One of Sabie’s precious tourism patrons has picked up a negative experience in South African Wine from a well known Wine Cellar.
He purchased a 5 liter box of Stein Select from one of the bottle shops in Sabie. He was intending to enjoy some exciting Rugby Entertainment with friends while relaxing in front of the T.V.
Eventually he found that by the time they had reached about 50% down the box, each 200ml glass poured included at least a half teaspoon of undisolved sediment; the situation became worse the more wine that he decanted. On removal of the bag he noticed on the wine box that the filling date was November 2012. This is not the first time he has had this experience.
This is a case of nothing less than poor quality control, and misrepresentation by a manufacturer who in this instance is also blatantly admitting that they are filling their boxes with a blend of the dregs of the vintage while squeezing the last cent out of the offering. What is actually happening is that the Message that Cellar is conveying is that if you buy their box wine you are likely to find a nasty cheap wine which is in fact inferior, but that if you want to pay less you must be prepared to receive an inferior product, and accept what you get. A further problem arises from the fact that this kind of report could result in all South African box wines being treated as suspect.
This is unacceptable.
Many wine bibbers drink box wine in South Africa, as well as in other countries. Australia started the fashion of box wines as a means of reaching the man in the street and his family or friends who would also like to treat themselves to a less expensive and conveniently packaged good wine – especially at a picnic or beach party, or even at home. Box wine is so much easier to transport as well. It is also most convenient to decant a glass of wine direct from the box – no mess, no bulky bottles, no awkward disposal problems and no broken glass.
It should not be a means of fobbing off rubbish on unsuspecting patrons who are purchasing a product in good faith.
More than that, South African Wines exported overseas while striving to be acceptible to foreigners who have multiple choices in massive high quality supermarkets experience heavy competition from excellent wines produced in other countries. If this is what South African box wines amount to, they will be blown out of the export market. Foreigners drink box wine there too.
We don’t even need to discuss the implications in the foreign tourist market travelling to South Africa whose number are only too keen to sample our South African wines. What a disappointment and subsequent disaster it will be to those who end up quaffing the dreggs of the vintage !
In my estimation this Cellar has broken all the Golden Rules in Marketing by compromising their Brand, their Message to consumers, their good Name that they have taken time to build up, as well as destroying the concept of good inexpensive wine being easily obtained in a convenient package throughout the wine industry.
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