Disaster, success, future, academia

Up and down

It’s been an up and down week that brought news to gladden and lift my heart, and an incident that almost prevented TKR appearing.

Bad news first: I do not understand how the considerable amount of work I did on Monday disappeared. The obvious explanation is that I didn’t save it, but at this stage I’m not sure. I can rewrite the editorial but what I can’t replace are the reviews.

The focus was on varieties such as tempranillo, nebbiolo, fiano and vermentino. They are all gone, so if you sent such a sample and are wondering where the review is, I’m sorry, there won’t be one. I know among the wines tasted there were samples from:

  • David Hook
  • Shingleback
  • Oliver’s Taranga
  • Sidewood
  • Tar & Roses

Again, I apologise.

What lifted my heart was the Langton’s auction that raised funds on my behalf. The money raised was fantastic, but far outweighing the final tally was the kindness and generosity of those who contributed wine, the Langton’s team (especially Tamara Grischy, the head of fine wine auctions, who pulled it all together), and, not least, those who bid for the wines.

I was searching for words of appreciation, and many came to mind, but as I juggled and moved them around I was reminded of UK comedian Eric Morecambe, who, in a sketch with André Previn involving Eric attempting to play Grieg’s piano concerto, said: “I’m playing all the right notes – but not necessarily in the right order.”

I have all the words, I’m just unsure in what order to put them to convey the true and deep feeling that emanates from my heart.

What now?

The money (almost all of it) raised from the auction will be put aside until needed. Meanwhile, I will continue with The Key Report. The Keys body may be on the knackered side, but the mind is still working.

Having spoken to those looking after my medical condition, I feel confident (with fingers crossed and lucky rabbit’s foot plus birthstone in pocket) in saying TKR will continue until December 2018. That means I will continue to ask for sponsorship up until that period. Invoices will sent out for the remainder of 2017. Come January 2018 I will review the situation and keep all fully informed. Of course, should any of you want to discontinue, I fully understand.

To business

Enough of me, and to business. Last week’s article expressing my views on this report – ‘I like the sound of that!’ Wine descriptions influence consumers’ expectations, liking, emotions and willingness to pay for Australian white wines. By Lukas Danner, Trent E Johnson, Renata Ristic, Herbert L Meiselman and Susan EP Bastian – generated some comment and hopefully will generate more.

It was pointed out to me that I had misread part of the paper:

“I think you confused the tasting sensory panel, which measures the flavour profiles of the wines, through repeated tastings, and the consumers who tasted the wines and read labels (papers) in a lab setting. I don’t think these were the same people.”

True, I did, but I still think the final paper was a complete twaddle. Therefore I sent a note to Ms Bastian at the University of Adelaide, and Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, with these points:

The behind-the-label research, as you probably have gathered, is in my opinion the biggest waste of time for academic brains and total waste of Wine Australia funding. Considering the media interest it gathered I consider this twaddle of yours has generated false news.

Would you or any of the team involved in this farce like to explain just what you thought you achieved?

Andreas, what justification can WA have for granting money for this research?

It is my view that Bastian and team should be ashamed of wasting grant money and promoting false hope in the industry via feeding the press with results that are no more than common sense.

I advised Bastian and Clark that TKR was to go the editor on Wednesday 21 June, and therefore the deadline was close of play on Tuesday 20 June. The response can be read in the Australian Wine News sector.

The US retail landscape is changing in a way that will affect wine sales. We will look closer at this in next week’s TKR.

Good karma this coming week




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