Selection of alcohol
Selection of alcohol

OPINION: Beverage bodies assume foetal position

THERE is something about big business in Australia (and probably the world, Scandinavia excluded) that as soon as there is the merest hint of a rise in basic wages or the most minimal change to the way they do business, they bleat it will crush them, cause abject hardship, cost jobs or, typically, all of the above.

No better is this illustrated than with labelling.

Like the tobacco industry, the food and beverage industry was been dragged kicking and screaming to the printery to put what is IN their product ON their product, rather than in the fine print in the back room of their lawyer’s offices.

They screamed and kicked again when they were told to put the truth on their labels that warned you’d better beware how much you consume lest you get fat, ill or die.

Like the tobacco industry, the food and beverage industry insisted that self-regulation was a better approach and promised that all businesses could be trusted to put people’s health above profit and any external or government regulation would sound the death knell of their industry and jobs would go offshore.

This saw things like Froot Loops and Milo being deemed healthy.

So it is predictable, but nevertheless astonishing, that the beverage industry cannot see the marketing parallels with tobacco in the latest stoush between those trying to push health down our throats and those trying to push toxic chemicals, namely alcohol, down there.

Yesterday a new requirement was agreed between health authorities to label alcoholic beverages with the truth that it is awfully bad for pregnant women or more importantly their babies, which comes into effect in 2023.

What was the reaction by the beverage industry?

“It will cost hundreds of millions and is an unnecessary burden, particularly on small business”, industry bodies crowed.

Such a staggeringly stupid and self-destructive view, I staggered and fell over my latest wine delivery.

Guys, wake up and smell the tobacco!

What you are saying is your profits are more important than children’s’ health. Idiots.

Pay your graphic designer an extra $50 and get over it. Divide that by the number of individual bottles you sell and work out how much to add, likely a fraction of a cent.

I’m happy to pay, cheers guys, but my annual fees to industry bodies … sorry, you know where you can stick them.

REVIEWS

Elderton Barossa Valley Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz 2018, $50. Solid and sweetish South Aussie shiraz as you would expect from the Barossa, which alas no longer has my favourite thing in the entire wine world, the gear knob capsule. 9.3/10.

Elderton Barossa Valley Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz 2018
Elderton Barossa Valley Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz 2018

Elderton Barossa Valley Western Ridge Grenache Carignan 2019, $50. This is out-there stuff for the Barossa and the continental but Chilean favourite grape, carignan, adds a characterful, cerebral, and out-there touch. 9.2/10.

Yeringberg Yarra Valley Marsanne Roussanne 2020?, $58. It’s a wonder you don’t see these grapes misspelled more than you do. It’s a wonder you don’t see more of them too. 9.3/10.

Yeringberg Yarra Valley Marsanne Roussanne 2020
Yeringberg Yarra Valley Marsanne Roussanne 2020

Yeringberg Yarra Valley, 2018, $85. It’s only when you taste this that you realise why and how the great grapes of Bordeaux are so often blended. Soak up some lingering scents of claret. 9.6/10.

Devlin’s Mount Clare Valley Shiraz, $20. Yep, that’s all that’s on the (front) label, minus the price of course. What more do you need to know? Well, if you’re pregnant or allergic, read the back. 9.2/10.

Devlin's Mount Clare Valley Riesling 2020
Devlin's Mount Clare Valley Riesling 2020

Devlin’s Mount Clare Valley Riesling 2020, $14. Sensible and straightforward stuff, without being stuffy or too sharp. Very portable, everyday, white wine. 9/10.



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