Want to see
a load of wine hacks have a punch-up? It only takes one sentence “So what do
you think of chocolate/coffee wines then?” and I guarantee you they will be at
each other’s throats in an instant!
of you who’ve missed it, ever since Diemersfontein Pinotage burst onto the
market in 2002 with its distinctive chocolate and coffee tones, the wine world
has been divided as to whether this is a great thing for the industry or a step
towards the ‘dumbing-down’ of wine (oh horrors!).
Because the flavours are so
prominent and so easily identifiable – who doesn’t like chocolate?? – everyone,
no matter how little their wine knowledge, is able to recognise the flavours
and feel good about themselves and their ability to taste wine like a pro.
that’s great isn’t it? Wine is far too snobby and elitist anyway, so if there
is a style of wine which everyone gets, everyone likes and which encourages
people to drink wine as opposed to beer or other alcohol then isn’t it an
all-round winner? You’d think so wouldn’t you, but sadly, this isn’t quite the
pontificate on the crude flavours, the lack of subtlety and tone, the
artificiality of the whole wine style. They cast doubt onto whether people
really do develop good palates if they start on these wines and view them as a
lamentable trend which detracts from true quality. But now a result has come
which casts all these opinions into confusion.
en Lust Mocholate Malbec 2009 has just won the trophy for the Best Malbec at
the most prestigious wine show in South Africa, the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show
(click here for details of the public tastings). It’s a huge credibility boost
for this wine style which used to be exclusively reserved for Pinotage, but
which now includes Malbec, Tinta Barocca and Merlot as well. The ‘choc-coff’
fans are cheering and thumbing noses (maybe there is a lack of refinement after
all!) and the purists are starting to wonder if they might actually have been
wrong over all these years.
So what do
you think about this then? If you haven’t tried a ‘choc-coff’, then here are my
Diemersfontein Pinotage - R68.99
Cellar Cappupinoccinotage - R41.99
Barista Pinotage – R54.99
2009 Café Culture
Pinotage – R49.99 – prices for all the Pinotages from Ultra Liquors
en Lust Mocholate Malbec – R69 from the farm or specialist retailers.
Boplaas Tinta Chocolat – R55 from selected Spars and Makro’s countrywide.
Give them a
whirl and tell us what you think below, because one thing’s for sure – love ‘em
or hate ‘em, chocolate/coffee wines are here to stay.