USA Presidential election whine and wine

The biggest news this week is the US presidential election. It should be decided by the time TKR is published.

It may seem unbelievable to Australians but at the time of writing (Monday) Donald Trump is eight points in front of Hillary Clinton in a poll asking who is the most honest. Mr Trump more honest than Mrs Clinton may seem a joke, but are the Clintons trustworthy? Is the email scandal hurting Mrs Clinton? Is she being honest on that issue?

Apparently she is, as on Sunday FBI Director James Comey said a review of the latest discovered emails did not change the agency’s conclusion and no charges were warranted. This boosted the dollar, especially in Asian markets.

Leaving political ramifications to the side, how will trade be affected under the new president? Trade includes wine and it’s not a question that can be answered at this time.

I don’t recall any warnings of the pound collapsing pre the UK referendum on leaving the EU, but the result has affected the profits of Australian wineries exporting to the UK. An article in The Independent (UK) on November 8 said if Mrs Clinton won it would prompt a dollar rally. If the winner were Mr Trump the dollar’s movement would be uncertain, with analysts predicting the first impact would be for the dollar to fall against currencies of developed countries, though it might strengthen against developing nations’ currencies.

Update: It’s lunchtime on Wednesday and the US election results are coming in. To win, 270 electoral votes are required. At this stage Mrs Clinton has 97 and Mr Trump 130. During November the Australian dollar to US dollar has moved from 76.53 to close at 77 on 8 November.

Mid-afternoon: Mrs Clinton has 209 and Mr Trump 216 electoral votes. It’s tense in this household (my partner Tracey is American).

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Thursday 10 November: It’s a sad day in this household and a day that many will, for ever more remember.  What will unfurl over the next four years I and I suspect many others have no idea. For global peace let’s hope Mr Trump learns very quickly being President is not about him.

Treasury Wine Estates’ relaunch of Truvée, a wine aimed at women in their 30s, is interesting, but has me baffled. Perhaps curious is a better word. Anyhow, for reasons why read the report in Australian Wine News.

Woolworths’ and Coles’ first-quarter 2017 reports are out. Our views on the results, with a focus on wine, are also in Australian Wine News.

Dianne Laurance has sold Laurance of Margaret River to an American, said to be Howard Milstein, for $20 million. Mr Milstein, 65, is from an extremely powerful New York-based family heavily involved with real estate. He has several other strings to his bow, and suffice to say the reported $20 million he paid for the 100-hectare (23 hectares planted to vines) property would not have made a great dent in the family fortune.

I do not know the Laurance wines other than they come in what is to me is gaudy packaging. While James Halliday says “the quality of the wines can be lost behind the unusual bottles”, in the 2017 Wine Companion he rates them highly.

According to news reports, some of the Laurance land will be leased to the Oatley group to build a cellar door, which I suspect will be quite spectacular. The reports also say another part of the property will be leased to Larry Cherubino Wines. The reason is not stated. Cherubino makes wine for the Oatley’s plus his own brand. Will this land be for vineyard of his own cellar door?

Good karma.

Tony

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