New Statesman bashes Pinotage


Tousled haired terroiriste Nina Caplan, drinks columnist for left-leaning New Statesman magazine, puts the boot into Pinotage this week. “When I was there [in SA] five years ago, the Chenin Blanc was terrific; there were great reds but a lot more awful ones and the South Africans’ incomprehensible pride in Pinotage – a red grape that no one else has adopted, for excellent reasons – wasn’t helping.” Is this the kind of thing mayor of London and bon vivant Boris Johnson had in mind when he referred to “lefty tossers” this week?

nc New Statesman bashes Pinotage

Nina goes on to hector UK supermarkets with a post-colonial LSE appraisal of the market. “Everyone wants to sell wine to Britain, and Britain – or her supermarkets, anyway – responds by battering down prices. This makes for happy Brits and impoverished foreigners. Just like the good old days.”

But there are pats on the back aplenty (pity she was not at Cape Wine 2012. Was she invited, WOSA?) for brands on UK supermarket shelves. “It’s wines get better all the time, particularly the Sauvignon Blancs (try Iona or Paul Cluver), Syrahs (Mullineux, Boekenhoutskloof), Bordeaux blends (De Toren), Chardonnays (Chamonix, Saronsberg, Vergelegen) and Chenin (Raats, among others), and we’re still appreciating them. Last year, we drank £75m worth.”

Her Quixotic campaign to raise the price of imported wine will surely raise a few chuckles in Chile and California. “Can we accept that we no longer rule the wine world and learn to pay properly for our drinking pleasures? If not, we’re stuffed. The only compensation for our miserable climate is a broad range of wines with which to dilute it.”