Women In Wine Interview with Erica Taylor : Out to Save SA Wine
Many of you already know Erica as she is incredibly involved in the South African wine industry. Erica has the well-known blog Uncorkified.
She has taken up cause, mobilizing wine lovers to help #savesawine. Her background in marketing and social media has given her knowledge and skills to showcase the best in South African wines. Her passion for the industry is evident.
Erica is incredibly involved in the wine industry, as the Cape Town coordinator of Sommeliers.org.za and a Board Member of Women in Wine Expo.
Im incredibly humbled that Erica has agreed to appear on my blog ad answer some questions. We chat about the Wine industry, the effect that the Government Lockdown and ban on alcohol has had on the Wine industry as a whole and look at different wine trends. 1. What inspired you to start #savesawine? I did not actually create the hashtag; I just ran with it! Since I own a marketing company, I secured the social media handles and the website domain and made a plan just like I would for any client. 2. Covid-19 has affected many people and businesses. The Wine and hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit. How can an everyday South African assist these industries? It's great when South African's continue to purchase their favourite brands, and if they can buy it from the producer or the farm directly, even better. Additionally, posting social media and tagging the producer to show appreciation. 3. For my readers can you explain "what is a Sommelier?" A sommelier is many things. People tend to think of just the wine steward at a fine dining establishment, but there is so much more that goes into being a sommelier. You must know proper restaurant service, always pour from the right. You must know about coffee, cocktails, food pairings, cigars, cheeses, and of course, have intimate knowledge of all of the wines on your list. Somms generally also pick the wines for their list based on their cuisine and styles the chef prepares. 4. Where did you get you love of wine? I have always loved wine, and wine was around in my house growing up. In 2011, the same year I moved to Mumbai, I was gifted a 1983 Chateau Margaux on my 28th birthday and opened it on my 30th birthday, which started to pique my interest. The wine world in India was quite small at the time. But I started studying for my WSET level 1 in 2016, passed, and moved to Nashik outside of Mumbai to live and work on a wine farm there. A few months later, I travelled to South Africa for my birthday, and I was hooked. I moved to Cape Town two months later. 5. What is your favourite off the wall weird wine (or any other alcoholic drink) and food pairing? Where the food and wine shouldn't go together but works so well. ( I did a Mac n Cheese and MCC pairing, I was astounded how well they actually worked) I am not sure this is super "weird", but it is one of my favourites.... Graham Beck Brut Zero 2012 and Chilli Nik Naks! Perfect movie night snack! 6. Have you noticed any trends emerging in the wine industry that you would like to mention? I am a huge fan of canned wines. Not for everyday drinking but for what they can do for the industry. I think canned wines are the gateway wine to get new wine drinkers into the market without having to shell out a lot of cash. It's also perfect for people who want to drink responsibly and just have one glass. Or even at a braai, it chills down quickly, it's lightweight and the best material for recycling. I am not saying that Porseleinberg needs to be put into a can but we can do better with the wine we put into cans. 7. South Africa has a rich wine heritage. Which wine pops to mind when we talk about a proudly South African wine? I think of Chateau Libertas. I have been lucky enough to share a few magnums from the '70s and '80s with some fellow South African wine lovers and are a favourite. When it comes to more modern wines, I would have to say Reyneke. The story of his Cornerstone wine with all proceeds going back to his workers. And Nelson Mandela telling Johan this is how he wants South Africa to be. Whenever I hear him tell the story, I get chills! 8. What is your favourite "everyday drinking wine"? For South African, I would say Steenburg MCC. For international... Definitely Casal Garcia Vinho Verde! Only like R90 with 9.5% alcohol, you can smash a bottle and not feel bad! 9. Do you have a favourite "celebratory" wine that you would buy for a special occasion? Yes. Graham Beck. It was the first MCC I had when I first came to South Africa on holiday, and now it is still a favourite to remind me how far I have come. 10. What advise do you have for a young woman looking at a career as a Sommelier? I would say it is important to find mentors. We know that the wine industry and the sommelier world is very male-dominated. Having someone that you feel comfortable asking questions and making connections with. The South African Sommeliers Association is a great place to start as well as the Women in Wine Exchange group on Facebook. 11. I love your #60in60 campaign. Where did the inspiration come from? During our lockdown, I saw a fantastic outpouring of love for the South African wine industry, but I realized many producers need more exposure. So, what a better time to showcase some of our fantastic winemakers. The campaign was a roaring success, and we get over 300K impressions and over 17K engagements per month. So, I want to grow that to shine the light on more producers! 12. The idea for the mural on the building of 192 Loop street is so creative. Can you give me more information about the mural and those involved? Sarah Krone of Robinson & Sinclair approached me on the idea. We had never met but became fast friends with a shared vision. The building is an eyesore and has been sitting empty for years. Why not turn it into something beautiful and help the campaign reach more people. Additionally, there will be mini murals on the main piece, which will also be turned into wine labels for limited edition #SAveSAWine releases that will then go out into the world and continue to share our fab wines with the work. 13. If you were the President of South Africa, what Law (Bill) would you Sign into Law. I am not sure, but it would be something to do with a total overhaul of Home Affairs!
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