On a random end of summer evening, I decided to grab a glass of wine at a local restaurant and enjoy it with a side cheese platter. As I sipped away I kept watching others around me and noticing the behavior of most, it did not take long to see that barely anyone goes for wine in Jordan. My usual favorite in summer is a cold glass of Rose but it was one of those days where I was craving Red (for those of you who know me, I love red the most because I am a beef lover and for those who love white meat you would best get a white wine or a rose for things alike salmon). Maybe it was not the season yet but it provoked me to ask around and learn more about the behavior of Jordanian residents whether citizens, expats or tourists passing through.
I began my quest by calling a few pub owners that I happen to know and ask about the highest selling of wine they get their answers varied but the majority agrees that wine is not usually on the mind of a drinker in Jordan and that the culture of wine has yet to develop in this country. In reality I believe it was all about the pricing and that most people feared ordering a bottle of wine due to the high prices and taxes that come with it.
The biggest chunk of sales in Jordan for wine is actually coming from expats and tourists and both tend to order local wines, mostly to experience the product of the land they are visiting and others because they believe it has a great taste and quality. We could definitely say that the inclination of choice goes towards Saint George wine by Zumot winery (I usually do not pick it but I definitely enjoyed the Shiraz). As for imported wine, the choices varied as well as the prices and availability so we can say that Chilean wine has ranked top in sales neck to neck with the Italian collection, followed by South African, Australian and Californian.
To complete that study I had a plan to invite different circles of people over for a wine and cheese night, some could not wait to come over and indulge themselves in great wine and company, while others were quite reluctant. The first group (you know yourselves) were close friends who have a high taste in life and know how to spoil their senses, they enjoyed their wine and talked about wines in detailed descriptions. I learnt that they all tend to enjoy full bodied red wines with plum notes accompanied by a nice chop of meat or a variety of strong cheeses. Some of them though enjoyed the lighter, fresher, fruity, citrus variety that reminded them of a good time by the beach or pool.
My second group of tasters were a group of people I didn’t know much; of different backgrounds, young and old with various experiences. At the first sip of the first wine bottle, I realized that the taste buds and choices are totally at the other end of the line in comparison with the first group. Their comments were coming from light wine drinkers who knew very little about wine yet enjoyed the company and came out with a better perspective about the wine taste and the reasons behind why it has that kind of taste. Some declared that drinking wine for them was solemnly connected to romantic dates or cozy winter nights of the sort, but mostly they would not think of going to a bar or liquor shop to get wine.
My third group of tasters were expats in Jordan who enjoyed a glass of wine with a good spread. The setting was very friendly and I must say I have learnt more from their notes about how much a good wine for a cheap price is needed in Jordan to be a set staple for dinners. The prices in comparison to salaries tends to push away buyers as they would not have that much of the budget set for a good quality wine with a great taste. They have enjoyed the various wines that were on the table but most enjoyed were the French Dourthe and the Escudo Rojo as well as the Santa Digna.
Here are some of the top winners in my study:
Saint George – Shiraz
So all in all I have to say Autumn and Winter are knocking the door soon and the perfect setting for that would be a glass of red wine with a juicy steak and side of jacket potatoes to compliment it. I would highly recommend that we enjoy a glass with the family, friends and loved ones for wine is not just a drink for dates (like some might think) but a classy drink to complete the tone of a meal or the setting of a cozy conversation. It makes the hearts open and the minds to calm down while the soul opens it’s arms to make room for passion.
Cheers To All…