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Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Wine | 3 comments

South African Wine Lovers Make Themselves Heard in Real Time

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With the popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter at an all-time high, South African consumers are increasingly relying on the opinions and recommendations of their peers when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

The wide availability of online forums and blogging networks has given the average South African a voice, enabling members of a growing online community to source information about various products and services from those with similar backgrounds, interests and tastes.

The astonishing popularity of the recently launched crowd-sourced wine rating application, Real Time Wine, clearly reflects this emerging trend. The app, which allows users to share their ratings and reviews of various wines, has already been downloaded more than 4,500 times since its launch in July 2012.

“Not only does this application offer South Africa’s wine lovers an avenue through which to express their opinions, but also makes the sometimes daunting task of deciding which wine to buy decidedly less difficult,” explains Real Time Wine founder, Andy Hadfield. “Our rapidly expanding community is starting to generate information that is really useful for the average wine drinker, who can now easily identify the country’s most popular wines, based on aggregated reviews rather than panels and guides.”

In an effort to ensure that the app remains relatable, industry jargon and clichéd terminology have been banned. Choice phrases like ‘sweaty saddle’ and ‘integrated tannins’ are blocked by the app, which offers users handy alternative suggestions.

“We want real opinions from real people,” says Hadfield. “You check into the wine you’re drinking and leave a comment. We then share that with the community. This data drives the “trending list” and also populates a personal profile for each member. Finally, you can figure out what your actual favourite farms and varietals are!”

[pullquote]And while the app is ideally suited for use in South Africa, RTW has seen a number of international users download and trial the app as well. The experience for these international users is also being worked on at the moment.

(Which is good news not just for the foreign-based winos using the app, but also great for South Africans travelling overseas and experiencing some foreign vino.)[/pullquote]In the 4 months since the application launched, it has already generated over 3,000 reviews from approximately 1,600 registered reviewers. The app’s unique and playful rating scale, which allows users to classify wines as ‘Yum’, ‘Hmm’ or ‘Yuk’, has also proven exceptionally popular, with 7,000 ratings having been captured to date.

Among the application’s key offerings is a weekly shopping list, which is updated each Friday based on the most popular wines of the week. A location-based specials search is also in the works, which will allow users to identify which wines are available at discounted rates in their area.

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Info collected from users of Real Time Wine

Top 10 Trending Wines in South Africa at 29 October 2012 Real Time Wine ALL TIME Top 20 Consumer Choice Wines
  1. The Chocolate Block by Boekenhoutskloof (2011) R180
  2. Chardonnay Pinot Noir by Haute Cabriere (2011) R70
  3. Frontier by Guardian Peak (2007) R70
  4. MCC Blanc de Blanc by Secret Cellar (2007) R103
  5. Synergy by Beyerskloof (2009) R80
  6. Whole Berry by Springfield (2010, Cabernet Sauvignon) R103
  7. Sauvignon Blanc by Diemersdal (2011) R54
  8. Borealis Cuvee Brut by Krone (2009, MCC)
  9. Chenin Blanc by Cederberg (2011) R79
  10. Rabelais by Thelema (2008)


  1. 2011 Beyerskloof Pinotage
  2. 2010 Nederburg Baronne
  3. 2011 Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir
  4. 2010 Diemersfontein Pinotage
  5. 2008 Warwick The First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. 2010 Springfield Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc
  7. 2010 Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block
  8. 2011 Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard Chardonnay
  9. 2010 Springfield Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. 2010 Cafe Culture Pinotage
  11. 2011 Diemersfontein Pinotage
  12. 2010 Warwick The First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon
  13. 2007 Raka Quinary
  14. 2009 Alto Rouge
  15. 2010 Rupert & Rothschild Classique
  16. 2010 Warwick Three Cape Ladies
  17. 2011 Warwick The First Lady Unoaked Chardonnay
  18. NV Haute Cabriere Pierre Jourdan Tranquille
  19. 2011 Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Red
  20. 2006 Rupert & Rothschild Classique



    • Nope, no beer. I think the name “Real Time Wine” is sort of a giveaway, don’t you? 🙂

  1. But we very much want to do beer, just looking for the right partnerships… and a name. Not sure Real Time Beer would quite cut it 🙂

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