Champagne – say it like the French

With Champagne consumption increasing around the globe after the pandemic, the time is ripe for a guide for non-French speakers to master, or at least improve, the pronunciation of some of the more commonly sold Champagne brands. Do you say the 't' in Moët or not? Read on!
Moët leads the world’s wine brands

Swiss Wine Watch: Time to Try

Switzerland is much more than mountains, chocolates and watches. It’s wine too. Very good wine. But to try, you need to visit (if you can) as little leaves its borders: just 2% of Swiss wine is exported. At the base of the Alps, in a little known region Valais, you can find fabulous wines in a country with one of the highest per capita consumptions of wine in the world.

Real men do drink bubbles

A survey by World Wine Watch reveals most men don’t feel less ‘manly’ drinking bubbles in front of their peers, though two in three men only enjoy sparkling wine in the company of a woman while some buy Champagne to show off their spending power and splash out on Cristal.

The Loire Valley’s noble wines

The Loire Valley is a top sparkling, white and red wine producer. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site with huge caves and castles which housed French kings and perhaps most famous of all, Leonardo da Vinci, who made the region his home.

Bordeaux Chauvinist gets lost in Beaujolais

The Bordeaux Chauvinist’s advises on good value for money wines of all French appellations and regions (but he remains a Bordeaux Chauvinist). He recently tried a budget Beaujolais white (chardonnay) and liked what he tried. Beaujolais Nouveau "happy day” may have just gone, but it's never to late to try to a Beaujolais white.

Treasury shares surge on China hopes

Shares in Australia's biggest wine company Treasury Wine States have rebounded on speculation that wine exports could resume to China in 2023 and analysts expects its run to continue in 2023 as Australia’s relation with China thaw and lockdowns lift after huge nationwide protests against Covid restrictions.

Australian organic wine flows onto shelves

As organic and biodynamic wines increasingly appear on liquor shop shelves, Australian consumers are being offered more choice from winemakers, as they play catch-up to European producers. While prices of local products are still high, they are coming down though quality needs to improve.

The one to watch: Grüner Veltliner

Bucking a global trend, Australian wines are becoming more diverse, with wineries diversifying away from French grapes to others, including Austria's Grüner Veltliner. That's good news for a nation where Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate wine production, leading to fatigue for many wine consumers.

Branching out on the grapevine

Australians have been stuck on drinking the same old wines for years but slowly, we're broadening our tastes to include lesser-known wines, including the savoury Italian kind.

Time for bubbles Bond?

Australians love their wine and are ready to splurge on bubbly. Forget the red wine or VB this Christmas, sparkling is the pick, and often pink, whether imported or locally made. Heading into Christmas, more and more corks will be popped, celebrating the end of a difficult year and hopes for the new one.
Moët leads the world’s wine brands

Bordeaux Chauvinist loves this bargain

“Bordeaux dry white wine bashing” is common in France given the lack of care given to the dry white wines of the region. They often have notes of cat pee, short and sometimes over-wooded to hide flaws, says the Bordeaux Chauvinist. But that was before he bought the “Les Frangines” of Château Thieuley 2020 AOC Bordeaux white wine from Auchan for €6.95 and loved it!
One of the world's most expensive rosés any good falls short

Aussie wine sales to China dry up

Australian wine exports fell to a five-year low of $2.3 billion with wine exports to China plunging 77% over the year to September 30, 2021, after steep tariffs were imposed on Australian wine in late 2020. But exports bounced in Hong Kong by 135% while the UK and the US overtook China as Australia's biggest wine export markets.

Adelaide Hills demands attention

Only a 20-minute drive from Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills offers a great wine-tasting experience and an exceptionally pretty place to visit with rolling hills, fruit orchards, steep gullies and grapevines. It is the closest of the South Australian wine regions to the Adelaide CBD and for my money, the prettiest.

Is one of the most expensive rosés in the world any good?

Guest columnist for World Wine Watch, the Bordeaux Chauvinist, has tried a very expensive rosé from Provence, Garrus, and he can't find the value. The Bordeaux Chauvinist is an anonymous sommelier who advises on good value for money wines of all regions and countries (But he remains a Bordeaux Chauvinist).
Bordeaux-Chauvinist likes a Rhone Valley cask

An Ode to Lockdown and Pol Roger

During an extended lockdown in Sydney over winter and spring and time to spare, I drafted this poem. I started the lockdown by popping the cork on a bottle of 2012 Pol Roger, to celebrate my birthday, and a fine wine it was. Note that when you pronounce the French words in this poem ending in 'er', they all end with the 'ay' sound, even Pol Roger and Taittinger.

TWE hit with 176% duty on wine sales in China

Treasury Wine Estates is implementing a global response plan given huge duties being slugged on its wine by Chinese authorities and Australia's largest wine company is confident it can sell its wine in other markets - as trade tensions between Australia and China heighten.

