In South Africa you have approximately 650,000 different wines to choose from.
No, that can't be right. You have approximately 20,000 different wines to choose from.
I made those up. The point is, there are a lot. And if you're reading this then you're interested, which is a small victory in itself because wine is intimidating. It's as easy to love as it is to feel like you don't know enough to love it. It's also easy to lose yourself in all the self-indulgent navel gazing.
Remember when you were 14 and owned one CD. It was probably Counting Crows' August and Everything After. When you got home, it was the radio, or Counting Crows. That was your choice. A few years later, and you owned 10 CD's. Your choice was still manageable. Sometimes the situation called for Monster Hits, other times it was REM. Fast forward to today; you have an Apple Music subscription, access to practically everything ever created and no idea what to listen to.
This paradox of choice applies to wine too. When you have *20,000 different options, it's very difficult to know where to start. So practices have been devised to help make your life easier. Practices such as awards and points and gold stars and silver bowls and shiny stickers. They are here, often with good intentions, and they have a role to play, but they are not the only way.
Please let they not be the only way.
Because appraisals aren’t the only thing that influence your enjoyment of wine. It tastes better when you know where it’s from. It tastes better when you understand the difficulties that went into producing it, when you know what the winemakers were listening to while blending and see how filthy their cellar is. Wine is so alive and so impressionistic that reducing it to a few buzzwords or numbers is not enough.
That’s partly what ALL THE WINE is about. We aren’t here to give scores, offer complex tasting notes or announce another set of competition winners. At least not in the way you're used to. Besides, there are a number of fantastic resources that already do this.
We’re here to put wine in context. To tell you stories about the winemakers, farm owners, farm workers, sommeliers, drinkers, chefs, heroes and idiots. To offer up beautiful images and film. To help you navigate between R50 and R5000 bottles without the tedious wine nomenclature. To never, ever use the word "nomenclature".
Occasionally we might even make totally subjective and entirely unqualified recommendations, based on what we’ve tasted, enjoyed and most depressingly, can afford. You can expect a lot under R25.
More than anything else, we want to help South African wine to loosen it’s top button, become more visible and accessible, and welcome a whole new generation of easygoing wine lovers.
Thanks for coming, and enjoy!