Franschhoek Loves Lenin


Lenin’s tomb reopened on Red Square yesterday after refurbishment due to water seeping into the foundations. Which was quite appropriate as towards the end of his life, Lenin became a mushroom due to overconsumption of fly agaric according to Russian musician Sergey Sholokhov. Could this be the reason behind the irrational behaviour of the trio of judges at the controversial Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Franschhoek Loves Lenin
by franschhoekwines
Wine Writers’ Prize
this year? They had transformed from mammal to fruit (below) as painted by Guiseppe Archemboldo.

achim Franschhoek Loves Lenin

Judge John Maytham broke ranks yesterday and unburdened himself to suicidal contestants via email. But I for one remain unconvinced and think the real reason is that John has become an oumensgessigie Pinotage berry, Christopher Hope a plump bunch of Borboulenc and Christopher Waters, a Canadian wine identity no one has heard of, one of those native North American vines no one has heard of. Vidal, perhaps, or was that Gore?

The gist of the Pinotage argument is that R25K is huge bucks (nonsense, Borboulenc won the Whitbread, forerunner of the Costa now worth over R775,000.00, assuming that unlike Franschhoek, UK awards keep pace with inflation) and none of the entries were boring enough to deserve it. Well clearly, the judges are looking for love in all the wrong places and know nothing at all about SA wine writing if they exclude entries from the World of Fine Wine which was the organ that published half the winners to date, on the ridiculous grounds that no one in SA reads the foreign published and outrageously expensive rag. SA wine writing should be all about translating Bacchus for Bru’s in Durban and Bra’s in Baragwanath which rather makes a trio of elitist, middle-aged, middle-class neutrals inappropriate. We tried that for 350+ years and look at the mess we’re in today.

When the current sponsor (with stylishly spiky almost porcupine-like bolla) took over the award after a disastrous first outing (judge Jancis was columnist on the organ – now defunct – in which the winning entry appeared) over breakfast at the Cullinan I suggested stories be solicited, the best dozen published and paid for (at R5/word) in a special volume of Revue de Franschhoek, judges to be paid as editors. Heck, it could be given away to Cape-bound tourists during Bastille Day month. Year one themed to “terroir”, year two “Eben Sadie”, year three “Brett, Vlad and other mushrooms.”

This would smash multiple windscreens with a single stone, N2 style: cash for writers, exposure for authors and sponsors alike and something to read in addition to new-look Sawubona which focuses on sommeliers this month. In fact publisher Khanyi Dhlomo looks all set as a shoo-in for Franschhoek marketing maven with the gem about loving the open spaces of Africa like the Kalahari, Sahara and Gobi deserts.