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...

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...

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...

Switzerland the Land of Vines & Wines

  Switzerland is usually associated with banks, watches, great skiing, resorts, cheeses, alpine walks, cows & chocolate. But for hundred of years local wine makers & farmers have been keeping their wines secret, often only sold locally within the village or occasionally making their way across the Italian, French and German borders …but not   that often I Iove the look I get when I  mention to people here in Australia that we import Swiss wines….” do the Swiss actually makes wines” they say, well yes they do & normally my stock standard answer is that there 4 good reasons why- they are called Italy, Germany, Austria & France, so why should the Swiss miss out becuase they are surrounded by these great wine growing...

A Rose by any other name-English Sparkling wines or is it all just Fizz?

A Rose by any other name-English Sparkling wines or is it all just Fizz?

I remember it was about 4 years ago a great English mate of ours Mark Bostock and his lovely wife Helen first introduced us to the concept & delights of fine sparkling wines from the UK. (sorry we cannot call them Champagne) We were living in Switzerland at the time and I thought how could these wines ever compare to the fine French champagnes we had tried so many times before? Well much to our surprise they were great and showed great style and finesse- mind you I love being proven wrong about things especially when it comes to wine. The British wine industry and especially those makers of sparkling wines continue to grow and develop, exceed the critics assessment & determinations and continue to deliver quality which is as good as many  ” big...