I am a fan of Windhoek beer and love their adverts encouraging people to keep it real. Apart from avoiding air punching, fanciful cocktails and bright coloured G-strings, their promise is to keep their product natural and free from additives.
I have noticed a swing in wine tourism of late, which pleases me greatly, notably the quest for reliable and knowledgeable wine specialists. The Oxford dictionary defines a specialist as: a person who specialises in a particular branch of profession. So in terms of wine tourism, we assess this in terms of qualification and most importantly, accredited qualification. It is important to assess the status of an institution when determining the validity of qualification. When considering where and through whom to study, the first question to consider is whether or not the course and institution is Theta accredited (www.theta.org.za) or to put it mildly, you could be wasting your time.
Visitors to South Africa have great expectations when booking a winelands tour. Apart from the scenery and wineries they expect a knowledgable and experienced wine guide; experience is invaluable when discussing the difference between Meritage wines and Bordeaux, or the contribution of Gaja and Antinori. Genuine knowledge and experience cannot be bought, it is earned.
Part of keeping it real for us in 2010, is not to raise wine tour prices during June and July, to continue to employ accredited wine specialists and to refrain from putting ice in wine.