+ 27 82 623 2244 taste@darlingwine.co.za


There are few things in life which define you, and your personal taste is one of them. From your love of 80’s inspired crochet trunks, to your unique choice of toe tapping Patricia Lewis singles. Your choice of wine is no different, and no matter what your preference is, what really matters is that YOU LOVE IT.


September/October is “Award” time in the local wine trade since this is when, amongst others, the Veritas/Michelangelo/Old Mutual /Terroir and Platter 5 Star wine awards, are all announced.

Platter is the most inclusive of all them in that in theory just about all wines entered and are then eligible for the coveted top accolades. The other competitions will have in the region of 2000 paid entries.

The fact that these shows and competitions are so well supported by the producers is due to two main reasons; firstly to have an “expert” opinion, and hopefully, an objective assessment of one’s wines and, if they do well, some glitter and gold to attract consumers to your wine amongst the plethora of others on the shelf.

But what happens when the experts are seen to disagree and where an odds-on winner in one event, becomes an “also ran” in another? This was amply demonstrated this year with one of our most popular wines, Sauvignon Blanc! If one looks at the top twenty in the big five wine competitions, there is little agreement who are actually the golden boys in the class, and indeed, there are some cases where the star in one event, will hardly feature in another.

The judges are experienced and probably taste more wines in a year than most of us have breakfasts in a decade. It is not that the judges are wrong as such, but that however objective one might want to be, it is your personal taste that makes some wines greater than others.

And so, dear reader, relax in the confidence of your own taste. Rate the wines you like best, best. Do not be shy to explore and in a competitive market, remember that price is a good indicator of quality; no one ever buys a second bottle of a wine which is over-priced first time around. Buy from good and reputable producers, splash out occasionally on a wine that costs more than you might normally pay, and you will be well rewarded.

The dramatic rise of the craft beer industry shows just how savvy is the man in the street. No show and medal hype here; simply the consumer enthusiastically exploring some of the great beers being offered. He is finding out at last, for himself, what is good and is loving it!