Some Global News

Friday, February 4, 2022

No biggie, but a few little snippets this week which may be of interest and food for thought.

ENGLAND: Starting with a grand bit of news, where in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, you can now lease the 500-year-old, White Hart Inn, for the weekend through Airbnb for £667 a night. You get to run the pub for your mates, fourteen of whom can stay overnight. You get to pull beers for them and with a bit of forward planning you can even organise to get your favourite beers on tap. Now that would be one heck of a pub night!!!

How about doing the same with a winery here?

BRAZIL: In the last decade the number of people drinking wine in Brazil has doubled, reaching 36% of the population – the same percentage as in the USA (World’s largest wine market). For most of the decade there had been steady growth in the number of wine drinkers, however, the advent of Covid-19 skyrocketed the number of drinkers as most people were loath to go out, let alone dine out. Progressive wine companies drove the home delivery message and many people responded, so that now significantly more Brazileros drink wine – mainly at home.

With this rapid growth in volume, one has to wonder whether Australia through Wine Australia is taking advantage of this opportunity. The Brazilian wine industry is quite small so that almost all of the volume increase is coming from imported wine – Where is Australia in this picture? Are we simply leaving it to the Chileans? Or are we putting some focus into this burgeoning market?

Wineries, have you considered Brazil?

SOUTH KOREA: In 2021 South Korea’s wine imports rose by 70% to reach new highs of US$506 million according to the Korea Customs Service. This was mainly due to more people consuming wine at home due to the pandemic.

This is the first time that wine imports to a country of 51 million have exceeded US$500 million, up from US$260 million in 2019, while last year China’s imports fell by 14%.

This growth has lead the group, Wine Intelligence, to name South Korea the second most attractive wine market in the world – just behind the USA.

They ranked the suppliers to South Korea as France No.1, USA No.2 (a long standing result due to the USA saving them during the Korean War), Chile No.3 and Spain No.4 – Where, oh where, is Australia? – In 6th position!!

We need to focus much more on this important market with one of our best trading partners. In most international markets that Australia focuses on we end up being in the top three imported wines – the very notable exceptions being in South East Asia, where in Japan we are No.6 and South Korea where we are also No.6.The good news is that we are No.1 in Malaysia at twice the volume of France (No.2).

On visits to both South Korea and Japan several years ago the only Australian wines I could readily find in bottle shops were Jacobs Creek and Yellow Tail. While I am sure that some of our more premium boutique wineries have made inroads in South Korea, the result overall in pretty dismal considering our proximity and trading relationship with South Korea.

C’mon Aussie, C’mon, C’mon, it is well past time to focus on South Korea and expand our wine exports to this dynamic and burgeoning market, rather than being a “me too” exporter.

Well, have a great week, stay safe #chooseaustralianwine and when possible drink #emergingvarieties.  Cheers!

This Week's Wine Review:

For quite a long while I have been waxing lyrically about the sparkling wines of Tasmania and of the Yarra’s Domaine Chandon. Especially after attending the magnificent EFFERVESENCE TASMANIA in November last year where I tasted many of Australia’s very best sparkling wines.

I have been banging on about how they are world-class sparkling wines at a much, much lower price than those of Champagne and top British Fizz. Well folks, here is another superb sparkling to add to the list of the top Australian sparkling wines.  It is the WICKS ESTATE “PAMELA” 2015 SPARKLING CHARDONNAY/PINOT NOIR – made by the “Methode Traditionelle” (matured in bottle). Having been made from the two main classic champagne varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and having undergone longer than usual maturation, it is a much more silky-smooth sparkler than most as the sharp acidity of a young sparkling wine has relaxed and mellowed over time.

At seven-years-old this wine has a very pleasant and attractive bouquet redolent with some green apple characters, some yeast autolysis and a degree of bottle maturation complexity. The palate has lovely citrus characters, mainly Valencia oranges, along with a hint of nuts making it svelte and classy. It has an excellent mousse and a divine finish, making it GORGEOUS & VERY ELEGANT!

With a price tag of $30 a bottle it is a steal! Check it out for yourself, you won’t regret it.

Have a great week, find a reason to enjoy some top quality Australian sparkling wine (white or red) and stay safe.

Remember #chooseaustralianwine and where possible enjoy #emergingvarieties. Cheers!

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