Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

The Winal Countdown March 11, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Published by 2 Comments

OK, the Top 10 UK wine brands – here’s how they currently stand:-

Rank Brand Owner
1 Hardys Constellation
2 Gallo E & J Gallo
3 Blossom Hill Percy Fox
4 Jacob’s Creek Pernod Ricard
5 Stowells Constellation
6 Wolf Blass Fosters EMEA
7 Lindemans Fosters EMEA
8 Banrock Station Constellation
9 Echo Falls Constellation
10 Kumala Constellation

I look at a list like that with mixed feelings. First the positive side. Somewhere on t’Internet, there probably exists a similar list from the 70s or 80s full of names like Le Piat d’Or, Black Tower, Blue Nun, Hirondelle and so on. Anyone mourn their demise? Thought not. However, the raft of almost exclusively New World offerings that has replaced them (the Stowells range includes some European wines) isn’t a cause for prolonged celebration. Sure, the New World has brought a reliability to cheap wines that Europe still struggles to emulate, but with that reliability comes a frequently bland uniformity that is the opposite of everything I like about wine (check out this post for the attributes I’d love to see in a cheap wine).

And so it’s with a sense of ‘grin and bear it’ that I’m embarking on this task. I don’t expect undrinkability to be a problem, but I’m anticipating a raft of Sweetcorn wines. You know when you eat sweetcorn, how, a few hours later when you’re in the bathroom, you look in the loo and, well, I think you know what I mean. So a sweetcorn wine is one that you might just as well pour down the bog for all the good it has done to your body…

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2 Comments

  • Robert McIntosh says:

    Urgh! I assume you don’t have to use these to also wash down an exclusive diet of McDonalds burgers and fries at the same time?

    I suspect that despite the wines being reasonably (?) drinkable, an educated and interested wine drinker will feel rather frustrated by the fact that they are used to enjoying their wines and not just drinking them.

    These wines probably have a reasonable function which is to ‘soften’ the impact of the daily grind by helping to switch off the brain, much as television does. But just as a book lover would feel when placed in front of even good TV programmes, it will be hard to simply ‘switch off’ for someone used to more involvement with their wines.

    I wish you luck!

  • SIMON WOODS says:

    Hi Robert

    Wait till the next instalment – an evening of Blush…

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