I have a Calvinist guilt-ethic deeply ingrained: it is slightly immoral to imbibe wine before midday on weekends and before 5pm on weekdays. I call these times ‘wine-o-clock’ and my husband, who is a whisky drinker, calls them ‘for-whom-the-Bell’s-tolls-time’. (Bell’s being a popular brand of Old Scotch Whisky sold here.) So, drinking a fine French Chablis at 9am made me feel a tad delinquent … for all of thirty seconds; until Janice soothed my conscience with her comment that “It’s 12 o clock somewhere in the world”.

Janice had invited me to attend her ‘Uncorked 2 / Part One: Old World Wine ’ course at The Wine School Johannesburg on Saturday morning. An absolute treat if, like me, you are interested in both wines and history. Our group was delightfully well-matched and five hours flew past, with almost too much information to absorb in a sitting. We quaffed while we learned: I didn’t know that Pinotage is the only grape that has its origin in South Africa, all other varietals are grafted from imported vines.

What we drank:
Louis Latour Chablis around R165 p/b
Guigal Cote du Rhone around R125 p/b
Chateau Fourcas Hosten – Listrac – Medoc – R245 p/b
Zonin Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – R58
MARQUES DE RISCAL (RIOJA) Reserva – around R245 p/b

A very amusing anecdote came to the fore, thanks to Janice about the Spanish lisp. Apparently it was an edict issued by one of the Spanish kings who had a lisp and wanted his people to speak like him. I’ve subsequently discovered it’s an urban legend, but I think it’s a lovely story.

Thank you so much, Janice, it was such a treat and I can’t wait for the 24th for the second leg of the course.

Go read these fellow attendees’ blogs for their take on the experience:




66 Comments Add yours

  1. Rachelle says:

    Take me with you next time. I have NOTHING to do on a saturday morning and I never feel guilty about drinking wine!! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Haha, I felt guilty for a VERY short time 😉

  2. That must have been a fun and enlightening morning.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was jolly good fun, according to Janice we’ll all be wine gurus at the end of it 🙂

  3. SidevieW says:

    What a lovely experience. I’m completely amazed that I know something you don’t know – re the Pinotage grapes.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Shows we’re never to old to learn 🙂

  4. adeeyoyo says:

    …and a verrrry merrrrry time was had by all, hahaha! Glad you enjoyed it and hope you learned some</b)thing…

    1. theonlycin says:

      I learned a lot, adee 🙂

  5. earlybird says:

    Sounds like a really interesting morning. Were you drinking or spitting? 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Glugging happily 🙂

  6. Ricardo says:

    as long as you see a plane flying over, its fine to consume wine at any time 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yep, keep an eye on the heavens 🙂

  7. Het jy al Val de Vie se wyne geproe? Veral die Ryk Neethling een?

  8. Leeswammes says:

    That looks so nice! I love a day that’s spent on your hobby. My Sunday was a bit like that: a (much bigger) day on writing and reading in a nearby library. Great fun, such events.

    1. theonlycin says:

      That must have been a treat for you, Judith 🙂

  9. sonsothunder says:

    Yeah, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere:
    Interesting though, I was thinking
    the “First Sighting” that you posted
    about the other night was “South African”
    Oh well, my post joking about the FB brand
    hehe, the other night shows how much I know
    about it. Although, I have been known to take a
    Bit of burgundy with beef, and certainly had my Bell
    Tolled on the Scotch a time or two…God Bless You ,

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, the First Sighting is proudly South African 🙂 xxx

  10. Such a pity we didn’t patent the pinotage thing.
    Looking forward to hearing about the second leg.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy your evening, Mandy 🙂

  11. nursemyra says:

    I like your necklace Cindy

  12. Tandy says:

    I just so love the husbands equivalent of wine o clock! Looks like you guys had a great time 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a great gift, this course, and I am eternally grateful to Janice 🙂

  13. Sparkle says:

    Hi Mem, don’t leave us for too long without posting hey?!
    Have a lovely afternoon 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Sparky, I am just extremely busy at the moment. 🙂

  14. bluebee says:

    That looks like fun, Cin – I didn’t know that about pinotage either- interesting

    1. theonlycin says:

      It is interesting, bluebee 🙂

  15. spicegirlfla says:

    That is one way to kick start your weekend! And what a fabulous time exploring new wines. I’d love to find an informative class to take; mostly I stop in those wine tastings where you really just drink and there’s not much “history” spoken about the wines.

    1. theonlycin says:

      This course comes with a user manual of notes and you get a certificate at the end of it 🙂

  16. SuziCate says:

    I love “wine o’clock”! Going out of town for a three day weekend and hoping to get by for a tour of my favorite winery!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy it, SuziCate, safe travels 🙂

  17. johnell74 says:

    Cin, though my only connections with whisky are that my Dad loved Bells, and my son lives near Campbeltown Loch in Scotland, I loved “wine o’clock”, and the story about a Spanish king’s lisp.
    Thanks for the post.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for stopping by, John 🙂

  18. Looks like everyone had a great time. Love your hair.

  19. nrhatch says:

    Sounds like a fine wine time! 😀

  20. gospelwriter says:

    “It’s 12 o clock somewhere in the world” – must remember, must remember… 🙂

    And I love that version of the Spanish lisp’s origin, even if it is just urban legend.

  21. Pseu says:

    Did you swallow, or spit?

    It’s 7.30 pm, and not a drop has passed my lips – Yet!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Swallowed … except for the Montepulciano which was not up my alley 🙂

      1. theonlycin says:

        Goodness, Pseu, 7.30!!!

  22. slpmartin says:

    Oh…the use of universal time (‘somewhere it’s ____’) I’m certain I used during most of my time at university. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehe, so you know it 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Memorable, Celia 🙂

  23. bandsmoke says:

    A well-deserved treat – what a fun way to spend the day doing something that you love 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Too true, Bandy 🙂

  24. What a fabulous way to spend a morning…

    1. theonlycin says:

      And there’s one just like it again soon 😀

  25. Janice says:

    Cindy rates as one of my new favourite students. She added a wonderful dimension to the course and as we tasted wines from different countries we mentally paired foods. I look very forward to the sabrage which Cindy will perform on a bottle of champagne at the next lesson.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Aw thanks 🙂 Now let’s hope I don’t get all performance-anxious 😉

  26. Jealous!!!! That must have been such fun 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh it was just the best fun 🙂

  27. i always enjoy when u add a picture of u

  28. The Hook says:

    What a great title! I wish I drank!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I shall toast to you then 🙂

  29. libraryscene says:

    Just had this wine/time convo with a friend when we kicked off college game season with a glass at noon. I said I was a bit of a Puritan in that way~

    1. theonlycin says:

      It seems very decadent to drink before the official wine-time 🙂

  30. Naomi says:

    LOL…dangerous thought there, Janice (12 O’clock somewhere in the world)! We were just chatting yesterday about the lisp story, which I’ve heard from other sources, and thought could be true – but I’ll take it from you if not. Even so, it would be interesting to know why certain Spanish dialects incorporate the “th” sound, while others use the soft “s” (like my Chilean teacher). Perhaps I should look it up 🙂

  31. pinkpolkadotfood says:

    What a great class!

  32. Tokeloshe says:


    Thanks for sharing a photo of yourself.
    I love your hair!

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