No, the title of this post is not a hoax. Such a wine already exists at £4.98 in Asda. According to the press release from Buckingham Vintners, ‘It has been tailor-made for the consumer, with five essential criteria: it is first to market, it’s pink, it’s sparkling, it’s made from Chardonnay and it’s less than £5 per bottle.’
I’m not complaining about Buckingham and Schenk Italia for developing such a wine – I’m sure it’ll sell by the bucketful. And I’m not going to slag off those who buy such a wine. What depresses me is that package of five criteria. There’s nothing wrong with each when taken individually, but together… So, so sad. And we wine writers/communicators are as much to blame as anyone for not getting across the message of wine in a more user-friendly way. Slapped wrists and a bottle of Yellow Tail all round.
So what would my five essential criteria be for a consumer-friendly wine? How about…
1) It has a story to tell. And not one about oak barrels and medals. Weird people, three-legged cats and haunted trees are good.
2) It brings a smile to your face. Could be the label, could be the price, could be the flavour, could be all three.
3) It makes other wines jealous. In the sort of way that you look with a mixture of envy and admiration at someone who does things better than you.
4) It has a slightly warped side. Maybe it’s not conventionally attractive, but you keep coming back for another look. Maybe it’s a bit lairy, lippy, risque, naughty, but not to the point of intimidation or insult.
5) It makes people want to try other wines. Not because you want to avoid it, just because it makes you want to find more out about wine.
Chances of a press release about such a wine? Somewhere between slim and fat…