Other Not So Cheery News

July 3, 2020

This week Dan mentions a few “not so cheery” news topics which have had an impact on Aussie businesses.

CYBER-ATTACK:  On June 8, Australia’s drinks company, Lion, was hit by a cyber-attack which forced them to close down their computing system which runs almost all aspects of the company including the brewing of their beers. Four days later the company announced that they had some systems back up and running but had not fully resolved the matter and were working with the Federal Police in investigating the matter. Ironically whilst they had been able to maintain brewing (using “stay safe” procedures) during the Covid-19 lockdown they had been forced to stop brewing (temporarily) by this cyber-attack, just as their customers, the hospitality industry, were starting to open back up as the restrictions eased.

I mention this item in order to ask you to consider how hack-proof is your system? And how able would you be to continue to function if it happened to you? Think about it please!

BUSHFIRE VICTIMS:  According to recent reports three charities, the Red Cross, St Vincent and The Salvos still have tens of millions of dollars in their bank accounts of the money that hardworking Aussies donated towards the bushfire appeals late last year and at the start of this year. Meanwhile, there are a number of bushfire victims who are still living in tents or at best caravans on their devastated properties because they can’t afford to start re-building and have received NO help from these greedy charities. Why are these charities doing this? What possible reason could they have for not helping those who the money was raised for and equally important, why are they doing this in secret?

Shame on them! I for one will NEVER, EVER, contribute another cent towards these particular charities which continue to ask for more money when they have tens of millions of unspent donations. Please consider doing the same and maybe if we all stop donating to them, they might get the message.

FREE TRADE FAKE NEWS?:  In the June edition of a leading wine industry journal there was a half-page article titled, “Free Trade with Indonesia to support future wine growth prospects”.

Great news, except that other than mentioning that the IA-CEPA (Indonesia- Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) had been signed, the rest of the article was about FTA’s in general with no reference whatsoever to Indonesia or any IA-CEPA benefits to the Australian wine industry. That is, no reference to the headline of the article!!

I have checked with Austrade and wine is NOT included in IA-CEPA in any shape or form – what with Indonesia being a Muslim country!! So their headline sounds misleading to me. The article is just general stuff about how FTA’s can help the wine industry (true in other countries but not Indonesia) and how our sales to Indonesia have grown for the last five years by a compound growth of 32%, up to $14 million. I don’t have figures, but I’ll bet that Georgia outsells us in Indonesia due to the initiatives their government launched three to four years ago.

For the last few years I have been spruiking about selling wine to Indonesia and most people have been poo-pooing it because it is a Muslim country. Well, there are at least seven million ex-pats and Christians living there, so ignoring it as a market would be like ignoring the Sydney and Brisbane market combined.

Wine sales to Indonesia will be hard work because of cultural differences but worth the effort, especially as China cools off on us – Hmm, who could have predicted that!! By the way, I can remember at the turn of the century when people poo-pooed selling wine to China because that was too hard. It hasn’t been so hard over the last two to three years has it?

Just don’t go relying on the FTA to help ‘cause we ain’t in there.

Hopefully I will be back with cheerier news next week. In the meantime please stay safe and enjoy great wines. Cheers!

This Week's Wine Review:

This week I am not actually reviewing a wine rather trying understand the logic/reasoning of some wineries.

For five years I have been reviewing wines on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) as well as this forum (Dan’s Blog) where I highlight the best wine tasted during the week. Each year the number of wines received and reviewed has increased so that last year, 2019, I was posting two to three wine reviews a day online, every day of the week.

Bizarrely since Covid-19 struck the number of wines I have received to review has dropped away dramatically. Yes, the long-time regulars like d’Arenberg, Yalumba, Bremerton, Yangarra, Calabria, Gartelmann, Angullong, Geoff Hardy, Paracombe, Lévrier by Jo Irvine, etc., have still been sending me new releases and other wines through for review, BUT a whole raft of other (mainly smaller wineries) have ceased to do so. Why?

I say bizarrely because these days there are less avenues than previously to obtain publicity and promote wines. Therefore I would have thought that more people rather than less would be incurring the mere cost of the taxes on a bottle of wine plus the postage to get their wine reviewed for free and mentioned on social media.

As far as I have been able to tell, especially from the number of re-posts, my reviews are still realistic, meaningful and have a reasonable reach, despite the fact that I refuse to use the 10-point system (100 point). Additionally, I do not post bad reviews – currently the non-posts are running at 1-2% of the wines received to be reviewed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bitching about this, I have plenty to do as it is. I am just curious as to why “when things get tough people run away” instead of “get going”.

So I would love to hear from some of the wineries who are no longer sending samples for review, as to “WHY IS THIS SO?” – Just curious.

Thanks! Have a great week enjoying great Aussie wines and stay safe.