Excitement is building in Portugal’s Douro Valley as Port houses prepare for the traditional St George’s Day declaration of their own irrelevance on 23 April.
‘This is a fantastic annual tradition that really helps us to stay back-of-mind with wine drinkers everywhere,’ said Tinta Snoriz, head of consumer disengagement at Porto Snuz. ‘We’re hoping that huge numbers of wine lovers all over the world will completely fail to register that this year’s declaration has even happened.’
Snoriz told Fake Booze that the 2019 vintage had all the classic hallmarks of being ‘utterly dull’ from the outset.
‘Even in April, there was an unmistakable whiff of indifference in the vineyards,’ she said. ‘There were some worrying signs of enthusiasm in June – when Wine Spectator gave one of our young single quintas a 90-point score – but this quickly dried up.
‘It was a classic Douro summer in which literally nothing happened, with perfect conditions for universal apathy lasting until well after harvest.’
It’s the 25th year on the trot that Porto Snuz has declared itself irrelevant, thanks to clear evidence of ‘rising levels of total boredom’ among consumers the world over.
In the past, Port houses were only able to declare their own irrelevance two or three times a decade. But the climate among wine drinkers has changed irrevocably over the last 20 years. Now producers are able to attain consistently higher levels of disregard on an annual basis.
This phenomenon, known as ‘Global Yawning’, has seen a growing number of other houses following follow Porto Snuz’s example and declaring themselves irrelevant on an annual basis.
‘It’s amazing,’ said Snoriz. ‘We’re attaining levels of indifference year after year that our predecessors could only have dreamed of.’
However, port journalist Taylor Barocca said that other factors had also contributed to the meteoric rise in apathy.
‘A lot of hard work has had to not go on behind the scenes to get the industry to where it is now,’ she told Fake Booze. ‘The generic body deserve a lot of credit for all the effort they haven’t put into promoting the product for years.’
‘And at a time when the public are looking for low-abv and low-calorie whites and rosés, being a viciously tannic 20% red wine with half a bag of sugar in has definitely helped.
‘Consumers are more disengaged than they’ve ever been.’
Decades of ennui
Porto Snuz’s Snoriz agreed.
‘Having that point of indifference has really helped push our product to the back of people’s minds,’ she said.
‘People could be ignoring these wines for decades to come.’