Anyone consuming wine fits into one of five social behaviour wine categories. The wine fraternity in South Africa finds itself equally represented in all of these.
Most of us start off as enjoyment oriented social drinkers by buying well known cheap brands for consumption at a braai or having a glass of wine in a pub. In each case, the company is mostly more important than what kind of wine is on offer.
A step up from this is the everyday basic wine drinker who, also being a low end spender, is normally satisfied with repetitively buying something cheap and sticking to the same labels. This category drinker only goes for bargain buys of around R20 per bottle but would hardly be able to impress everyone, except others in this category.
The conservative traditionalists are the older, wine snob class who think they know wine, seldom seek advice and normally buy wine from supermarkets. Unfortunately, this class of consumer, more often than not, misses out on learning more about wine by being unable to distinguish between mediocre and good wines. They remain pretenders.
Those who want to know more about wine and can easily be influenced are the enthusiastic wine experimenter. They want to learn, are often part of a wine club and enjoy themselves thoroughly as they embark on exploring new wines. To compare similar cultivar wines with the same SAWi Index ratings or from different terroir pockets is something that would appeal to this group.
These wine enthusiasts are keen to know what a good wine is, read tasting notes and are eager to ask about alcohol content, acidity and other important elements before ordering.They also know how amazing the wine experience can be with the right food pairing. Interestingly enough, roughly 60% of these wine enthusiasts are women!
Image seeking connoisseurs – these savvy shoppers and readers are the wealthier, professional and middle aged group wanting wines that appeal to their so called good taste. They go after exclusive high end wines to impress and appear in the know. The SAWi Ambassadors Club Selections would be the ideal wines to have.
Such wine drinkers are image seekers that are status driven, read specialized wine publications and prefer fine dining. As such, they wish to be treated as the wine elite, although many still lack adequate knowledge.