Divine Direction for Diners

There were laughs aplenty at the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award last night at the Conservatory in Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Divine Direction for Diners
by franschhoekwines
. Diners CEO Ebrahim Mathhews told 150 guests he was a victim of mistaken multiple identity: farmers thought he was a farm worker while security at the Conservatory thought he was the driver for his colleagues. What is it about teetotal bosses? While Jacob Zuma claims to be the only ANC member who does not drink, Muslim Ebrahim is in the same boat.

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Guests had to wait for the dessert course (above) for the wine wot won it for Razvan MaciciNederburg Emminence 2007. It was the 2010 vintage of the same wine that trousered five stars in Platter last week, the sighted tasting guide now in a marketing deal with Diners. Although my favourite Standard Bank director admitted he didn’t believe in sighted assessments as some brands were fixtures in the Platter planetarium in spite of vintage variations. I take a more populist position and worry endlessly about those overlooked as they’re not sexy enough for tasters to risk a (sighted) nomination. Consumers get a shoddy deal from the current star system.

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Coptic Christians seem to have solved the problem. Switching on the BBC in my L’Ermitage palace bedroom in Franschhoek this morning, I saw Bishop Pachomius (above) – a Coptic John Platter of the cloth – placing the names of papabile in crystal balls into a giant wine glass to find a successor to Pope Shenuda III, who died in March. The divine plan calls for an altar boy to be blindfolded who then draws a name. Pachomius’s selection was his assistant Bishop Tawadros, a divine five star stunner, an Emminence indeed.