Hard Tack for Veritas

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From this year, brandy producers are also able to submit their elixir for judging at the Veritas Wine Awards, South Africa’s foremost wine competition. This will no doubt lead to a deserved heightened awareness of South Africa’s great brandies by allowing them to take-up shelf-space adorned in those flashy golden stickers which attract consumers like a pot of coffee Pinotage attracts self-proclaimed vinous pessimists.

By introducing brandy to Veritas, the connection between brandy and the grape will also be underscored. This is necessary.,You will amazed to discover how many consumers are unaware of the fact that brandy is made from wine made from grapes. All the in-your-face whisky marketing of malt and barley has lead a disconcerting numbers of consumers to believe that any brown spirit is made to the whisky recipe.

However, there is a huge difference between brandy and wine when it comes to judging and competitions.

The biggest being is that brandy is not a product influenced by vintage variation. The job of a brandy master is ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ like the whisky brewer ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ to ensure consistency of product year-after-hear, decade-after-decade. In other words, Klipdrift Gold and Oude Meester, KWV Imoya and Van Ryn’s-whatever has to taste the same every year. This is the business of liquor branding.,For this consistency, vast vaults of brandies ranging from between three to eighty years are kept. So that when it is time to bottle the stuff, the exact same flavour profile is sought as the previous bottling. And the one before that.

This is where wine, obviously, differs immensely. Many a wine producer has gone from three Gold Medal hero to one Bronze zero in a single year when harvesting conditions on his or her farm were not as favourable as the previous year.

So what the brandy judges will be doing, is basically tasting the same entrants each year, with a new producer added to the mix each year. One long yawn. And if Brandy Chateau,Awesome wins Gold one year, how are you going to score it down in the following competition if it is the same product?

No, the whole system has not been thought through. This is a pity, as it confirms suspicions that Veritas is ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ despite its justified credibility on the,judging,front – not far behind Fridjhon’s Old Mutual Trophy Show in terms of commercial randiness.

With brandy in the fray, more entry fees can be copped, more guests invited to pay for the lavish dinner and who knows, possibly one or two new sponsorships can also be attracted to adding to the coffers.

Awarding gongs to,so-called winemakers who only rock-up at filled-tanks of already made wines,to blend house,products for supermarkets has already dented the sterling reputation of Veritas as an awards ceremony of excellence. The brandy gamble could cause a further dip, and I look forward to the marketing pitch needed to stop the slide.

But I wish you the best of luck!

-,,Darien Morgan

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