I’ve discovered something new to pay attention to when marketing our wines – the Chinese translation of each product’s name (in the case of Cloof, with my flights of creative fantasy, this can cause additional headaches for the translator). Given the amount of work that goes into label concepts and design, we may well need to determine (with expert assistance, of course) the ‘official’ translated name for each of our wines.
So, last week I was in Beijing presenting Cloof wines to a small group of Chinese bloggers. The event was held at a restaurant called Pinotage (no-one can possibly complain about that as the name for a South African restaurant!).
For The Dark Side, our importer in China, Cofco Wines & Spirits Ltd, had already decided on Jing Sui (精髓), where Jing means ‘essence, quintessence’ and Sui means “marrow, pith”, as the Chinese name for Cloof. Not bad – The Dark Side has the kind of velvety, rich mouthfeel that is typical of Cloof. Perhaps not the most quintessentially Cloof wine, but certainly up there.
However, the translator who prepared the information pack for the event thought that Mei Huo (魅惑) would be more appropriate. I’d have to agree with her – Mei means ‘attractive, charming, glamorous or intoxicating in a dark or slightly dangerous way’ and Huo is ‘seductive, attractive’, which kind of sums up the story on the label.
It then transpired that Cofco had elected to use the concept for The Very Sexy Shiraz, which is not entirely inappropriate.
What I did find interesting, though, was how The Dark Side tasted in Beijing. For some reason the mid-palate (and carrying through to the aftertaste) was very much more expressive than other times I’ve had the wine (which is a lot!). It was almost as if the Cabernet component was suddenly making a prancing, almost athletic (dare I say Olympian?) performance.
By comparison, The Very Sexy Shiraz, which usually makes a pretty potent statement, was tasting kind of flat. Inkspot, on the other hand, showed really well.
I have long been of the viewpoint that there is no empirical measurement of a wine’s quality, largely on the basis of the level of subjectivity involved. This experience proved that there is yet another set of variables, based upon the environment in which the wine is tasted. Whatever they are, The Dark Side tasted amazing in Beijing that night.