Wine writers need to separate fact from fiction

Fact or fiction

Wine is not difficult to write about. After all, it’s mostly opinion. Opinion is fine, if at times tedious to read, but when wine writers mix fact with fiction, TKR thinks they are on dangerous ground. They should, if they want to be journalists, carry out fact checking and do more detailed research.

Not that TKR is taking the higher ground. We have made some cock-ups over the years.

An article in the Tahoe Weekly by Lou Phillips on 19 April was headed “Quality Aussie wines”. It contained the following:

“So what happened? Contrary to popular opinion it was not the world’s changing taste in wines from plentiful wines to those with more refinement. As a matter of fact, the largest and fastest growing category in wine sales today is that of rich, high-alcohol wines, such as the beloved large-production wines with edgy names — think Apothic and the like. What killed the Aussies were droughts and wildfires that depleted water sources and the rising costs of producing wine. Also, the Australian government had subsidised the wine industry to help it gain a foothold in the world, which led to the cheap pricing that created a market perception that Aussie wines had to be cheap.”

TKR is not as convinced as Phillips regarding droughts and wildfires depleting water resources, but will let that pass as there was a period when media reports were pointing in that direction. I am concerned about the government subsidising the wine industry. As far as I’m aware the Australian government has not given any subsidies, unless one includes the export development grants that were more generous in the day.

We asked Phillips if he could provide the facts on which he based the paragraph.


“Great to hear from you. I wonder why you have an issue with me writing about how the Australian wine industry is improving?? Please give some context. By the way I have multiple sources for that statement so you may wish to pick another fight if that is indeed your intent.

Go read the article and judge for yourself. TKR has no issue with Phillips writing about the Australian wine industry; just the facts. We did respond:

“My interest is the truth Lou. As far as I’m aware the Australian government has not given subsidies to the wine industry to establish overseas markets. If you have multiple sources please say, do not bluster with me.”

Should he answer in full, we will share. We won’t mention the use of two question markets or exclamation marks.

Phillips did answer, “Have a wonderful life sir.” Which to me proves he is immature also he is no journalist just some guy who rates himself

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