This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Wednesday, May. 27, 2009 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20090527.php.
Wine Focus - South Africa
Only eight of the world's nations produce more wine than South Africa, but market statistics reveal that the African country's own citizens don't drink much wine.
What's more, although South Africa sends a flood of its wines to The Netherlands and Great Britain, North America isn't doing much to ease this glut: Only 1 percent of wine sales in the United States involve South African wines.
But with the arrival of President Barack Obama in the White House, the popularity of South African wine in the U.S. just might start to change.
"The Obamas had a dinner reservation for the night Democrats announced their presidential candidate, and the restaurant was looking for a wine that popped but also made a statement," Associated Press writer Michelle Paul reported this week from Johannesburg in South Africa.
"That night in the private dining room at Chicago's Blackbird restaurant, Eduard Seitan served them a bottle of Graham Beck Brut - the same sparkling wine sipped by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as South Africa's first black president.
"(Obama) liked it so much that when they had the election, they called me and asked if they could order six more for their Election Night party," Seitan told The Associated Press.
Just as George H.W. Bush's professed hatred of broccoli may have given thousands of his supporters a political reason to shun the green vegetable, it's a reasonable guess that Obama's affection for South African wines could give them a boost ... even if he later chooses to "Buy American" in the White House.
We've been featuring the varied wines of South Africa throughout May in the Wine Focus section of our WineLovers Discussion Groups. Next week we'll switch to a new topic for June, but there's still time to join in with a South African tasting report, comment or question.
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Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.
You'll find my tasting reports on two interesting, affordable South African wines, a red and a white, just below.
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Today's Tasting Reports
Leatherwood 2006 Western Cape South Africa Shiraz (95%) - Viognier (5%) ($14.99)
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