Diners Club, surfing and Esmé

Just as Wine magazine staff are surely feeling a bit of schadenfreude about the latest bit of Diners Club (Young) Winemaker of the Year scandal, so too would have the Widow, who passed from the vale of tears called South African winewriting about a year ago. (If you don’t know about schadenfreude, and suspect you might want to feel it occasionally, it’s worth googling to find out how; if you don’t know about the Widow – ah well, it’s too late.)

I mention Wine mag because of course this year Diners Club decided not to use their expertise to organise its competition, after two bits of scandal: last year, of course, the declared winner had to back down after some sneaks had questioned whether there was the stipulated amount of winning wine available on the market. In the case of the Shiraz category the scandal had been about the process of judging and the use of seeded wines. I remember screeds of comments on Grape at the time, until Wine mag refused to respond further, but  forget the exact details – one result, though, of the embarrassment was that Wine mag was, it would seem, ditched.

And then, of course, as if to say that it wasn’t Wine mag’s fault after all, but something of a jinx, the latest scandal was revealed to the world by Michael Fridjhon, whereby the Young Winemaker of the Year, Clayton Reabow, was shown to have joined the winery in question after the wine had already been vinified.


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