Alvi’s Drift Viognier 2015


Price: R50.00 (as of March 2017)
Winery: Alvi’s Drift
Varietal: Viognier
Wine Region: Worcester
Country: South Africa


Quality: 12/20
Value: 3/5
Ponce Factor: Moderate-Low
Occasion: The end of the month salticrack snack accompaniment.

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Some wines taste cheap because they are cheap. There is no shame in that. While this did finish last out of five in a blind Viognier tasting, it was by no means unpleasant. Which is cause for end-of-the-month cheer.
Mouthfeel is a little rough, and acidity doesn’t quite stand up to the sweetness, but there are some lovely notes of juicy citrus, as well as some vanilla elements that, although not superbly integrated, add just enough intrigue to keep one sipping. Or sniffing, at least.

Value is a ratio

Rand to Reward. Yen to Yum. Dollar to Delight. There are always two elements at play in the search for value. The financial investment, and the sensory reward. Value can never be expressed as a currency amount. Because the quality of experience has to be known before value can be expressed.

If you picked up Linsday Lohan’s debut studio album for a cheeky R50.00, you may consider that to be incredible value. That is, until I tell you that I picked up a five-pack of wine glass coasters for R35.95. Five times the table surface protection for two thirds of the price.
In the pursuit of table surface protection against liquid damage, Lindsay Lohan’s SPEAK turned out to be worse value (except for “FIRST” – that track is like #OMG #NOMNOMNOM #YOLO).
I only drive this point home, because sometimes cheap wines are deemed either “good wines” or “bad wines” based on their price point. Instead, they should be deemed good wines or bad wines based on what level of sensory experience they provide. But the real take-home from it all  is this:

Unless you drink wine from a whole bunch of different levels in the price spectrum, you will be missing out on a delightful variety in the ways value can express itself in a wine.

…I know. I’ve just blown your mind. You have so many questions. Could Tall Horse be life changing? Is the Cappuccinopinotage a world winner in disguise?
The truth is this: we all face questions from time to time. Sometimes three or four. Right after one another. As usual Lindsay shows us how to deal:


“Is that someone you used to date?
Why she’s hanging around here? What’s her story?
Doesn’t she know that its too late;
That the party is over and the car is for me?”I corrected punctuation and spelling so as not to let her poor grammar detract from the raw emotion of the lyrics. You're welcome.

About the Author

Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.