Watching beards grow in Partyslava

The 20th edition of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles kicked off in Bratislava this morning and this year’s fashion statement is beards.  Here is US blogger Ryan Opaz modelling some porno topiary while my Panel #1 consists of judges from France, Portugal and Belgium and is a hairy affair. Bratislava has so many students, its nickname is Partyslava and with the evening free, we’ll see if it can hold a candle to the Partyberg, the hip name for the Paardeberg in the Swartland.

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But for now, its off to a corkamorimcork Watching beards grow in Partyslava
by Amorim Cork
workshop hosted by Amorim and a chance to ask what happened at the Trophy Wine Show which seemingly reported more corked bottles than entries.  This was certainly not our experience on Panel #1 this morning, but then maybe dodgy exporters are shipping mouldy corks to SA along the lines of distressed cargoes of Burgundies offloaded to remote destinations at a good price?

Does the Trophy Show still host judges at the Grande Roche, or Big Cockroach as we would joshingly call it? If so, they’ll have to pull up their socks to compete with the Carlton (below), my berth for the next few days.

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One of the joys of being panel chairman is the subtle privilege of quaffing San Pellegrino mineral water as opposed to Acqua Panna for mere judges. My taste buds have clearly moved beyond POP: Plain Old Panna and I expect a call from San Pellegrino to judge their restaurant competition any day now. Then we’ll see some SA entries in the Top Fifty.

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It was quite a coup for the CMB to get the Slovak prime minister to open the tasting this morning and quite a different approach to alcohol than the one adopted by the ANC government of SA. The Minister of Agriculture made an important point: Slovaks each consume 30 litres of wine a year and 2/3 of it is imported, so if foreign producers play their cards right, they could get listings galore in Partyslava. After flight 554 I would say KWV are in with a chance, although dyslexic Slavs may think they’re being offered KGB wine in the days when they were a client state of the USSR.