Wine is characterised by extremes. As the trend-setting English wine journalist Andrew Jefford once wrote, “Due in no small part to its ancientness and cultural prestige, wine is at the very pinnacle of the agrarian pyramid.” There is no more sublime agricultural product than wine.
On the other hand, wine has now become a commodity. Even in a country that produces no (or barely any) wine, such as the Netherlands, it has ended up as a ‘must-have’ item on the shopping list. Drinking wine with a meal every day has become a totally normal experience. Research reveals that 74% of all Dutch people over 18 years of age drink wine now and again. On average, 1 to 2 glasses on each occasion. And around 90% of all wine drunk at home is bought from a supermarket.
However, making that difference come alive is becoming more and more of a challenge for wine purchasers. Years ago, it was enough for supermarkets just to offer a choice between red, white and rosé, but today’s wine drinker demands to see at least a selection of Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Shirazes on the shelves. And now that wine has become such a normal part of daily life,
This marvellous yet everyday drink also has roots all over the world. At first, wines mainly came from France, and to a lesser extent from Italy and Spain, but now these traditional countries of origin have had to make room for new arrivals. These days, South Africa is the second most important wine producer after France. And Chili is in third place. Some larger supermarket chains offer a selection of eight hundred different sorts of wine. Wine is a product that allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.