Will Amarula Rescue SA Wine Writing?


The news that Baileys Irish Cream is to sponsor a Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK (the old Orange Prize) with a R447,000.00 first prize throws a maroela berry firmly into the Amarula court. After the Franschhoek Wine Writers Prize was capsized by grossly irregular behaviour from a local judge who decided all the entries were kak (even after soliciting fresh ones from his brus and having the entry deadline extended) and certainly not worth the R25,000.00 first prize (an amount which has not increased in the five years of running the competition) at least four other SA wine writing competitions are on the drawing board.

bailey 300x150 Will Amarula Rescue SA Wine Writing?

It’s surely only a matter of when and not if serious changes are made to the way alcohol is promoted in SA which should surely spur corporate interest from Distell, who make most of the stuff. Baileys fought off strong competition to sponsor the UK prize and the chair of the prize committee was quoted in The Independent as saying they “impressed not only by the scale of their ambition, but also their passion for celebrating outstanding fiction by women.” Is there a white knight with an exotic creamy palate waiting in the wings to save the SA wine writing damsel in distress?

Sponsoring a writer’s prize comes naturally to a product like Baileys, tied up with the land of Yeats, Heaney, Joyce, Beckett and Oscar Wilde. But hang on a seccie, Amarula comes from the Lowveld and the ghost of Herman Charles Bosman is thirsty…