Graça for Great Britain

Right on cue comes the news “that Britons actually prefer cheaper wines.  In blind taste tests eight out of ten people preferred a bottle of wine costing £4.99 to one made from the same grapes which would set them back £19.99.”  What an excellent 30th birthday present for Graça, the jumping, jiving, jubilant, juicy, jazzy, Jeronimo wine. Jackie Olivier (below) gives you the idea at Strandloper in Langebaan and this was before the kreef, even.

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After tasting Graça, strandlopers can confirm it is not even necessary to splurge £4.99 (R82) which will buy you three bottles of Graça on special.  In fact as Brian Glass (below) told us yesterday, supermarket discounting nearly led to the wine being delisted from Sun International restaurants.  “It’s hard to sell a wine for R12 when it’s discounted to R3 at supermarkets.”  Remember those distant days when wine cost R3?

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The UK value for money news must be the final nail in the coffin of the anti-Afrikaans edition of the Platter sighted wine guide, released last week. On the Kombi up, we were entertained with stories of how one hack’s free copy was a printing nightmare with the first section repeated and a whole raft of blank pages at the end. Another Platter disaster for Diners Club. Visa must be laughing like proverbial drains.

What a PR fiasco to welcome JP Rossouw, new Platanna publisher, when the hack who pens a weakly Diners Club Wine of the Week advertorial gets a bum steer.  Still, brother-in-law’s five star Chenin should save face and he can always blame previous management. What a disaster too for the wolf in Wolftrap, DC director and Platter gizzled eminence Reg Biggie Smalls Lascaris and an embarrassment for paymasters Standard Bank, although don’t expect any coverage of the printing stuff-up in the Sunday Times. Still it should supply material for another chapter in any second editions of Lessons from the Boot of my Ferrari.

Will someone at Diners please check the other 37,999 copies?  Not that anyone will notice, as I suspect I am the only person who ever read the guide, looking for bloopers and schoolboy howlers. And of course Toothy Tim James, looking for ammunition to terrorize his fellow tasters, when he’s not searching this blog, ego flagging anything to do with teeth or feet.

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The British bombshell is “the results of the tests were gathered from around 20,000 wine enthusiasts who have attended courses at the academy over the last 20 years. Before they were taught how to taste or what to look for in a wine, each group blind tasted two wines from the same grape variety which are sold at different prices and asked to rate the tipple and guess the price.

On average, 80 per cent preferred the taste of Aspen Hills chardonnay from South East Australia, which costs £4.99 from Majestic Wine to that of the more expensive Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru from Burgundy, France, which is £19.99 at Waitrose and Majestic.

The academy says that amateurs base their judgment of a good wine on its ‘smoothness’ and cheaper wines tend to have lower acidity, higher alcohol content and a simpler flavour. However, the experts look for complex flavours, the way that they are balanced, and how long they linger.”

Talking of lingering longtime, so nice to chill with former Graça winemaker Wouter Pienaar (above) and Duimpie Bayly who we hope makes lunch at a Battle of die Berge commemoration at Muratie today.

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