Jun 03 2009
Six hundred wines. Tasted by six wine-lovers over three days. For one wine guide.
Tasting for the first edition of The PeopleΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s Wine Guide, a new independently published wine guide aimed at guiding wine-buyers who prefer to do their purchasing at the countryΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s major supermarkets and liquor chains, commenced this week in Cape TownΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s The Nose Wine Bar. The 600 wines were submitted by wineries from throughout the country for the judgesΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗ scrutiny, with these views being made public when the PeopleΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗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 PeopleΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗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.
Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║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,Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ says Pendock.╬ô├╢┬╝Γö£├¡ Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║The PeopleΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗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.Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ
Pendock says that unlike the countryΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s largest wine guide, tasting for The PeopleΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s Wine Guide is blind, meaning that the judges are not privy to the relevant wine in their glass.
Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║This allows us to make a true independent judgement without prejudice or subjective views, something that has been proven to sway tastersΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗ opinions,Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ says Pendock.
Olivier, who is also a former wine and food consultant to Pick Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£ΓöÉn Pay, says that the amount of wine sold in supermarkets is increasing on a monthly basis.
Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║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,Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ he says. Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║And just as these shoppers have unique needs in their wine purchasers, a guide is needed to assist them with their selections.Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ
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╬ô├╢┬úΓö¼├¡bal Coutinho.