Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Australian Marketing Machine Makes A $260 Million Dollar Mistake

Infallible until now, Australia falters under the weight of it's own "lake of wine." In response to the decreasing price per bottle of Australian wine over the past decade, wine drinkers in Singapore, the U.S. and Britain will be exposed to a new marketing campaign by the Australian wine industry to sell more wine at more than $10 a bottle. The average price of Australian wine has fallen more than 20% over the past decade. This has been great for us consumers, but now they want us to "trade up." Up to what? Penfold Grange priced in the three digits? D'Arenberg at $15 and up, way up? I don't think so! They want us to buy more Rosemount at $10 per bottle. I don't think so. In the global market, Yellowtail is already a little pricey at $7, when Two Buck Chuck is $2 or $3 depending on where you live. Fortunately for Yellowtail, Two Buck Chuck Chard is awful, making way for Yellow Tail Chard. Besides, we love our little animals on the label. Do Rosemount, Lindeman's, and Jacobs Creek have little animals on their labels? This is definitely their weak spot. The Aussies are clearly best at the low end and the top end, and there is a lot of drek in the middle. Yes, Rosemount and Lindeman's are not bad, but if I am a Yellowtail drinker why would I want to "trade up" to them? I might be tempted to "trade down" to Charles Shaw, Searidge, Avery Lane, or Pine and Post. I might want to try Red Diamond, Columbia Crest or Barnard Griffin from Washington. Glen Ellen or the little truck that could from California. How about Fat Bastard or Bicyclette from France. The solution to Australia's wine problems is not spending a quarter of a billion bucks trying to sell us more expensive wine. The problem is not demand, it is oversupply! If everyb0dy and his brother can buy cheap land and plant grapes, that causes a "lake of wine." Of course, as consumers we shouldn't complain about too much wine, but if the Australians want to stabilize their price, they need to reduce their lake of wine. How about making ethanol, mates? Cheap wine is your strength! You are very competitive at this low price point and you keep us consumers happy. At ten dollars, you lose out to Washington, California, Chile and others, maybe even France, in the global world of wine. "We must make sure in our wine-making practice we answer the call of the market, which is for higher-quality product." Excuse me, mates, what call, who is calling? "Not I", said the little Penguin. "Not I", said the Roo."Not I", said the American consumer. Ya mean Yellowtail and the Little Penguin are not higher quality products? 'Fraid I might have to say, "G'bye to ya, Mates!"


  • At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…



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