Some thoughts on drinking well – Over the last months I have been looking at a lot of wine, some only available in our local market, but much destined for the Chinese market, and what I saw, to say the least, was disappointing even perhaps a bit alarming. I believe that China has the potential to become our most important market and I hope we are not taking that market for granted and selling them indifferent wine at inflated prices. Wines at all price points should have their own personality. Too much of what I have tasted recently – some with very high points …scores – had no individuality, tasting very much the same. Is the current financially-difficult market creating a culture where price overrides all other considerations? Because if so, ultimately it will be very damaging to our many premium wines and damaging also to the story Australia must communicate to the world, one of quality and diversity, if we are to survive the current difficulties. I’m reminded of the late Len Evans’ ‘Theory of Capacity’ which is very eloquent on the subject of not only quantity but more importantly also quality. I quote him in part:
“To make the most of the time left to you, you must start by calculating your future capacity. One bottle of wine a day is 365 bottles a year. If your life expectancy is another thirty years, there are only 10,000-odd bottles ahead of you. People who say, “You can’t drink the good stuff all the time” are talking rubbish. You must drink good stuff all the time. Every time you drink a bottle of inferior wine it’s like smashing a superior bottle against the wall. The pleasure is lost forever. You can’t get the bottle back. Wine is not meant to be enjoyed merely for its own sake, it is the key to love and laughter with friends, to the enjoyment of food and beauty and humour and art and music. It rewards us far beyond its cost.”
It’s a dictum we should very much consider when buying or selling wine – price should not be the only criterion.