Pendock Private Cellar

Of course it must be the worst time ever to open a bespoke wine retail outlet in Cape Town. The city council seems to see alcohol as a bigger threat than Pagad while the government threatens to outlaw advertising by Bacchus and the boys. Domestic sales are driven by price and suicidal discounting – ask Getwine – while the rand is bombed out, making imports exorbitant. A great pity for wine lovers as Jancis Robinson reported an unlikely buying opportunity on Thursday in the Financial Times.

jrob 615x284 Pendock Private Cellar

Fancy that. Her best reds overall come from Portugal, a country in an even worse financial mess than SA. Well it just so happens that I write an annual guide to Portuguese wine with Anibal Coutinho and every year taste many hundreds of the most affordable vinhos from that country. Blind, of course, for this is no Platter voyeurfest.

Heck even Dr. No, the evil editing nemesis on Platter, blagged a freebee trip to London last month from the SA Brandy Foundation so he could fill his Christmas stockings with Madeira. As one UCT professor commented over a glass of Veuve Clicquot “funny to see Tim change sides.” I’m sure Graham Howe will find it hugely ironic that Dr. No has now joined the gravy train.

Once our systems are in place, we hope to offer some selected jewels of Portuguese wine in our brave Pendock Wine Cellar we’re opening next door to our petite Pendock Wine Gallery @ Taj (no whales allowed). Wines chosen on quality rather than labels. A policy that should keep Dr. No at bay in the same way that garlic wards off vampires.