Pendock's new book hits the shelves

Well our latest wine guide has appeared, Guia Popular do Vinhos 2014, blind tasted, natch, unlike the Winelands telephone directory aka Platanna.  Friends report that Tim James had a lot to say about it on Gripe.  

I must confess I wouldn’t know as I’m not into self flagellation and rather leave that to Opus Dei and Miss Whiplash.  But I seriously doubt whether TJ has the mastered the language of Luís Vaz de Camões sufficiently to appreciate our more subtle nuances.

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Still, Tim is great entertainment value in tastings.  As an associate judge on the Old Mutual Toasty Wine Show some years back, he would slipstream the other judges. Scores were revealed by polling the real judges (including moi), starting with a different one each time, but skipping the lowly associate. When surprised by panel chair Jancis Robinson to start off the reveal round robin, Tim had a melt down and fled in floods of tears to the gents. “It’s not appropriate!” he wailed.  For he was never scoring at all, simply playing little Sir Echo to the great JR.  Oh dear!

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When the news came this evening from Strauss & Co. that we’d offloaded a couple of Robert Hodgens paintings I’d bought cheap at a Champagne Festival in Melrose Arch some years ago (above), Miguel and I grabbed a Super Second from Madame May de Lencquesaing and headed down to Societi Bistro for a feed.  As bubbly big shot Shaun Anderson reminisced last week at the ABSA Champagne Festival at Summerplace “you were the only one who knew what was going on with the paintings.” Not that French Champagne and fine art are mutually exclusive. The opposite actually.

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We bumped into Professor Mark Solms of Solms Delta fame and foodista Tony Jackman, who grew up in adjacent houses in Oranjemund, where the diamonds come from.  Talk about synchronicity!

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Thank heavens Societi is a whale-free zone so we could all enjoy our luxuriant pubic hair, have a laugh and reminisce about the time a Platanna was mocked at Solms Delta for trying to score the Cape Jazz Shiraz (sighted) while BBC TV were making a doccie about that brave winery. Someone called it a cultural weapon and if there weren’t ladies present, Platanna would have found out what that meant, the hard way. Ouch!

Still Tim probably got his timing right if he was indeed the Tim who sold the William Kentridge Ochre Head inscribed “to Tim from William” last year, as the bottom seems to have fallen out of the head market.  Tim’s Ochre kop was valued at R300,000-R400,000 but tonight the Mayakovsky Head (Blue) failed to sell while the Orange version went for R90K, which was below estimate.  Let’s hope Tim cashed in as he’d recently exchanged the gritty working class authenticity of Kenilworth for the suburban charms of Wynberg.