Operating on the fringes of the SA wine industry, through the Die Vine Intervention wine tasting podcasts which I record with living legend Michael Olivier, I am always happy to be invited to a wine tasting, and looked forward to the recent Nedbank Green Wine Awards evening in Johannesburg.
I am not sure whether this was a consolation prize from Nedbank for having (once again) forgotten to invite ZA Confidential to their annual media bash, but along with one of ZA Confidential Associates, I went along to the evening event. Even though it cut down on the time available to spend around the corner at the FNB Whisky Festival – to which we had received several invitations and free passes. None from FNB.
So what was the wine evening like? I certainly applaud the initiative to promote green practices in South African winemaking, and was happy to sample this year’s winners, even though none seemed to reach the mix of quality and low price which I look for when buying wine.
I would have organised it differently…..
- When we were called to sit down, the wines were not yet poured. Instead, we waited while some patronising presenters gave us a master-class in how not to address an audience.
- The wines were not poured in the order in which they were to be tasted, and instead of this being an efficient, enjoyable process, the speeches went on and on. And on. Far too much detail. And I do know what a spit bucket is for, and did not need to be given instructions. Although by the end of the tasting I was very tempted to pour the contents over the organisers.
- The attendance was terrible, with around 30-40% of the seats unoccupied. Those there seemed to mainly be Nedbank staffers, in detention for bad behaviour. How can you give away food and wine and still fail to fill a venue? I am baffled.
- There was a pleasant buffet afterwards, but when I went to the bar to get a last glass of wine to wash down my cheese, I was told we had had our lot. No more wine… Fortunately I managed to hijack a few dregs from a kind waitress. When my mate Norman asked for a beer, he was asked to pay for it. And to add insult to injury, as we left we spotted a few of the immensely tedious speakers at the bar, with what appeared to be their own private cache of wine bottles.
- I think the big problem was that Nedbank threw money into staging an event, with no clear focus of who they were aiming it at. If their own staff, and those who do not know from which end of a bottle one extracts the cork, then that would have been fine. But don’t invite in outsiders to a kindergarten event.
Bravo to Nedbank for promoting green wine. Red card to Nedbank for showcasing it so poorly.
Tweets of the Day:
Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow): Why did Beethoven sell his chickens? Because all they said was “Bach Bach Bach” #ClassicJokeFriday
Secret Tips (@Funny_Truth): If you expect something in return for being a nice person, you aren’t a nice person.
PUNS (@omgthatspunny): Have you bought yourself a boomerang yet? I heard they’re making a comeback.
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