SBIG tactics: divide and rule


Are the squabbles between SA wine tasters so vicious because a) the stakes are so low; b) it’s a case of too many big fish in a small pond; c) they’re all minnows being chased by a killer whale; d) wine tasting attracts people challenged by self worth issues? Your answers on a tweet to the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group. A case of this year’s FNB Top Ten to the first correct answer received as no one else seems to want the wine.

IMG 0694 615x345 SBIG tactics: divide and rule

One panel that does work is Tops at Spar Fundis (above). Under the razor sharp taste buds of Tinus van Niekerk, Samarie Smith, Nitseke Bieyela, Melvyn Minnaar, Christian Eedes and I have been judging wines from Distell, Vinimark, Meridian and other distributors blind, for a year. So the implications from the secretary of the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group  that there are non-overlapping tasting fraternities are further off the mark than a WOSA marketing campaign.

“As mentioned in my previous e-mail, I put your name on the list as a potential judge for this year’s FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Competition.

After many discussions (yes, far too many for my own liking!) it became evident that putting the final panel together would ultimately be quite controversial as there are so many intricacies and sensitivities. I don’t know how the Pinotage Association does it, but I have pretty much had my fill with it all. The final list of judges are:

Christian Eedes (convenor) – Freelance wine writer and on the panel for the past five years, acting as convenor for the last four years.
Mark Norrish – Ultra Liquors Wine Buyer
Miguel Chan – Head Sommelier Tsogo Sun Group
Erika Obermeyer – Winemaker & Chairperson: Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group (SBIG)
Richard Kershaw MW – Winemaker & Master of Wine

I would have liked to have had you on the panel, but the feeling was that having both you and Christian on the panel could be a problem, and with Christian having been on the panel since the inception of the competition, it was felt that we shouldn’t rock the boat too much.

On the other hand, it has also been put forward that we have another competition somewhere around March/April 2013, namely a Sauvignon Blanc based (i.e. minimum 50%) blend competition (not unlike the Cape Blend competition the Pinotage Association does) and for that competition we would like you on board (and of course not Christian). My feet are numb, what with treading so carefully on all the eggs!

Please don’t lambast me or SBIG for not including you on the FNB Top 10 panel this time around, and let’s rather work together for the Sauvignon Blanc Blends Competition next year.” Well March/April came and went and these Machiavellis carried on manoeuvring like whirling dervishes on tik.

Does the SBIG have a brief to stuff up SA wine tasting?  Are they a branch of WOSA?  Are they funded by Chilean Sauvignon Blanc producers?  It’s certainly starting to look that way.