I’m not much of a drinker, but when it comes to red wine and liqueur, I will never say no, but now I have another problem. The English is much more into drinking than we are used to and every thank you, congratulations, good luck, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year, etc. ends up with bottle of wine! Being part of a family where I’m the only one that drinks…one or two glasses in about 6 months! [to give you an idea of how much I drink, but will drink a beer shandy in the Pub now and then] – this is quite a problem. I was wondering if there are more people with this problem. I don’t mind a bottle of wine, but hey, if I’m the only person to finish it, it can be quite a bit of a waste…do people always assume everyone drinks…on the other hand, I have now a growing cellar – for friends! [haha] In South Africa people will make sure you’re not a teetotaler before a bottle is given as a pressie, but nobody has asked any of us …just a thought to ponder about… I won’t mind if it is Elderflower! This liqueur is really nice, but if you really want to spoil me, I would appreciate our very own Cape Velvet [from SA shops only] or Amarula – which you can buy from Tesco’s and if all fails, I will say thank you to Baileys too. The bottle of red South African Shiraz is still waiting for me…tomorrow of course!…only a certain number of bottles of Luddite’s wine get exported each year. My bottle number is 2 923 of the 25 400 for 2005. According to my blogger-friend – and sommelier -[Gerrie] is Luddite an outstanding and classy wine.
Painting of a young drinker by GERRIT VAN HONTHORST
Happy New Year to all reading here…and don’t drink till you drop!Enjoy the Drinking song from the Student Prince.
French crushed by South African wines at sales slump for our Gallic friends
Read the article here on the site of the Daily Mail.
British drinkers are buying more South African wine than French for the first time, according to industry figures.
It is a staggering transformation for a country which only started exporting wine on a major scale in 1994.
For the French it means that having once been the most dominant name on British shelves, it is now fifth, behind Australia, California, Italy and South Africa in volume sales.
In the past year, sales of South African labels such as Thandi Fairtrade Chardonnay to the UK have grown by 20 per cent to 12.27million cases. France has seen sales fall by 12 per cent to 12.266million.
That difference is as small as it is possible to record – only four cases of 12 bottles each – said industry analysts Nielsen.
The sales growth has been helped by the pound’s strength against the rand and by other currency movements. South African wines have become cheaper not just against European makes but also Australian and U.S. labels.
The average bottle of South African wine in the UK retails for £3.86 against an overall average of £4.32.
France still sells more in the UK by value but this too is on the decline, down 5 per cent to £726million in the 12 months to the end of January, while sales of South African wine were up 21 per cent to £568million.
Although wine has been made in South Africa for 350 years, it only started large-scale exports in 1994 after the end of apartheid led to free trade with the rest of the world.