Is wine solely a commodity to the vast majority of consumers? In a speech given before members of the South African wine industry, Meininger's Wine Business International Editor-at-Large Robert Joseph responds in the affirmative. Covering this talk, wine.co.za reports that Joseph told the audience at Great Wine Capital’s program on wine tourism, “For the majority of people it [wine] is a grape-based alcohol beverage, bought in much the same way as beer. In this respect Pinot Grigio and draft beer can be pretty interchangeable."
He also made the point that it's not just on the low end of the purchasing totem pole where this happens. How many of the global nouveau riche ordering bottles of Latour and Lafite can name the grapes that make up the blend?
When it comes to South African wine specifically, Joseph is not bullish about the country's signature grape. "Stop banging on about Pinotage," he implores. "It's now under 5% of the vineyard and deserves under 5% of the attention."
Does any of this make you feel any differently about Pinot Grigio, draft beer, and/or Pinotage?