I arrive at a house-party with vintage Annie Lennox belting out; a woman approaches me: “You smell divine, do you mind if my husband takes a whiff of you?”
I am reeking of Saronsberg Provence 2006 and a spritzer of fresh-peonies and white-lily laden Issey Miyake. It is day five of mud-sliding on my mountain bike in the Drakensberg with two lawyers, an architect and an Egyptian cartoonist. By night, we drink. A. Lot. And just yesterday there was a wedding of a mate in the Midlands with über nature conservationist, Dr Ian Player in attendance and where vanilla vodka was enjoyed like late afternoon tea.
The thing about the Berg, and all this damn beautiful fresh air, is that you have to drink to counterbalance that Julie Andrews feeling. You know, wanting to leap-frog over frisky antelope and grab their twirly impala horns and ride into the sunset with a bottle of something adventurous like a Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2008. And that is adventurous, not being a fan of Pinotage.
But back to the Saronsberg Provence, the rich, hearty Tulbachian blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cab Franc. I have no problem with this delicious wine but I really have a problem with the wine’s label. If an artist like Paul du Toit is going to pull a Miro then at least re-contextualise his work within an original African design context. I highly rate someone like Garth Walker of iJusi graphic design fame to create beautifully strange wine labels. A wine label is indeed a work of art. On the flip side, I do find the more old school the label, often the classier the wine, like the pen and ink drawing of the cosy family cottage on the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir.
We have incredible illustrators in this country, so I challenge the wine marketers or whoever decides these fanciful things, to find out who they are in the spirit of more wine label chutzpah. We are in need of more local design flavour that reflects the essence of the wine’s abstract personality. And there’s nothing like staring at a work of art, no matter how small, even on a bottle, while feeling wonderfully, spring-happily, wine-lovingly merry. Né?
Tagged , Columnists & blogs