I was at a wine farm this weekend for a wine tasting (part of a bachelor party outing, I’ll have you know), and perused the tasting notes of one of the wines we had in front of us.
The one observation referred to the wine in question as ‘supple,’ which amused me no end. To refer to a wine as supple is almost as notable as another one I recall from a few years ago – where the wine was said to be ‘pretending to be a such-and-such wine, but is too lively to get away with it.’
It’s unbelievable that a wine could, essentially, be said to be playing mind games with the consumer, like it’s a living thing. Such is the world of wine, a world where clever marketing collides with ancient history and etiquette.
So much so, that a recent survey of 1 000 British wine drinkers (detailed on thedrinksbusiness.com) found that 92% of Brits feel obliged to order a white or rosé wine in summer, even though half of them would prefer a red. Imagine being dictated to, to a point where you are consuming something that you don’t feel like? How terribly tragic.
I never did care about a cork versus a screw top, and I’m told a screw top is actually better for the wine in the long run. From a convenience standpoint, there is no debate, but you can’t deny that at R200, the Rupert Optima would lose some appeal if it didn’t have a genuine cork to pull.
We want that ceremony when it comes to better wines, don’t we? All part of the show, of course. That said, their affordable Protea range of reds, whites and rosé has a very unique cork that doesn’t need an opener at all.
I took a while to get into my red wine and never really understood the room temperature thing. I used to casually plop a block of ice in it without much thought until, one day, my little habit was called out by a wine snob.
Apparently, it was akin to using truffle oil in a Michelin star restaurant. I became more surreptitious with my dirty little secret until, one day, I read the Vanity Fair’s back-page interview, this time with everybody’s favourite, Diane Keaton.
The one question for her was, ‘what is your favourite thing?’ Keep in mind it wasn’t specifically booze or wine-related.
Her answer? “Red wine with ice.” Well, there you have it. If Diane Keaton says it’s fine then SURELY… it’s fine!
Further research shows that Diane put her money where her mouth is and has launched her own affordable wine, which uses the crazy notion of ice as its main marketing angle. You can read more about that here.
Even with such progressive defiance by one of Hollywood’s favourites, you’ll be surprised to note that “almost half said they have never tried red wine chilled, while 29% think doing so would be against wine etiquette”.
Imagine that. Imagine NEVER having tried chilled red wine. Imagine refusing to have a bloody nice red on a hot day, with ice. These are dark red days indeed. And yes, I get that ice waters down the wine and the end result is not the same as what the winemaker wanted you to experience.
But I think we’re missing something here. What if… now I know this will be hard to digest… but what if I FEEL LIKE IT?
Maybe I want to forge my own path, wine snobs. Let me spread my wings, let Diane spread hers, and I expect you to do the same.
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