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WINE – THE DRINK OF CHOICE IN THE NEW SA?

WINE – THE DRINK OF CHOICE IN THE NEW SA?

When Jan van Riebeeck planted the first vineyards in the Cape in 1569 little did we know that we would become the wine lovers we are today. Today South Africa is ranked eleventh in the world wine consumption stakes according to online wine reference guide www.cellarnotes.net.
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If we look at wine consumer trends in the new South Africa, this isn’t surprising at all. The rise of the black middle class, or black diamonds as they are popularly known, has lead to the rise in South African wine sales. A young Zulu man going out for dinner at a trendy restaurant is more likely to consider ordering from the wine list than asking for a beer as a substitute for his favourite traditional drink umqombothi (a home brewed sorghum beer). Being a black diamond means that he is able to afford the luxury of wine. What’s more, the association of drinking wine provides him with a certain amount of status among his peers, status that he would not have enjoyed had he ordered that glass of beer.

Let’s look at an entrenched local tradition – the braai – where previously the preferred accompaniment or two would

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