Tasting for the Peoples

Pendock - tasting.
Pendock - tasting.

Six hundred wines. Tasted by six wine-lovers over three days. For one wine guide.
Tasting for the first edition of The People’s Wine Guide, a new independently published wine guide aimed at guiding wine-buyers who prefer to do their purchasing at the country’s major supermarkets and liquor chains, commenced this week in Cape Town’s The Nose Wine Bar. The 600 wines were submitted by wineries from throughout the country for the judges’ scrutiny, with these views being made public when the People’s Wine Guide hits the bookshelves in September.
According to Neil Pendock, who is writing the book in conjunction with wine-author and former restaurateur Michael Olivier, The People’s Wine Guide aims to assist consumers in their selections, as well as to highlight the tremendous diversity and excellent quality of wines found in supermarkets at reasonable prices.
“Most of the media and other guides tend to focus on the merits of wines made in limited quantities that carry price-tags out of the reach of most and are also not readily available to the public,” says Pendock., “The People’s Wine Guide is exactly that: a guide for members the average wine-buying public instead of a lofty tome full of wine-speak focusing on the so-called wine expert. The wines they have become familiar with through their supermarket purchases, as well as a couple of exciting new discoveries made by lesser-known producers will be incorporated. The writing style, layout and general tone of the book will be just as accessible as the price and quality of the wines reviewed.”
Pendock says that unlike the country’s largest wine guide, tasting for The People’s Wine Guide is blind, meaning that the judges are not privy to the relevant wine in their glass.
“This allows us to make a true independent judgement without prejudice or subjective views, something that has been proven to sway tasters’ opinions,” says Pendock.
Olivier, who is also a former wine and food consultant to Pick ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ën Pay, says that the amount of wine sold in supermarkets is increasing on a monthly basis.
“With the selection of wines available to supermarket shoppers increasing, it has become necessary for a guide aimed at helping them wade their way through the aisles,” he says. “And just as these shoppers have unique needs in their wine purchasers, a guide is needed to assist them with their selections.”
Besides Pendock and Olivier, the tasters are Norma Ratcliffe, winemaker and proprietor of Warwick Wine Estate, Cathy Marston, former owner of the Nose Wine Bar, sommelier David Msebi and Portuguese winemaker and commentator An?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?-íbal Coutinho.

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