You’re Encouraging Alcoholism!

Each Thursday, genial local radio host John Maytham presents his wine review on Cape Talk, Cape Town’s medium wave news and talk station. (Yes, medium wave is still alive and well in Cape Town, readers!)

Here’s this week’s offering, fresh from the web:

Agama Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Price: R65.95
Fine example of a cool climate sauvignon blanc – grapes grown on six different Elgin farms. Brisk acidity, strong capsicum qualities, and enough complexity and length to suggest ageing potential.

Klein Steenberg Cabernet 2006
Price: R49.95
Entry label from this excellent Constantia producer. Medium-bodied, soft tannins, ripe berry fruit on nose carrying through to palate. Very good value.  

Cellarhand Backchat Blend 2006
Price: R19.95
Cheerful concoction of seven different varietals, blended together in a very drinkable christmas cake confection. Excellent value.

Sir Lambert Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Price: R78.95
A very impressive debut wine from the Lamberts Bay region. Good asparagus and gooseberry flavour associations, but most impressive is the minerality and the poise that this young wine already shows.

Now I’m no expert on wine, but Maytham is – he knows about “tannin structures” and talks about “restrained oaking” and “black pepper and spice and savoury charcuterie on the nose”.
I, on the other hand know about “colour” and talk about “red” and “white”. And I’m nearly always correct once it’s out of that confusing green bottle.

But all is not well with the Maytham wine review. As he revealed this evening, each time he does his review, he is hit with a whole plethora* of correspondence accusing him of promoting and encouraging alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Are they serious?!? Well yes, apparently, they are. And Maytham addresses their concerns by describing his review as promoting the responsible enjoyment of an alcoholic drink, in a responsible manner; as a legal and informative review of local produce.

And, of course, he’s completely right.

What these correspondents don’t seem to realise is that if John Maytham was doing a wine review in order to encourage alcoholics and promote alcohol abuse, it would be much more like this:

Agama Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Price: R65.95
White wine. Good on cereal at breakfast time. Tastes like grapes. Bloody expensive and only 12%.

Klein Steenberg Cabernet 2006
Price: R49.95
This one is red. Tasted bloody awful with my morning biscuits. Second bottle was better. 15% alcohol. That’s almost like a sherry. Yeah baby!

Cellarhand Backchat Blend 2006
Price: R19.95
Less than R20! Love it! Don’t think it tastes great, so best to down it in one. Thish ish an everyday wine and I like to drink it every day. Ish lovely.

Label Completely Blurred 2007
Price: R78.95
Eighty Randsh?!? Eighty?!? Thatsh jusht tooooo expeshive. I could get loadsh of voddy for that. Loadsh! Hey Boet! Hey there – are you looking at my girl? Nah – thatsh ok, you’re my besshtesht mate. I love you. I do.

At this point, there would be a clunk as his head hit the desk in front of him, followed the sound of loud, drunken snoring and the show would promptly end; the ensuing silence probably hastily filled in with some Josh Groban album or something. And I think we can all agree that promoting Josh Groban is clearly far more serious than promoting alcohol abuse.
So I think it’s to everyone’s advantage that Mr Maytham continues to do his weekly review in a responsible and adult manner. Keep up the good work, John.

* yes, a whole plethora. No half plethorae here.

16 thoughts on “You’re Encouraging Alcoholism!

  1. Brilliant!! Consider me a regular as from today… You a cyclist like most Capetonians?

  2. Hahahaha – also the cyclist part of the previous comment.

    I myself stick to the words “wet” “red” “white” and “tastes like crap” when it comes to wine so it’s nice to know you can turn on the radio and learn titbits to make you sound like you know what the hells going on at those white supremist dinner parties.
    So yes, he needs to carry on. Anyone seriously on the road to alcoholism isn’t too concerned how woody a wine is.

  3. I wonder what the upstanding citizens in Cape Town would think of the column “City Slucker” in PE’s newspaper.

    Although come to think of it they might have already got to him. I have not seen his pub reviews in a while.

    They would definitly have taken offence to his reviews on how many different types of beer were on hand, how cold they were and how cold his glass was.

  4. CortinaXR6 – Thanks. And welcome. But no, I don’t do cycling:

    Koosh – I believe that discussing the wine is pretty low down at white dinner parties. Once you’ve got past crime, Eskom, Zuma, Zim and the South Easter, it’s time to go home.

    SheBee – A great number of something. eg. “I have a plethora of fans”. The plural is actually just plethoraS, but I liked plethorae better. And this is my blog.

    Pamela – We’re still reeling from Ben Trovato’s wife-beating column in the Cape Times last Feburary. For a supposedly liberal city, we’re very straight-laced.

  5. phillygirl – Sadly, the age of the papsak has gone…

    Roni – I’m not surprised you’re an expert on whine. You’re a West Ham fan.

  6. Thanks for the good laugh. The second one I’ve had on the subject – the first was when I heard John Maytham read the comment about promoting alcoholism. Actually, I think he definitely promoted some red wine imbibing on my part – his descriptions are so good they send me straight home to the bottle.

  7. charmskool – I thought it was a strange thing to complain about too. But well done to JM for treating the complaints seriously. I would have just laughed. But that’s why he’s on the radio and I’m not.

  8. That is a truly hilarious post! As a recovering alcoholic (sober for 22 months) I find it absurd that some people believe that Maytham’s wine review promotes alcoholism in any way. It’s all around “us alcoholics”. The TV ads, billboards etc… Just because I choose not to over indulge anymore, it doesn’t mean everyone else should refrain from enjoying a good wine. Personally, I pretty much used to stick to the “red” “white” and “more, please” formula!

  9. Emil – Surely beer is the best thing since wi… no… wait… wine is the best thing since brandy. Brandy is the best thing since Jaegermeister.
    Beer is better still.

    CathyO – Does one say “well done” to a 22-month sober ex-alcoholic? If so – well done. I’m glad to say that have a different view to yours on wine. I stick to “red” and “more, please”.

  10. 6000 – Thanks for the kudos. If you can have a few reds, and not wake up in Mexico working a corner and calling yourself Gonzuela, then all the power to you! Heck, have one on me! It’s much safer for us all, trust me. After 22 months of not drinking, it becomes quite easy to see the funny side of things.

  11. CathyO – Well, considering that I’m in South Africa, having a few reds and waking up in Mexico working a corner and calling myself Gonzuela would be a monumental acheivement and one which would surely go down in Cape Town folklore for years to come.

    I’m going to try it.

  12. He he he! Just getting through OR Tambo on your way to Mexico will be your greatest feat, seeing that even sober people find it impossible! CathyO I dont know you from Adam, but Im proud of you!
    6000 Im surprised! Nice creative writing like yours are usualy build on a bike…

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