Yesterday a selection of entry-level white wines sampled literally by the pool. the line-up consisting of Doolhof Cape Crane Chenin Blanc 2013 at R41 a bottle, Neethlingshof Chardonnay (Unwooded) 2013 at R53, Neethlingshof Chenin Blanc 2013 at R46 and Place in the Sun Chardonnay (Unwooded) 2013 at R36.
I’m quite sure international commentator Robert Joseph is right when he tweets that “Wine pros r far too focused on pleasing themselves rather than consumers” but this was uninspiring stuff.
In terms of understanding mass-market wine, Joseph has also come up with the classification of “Fruits, Newts and Cutes” with “Fruits” being overtly fruity wines like Moscato, “Newts” being deliberately neutral wines made from Pinot Grigio or other favourless grapes and “Cutes” being off-dry wines usually female focused.
Though the Neethlingshof Chenin Blanc was not entirely without redeeming character (plenty of stone fruit if no great nuance), these were a benchmark collection of “Newts”, which is to say wine for the uninitiated, wine for those who wish to consume without contemplation, wine perhaps for those who don’t really like the taste of wine.
The commercial success of these wines surely doesn’t depend on my review but I do find it more than a little depressing that such wines exist as it implies that many really would prefer to settle for less. Please help me prove this line of thinking wrong and make sure you always have something interesting in your glass this summer.