South African Wine Lovers Make Themselves Heard
07 Jan 2013
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!”
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.
“We’ve seen incredible traction over the past few months, with over
2,000 unique wines already reviewed or rated,” says Hadfield. “The level
at which people are using the application is incredible, and their
involvement is allowing us to provide more and more added value in
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
“We’re constantly working to make Real Time Wine more engaging and fun
for our users,” explains Hadfield. “We’ve heard the voice of the people,
and we’re quickly starting to see what South African wine drinkers
really think, what their price points are and what makes them choose
certain wines. We’re working to incorporate all this information into
the application, so watch this space as there’s plenty more to come.”
For more information, visit the website, or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or the Real Time Wine blog.
For more information, please contact Robert Shone on 071 735 3228 or Email
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