as gospel by producers, retailers and wine snobs. English is the lingua franca of the Kingdom of Bacchus and a serious inferiority complex keeps the Afrikaans speaking community in its box – a situation encouraged by SA wine snobs who wish to keep the field clear for themselves.

sgl2 Sour Grapes Launched