Maverick Misses the Boat

If a maverick is a dissenter, “ one that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group,” then for the Daily Maverick to hire a Wine Lizard as Bachhanalian opinionista is curious as their choice is the epitome of wine insider. Heck a weekly wine column on a deadtree Bidet is proof positive. Someone once described him as having more conflicts of interest than a chameleon sitting on a box of Smarties.  Which reinforces the hilarious reptile riff coined by one waggish Cape Town commentator.


The abbreviated bio which accompanies his digital column is a masterpiece of modesty. Some bold annotations advance the argument that far from being a maverick, he’s more of a normal kind of guy. A conformist even.

South Africa’s most highly regarded international wine judge seriously doubt whether Fiona McDonald and Dave Hughes will agree, the country’s most widely consulted liquor industry authority Amarula’s legal team may beg to differ, and one of South Africa’s leading wine writers. Chairman owner of the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show since its inception, he has judged in countless  (aleph_0 or  aleph_1?) wine competitions around the world. Visiting Professor of Wine Business at the University of Cape Town I once asked UCT VC Max Price how you can appoint a professor without formal academic qualifications in that disciple.  Is the UCT senate entirely asleep?, he has been an advisor to the Minister of Agriculture urban legend insists he even applied to become SA Minister of Wine and is a recipient of the French Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole he imports French wine, so that’s a given. Worldwide winner of the Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year award in 2012 he is the SA importer of Louis Roederer bubbly, he is the author, co-author or contributor to over 30 books and is a regular contributor to wine publications in the UK, France, Germany and China. He is the founder owner of , a site which specialises in scoring South Affrican [sic!] wine and guiding consumers to excellent value for money and quality just like the Platanna sighted wine guide he also tastes for.  Smart move by Diners Club to co-opt the competition.

He remains an excellent cook, gifted conversationalist and his taste in art cannot be denied.  But a maverick, he most certainly is not.