I love a cup of tea, but perhaps more than that I love a good glass of wine, so I recently caught up with Kevin Swart (owner Black Elephant Vintners) to chat about what is hip, hot & happening on the local wine scene. The days of only sipping wine around fancy dinner tables are long gone. Wine is becoming more & more accessible & enjoyable for everyone.
So, here are three bits that you should take note of in 2017 on the local WINE SCENE:
WHAT? BUBBLY bubbly BUBBLY bubbly BUBBLY
Gin is still having a huge moment & fads like wine lollies were all the rage in 2016. But looking ahead into the 2017 glass ball, Kevin says that MCC style wines are the strongest & fastest growing category of wines right now. This is probably the best bit of news of 2017 so far, don’t you think? This is not only a great trend, but it give you an excuse for more glamorous Instagram-posts.
“The second fastest growing category is the Rosé style or light red wine category. It is a bit more summary in feel & great for local weather,” adds Kevin.
Both of these two categories are also easy-drinking & a great way to introduce someone to the wine scene. “N
“New entrants typically prefer sweet drinks, but as they progress & their palates develop, they start enjoying dry wines more.”
WHO? Everyone – even HEALTH nuts
Things like fermented food, low-calorie drinks & no (or low) alcohol options are all the rage right now (according to the foodies at BBC Food).
When it comes to alcoholic drinks, wine remains a health(ier) option anyway. Drinking a glass of wine is still permitted amongst banters (well, depending on who you talk to). In some African countries it is also marketed as a ‘health(ier) drink’ when compared to beer. Even the French believe that wine is really good for you because of the anti-oxidant content,” says Kevin. “As for the trend of low calorie & no-alcohol drinking, wine remains spot on. Locally white wines will typically have an alcohol level of 13% & red wines will not exceed 15%.”
WHY? Because we like it AND we care
Kevin is rather vocal about the fact that the wine industry in South Africa needs to be more profitable, but without focussing on growing the bank balances of wine makers & farms. “There is not enough money for people to make money. Ten years ago, bulk wine used to sell at R8 a litre. Today it sells at R6 per litre. The industry needs to be more profitable, so that it trickles down to impact social upliftment,” says Kevin. “Wine in this country is too cheap. The flipside, though, is that it makes us very competitive in the international market.
Happy, responsible, wine drinking. For now, please excuse me as I go & sip on my glass of bubbly!
Ps. Kevin & his business partners are also the brains behind Black Elephant Vintners Wine Studio @ Ryan’s Kitchen in Franschoek – my first stop when I am next in the area.
Images:1 – The Pretty Blog; 3 – The Glitter Guide; 2,4,5 – Lindy Kriek.