No pity for Platter palates

It’s that time of year again when the crew of 15-odd tasters (ie. about 15 tasters, not 15 tasters who are a bit odd) responsible for the Platter’s South African Wine Guide are getting stuck into the thousands of of samples submitted by South Africa’s 600+ wine brands and wineries.

Platter's South African Wine Guide 2011The Platter’s is widely acknowledged as one of the leading wine resources in the world. Updated annually, it provides cellar door details, industry and tourism information, and an overview (and rating) of just about every wine in the country. The 2012 edition will be the 32nd since it was first created by John and Erica Platter. While the guide has its critics and detractors (the wines are tasted sighted – meaning that the tasters know exactly what brand and wine they’re tasting at the time) what cannot be denied is that the popular Christmas stocking stuffer is valuable to wine lovers and winelands tourists alike. Even if it’s just for the phone numbers as some critics like to claim.

The Platter’s team of tasters include some of the better-known South African wine personalities; writers, judges, winemakers and sommeliers. Many of these are active on social media platforms or their own blogs, and in the next few weeks we’ll start to see increasing comments about the process and the tough task of tasting all of those wines that they have to get through. Some updates will give insight into the process, others will say a lot of nothing, while perhaps hinting at a few of the wines possibly going through for a coveted 5 Star rating. But what is inevitable will be the ‘woe is me’ comments about having to taste loads of interesting wines all day.

Oh come on.

Yes, it’s not an easy task. Yes, you’ll have stained teeth and probably a headache or two. Yes, coming up with another description for a Wine of Origin Western Cape Cab Merlot blend is not inspiring stuff.

But remember us poor shmos reading your blogs and tweets, who would love the opportunity to be tasked with doing nothing but taste wine for a month. We’d be more than willing to step in for a year (probably just one!); try wines that we rarely see or could never afford to purchase with no buyers’ remorse! Imagine having cases of wine arriving on your doorstep, in desperate need of opening and drinking.

Hell, I could think of worse jobs! 🙂

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