Wine Australia scoring own goals

At an instore wine tasting Saturday, I tasted through some of the wines of Skillogalee, a winery in the Clare Valley in SA. I thought their 2010 Gewurztraminer was a good wine and grabbed a bottle of it to purchase, whereupon a fellow taster clued me in to this article, published in The Weekend Australian that same day.

To summarise: A federal body called Wine Australia has to approve all Australian wines for export, rejecting any that they feel will bring the Australian wine “brand” into disrepute. A UK importer who had tasted this wine was very keen to import it, but Wine Australia decided to reject it as having too much volatile acidity, an excess of which is considered a wine fault, even though it tested well under the legal limit. So it was just their subjective opinion that the wine was faulty, an opinion not shared by the importer, myself, or the sommelier at some two-bit restaurant called Tetsuya’s, where the wine has been on the by-the-glass list. The wine has also been on the list at high-end Melbourne restaurants Flower Drum and Rockpool.

At a time when sales of Australian wine have declined worldwide (in no small part because of a perception that it is bland, industrial and undifferentiated) I think there’s an argument to be made that we don’t need a bureaucracy telling paying overseas customers that they aren’t allowed to buy our wine. But then again, if we didn’t have Wine Australia, terrible things might happen. You know, like overseas consumers being exposed to wines not fitting into a range of government-approved flavours.

5 thoughts on “Wine Australia scoring own goals

  1. “If you can’t trust the government, who can you trust?”
    I don’t know how anyone trusts these idiots who simultaneously:
    1. damage our trade and lower our export income
    2. impinge the sellers rights to market
    3. impinge the buyers right to free choice
    4. introduce a personal and unqualified bias (in what other way can you describe some bureaucrats taste in wine, regardless of who they are, when they would need to be in an infallible position of knowing the wine tastes of every person on earth – and funnily enough that still gives them no right to decide), into process that is completely unnecessary in the first place.

    And thereby they also,

    1A. Cost the economy the income we should derive from this trade and reduce our national buying power WRT import goods, by refusing to accept the money we should have gotten for the trade
    2A. Strangle Australian business (but only the businesses that some bully who knows nothing about anything, getting paid 100K+ to sit on his fat arse in his airconditioned office decides aren’t important)
    3A. Put more trade barriers up, and finally
    4A. Create ANOTHER quango, create MORE superfluous public sector jobs, so more empty shirts can come to pick up pay-checks that the rest of us will pay for out of our tax, and hope that we will be allowed to spend on whatever we like, even though the reality is that every other government out there acting like ours is actually removing our choice and we will never know about it

  2. Truly astonishing… I wasn’t aware Aussie wines were losing global market share, but it doesn’t surporise me with this sort of nonsense.

  3. I should probably have said premium Australian wines… as far as I know Yellowtail et al are doing fine. The US is over their Australian shiraz fad though and we have an image problem in the UK – studies have shown that people there feel more comfortable about putting a cheap French wine on a dinner party table than a premium Australian one.

  4. Come the evolution, what do we do with these bureaucrats? Mercy killings? Export to other countries? Outback land-fill projects? We need to have our answers now for when the Australian people decide they want us to run the whole country.

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