Entries tagged with “Reg lascaris”.


Platter's South African Wine Guide 2014 'Aquamarine' EditionSlowly a number of changes are being introduced to the publishing and marketing of ‘Platter’s South African Wines’ since JP Rossouw took over as Publisher of the wine guide about six months ago.  Not all the changes may be to the liking of the wine estates, users, and advertisers of the Guide.

For the first time Platter’s has advertised!  Yesterday I saw an advertisement for Platter’s in the Sunday Times Food Weekly supplement, advertising the Guide, with its newish parent Diners Club benefiting from it too.   The advertisementPlatter ad Whale Cottage bears the headline ‘Platter’s Wine Guide discovers the perfect pairing’, being a self-aggrandizing accolade to the marriage between Platter’s and Diners Club!  The copy reads: ‘Platter’s Wine Guide, South Africa’s original and most authoritative guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Winelands, has the perfect partner in Diners Club, the world’s original and most prestigious charge card. Platter’s has always been  the go-to-guide to discovering, rating, pairing and sharing South African wines. Now there’s a quick and easy way to also enjoy Platter’s on your mobile device or desktop. Filled with the latest wine news, festival alerts, hot picks and competitions, Platter’s has become an even more valuable guide.  Whether you are shopping for wine, wanting to learn more, or need help planning a trip to cellars, Platter’s will enhance your journey. No App required.  Simply go to www.wineonaplatter.com to subscribe’.  The pay-off line is corny and meaningless: ‘When your thirst for knowledge coincides with the means to enjoy it, you BELONG‘!  One would hope that Rossouw was not the copywriter of this nonsensical ad, given his past copywriting career!  More likely is that the advertisement comes from the Marketing department of Diners Club, the give-away being that it contains the Facebook page address and Twitter handle of Diners Club, but not of Platter’s, a bizarre omission! (more…)

Clem Sunter Book Whale Cottage PortfolioWhat an amazing experience it was to sit next to Clem Sunter at the 5th anniversary of the Thursday Club lunch at Buitenverwachting yesterday, the guest of the wine estate’s PR consultant Sandy Bailey.  At the lunch Sunter’s new book ‘21st Century Megatrends: perspectives from a Fox‘ was launched.  Sunter was the first speaker at the Thursday Club at its launch five years ago.

We were welcomed with a choice of a glass of Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir or Meifort (a blend of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon).  Sunter was already in the restaurant, and was happy to pose for a photograph, volunteering to move away from the glass door so that the light did not affect the photograph, clearly an old hand at this.   We started chatting before the lunch started, and I received a quick overview of his talk, and learnt a lot more about him.

Christopher Sunter was born in the UK, the only son of a mother he was very close to, and went to school at Winchester College. At school Sunter played the guitar, and the first song he sang was ‘Oh my Darling Clementine‘, which led to his classmates calling him ‘Clem‘ after the song, and the name stuck.  He went to Oxford, and there he started a band with his friend, called the Clem & John Band.  His biggest claim to fame is the fact that the band co-headed a concert in Oxford at which the Rolling Stones performed as well, in June 1964, and he ended off his talk with this information.  We were lucky to have Clem sing for us at the table, his face lighting up as he did so. He shared that he performed with eleven other CEOs at a concert at The Barnyard in Johannesburg last year, organised by Reg Lascaris, the proceeds going Clem Sunter Clem Whale Cottage Portfolioto charity.  He sang ‘Peggy Sue‘ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes‘ at the concert, and ‘Peggy Sue‘ for us at the table too.  Should his career as a scenario planner ever fail, which is highly unlikely, he can fall back into a career as singer!  Sunter also is very funny, saying that every year for three weeks he lived in the home in which his mother lived before she passed away. Every evening they were served a glass of wine, and he told a funny story about the residents of the home which brought the house down as he started his talk.   Sunter joined Anglo in London after university, and moved to Anglo Zambia in 1971, and then to Anglo South Africa two years later, serving as a Non-Executive Director of the company now, as well as consulting to corporates around the world as a scenario planner, and writing books.  Sunter has owned a holiday house in Simonstown for a number of years already, and he and his wife plan to move to Cape Town next year, a ‘semi-gration trend’, he said.  They live in Rosebank in Johannesburg and he said that he loves living in Africa, and feels completely at home in this country.  Two of his three children live outside South Africa, one of them in Perth, which caused a laugh as I had asked him whether we need to pack for Perth again, which he now refers to ‘parched Perth’ due to the impact of climate change on Australia. (more…)

FLF2As the 8th Franschhoek Literary Festival draws near, it is advisable to book the writer panel sessions as soon as possible, as they get booked out well in advance.  The more well-known the writer/s on the panels, the quicker they are booked out.   In addition to an intensive programme of talks from Friday until Sunday this coming weekend (16 – 18 May), entertainment is also available in the evenings.

The Festival is noble in generating funds for the Franschhoek Literary Festival Library Fund, for the following:

*  donating books to schools and creches

*  employing a librarian to work with four primary school libraries in the Franschhoek area, and part-time library assistants

*   visiting schools, reading and story-telling

*   Book Week for Young Readers, which is being held this week

*   Wine Writers prizes of R12500 each, in two categories: six to eight short pieces of 1000 words each, from a blog or column; and a long piece of 1000 – 4000 words. Winners to be selected by a panel, usually chaired by John Maytham.  Last year the prize was (more…)

Diners Club Winemaker of the YearTwice this past weekend über-nasty Neil Pendock has publicly shared that he has been fired from the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judging panel, clearly very angry about this, and lashing out at Diners Club, its CEO Ebrahim Matthews, and its management and Board members.

One wonders how precocious Pendock can be surprised about being fired, when he:

*   has attacked the ‘Platter’s South African Wines 2014’ guide and the evaluation of wines in it ever since his services as a wine taster were no longer required.  The Guide is now owned by Diners Club.  He described the Platter’s Guide as ‘a cynical vuvuzela for fashionable wine brands‘!

*   has implied that as a director of Diners Club, Reg Lascaris’ part ownership of Boekenhoutskloof has earned its Cabernet Sauvignon a 5-star rating in the Platter’s guide.  He asks: ‘…is the Reg Lascaris/Diners Club cosy monopoly about to be challenged?’

*   wrote critically about the Diners Club gala dinner held at La Residence ten (more…)