Crystal Ball for 2010 Wine Industry



Being snowed in at Edinburgh International Airport over New Year is not all that much fun. Not only did I get head-butted by a Scottish waiter at a make-shift diner for telling him his haggis was cold, but I missed the connecting flights to summery Cape Town.

Whilst chatting up and attractive Eastern Europe lady who I had ascertained was not a porn star, stripper or toilet cleaner, she told me she had inherited her grandmother’s powers of reading the future. I therefore hastily asked her to focus onto the South African wine industry. She closed her eyes, flicked one of her glittering golden earrings and gave the following predictions for 2010:

  • The popularity of wines with expressive flavours and garish labels will continue to increase in the South African market. Popular Coffee Pinotages such as Caf+¬ Culture have been followed by a Sweet Shiraz called The Jam Jar, which is all the rage at the moment ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ but this is nothing. In2010 we will see wines appealing to popular tastes carrying names such as “Cracking Caramel Cabernet”, “The Melon Chardonnay” and “My Meaty Merlot”. More racy versions aiming to appeal to the hot and wild crowd include “Wild Pussy Pinot Noir”, “The Boner Blanc” and “My Well Hung White”. These quirky names, as well as the easier drinking styles, will lead to an increase in per capita wine consumption in South Africa from the current 6,7 litre per person per annum to 15,8 litre in two years. The uptake of wine’s local popularity will, however, have a debilitating effect on exports as most of it will be consumed by South Africans.,
  • The world of wine judging will be turned on its head with the introduction of the VinoPod, a computerised wine judging system. Invented by Steve Jobs of Apple in conjunction with the University of California, the VinoPod removes the human element of wine assessment through a combination of software and computerised sensorial detectors. The VinoPod is plugged into a computer’s USB port. 35ml of wine is poured into the VinoPod’s funnel, after which the computer program identifies the wine variety or blend, its vintage, potential faults and provides a score out of 100 as well as a written description of between 80 and 250 words. A special South African version, developed for the Platter Wine Guide, will also automatically identify the producer to ensure wine is not identified in a blind manner.
  • The Pebbles wine charity in the Cape winelands begins a special arm to provide assistance to wine writers who have become unemployed due to the increasing irrelevance of the printed, “dead-tree” media. Pebbles keeps spirits alive by providing the former writers with back-issues of magazines and old Platter Wine Guides, and the annual Freebie Re-enactment day proves to be very popular. On this day, PR consultants visit Pebbles to remind the scribes of the days when they were still eligible for complimentary wine samples and meals by re-enacting popular events such as Kanonkop Snoek Braais and the Nederburg Auction.
  • The South African wine industry is boycotted by English retailers after a dramatic incident during the 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament that saw England losing to Portugal in the finals. English striker Wayne Rooney missed during the deciding penalty shoot-out, blaming an evening “on the piss with Pinotage” for his poor form in the final match. Apparently, Rooney was sipping mineral water in his hotel’s bar on the evening before the final when he was lured into joining a few Stellenbosch wine-makers for a Pinotage tasting. Rooney went a bit too far with the wine ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ describing it as “fookin’ A”, putting away three bottles from the 1998, 2000 and 2003 vintages before passing out on the floor and causing him to play the final in a hung-over state. Describing the incident in a press-conference after the match, Rooney claimed the actions of the wine-makers was nothing more than “fookin’ mean” causing “those Porra gits” to win.The boycott will extend until England’s next victory against Portugal.
  • Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, becomes the most prolific member of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild to date after the performance of his Ch?+¦???+¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬teau Shaka Shiraz in local and international wine shows. Zuma, a keen garagiste wine-maker, enters his first wines into 2010 wine competitions, and they prove to be an instant hit among judges who describe them “loud and colourful, despite being fat and sweaty”. Zuma’s Guild membership, however, causes kill-joy political journalists and his political opponents to accuse him of spending more time at wine tastings and lectures than running the country. There is also domestic conflict in the Zuma household as his three wives clash over who is to accompany the President to the Veritas Awards and Cape Winemakers Guild Auction.

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One thought on “Crystal Ball for 2010 Wine Industry

  1. “I had ascertained was not a porn star, stripper or toilet cleaner” good god… ‘comforting’ to see goold old south african prejudices are alive and well. last visit to this blog, thanks

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