WET reforms are proving weak as water

WET, weak as water:

Its treading water time as far as WET is concerned. The Winemakers Federation is issuing soothing words saying all will be sorted but many wine producers are concerned, they fear the reduction will drive them out of business. We present some of the concerns in the Australian Wine News sector.

Queen shopping:

In the past week an unusual mix of events have taken place, some serendipitous, others not. Dave Lewis, the CEO of Tesco, has picked up a £4.6 million ($9.07 million) pay packet that includes a £3 million bonus for stabilising the company and returning it to profit.

It was profit good enough for Tesco to sponsor the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where the Queen’s horse won one of the events and HM picked up a £50 Tesco gift voucher. Apparently, she was very amused.

The Australian angle (in my mind) is to wonder how generous the bonus will be for Michael Clarke, CEO of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), for guiding his company to profit. Should Brad Banducci do the same for Woolworths, surely he will require a larger wallet.


Just plain weird was the news that Budweiser, the so-called beer of America, is to change its name this month to “America”. According to the media release, this is to show support for the US Olympic team at the summer Games. The new name will be in place until after the presidential election in November.

I also find it weird that wine for drinking is cheaper than wine whose destiny is to be investment opportunity, and perhaps end its days turning to vinegar, wrapped liked a bishop in purple and a corpse in a wooden box. Fortunately, the secondary market for Australian wine hasn’t taken off to such a large degree, so our wines are cheap in comparison to this selection of Bordeaux released this past week. Add to these price shipping, various taxes and retailer mark-up, and the final cost to the consumer is huge. But is consumer the correct word? Should it not be investor?

  • Chateau Pape Clement Pessac-Leognan 2015: €58.80 ($91.40)
  • Chateau Beychevelle Saint Julien 2015: €50.40
  • Alter Ego de Palmer (second wine of Chateau Palmer) Margaux 2015: €44
  • Chateau Clerc Milon Pauillac2015: €43
  • Chateau Langoa Barton Saint Julien 2015: €32
  • Chateau d’Armailhac Pauillac2015: €28.80

Region, what region:

I was surprised and pleased about the news generated this past week concerning Australia picking up the second highest number of awards at the International Wine Challenge (UK), the total haul of 815 medals comprised 80 gold, 375 silver and 360 bronze.

The surprise being it’s been much the same for years, I have lost count of the times I have covered it in detail. Why Wine Australia should suddenly start issuing media releases on the IWC I have no idea, but again pleased they did.

The point they, producers and the IWC miss, can be found in the four wines used as an excample listed below that received gold, work out what is missing.

  • Bird in Hand South Australia Montepulciano, 2014
  • Bremerton Old Adam South Australia Shiraz, 2012
  • All Saints Estate Victoria ‘Rare’ Muscat, NV
  • First Creek ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ New South Wales Chardonnay, 2013

South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales, it should read

  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills Montepulciano, 2014
  • Bremerton ‘Old Adam’ Langhorne Creek Shiraz, 2012
  • All Saints Estate ‘Rare’ Rutherglen Muscat, NV
  • First Creek ‘Winemaker’s Reserve’ Hunter Valley Chardonnay, 2013

Its the same for all the results. There is a huge amount of talk about regions but all the IWC publish is states, this needs looking at, urgently so next year all the puff that marketers, wineries and Wine Australia sprout about regionality actually has some meaning.

Monkey business:

Do you know the story of the 100th monkey? No? Look it up via Google or Wikipedia. Then work out what it has to do with wine. Don’t be too concerned if a blank is the result. Be assured all will be revealed in the coming weeks.

It is the year of the Fire Monkey. Maybe it is time for bold moves. Until next week, good karma.


3 thoughts on “WET reforms are proving weak as water”

  1. I completely agree with you Tony about where exactly the wine comes from. IWSC as a. n. other UK competition tastes blind but with the region stated, as the wine is entered. It is hugely important and as a panel chair for Australia I make sure my panel knows the style (generally), vintage (importantly) and exactly where this place is!

    All the best, Angela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *