Independence, Treasure, Sauvignon Blanc, UK Budget

What a response to last week’s statement concerning my stance on independence and freedom of opinion, no matter the price. I thank you for your support for that, and the kind words concerning my health.  

It is amazing, with the abundance of news available, how precious people are becoming. Equality in every aspect is no bad concept, but there seems to be a lot of hiding behind whatever inequality one faces. It’s “you’re only picking on me because I’m…”  

The Western world only wants positive news. Egos have to be massaged and polished, and soft soap platitudes constantly dished out to soothe those whose lives or jobs cause stress.  

Stress be arsed; get a grip on life. If you live in Australia you are already one of the luckiest buggers on the planet. A little reminder of that and a dollop of criticism won’t hurt you from time to time.   

TKR is going well: direct readership is good, clicks and openings above average, I’ve been told. Internet search figures are not so good. It’s something to do with the way I write the intro, so I’m working on that.  

It’s OK being out there floating around webland, but I prefer more personal contact, so would like to increase my direct mailing list. Please, if you know anyone who is interested in wine news or just the wine reviews, send them TKR and ask them to come on board.    

I think one of the most interesting pieces of wine-related news this past week was Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) announcing that it was to launch a French range of wines targeted at the Chinese and general Asian market (this story continues in the Australian wine news section).  

In the international news section is a snapshot of average retail prices of various countries wines available in the US and UK retail market. Australia crawls around at the bottom of the lists happily wallowing in the muck of vast amounts of nondescript wine from the non-region of South East Australia. How did we descend to this? 

Sauvignon blanc! What can be said in polite English about sauvignon blanc, very little in my mind but I try. I gather all my strength, focus the mind and put aside any prejudices I hold on the evil liquid. The results can be seen in this week’s review section.    

In the UK budget this week there were no direct increases on alcohol taxation, but the implementation of past budgets came into play: all duty, including wine and spirits, was raised in line with inflation. A bottle of wine will increase by around 8p (13 cents) and a 70cl bottle of 40 per cent spirits by 30p. Add VAT at 20 per cent and it’s a hike. Beer is likely to increase 2p a pint.  

The issue being: will the large retailers force suppliers to absorb the increases so they can retain price and margin?  

ProWein s on this weekend (19-21 March) apparently there is a record number of Australian wineries participating on the Wine Australia stand. We wish them all well and hope they get more than appointments, let’s keep fingers crossed they get sales. 

Good Karma

Tony 

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