Roodeberg Homeboy

Well it’s official. I’m now a Roodeberg Homie after attending the launch of the Roodeberg Home in La Concorde yesterday afternoon. They’ve taken a leaf out of the Iggy Pop songbook

Home boy,
Home boy,
Everybody needs a home

including Roodeberg, that iconic red blend of Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and now Petit Verdot, first blended in 1949 by Dr. Charles Niehaus whose sons were in attendance yesterday, red faced and beaming with paternal pride. How unexpected to quote Iggy in the context of KWV. But then how unexpected to see a KWV CEO address media and fans in jacket and jeans with nary a das in sight as Andre van der Veen (below) did and all in English. It was almost a polyester-free zone. How times have changed.  Although I had to wipe away a tear (of hilarity) after we were taken into the KWV boardroom, that holy of holies, to be shown the Bible, silver bell and gavel used to bang down decisions by the Sanhedrin of SA wine.

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If I’d been wearing any socks, the wines served would have blown them clean off, especially the 2010 Dr. Charles Niehaus which was so impressive, I even bought a couple (disclosure: a 25% discount was applied). They went down like a Cypriot banker with crispy lamb ribs at Sloppy Sams in Greenpoint last night while the KWV white blend with a nifty screwcap was great with the taramosalata which is the best I’ve ever had in SA. Period.

I’m with KWV winemakers who complained they were so short-changed by Platter’s sighted tasters last year, they’re planning their own blind version later this one. “We agreed to disagree” said one, referring to discussions with editor Phil van Zyl who was keeping a low profile along with his wife. Let’s hope with Diners Club now paying for their petrol, the unsatisfactory status quo can be reversed and the Mentors range in particular elevated in the planetarium. Or is Platter rapidly becoming irrelevant?

KWV members will be pleased to hear WOSA spin doctor Andre Morgenthal also arrived late (but in time for his goodie bag and wors rolls) which is a relief, as Roodeberg supremo DeBruyn Steenkamp notes that Roodeberg is arguably the leading super-premium wine export. Heck its so popular in Sweden, they sell it in a designer-designer papsak. Certainly the brand has mega recognition and as the sun sets on Golden Kaan and other marketing dead-ends, KWV will join ANC as three letters that abbreviate SA.

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On the subject of new brooms and their cleaning power, it was nice to see the new guard has removed the boardroom spy camera although the + left on the panelling (above) is a bit of a give-away.