Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Can't Believe It's Not Better

The line-up:-
Robert Joseph – founder of What Wine (which became Wine, Which became Wine International which became Wine & Spirit) and inventor of the International Wine Challenge (he’s also a former boss of mine).
Allan Cheesman – ex-Sainsbury’s guru largely responsible for beginning the supermarket wine revolution.
Neil Tully – a Master of Wine whose company Amphora now designs dozens of the best wine labels in the UK.
Lynne Whittaker – marketing wizard

Surely a dream team to be involved in the creation of a new wine brand. So why have they come up with something as poor as Cachet? I’ve just tasted the range of three vin de pays from southern France – Viog/Chard, a Pinot Rosé and a Shiraz/Cabernet – and they’re just not what French wine is about. Where's the passion, the edge of arrogance, the Gallic charm? The best thing that can be said about them is that they’re not sweet, but when you hear that they’ve been created with the UK consumer in mind, you have to shudder.

They’re from Castel, the French behemoth that owns Oddbins, and of course, the wines are now available in said store on a 6 for 5 promo. Castel may be introducing a little business efficiency to Oddbins, but if it means that stores get overwhelmed with wines like this and the equally dire Oddbins Selection, then bring back the days of bad balance sheets. My only hope (vain, I know) is that the people involved were paid not in cash but in Cachet. A month of drinking this tired trio (and of looking at the pedestrian labels) is what they deserve.

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