No Screw for Black Wine Consumers

Temba Mkize from Orlando-West reacting to a screw-capped wine.
Temba Mkize from Orlando-West reacting to a screw-capped wine.

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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6 thoughts on “No Screw for Black Wine Consumers

  1. Would love to see the research if possible Emile!

    Last night I opened a special Napa red from the great ’97 vintage. It must have cost me about $80 or $90 back in 2001. Been cellared perfectly, waiting for the right opportunity.

    Cut the foil carefully, inserted the corkscrew carefully and gently tried to remove the cork. The cork crumbled! Tried a few different ways to get the cork out but in the end had to push it back into the bottle which, as always, creates some mess & lots of bits of cork in the wine.

    Wine was still fine, but this just underscored why I would pay a premium for expensive wines under stelvin rather than cork!

    We bottled 33% of our 2007 reds under cork, the rest under stelvin a year ago, aiming to please those markets where cork was still preferred. In the year since then, the cork preference has gone away in most markets, except Africa.

    I bet that it will not take the savvy Black wine lovers very long to realise that there are many benefits to stelvin closures.

  2. Going through the book 1001 Wines to try before you die, I am strugging to fond a wine under Stelvin. I also sit on a modest collection of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rioja, Toro, Chianti, Super Tuscan…..all of which are closed with cork. All South Africa’s top Estates seem to prefer cork for their reds: Kanonkop, Rustenberg, Vergelegen, Waterford. Whilst I detest TCA and have had the odd crumble, it would appear that more than enough producers still believe in the old piece of Portuguese oak.

  3. Hi Guys

    I’m pretty sure this test could be conducted under the general SA wine drinking public, irrelevant of colour or race and the conclusion will be the same. We all associate screw-caps with cheap and to be honnest they are. (cheaper then cork 🙂

  4. What an incredibly racist post. Is this really supposed to be about wine or just an opportunity to talk about how “backwards” the “bejeweled Mama’s” and “darkies” are? Very poor taste.

  5. The information is extremely important for those of us involved in the wine industry, as perceptions of the black market are extremely important if we are going to succeed in growing this market, which we love as much as we do our wines. Racist! No way – here at Winegoggle we love Mama Miriam Makeba more than anybody.

  6. I am a black women trying to break into the wine industry, our company does wine tasting and food and wine pairiings.When we opened this company our market was black wine consumers because of this “black diamond” hype, little did we know that we would literally have to dig in peoples pockets. Yes the screwscap closure is very unpopular with wine drinkers whether black or white, and from my experience a lot of black people would be interested in buying “kraal sounding “brands as we feel that we have some involvement in the industry. The reason most blacks still buy fourcousins and jc le roux is largely because of the advertising and is the first wines that black people are exposed to. Your article was not interesting and you simply wanted to reinforce black stereotypes, u should have done an article on the working class wine consumer and leave the racial slurs out of it.This is by no means market research maybe racial research sets a more appropriate tone.

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