Money not a barrier to buying wine, go Riverland

More tributes to Don Lewis arrived during the week. They can be viewed here


On Saturday 15 April I published reviews on shiraz wines, putting them into several price brackets. On the wines over $50 I said it’s often income that prevents sales of these wines, notwithstanding the quality and the value placed on that. At least one reader disagreed and sent in comments, which I posted. Time permitting, I think the comment and my response worth a read.


It’s been a long held view of mine that sectors of the wine industry are often blind to each other. Sometimes this is the result of lacking information, but often it’s a simple head-in-sand scenario: growers do not want to know more about production and vice versa, both can ignore retailers, and as for consumers, they come from Mars or beyond. It was enlightening to read the following paragraph in a Riverland Wine release:

“Riverland Wine has been encouraging members to understand the linkages between the value of a tonne of grapes and the value of a litre of wine in different countries and retail outlets around the globe. Before planning 2018 crops, it’s important to have a grasp of the factors that impact wine prices.”

Better understanding of all aspects of wine, from grape to consumer, can only be to the benefit of all involved, no matter at what stage.


Reading an interview with Château Angélus owner Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, in Forbes, by Tom Mullen, I thought this extract worth repeating:

“And then the name Angélus is easy. It’s one of the first brands in Bordeaux. Even if people never taste one bottle of Angélus, they know Angélus. It’s like the boutique Hermès. Some never go inside because they don’t have the money for that. But they know and they dream. This is really a brand.”

I know there is more to brands and there are many successful brands that people can afford, but truly it’s the brands that most people can’t afford that star. How ironic is that? Note de Laforest managed to get the name Angélus three times in a paragraph of 55 words.

Craft beer to me comes from a brewery that is small or smallish, and serves local outlets, with some of the production going further afield. There is no definition of “brand” and the big producers have not been slow to heave their bulging beer bellies onto the craft wagon. A recent article in Japanese national newspaper The Asahi Shimbum looks to be based on a media release:


“Kirin Holdings Co plans to export its premium ‘craft’ beers around Asia, starting with Taiwan in mid-May, and have regional demand account for 10 per cent of overall sales of the series this fiscal year.”


It looks as if I am going to have to change my view of what defines craft beer.

Good karma






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