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Drinking Less – But Better?

Whether you are drinking in celebration of a recent achievement, birthday, Easter (starting tomorrow actually) or just to wine down a long day at work to ease the stress, if left unkept, you may end up drinking an amount at which health risks outweigh any potential benefits. When all this is put in context of health issues, it makes sense to reduce the current intake all together. Some drinkers may take a different route and try outsmart the norm.

It is often said that the relationship we have with alcohol has changed many times over. Since we began sipping the tough stuff, each generation has had its own habits and right now, we are living through another of these generational shifts. As an industry, we can still be successful by pursuing a growth agenda driven by people drinking better not more. The Kenyan wine sector for example has grown in this respect, while at the same time educating consumers on better grape varieties; recommended glass portions in moderation and advocating for experimentation of palates with food pairing in mind. How much wine can you have when paired with food really?

Then again one could ask, what does drinking better mean? simply summarised we can describe this new manner as buying better quality wine from liquor importers who put their heart into everything they distribute. This could be importers of wines who could be holding a sommelier title or with a general understanding of basic (to intermediary) wine knowledge, something that goes a long way to demonstrate passion for the trade. That way, interests shift to selling the wine experience rather than meeting underlying sales targets and pushing bottles off the shelves.

The cheap ones…. out!

Specialists testify that cheap and expensive wines are worlds apart when it comes to the winemaking process they have to undergo before corks seal the bottle. A high calibre wine will have some elements added onto it that its counterpart will not such as:

  • Ageing in an oak barrel which can add $2 (Kes. 210)+ to the price of each bottle.
  • 6+ years of ageing. Upwards of 1$ (Kes. 105)+ is added onto a bottle depending on the winemaker.
  • The Vineyard – reputation and heritage which can add close to $5 (Kes. 525)+.

Remember: The older the wine the pricier it gets, among other factors that we shall cover in another article.

For the untrained palate, knowing if a wine is good quality or not can be a challenge. If you take away all factors, pour yourself a glass of wine, and take a sip without any knowledge of the price or viewing the bottle, can you really tell the difference between a Kes. 8,000 bottle and a Kes. 700 bottle?

What do your senses really tell you when those external factors and social influences are stripped away. In reality, pricy bottles might not actually taste much different from cheaper wines and your brain might just be playing tricks on you into thinking it does.

Another way to drink better could be to consider a drink whose ingredients have supposed health-giving properties. Such a drink is Mead or honey wine which is made by fermenting honey with water. Others could go the spritzers way – add some sparkling water to your prosecco – you know: reduce some of those calories in a fun way to strech your servings. Many ways to skin a cat.

Sober-curious

It can mean different things to many different people. This type curiosity is prevalent every January, a month traditionally marking the time when many of us decide we need to take care of ourselves and get back into shape. First to go off the checklist is wine, and most people pledge to give up alcohol for the whole month to give the body a bit of a rest and ‘clear out’.

Whether it’s drinking less, dry January, sober October, sipping on non-alcoholic drinks, sophisticated choices with our wines, it is definitely spawning a new culture of mindful drinking. The real questions to ask ourselves are do you want to get tipsy? sought better wines and appreciate them more? or just take a break altogether…one’s choice is relative on this one…

If you liked this article you may also like this one: Wine By The Glass is Profitable, If the Price is Right

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