Australian wine is at a crossroads?

Australian wine is at a crossroads?

I am a great believer and supporter of Australian wines and wine makers and have been for years, so despite the fact that I am an importer and supplier of anything hut Australian wines they will always have a special place at our table. I was fortunate enough to attend the RAS/WCA Wine Communicators Of Australia 2014 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine show on Friday at the Four Seasons here in Sydney. A special highlight to me was able to hear what some the wine worlds leading thinkers have to say about the current and future state of the Australian wine industry and I must admit I loved the openness and honesty that was expressed. Of special intérest to me was the insights that Ian Riggs the Chairman of Judges for the RAS.  Ian was very definitive in is belief...

What has Harry Potter got to do with the Austrian wine classification system?

What has Harry Potter got to do with the Austrian wine classification system?

I am not sure if you have had the time and well indeed interest to follow what has been happening in Austria of late? It would appear that JK Rowlings and the whole cast of Harry Potter have been engaged to help in the creation of some pretty interesting new wine apellation and region names. Austria being one of the worlds greatest wine democracies, it stands as one of the few wine making countries in Europe to challenge the existing codifcation of wine that were originally created back in the 1930′s. There are 2 key classification systems in place  and they appear to happily co-exist side by side without much issue and or concern maybe it is because no one really understands them outside of Austria. Firstly there is the Germanic, or the old way as leading...

Never Judge a Book or in this case a Wine by its cover.

Never Judge a Book or in this case a Wine by its cover.

Here I am in the sleepy little New South Wales Far South Coast town of Bermagui, now I have been coming here off and on for many years and this place has always been a sleepy little fishing village. Times have changed and the world is starting to catch up with even this most quiet part of the world, which as we know has its negatives and positives. I wandered around town and looked at things, checking out as I usually do what wines and spirits are being sold. I am come across the local “ bottle shop” as we call them in Australia Bermagui Cellars. The cellars are part of a larger branded banner chain of liquor stores so I thought to myself that they will most likely sell and service a pretty standard range of bigger wine, beer and spirits brands. I wandered...

Portugal the forgotten European Wine Producer

Portugal the forgotten European Wine Producer

We continue our series about Wines of the World. In this post we are going to focus on the wonderfully colorful country of Portugal, which for many of us remains a real mystery, as many of us have not simply had the opportunity to visit. When people speak of Portugal it is often referred to as the poor cousin of Spain, but we can tell you that it is anything but that. When it comes to wine did you know that Portugal is one of the oldest demarcated  & regulated wine regions in the world and most of this started well before the French and the rest of the world jumped on the AOC, IGT, DOCG, VDP and what ever other TLA (Three Letter Acronym) I can find was implemented. Portugal produces the most stunning array of diverse wines and these are quickly gaining...

Humanizing Wine- in Defence of Wine Lists

Jonathan Nossietr in his recent book ” Liquid Memory- Why Wine Matters” reminded me the reason that we love wine and why wine evokes for many of us so many wonderful emotions, feelings and memories. He reminded me that to often we as wine drinkers are blinded by science. Take the following quote and see what I mean. “ A very grippy style, with lots of sweet tapenede, tobacco, hot stone & bruised chedtnut notes weaving through the core of a dark currant & fig fruit. There is a nice twinge of lavender on the structured finish. Best between 2010 through 2028″ Wine when described like this has become an ” intellectual justification” of what someone thinks that they see and smell in a given wine, no wonder we get a little...

The future of Small Australian Winemakers

Trends in the wine world are quite common, things falling in and out of fashion but for sometime now especially here in Australia  we have witnessed the development of a trend of ” bigness” & the creation of  mega wine brand organizations. Today 4 brands own more than 80% of all wine brands in Australia. We have at the same time witnessed  the growth of the big box liquor retailers who now represent more than 45% of all wines sold here in Australia, both of these factors have really changed the game and not so much for the better. Mark Watson from Wine and Grapegrower commented recently  “Like it or not, retail consolidation has changed the face of the Australian wine industry forever. Its impact has been far-reaching and varied. For...