Saturday, 20 July 2013

Celebrate the summer with Joiy

At last, an extremely user-friendly wine of decent quality that doesn’t scare off new drinkers!

Joiy is a sparkling wine made from 100% Riesling from the Waipara region in the South Island of New Zealand. Its refreshing and fruity style (think floral, citrus and honey, aromas of a Riesling!) with only 9.5% alcohol is perfect for an aperitif in summertime or alfresco dining. It reminded me of spritzer (white wine soda from Austria), vinho verde (the petillant white wine from Portugal with about 10-11% alcohol), tinto de verano  (red wine with water or soda in ice from Spain) and even Fanschop (draft beer with Fanta orange from Chile).

What is great about this wine is its packaging. It is fun, unpretentious and easy-to-understand. Inexperienced drinkers who are unfamiliar with wine labels are often confused and many simply give up and have beer or soft drinks (God forbid!) instead. In a way, we wine people have ourselves to blame as we often, rightly or wrongly, heap all the technical terms and jargon we know on these poor souls. Wine is for enjoyment; we should not put pressure on newcomers who want to share our passion.

Joly's 250ml size and screw cap makes it a very convenient drink. Winemaker Chris Archer even showed me photos of consumers drinking it with a straw. And why not? I can see this as a gateway to the world of wine. Didn't we all drink Babycham before we moved on to Champagne?

But Joiy isn't just for the entry level consumer. OK, it is not a complex wine that requires the ritual of breathing, decanting and using an appropriate glass, but its quality is definitely better than a lot of wine in the market. I would have no hesitation to grab some for a boat trip or beach outing rather than resorting to gassy beer or cloying soft drinks. Ali Nicol summed it up quite nicely in his article, ‘It’s girly; but I like it!’

Let’s let our hair down and enjoy wine in a casual and cheerful way once in a while. Wine doesn’t need to be serious all the time.

Joiy is available from The Crush.

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