Winemakers Federation whimper, Australian Vintage survival

What a week for TKR not to be published! The export figures came out, and in the main were good reading. We look at exports to China in our International Wine News section.

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) finally emerged from its box, cuckoo-like, to make an announcement about the anti-alcohol brigade and its preposterous attack on wine. Let’s hope the WFA keeps fighting, and doesn’t retreat, thinking enough has been done.

Australian Vintage (AV) has flogged off a chunk of its business to the Chinese. It should be a good move, and I wish AV well.

Both the WFA and AV are dealt with in greater detail in the Australian Wine News section.

In wider issues, Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential elections. At least this president is a wine drinker, and said to be knowledgeable on the subject. The less said, the better, when it comes to Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull’s visit to meet President Donald John Trump. Words such as brown, arse, forelock, tug, and kiss all come to mind. Back home, there was the budget. Wine remained unaffected but the naivety of thinking the banks will not pass on any tax increases imposed on them really is an insult to the Australian electorate.

I found this extract, from Drinks International on 11 May, concerning and interesting:

“UK supermarket chain Asda will add more than 100 craft beers to its shelves nationwide on top of the 40 new beers already stocked in 2017.

“Up to 10 per cent of Asda’s existing beer space will be dedicated to craft beer and will replace larger brands from May 24 onwards.”

Craft beer, and increasingly craft spirits, are becoming attractive to consumers, and not just the nerds. This raises the question: will craft beer and spirits take market share from wine?

Alex Ch’ng, from a BWS store in Perth, gives a view from the front line in Australian Wine News.
I also take the opportunity to introduce Matthew Sievier, who is a BWS store manager at Bondi Junction, Sydney. Matthew’s wine passion is organic.

Among all this excitement, I was ensconced deep within a Brisbane hospital. Things were inserted (in, down and up) and stuff was removed. Enough blood was taken to make Dracula obese, and I lost count of the scans taken.

The proverbial 101 tests, hoops and hurdles had to be negotiated before I could be cleared for a lung transplant. I did extremely well, passing 100 of them, most with a distinction (a few with an HD). But, unfortunately, the one I failed – ironically on the morning of the day (11 May) that I was expecting to receive, and medical staff were expecting to give, good news – meant I was refused as a transplant patient.

TKR has never been less than honest, and there’s no need to start avoiding issues now, no matter how unpleasant. What the above means is I have a couple or three years before the lungs fail completely and I join the dear departed.

Meanwhile, TKR will continue, hopefully as piquant, honest and to-the-point as it’s always been. Let’s keep sentimental slop to the Women’s Weekly, fly-on-the-wall documentaries, or some of the idiot stuff those employed in wine company marketing or PR departments inflict on me when a simple question is asked, requiring honest answers.

Which brings me to the online auction that Langton’s has kindly arranged on my behalf, which will take place mid-June. The original reason for the auction was that I was to move to Brisbane for six months for the operation, post-operation recovery and treatment. This I won’t need to do now, but the money raised from the generous donations the industry has made will be put to one side for use when the time comes and I can no longer work. So, in advance, I thank all TKR readers and supporters, deeply, very deeply.

Good karma

Tony

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