Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Passion on the Vine – a review

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

When one looks at a vineyard – you’re not looking at it in the same way as you would look at an orange orchard. Instead one sees a multitude of experiences past and of moments yet to come – moments of intimacy, memorable occasions, conversations and treasured friendships. Since time immemorial, vineyards have not only been the touchstone of certain regions, but have often been the lifeblood of local communities and the cornerstone of entire generations of families. Every vineyard contains a family, a , a and a . This was at least, the sentiment I had before embarking on a mission to City, where I would promote and sell ’s connected to my family in some ways, and more importantly – from my country. During that time – having spent much time in for the mission, I left with those stories and sentiments of culture and family fresh in my blood. But with every -call and I began to feel further and further from the vineyard. Soon it was laid in cost, case-discounts and what kind of Point of Sale material was on offer. I travelled the country in a rental car with a case of , a corskrew and a -point presentation along the way having people from Westchester Wine Warehouse cruelly spit wine on my shoe after having left me waiting for an hour, sitting in cold-rooms of cellars in Maryland, helping do stock-takes in Ohio, presenting to Wholefoods buyers in North Carolina and pushing on-premise retail in : and with every step I became a bit more confused and lost the focus of what I was doing. Having believed that wine was so important to my country and stepping into the States to tell the story of South African wine, it was very dispiriting to suddenly be faced with the fact that no one really cared so long as they could make a profit.

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Wine Proof Pants

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

On a recent to the Benicassim Festival in Spain, I purchased a pair of quick-dry camping pants from Titanium for the trip. Walking to outside the festival grounds and sitting on our back-packs whilst waiting for the campsite to open, we took the opportunity to crack a bottle of we’d got on RENFE (a quick note on RENFE – if you’re on the site and can’t select English you need to select the drop-down labelled Seleccione su Idioma to make it so, which means you have to speak to get the site into English, go figure!)

Red is a perfect libation for festivals – primarily because it doesn’t need to be kept cold; it doesn’t lose its fizz and if you’re wine locally produced its dirt and super-good. Within minutes of popping the however I’d managed to spill the Rioja on my new pants and was questioning the merits of wine in a situation where a shower is hard to find… when suddenly, with a splash of from my water bottle – the wine was gone. Brilliant! Wine proof pants – what more could a young wine-lover at a festival wish for? I reckon the pants specifically as wine-proof and selling it at Bonnaroo could be a good gig.

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Posted in Culture, Events, Lifestyle, Music, Passion, Wine | 2 Comments »

Cycling Triple Crown

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

The first leg of the Commerce Bank triple crown of cycling (Lehigh Valley Classic) was today in Allentown, Pa so I took the afternoon off to go check it out. I had never been to a cycling race before and wasn’t expecting much, but it was surprisingly entertaining. Some of the best cyclists in the were there, many of which cycle the Tour de France. It is a very type of because you only see them come by every 15-20 minutes or so (10 eight mile laps through the city), and then chat it up with your and family while waiting for the next pass. It was great to watch the cyclists push it out, their fitness was amazing. Very enjoyable , and when it came down to the wire, the crowd started going nuts and the commentators were going absolutely bonkers.

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

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Taste The New Year

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

‘This is some good Yellowtail’ he said, sloshing out a near half pint’s worth of juice into a dirty whisky tumbler. ‘You know, I’ve heard that every bottle of Yellowtail is a little different, and that the stuff we get up here is especially good because of the altitude.’ I stood, looking on in complete disbelief at the character before me. It was Christmas two years ago in Vail Colorado that I met Darren who had rather peculiarly given himself the nickname M.O.D which stood for ‘man on duty.’

You know what Ruarri?

What M.O.D?

“That’s why I like , because it’s different, you know? Like this Yellowtail stuff here. It’s made in Australia, but I’m it in Colorado, and you know, because of the altitude and all, it’s completely different. I bet you those folks in Australia had no idea how good there juice would taste at this height, I aint even sure if they have mountains over there, being on the other side of the and all. Wine at altitude dude! WOO HOO!

This snippet of conversation is but one of many I’ve had in my life where people learn of my wine background and then go on to show that they have no what wine background at all. That’s not a bad thing by the way. In fact the thought that there are people out there who think that Yellowtail tastes different at different altitudes is so crazy that it may even be part of a bizarrely genius underground buzz- campaign. Let me fast-forward a year though, where I had chosen to not spend Christmas in Vail, but had been invited to a small farm in the Netherlands to have Christmas with my wife and some of our on a farm.

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