Very few people I know feel like celebrating at the moment. Load-shedding hovers around stage 6 with winter still a month or two off; either through incompetence or something considerably more sinister the National Prosecuting Authority has failed to bring any of the known perpetrators of state capture close to retribution; tired of putting both his feet in his mouth our absent president has elected to plead the Fifth; our major metros are in the hands of brigands. Theft and corruption have become our national sport and constitute our best chance for gold at the Brics Olympics. Why would anyone even consider buying a bottle of fizz?

Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the playwright who owned the Theatre Royal in London’s Drury Lane and stood watching as it burnt to the ground in 1809, reputedly remarked: “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.” With very little to celebrate we may as well reach for the best...

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