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Ou Suipie is Confused.  Maybe a better word might be Bewildered.

Some of you might remember the following dialog, from the film A Fish Called Wanda:

          Wanda (to Otto):  But you think you’re an intellectual, don’t you, ape?

          Otto (superior smile): Apes don’t read philosophy

          Wanda Yes they do, Otto, They just don’t understand it

Suipie is interested in Astrophysics.  But has to wonder (Wanda) if his grasp on it is as tenuous as Otto’s understanding of philosophy.

Somewhere somebody wrote of an elderly Negro gentleman being taken to watch one of the Apollo missions lift off.  He had been born during the Civil War so must have been a hundred years old.  He was asked what he thought of the mighty rocket launch.  “Well,” he said (or words to this effect), “I seen something going, but where to I don’t know.”

There seems to be increasing public interest now in physics.  The more we learn the more puzzling it becomes, as Douglas Adams in his book the Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy predicted.  We seem to all agree that it somehow began with the Big Bang.  Terry Pratchett remarked, however:” The current state of knowledge can be summarised thus: in the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”

Who has heard of LIGO?  The Laser Inferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.  Some said it was the nightmare idea of a lunatic.  It consists in two vacuum tunnels 4000 meters long, set at right angles to each other.  At the end of each is a mirror.  At precisely the same moment a laser shoots a beam of light down both tunnels at each mirror, which bounce back.  Light travels at 186 000 miles a second, right?  Somehow, incredibly, they can measure if the one beam arrives after the other.  Sometimes this happens.  This is called detecting a Gravity Wave.  Caused by a massive explosion billions of years ago, the remaining force is enough to interfere in the speed of a light beam, thus proving one of Einstein’s predictions. 

The disturbance is 1/10 000 (one ten thousandth) of the “charge diameter of a proton.”  We don’t even know if there is a physical object called by that name.  It may just be energy.

So, you see, for someone like Suipie who still never understood how a needle could sit in a groove on a record and produce sound (don’t even start on how something not as big as a pack of cards can hold thousands of songs), this is mind blowing.  Reality has become an LSD trip. 

Suipie is pretty sure of one thing though:  nobody wants to read about the confused state of his mental faculties, so to those who have hung in there until now, well done one and all!

Beer:  proof that God wants us to be happy.  That unspeakable genius Megan Gemmell has produced a new one that has truly made the old Suipie very happy indeed.  Suipie is sure he mentioned it before: Pitter.  It’s a cross between porter and bitter, a dark beer naturally.  Suipie was drinking one and tasted, hops?  Hops? Surely not, but there it was.  A lovely sort of bitterness, to take an edge off the creamy smoothness.

As the saying goes, however, failing all else, read the instructions.  And there it was: a touch of chili.  Suipie means just that: a touch.  It is just enough to make this beer so interesting.  Megan, you are a star!

Suipie found, after not seeing it for a while, some of Leeuwenkuil’s Chenin.  He wrote about it a long time ago.  The winemaker commented that this wine is like when you are at a braai, and sauce goes all over your new white shirt, but you don’t care.  That is exactly the effect that this wine has on you.  It makes you very happy.  Remarkably well priced, just perfect for summer.

Suipie has been heavily criticised in the past for saying that he thinks there is a difference between male and female winemakers.  Well, in fact, of course there is, you can (mostly) at a glance tell which is which, but what Suipie means is in the style of wine.  Suipie somehow wonders if there isn’t maybe a sort of delicateness (if such a word exists) to lady wines.  Probably this is rubbish but it’s fun anyway.

What reminded Suipie of this was Tierhoek up there near Clanwilliam.  Suipie is a huge fan of their’s.  Winemaker? Shelly Sandell.  They have nothing but great wines.  Suipie likes in particular their Chenin and Grenache.  Close by is the area known as Skurfberg, rather nicely described by Tim James as a “rather scruffy outcrop between Clanwilliam and the Atlantic.”

The whole region seems to have become a really rather good wine one.  Dry land, and anything but a traditional wine area, all sorts of folk are now sourcing grapes from there.  Old vines, cool nights in those high hills, good soils, low yields.  These are not unique to that area of course but it all counts.  When you get the good grapes you don’t need so much cellar intervention, and you then get wine as nature meant it to be.

It is so exciting that wine production is expanding, and Suipie does not mean only in areas, but also from the increasing number of female winemakers as well.  But do look out for wines from the Citrusdal/Olifant’s Rivier area.

Back to the ladies:  after Duncan Savage left Cape Point Vineyards, Riandri Visser took over as winemaker.  Suipie had one of her Sauvignon Blancs recently.  He rests his case.  Duncan was (and is) one of the top, top winemakers here.  Suipie doesn’t know if Riandri is at that level yet, because she is still young as winemakers go, but there seemed to be something difference about the wine, a lightness perhaps.

Suipie read once that restauranteurs always cater for different tastes, as far as males and females go.  Men want the red meat, this is speaking in very broad terms of course, women want less heavy stuff.  Suipie thinks there is some truth in this, if his own family is anything to go by.

So all he will say is that Riandri’s wine is different. Of course, it’s a different year and different conditions, but its also a different winemaker, and if you ask is it a better wine, Suipie cannot say.

But what he will say though is :VIVE LA FEMME!