I was recently asked by an international visitor the standard question we all get at some or other stage: “which is your favourite wine?”. Dare I say that I am known to blush quite easily as I struggle to answer this seemingly innocent question.
Blushing has been part of my life ever since I turned six and discovered that my two older brothers were anatomically different to myself. Since then, being truthful when asked questions has also taken its toll, because the honest truth is I genuinely love all wine, except badly made wine. There is ever chance that I may create the impression that I drink copious amounts of wine and do not differentiate between them, hence the fear of blushing…
In vino veritas, as the saying goes, and the old adage of “you get what you pay for” rings true, to a point. There really are amazingly good wines under R50 and also uneventful wines at R150. Which wine ends up in your basket should be based on what you enjoy drinking. However, if you are purchasing wine for a cross-section of people perhaps your final selection will not reflect your personal preference.
Today a colleague asked what I thought about the Diemersfontein Pinotage? My answer was truthful: it has a following, a specific market that loves that coffee, mocho chocolate, red berry compote that it offers. Do I drink it? Yes, I have had it, but I prefer to have my coffee in the morning and red wine after 4pm. However, here’s a wine fact: KWV have excelled with their Cafe Culture Pinotage, selling out year on year. The reason is easy to understand: there is a market for the wine in terms of price point, style, accessibility, easy drinking, soft tannins – I could go on, but then you would think I love the wine!
Having thought about how we can damn a wine or inflate its importance, I thought about my other passion – cheese. On its own, untoasted, cheese offers a totally different experience in terms of texture and flavour. Cheese put under the grill changes personality and even takes on a oily appearance. The same with wine: use a different barrel with a heavier toasting and you are bound to effect changes that are loved by some and loathed by others.
Cheese, sorry Cheers!