The world of wine — not just in SA, but in most places — divides into those who seek the comfort of familiar styles (the so-called commercial), and those who prefer the more obviously edgy (artisanal). This distinction owes as much to differences in the perceived image of each of these categories as it does to how the wines taste.

How can you tell, simply from sampling what’s in the glass, if a wine is the result of craft winemaking or the product of a huge industrial winery? Sometimes it’s obvious, though not all craft wines are edgy, just as not all commercial wines taste like alcoholic fruit juice. The label in theory is a great indicator, providing you’re prepared to take the creative writing efforts of the copywriter with a shipload of salt.

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