This letter ran in a South African newspaper, and it says everything that needs to be said (and, in this case, South Africa is no different from the rest of the world). The best part is that it’s not the Wine Curmudgeon whining; it’s someone who pays their hard-earned money for wine and is mostly ignored by the people who make it and the people who write about it. One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, the wine business will figure this out.
Among the highlights:
• “Your wine columnist continues to opine in his quaint, elitist style, as if anyone who can’t afford a bottle at R150 (US$21), or was it R1500-plus (US$210), is beneath him. Many wine writers give the impression that nothing below a certain price point will ever contaminate their nostrils, let alone their lips.”
• “Let’s get real here. Between boxed ‘carafe quality’ and auction wines there is a whole array of, shall I call them ‘sumptuous, luscious, mouth-filling, affordable wines’?”
• “Apart from the Sunday Times wine fundi, who has the confidence and knowledge to recommend wines from as little as R25 (US$3.50) a bottle, most of the other writers deserve to be put back in their elitist boxes.”
Thank you, Jeremy Sampson, wherever you are.