Reviews Published

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bored with good wine?

“I rather like bad wine,” somebody once said. “One gets so bored with good wine.”
They must have been insane.

I’ve had some good wine lately. Kanonkop Pinotage 1998 that’s strong on berry, yet well-rounded, and was it a hint of chocolate there at the back of the throat? It almost made me forget my latest love: Waipara Hills Waipara Pinot Gris - Gold Medal And Trophy Winner, which gave me apricot and almond in a creamy texture. Then there was the surprise: Wild South Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - I don't usually do Sauv Blanc, but I was tempted this once, and the one-lunch stand proved exceptional, with just the right amount of citrus and lime.

I’ve also had some exceptionally bad wine. A bottle of corked Villa Maria Reserve that tasted of fizzy burnt car tyres, for example. It provided many a laugh, but, ultimately, I would have preferred to taste the unspoiled thing.

I also tasted a few high-end bottles of New Zealand Pinot Noir, which would have been ok in isolation, but I had the misfortune of tasting them in a comparison match between New Zealand and French wines. I ended up spitting out most of the New Zealand ones. I mean, how can you drink a Pegasus Bay when you have a Nicolas Potel Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru La Combe au Moine 2002 next to it?

So if you are ever bored with good wine, please let me know. I’ll give you the address to which you can ship it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Desert Warrior

Nalini Singh spins a real Arabian Tale with her “Desert Warrior” (Silhouette Books, Desire). It’s a pure romance set in a fictional sheikdom, and part of the fun reading this book is learning about the country, its people, the customs and the minerals unique to the region. It’s a little like reading a fantasy book and getting to discover a new (imaginary) world.

The sheik is an alpha male supreme, of course. Handsome, passionate and powerful, his darker moods are easily provoked by possessiveness and memories of a past hurt.

The heroine is superbly equipped to deal with her sheik: she has all her love, plus her quiet feminine determination to earn the love of the man she’s once rejected.

It’s a good book to read when on a day when your belief in true love is ebbing and you can do with a chocolate balm for your emotions.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Shadow

The Shadow” by Shelley Munro (just published by Medallion Press) is a humorous tale of a she cat burglar in training. I’m ashamed to admit that the first thing that attracted me to the book was the cover: a cartoon of an elegant black cat tiptoeing towards a huge sparkly diamond. I love cats and I’d be crazy not to like diamonds.

But after reading the first paragraph, I was hooked on the style, on the characters and on the glamorous setting. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

What can I say about Al Gore’s Global Warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, that hasn’t been said already? Fascinating, eye-opening, scientifically sound, a must-see - these are all clich├ęs.

But I’ll tell you one thing. All the sceptics who say that global warming is cyclic, that we’ve had one in the middle ages, that global warming is just a theory... they can’t possibly have seen the data or they would have realised how wrong they are. So, if you are one of them, please go see the movie. And if you’re not, you will have seen it already.

This is certainly the best (not to mention the most important) movie I’ve seen in a long time.

Which reminds me: don’t bother with “The Wild”. “The Wild” is the story of “Finding Nemo” using “The Lion King” characters placed in a “Madagascar” setting, with a few in-jokes from “Pirates of the Caribbean 2”. And, judging by the trailers, we have a “Babe” the talking piglet remake too, this one called ”Charlotte’s Web”.

Come on, screenwriters, surely there are some original ideas out there? Not to blow my own trumpet, or anything.