Australia really is a land of Vinfrihet! Greetings from Australia where I am touring our suppliers and meeting with our wine agent Peter Walker. And spending a much time as possible visiting wine stores and tasting the multitude of high quality, great value wines. Being here I am reminded of the pleasure I used to get by browsing the wine stores, speaking to the well educated and helpful sales staff or store owner and having to make the hard decisions what not to buy. In one excellent store, La Vigna in Perth, I ordered a large selection of wines to take back and taste and the sales person reviewed my selection, commented on the wines and made their own suggestions and then gave me a 10% discount. That is service!
There is much to report on the development of the Australian wine market and it is all good news for consumers. The Australian dollar is weaker against the SEK and the market is so highly competitive that the quality and value being produced by the 2000+ wineries continues to get better and better.
I visited several local coffee shops that had wines lists featuring wines that only fine dining restaurants in Sweden would have but then again I also visited a restaurant called Meat and Wine Restaurant in Melbourne that had a wine list that their Sommelier should be ashamed of. Not that the wines were bad, as it is very unusual to taste a bad wine in Australia, but it was unexciting and unadventurous given the huge selection of wines available. I ended up ordering a French Cote du Rhone rather than settle for an average Australian wine with the restaurant’s huge margins.
Expect a lot more great wines from Australia in our assortment in 2009. I will report on mywinery visits in my next blog posting.
Cheers from Down Under: Mark