Chinese influence, Alcohol consumption falls

It can only be good for wine in general that a Chinese wine tasting group has come first in the fourth La Revue du Vin de France world blind tasting championship, held in France. The Chinese need their own Robert Parker, Jancis Robertson or James Halliday. This win will be a confidence booster and may in time lead to the Chinese buying the wine they want rather than wine they are led to believe is good and great, as judged by Western palates. Of course this may or may not align with the current fashion.

The new, some say outrageous, price of the 2012 Penfolds Grange, set at $850 a bottle, continues to generate huge publicity, and from what I have read so far, all positive. It’s either a gift, or, no doubt as Treasury Wine Estates would prefer us to believe, clever marketing. What I’m not so sure of is the response in America, where according to a recent report Grange will be on sale at US$850 (about $1120 a bottle). Higher priced Australian wine is preforming well in the US but will the Americans accept this difference in price for Grange or will they see it as arrogant mockery?

It appears it’s the time for large accounting and Industry Market Research firms to release their reports on the Australian wine industry. We cover the Deloitte Agribusiness Bulletin on the Australian 2016 vintage, which is really based on the 2015 vintage in the Australian Wine News sector.

Here a quick look at the results of the IBISWorld report that suggests alcohol consumption over the past decade has followed a steady decline. Good, it won’t do any harm and the continuing decline might just get the health lobby off our back.

The figure IBISWorld puts forward is not large a decrease of 0.8 per cent over the next financial year, to 9.37 litres per capita, down from 10.57 litres in 1990-91. They project out from this to 2023/24 where they say the figure will be 8.54 litres per capita.

The IBIS report puts this down to government health campaigns and the under 30s having increased health awareness plus a few other factors.

The good news in the report is wine along with craft beer are considered social drinks and are likely to maintain growth. It’s the mainline beers that are in decline along with ready-to-drink spirit pre mixers and who gives a XXXX about that.

Australian big brewers also have negligible export exposure which means they have to rely on the domestic market. Is it any wonder the mainstream brews are insipid excuses for beer and what country would want to import such brews.

Pick your brew, wine or fine spirit with care and enjoy to the full, good Karma

Tony

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