Our wine, your wine

Living in South Africa has many advantages: the weather, the nice people, the lack of Gordon Brown, the amazing scenery and – especially for us folk down in the Western Cape – the easy access to some great wine.
I know you can get South African wine in the UK as well, but let me make this abundantly clear: there is the South African wine that gets exported to the UK for sale in Tesco, Asda and Thresher and there is the South African wine that we keep here for ourselves.

Sadly, there seems to be a new trend developing: to try and sell those commercially-named “export” wines over here, presumably on the grounds that if it’s good enough for Tesco, it’s good enough for the South African public. And we’re more used to the easy to understand wine nomenclature of <vineyard> <cultivar>, we’re starting to see ridiculous brand names like Railroad Red and Tall Horse appearing on the supermarket shelves of Constantia Pick n Pay – usually in the household cleaners and solvents aisles.

Step forward Flagstone Longitude. I’m not sure where it came from, but it ended up in our kitchen and it bears all the hallmarks of one of those “wines for over there”: Silly name, absence of any named vineyard, importer in Guildford on the back and that all important management style bullshit for people to read at their London dinner parties and nod pseudo-sagely.

Effortless access to masses of information and penetrating technology characterise our modern life. Yet, the more time-saving devices, the less time we seem to have. The more accurate our satellite navigation, the less we know of our origin… [etc etc etc… continues for another twenty minutes without actually making any reference  whatsoever to wine.] 

Oh do [shut up]*.

Flagstone Longitude is a red blend. For the novices among us, that means that there is more than one variety of grape in there. No problem with that, some of my favourite wines are red blends, especially the “Big Reds”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. I have to say though, most of my favourites tend to have two or three grapes in there, rather than the… er… eight in here:

wine

That’s: Cabernet Sauvignon 53%, Shiraz 31%, Tannat 6%, Malbec 5%, Petit Verdot 2%, Cabernet Franc 1%, Pinotage 1%, Merlot 1%. Wow.
Strangely reminiscent of our recent election results, with the leading cultivar just failing to secure a two-thirds majority thanks to Shiraz’s last-ditch “Stop Cab Sauv” campaign.

Presumably, those dinner party guests in Hampstead will muse over the unbelievable skill of the vintner in adjusting the delicate balance of the blend by adding subtle  “1%” touches of Merlot and Pinotage. Ja right.

Just so you know (because we know) you’re drinking our leftovers. Enjoy!

* careful and sensible self-censorship in case my mother reads this.

Three

My little boy turned three today.

alex3days aww
Three days to three years…

I think that on these sort of occasions (and on many others, actually) a little daddy-blogging is completely acceptable.

Despite the best efforts of the weather to ruin the party, a good time was had by all – a great time by many – and by my reckoning, the house will only to a fortnight to repair.
Which really isn’t bad when you consider what could have happened.

Photos to follow – watch this space are here – and since I’m blogging, a big thank you to Ross Wallace of Preston North End, whose last minute free-kick was enough to see off Birmingham at St. Andrew’s this evening and to keep Sheffield United’s promotion hopes very much alive.

Photo of a man in traditional African dress, riding a unicycle, with a table on his head

Yep. You read right.

His inverted table legs lost amongst the masts and cranes of the Waterfront and Cape Town harbour.

Taken by Mrs 6000 on Wednesday. Even more fishy pics here.

Ex-pat voting – tying up loose ends

Just seen this on twitter (via @SAelections from The Times):

The DA has won the overseas vote by 7581, COPE got 918, ANC only got 673 out of the 9857 that were cast in total.

That only leaves a maximum of 622 for the VF+. They must be pretty annoyed after all the effort they went to.
It does mean that the DA secured 77% of the expat vote and can now change the Constitution of Putney and Wimbledon. Or something.

Anyway, now the DA can add those 7,581 votes to the approximately 1,200,000 they had about an hour ago.
“Drop in the ocean” or “Viva Democracy, Viva!!”? Or perhaps a bit of both?

Incidentally, I make that a 60.5% turnout overseas in comparison with 77% here in SA, which I find strange after all the court cases, acrimony and the effort that people had to make to register.
Rather apathetic. Which is only one more letter than this whole ex-pat voting saga has been from the start.

EDIT: Here’s a snap of the IEC’s overseas election results board. VF+ only polled 270 votes. Oops!

overseas

DA landslide ‘destroys Zuma, ANC’

Democratic Alliance take shock landslide victory in South African elections, suggests exit poll.

According to the results of an exit poll conducted during the National and Provincial elections yesterday and published after the ballots had closed in the late evening, the DA is heading for a unprecedented landslide victory over the much-fancied ANC and seems likely to take as much as 94% of the vote.

The exit poll was taken outside the Polling Station at St. Laadedah Primary School in Cape Town’s upmarket Constantia suburb by independent survey company Census Reviews and Polls (CRaP) and showed that of sixteen voters leaving the station who expressed an opinion, fifteen (93.75%) had voted for the DA.

DA spokesperson Jannie van Wyk was excited by the results:

I recognise that this is just one exit poll, but if we extrapolate the results from this significant survey, we can see that it is obvious that our policies and campaign strategies have borne fruit. A 94% share of the vote is significantly up from our showing at the last election, which was 12%, and I think we can put that down to our hard work in offering the voting public a viable alternative the Jacob Zuma and the ANC.
With this landslide victory, we can work on putting those policies into action as we will presumably control nine of the nine provinces which were contested as well as the national government. In fact, with sure a significant majority in these South African elections, I see this as an opportunity for the DA to move into the rest of Africa and envisage Helen Zille as being Supreme Commander of the World by 2015. It’ll take a bit of tinkering with the Constitution, but that won’t be a problem with this sort of majority.

In fact, according to the exit poll, Jacob Zuma’s ANC have been wiped off the South African political map completely, having gained exactly 0% of the vote in Constantia Ward 76, while newcomers the Congress of the People (Cope) managed just 6%.

Cope heavyweight Mbhazima “Sam” Shilowa was disappointed by the poll:

I have to say that we were hoping to make double figures in this election. The party is just four months old, but I though we had gained more popular support than this on our anti-corruption ticket.
However, looking at the overall result, I think it will finally lay to rest the rumour that we were going to enter into a coalition with the ANC after the election. They clearly have less to bring to the table than we thought they would. Well, absolutely nothing actually. Not a sausage. Shame.

Other large parties who, according to the CRaP poll, failed to get a single vote nationally included the Independent Democrats (ID), Vryheids Front Plus (VF+) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
The Afrikaner VF+ were however, quick to disregard the results the Constantia poll though, saying that they preferred to base their predictions for the final outcome on an exit poll from Durbanville in Cape Town’s Northern suburbs, in which they had polled 100% of the votes cast, based on a sample size of 3.