Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A model of its kind



We never cease to be astounded by the Pinot Noir explosion which was triggered by an inexplicably influential scene in that otherwise unremarkable film 'Sideways.' Perhaps the elevation of Pinot Noir to a pantheon previously consisting only of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot was waiting to happen. Since then, Pinot Gris or Grigio seems to have arrived in that company without any particular catalyst so maybe there is hope for others?

Peter May's book "Pinotage: behind the legend" was a title on Kindle we couldn't resist. Mr. May also wrote a book (bonkbuster?) on Merlot called something like "Marylin Merlot" which we don't feel the need to download. Otherwise, there can't be many works devoted to the history and promotion of a single variety.

"Pinotage: behind the legend" hasn't had the effect of 'Sideways' so far but is a way it is a model for what potentially could be a genre. There are some other grape varieties which could tell a story - our favourite Ramisco (in that case a tear-jerker), the Torrontes of Argentina (a mystery tale), some of the more outlandish hybrids (humour). Even Pinot Grigio/Grauburgunder has a chequered history (see Johann Seger Ruhland).

May slightly over-eggs the "legend" of Pinotage but it is still an interesting story and this book has everything you would ever want to know about the variety. We guarantee after reading this study you will go out and buy a bottle of Pinotage.

2 comments:

Peter F May for The Pinotage Club said...

Many thank for buying my book about Pinotage, and I am glad you enjoyed it. Your suggestion that it might become a 'Sideways' like film is one to keep me alert for calls from Hollywood.

It's difficult to write a book about a South African grape variety that will interest the non-specialist, the geek, the winefarmer, South Africans plus those that don't know where Souh Africa is.

As for writing a bonkbuster - if only :)

Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape is a book of interesting, funny and unusual wine labels (two are named in the title), Unfortunately the book is not on Kindle but it's heavily discounted on Amazon and the Kindle won't show well those full colour labels.

Peter F May for The Pinotage Club said...

PS - I would very much appreciate you pasting your article as a review of my book on Amazon.

Other books about grape varieties are 'Angels Visits' by David Darlington (the book I credit in my book as its inspiration) about Zinfandel, written 20 years ago before the identication of Zin) and a very interesting recent book with a dull name 'The Wild Vine' by Tod Kliman about Norton (aka Cynthiana) an American grape variety and its largest grower. (and if that doesn't satisfy you, buy like I did, 'From This Hill, my Hand, Cynthiana's Wine' by wine farmer Paul Roberts who planted it in Maryland.

Next time you are in USA please do look of for a Norton wine. Deep red and powerfully tasting