I,RECENTLY,paid an obscene amount of money for some research into consumers’ preference in the black wine market. Unfortunately I cannot divulge the confidential findings on how alcohol users in Soweto and Cape Town townships make their decisions on which wines to buy. (Interested parties can contact via a comment.) However, one piece of information I deem interesting is the unanimous consensus among black wine-drinkers that screw-cap closures are a definite no-no.
Upon presenting the focus groups with various bottles, those with screw-cap closures immediately received the thumbs-down from every member of the group. And no, the reason for the rejection of screw-cap wine closures has nothing to do with saving the greater Iberian fruit bat or the lesser spotted rock ring gerbil. Black wine drinkers deem screw-caps associate screw-caps with cheap wines of poor quality and an embarrassment on the bar counter, wine shelf or table. One bejewelled Mama said: “I’d rather be seen in a second-hand Toyota than opening a screw-cap.”
Corks were a symbol of wine representing traditional values gained from quality and a classic wine-making approach.
The wineries rushing to the screw-cap option obviously know thus and are not interested in the black market. But the top wine brands in this market ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ Baronne, Four Cousins and JC le Roux are where they are because of their cork preference.
The second biggest blooper a winery pitching itself in the black market can make is to give itself some kraal-sounding name with clicks, clangs en issies. As one member of the focus group said: “Just because we are darkies doesn’t mean we prefer products with black names.”
We may flaunt democracy, but when it comes to wine we South Africans are still very far apart, as anyone privy to this research can see.
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