Aussie wine brands the world’s most recognised

Australian wine brand Yellow Tail is the world’s most powerful wine brand, with Jacobs Creek coming in third place, but brand equity has been eroded during COVID-19, new research reveals.
Brand Finance differs on wine brand rankings

Bang for your buck with Italian red

Abruzzo's most famous wine is the sumptuous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This beautiful Italian red wine is very approachable and affordable, ideal for casual drinkers who don't won't to be overloaded with tannins and alcohol.

Austrian wine on the menu?

Austrian wines aren’t so well known outside the country’s border, but the nation’s wine producers and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) are aiming to change that, as several participated in a recent trade show hosted in Sydney, Australia, hosted by Wines of Adelaide.

The one to watch: Grüner Veltliner

Time for wine? Swiss turn to the keg

New research from wine-loving Switzerland reveals that storing wine in kegs can significantly reduce the costs of distributing wine from wineries to restaurants with consumers keen to embrace more sustainable wine storage solution.

Moët’s value leads the world’s wine brands

A ranking of the world's most valuable wine brands is led by Moët & Chandon, followed by China's Changyu. LVMH's Chandon and Veuve Clicquot join in at third and fourth place.

Mixed picture for wine sales in 2021

Wine has become a more central part of many consumers’ lives over the past 12 months. For some, it is a habit restored; for others, it is a legacy of lockdown. But research house Wine Intelligence warns that while glasses will continue to be filled in 2021, governments may boost taxes to help cover the costs of COVID-19.

Crittenden Savagnin boasts WOW factor

While Australia is awash with French grapes, an unknown one is Savagnin, which is being wonderfully made by Crittenden Estate Wines in Australia. Elegant and powerful, the Savagnin wines of France have been compared to Sherry due to yeast flavours, but Crittenden's wines are very much their own, with a WOW factor.

Need help pronouncing Champagne brands? Say it like the French

What is a great wine?

For most people, novice and professionals, the perceived quality of a wine is linked to its price. Many of us we prefer to remain silent on our real opinions for fear of appearing ridiculous before “connoisseurs”. This reaction, while normal, is in no way justified, writes the Bordeaux Chauvinist, a sommelier by training.

Morris celebrates big win at London awards

The 2020 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), held virtually London in November, named Morris of Rutherglen Fortified Wine Producer of the Year and the Outstanding Wine Producer of the Year - a big wine for what was once the largest wine producer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Aussie wine exporters hit with China tariffs

Shares in Australia’s largest wine producer, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), have recovered slightly after the company was hit with a temporarily 169% tariff on its wine exports to China, as TWE seeks to sell its surplus wine elsewhere, make more wine in France or potentially China to avoid the tariff which will kill its Chinese sales.

Italy’s Verdicchio worth a try

While Verdicchio is the most widely grown white grape in Le Marche, it is little known outside Italy, unless you happen to recall seeing a fish-shaped bottle in a liquor store, on the way out. Like the region itself, it’s underrated. Primo Estate has brought a great example to Australia. And if you can get to Le Marche itself, it's less busy than the adjacent Umbrian and Tuscan regions, with greater natural beauty.

Carbon Neutral wine can aid the climate

Ross Hill has undertaken extensive measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by wine business and to minimise its impact on the environment. With full certification, wine consumers can trust its wines to be carbon neutral, says Ross Hill Wines co-owner, James Robson.

Australian wineries hit by China tariffs fears

Shares in Australia's largest wine producer, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), fell to their lowest level in five years this week on possible tariffs or bans being placed on its exports to China. The company has also paused on a demerger of its famous Penfolds brand, to focus on boosting its operations.

French grape dominance grows

New research reveals that the dominance of French wine grapes varieties has grown dramatically across the globe while Italian and Spanish varietals have become less popular. The extent of varietal diversity both nationally and globally has shrunk, despite the hype about ‘alternative’ varieties.

Shares in TWE lift from 2020 lows

Shares in Australia’s largest listed wine producer Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) have lifted from their 2020 lows on speculation the company will sell its famous Penfolds division, rumours which have been denied by the company.

Bordeaux Chauvinist breaks his budget

Last year, Bordeaux wine producer Loïc Pasquet released the world's most expensive wine, with the 2015 Liber Pater priced at €30,000. This year, the Bordeaux Chauvinist falls under the spell of Loïc Pasquet's 2018 Denarius release, one of Bordeaux's most expensive blends at around €500, with name aptly meaning money in Latin.

Mt Bera rips out French vines to expand varieties

With nearly fifty Grüner Veltliner growers in Australia, over forty are based in the Adelaide Hills. Here, says Greg Horner, who owns Mt Bera Vineyards with his wife Katrina, the Austrian variety does very well, producing even fuller, longer flavours than some of Austria's own 'Gru' wines.

Aussie Wine exports hit record despite COVID

The value of Australian wine exports has hit its highest level since 2007, reaching $3 billion, despite unprecedented disruption in markets around the world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with exports to Europe jumping in value and overtaking North American exports.

