The John Platter Wine Guide
The John Platter Wine Guide is an authoritative reference handbook that covers all aspects of wine in South Africa, including cellars, vineyards, wine routes, wine makers, and, the raison de être for the publication, ratings and tasting notes for thousands of South African wines.
Foremost, Platter’s South African Wines is intended as a guide. Published annually, it provides a year-on-year comparison of vintages, and keeps the wine adoring public abreast of new producers and releases and the season’s most outstanding wines.
Comprehensive enough to satisfy serious oenophiles, the guide strives to appeal to all levels of wine lovers by including such wine-related activities as restaurants, food and wine pairings, and winelands accommodation. The latest version also has GPS coordinates for all 750 producers featured and a guide to wine farms that cater to otherly-abled visitors.
Wine producers are invited to submit their full range of wines for inclusion in the guide. The humungous task of tasting over 6 400 wines falls to 15 veteran wine experts. During the process, a short list of truly exceptional wines begins to emerge. These are entered into a second round of tasting. Following a third blind tasting, the highest scoring wines are given a 5-star rating, and a winery and wine of the year is chosen.
Platter’s wine ratings are disputed as much as they are coveted, but publisher Andrew McDowell is quick to point out that 'it's a wine guide, not a wine competition'. To wit, categories like Buy Now, Drink Later; Superquaffer of the Year; Exceptionally Drinkable; and Well Priced are aimed at ensuring all wine drinking budgets and palates are catered for.