Steady year seen for US wine despite COVID

While other industries have suffered dramatically, the US wine industry has held relatively steady during the COVID-19 pandemic, with volumes consumed forecast to be steady this year from 2019, though revenue is expected to fall, according to a new report from Wine Intelligence.

Women lead wine charge in COVID

An increasing number of surveys has found that the growth in wine drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic has been led by women rather than men - a trend observed globally - and having a child-caring role was strong predictor of increased alcohol consumption for women.

Tell us if you are drinking more in COVID here.

Emily in Paris turns to Taittinger

Riding the huge success of Emily in Paris is Champagne Taittinger, with Emily seen all over Paris holding a bottle, whether in front of the Eiffel Tower, on a romantic Paris street, or enjoying the bubbles at one of the many parties she attends.

Tell us whether you prefer French, Italian or Australian bubbles here.

Wineries boost online sales by 50%

Australian wineries boosted online sales by 50% in the 2019-20 financial year, and sold more wine directly to the consumer through wine clubs and other channels, helping to offset on-premise drops, according to a survey released by Wine Australia.

China targets wine giants in anti-dumping inquiry

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has targeted Treasury Wine Estates, Casella Wines, Pernod Richard and Australia Swan Vintage as part of its anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) investigations into Australian wine exports.
Australian wine exports dip

More in the US turn to bubbles

The number of sparkling wine drinkers in the US is growing, with a 17% increase in the number of monthly drinkers since 2018, with US drinkers increasingly favouring Italian wines, though they turn to Champagne for quality, according to a report.
Tell us whether you prefer French, Italian or Australian bubbles here.

South Korea a key wine market

South Korea is being put forward as a top wine market for winemakers to target, second only to the US and ahead of China, having survived COVID-19 comparatively well with wine consumption expected to rise robustly, according to Wine Australia.

Taittinger fruit survives drought

With July the driest month on record in Champagne, producers will have less grapes with which to produce the region’s famous wines. But according to the vineyard director at Taittinger, there were positives from the drought too, with less mould and mildew to harm fruit.

France’s drought hits crisis level

As fires rage in the Napa Valley and threaten US wine production, the drought has worsened in France, with more areas reaching 'crisis' level water restrictions in September after the warmest European winter on record, as households and farmers face severe water restrictions.

Australian wine exports dip, TWE shares drop

Shares in Treasury Wine Estates, Australia's biggest wine firm, have fallen to their lowest since January 2016 on China's wine dumping probe. Australian wine exports fell just 1% to $2.84bn in 2019–20.
TWE targets more female bosses

Moët to flow back onto Australian shelves

A battle between Australia’s largest liquor retailer and France’s LVMH, which led to supply shortages of the world’s famous Champagnes Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot at its stores, has been settled.

Online wine buying ramps up

One in two Chinese wine drinkers and almost one in three Australians buy their wine online, followed by 25% in the US, according to new research, with the level of internet shopping boosted by COVID-19.
Are you are drinking more in COVID here.

Climate change sees earlier harvests

This year’s Champagne grape quality was 'excellent', in part thanks to the severe drought in France. But global warming is challenging winemakers to maintain finesse and keep down alcohol levels.
Do 'real' men drink Champagne? Tell us what you think here.

Wine prices fall in France, rebound in Spain

Wholesale red and white wine prices have dropped in France since March given the impact of COVID-19, while values have rebounded in Spain in recent months, according to data from the European Commission.

More people drinking alone in COVID

Many people have turned to alcohol while more people are drinking alone during the Covid-19 pandemic after being forced to stay at home, according to the latest Global Drug Survey, the world's largest annual drug survey.

Oz alcohol sales soar – but few admit to drinking more

Australia might be in recession, but official alcohol sales are soaring and - but very few Australians admit to drinking more.

Tell us if you are drinking more in COVID here.

Gasly finally gets to enjoy the Champagne

As Pierre Gasly recently celebrated his F1 victory in Monza – the first Frenchman to do so since 1996 – the Champagne cork was popping hard on the podium. But with which Champagne brand was Gasly celebrating?

Women most likely to drink more in COVID

Some Australians are drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially females in child caring roles and males who've lost jobs.

Tell us if you are drinking more in COVID here.

We’re drinking more wine sans food

Consumers are increasingly drinking wine outside mealtimes, and the trend has gained momentum since the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, according to the latest data from a UK research firm.

Tell us if you are drinking more in COVID here.

Drinking can raise chances of COVID-19

The WHO has recently produced a factsheet on alcohol consumption and COVID-19, which provides a sobering reminder not to drink too much.

Tell us if you are drinking more in COVID here.

Fancy champagne for less than $50

No longer regarded as a drink for the elite, Aussies are splurging on Champagne as prices tumble and the Global Champagne Day coming up in October, what better time to raise a toast to the good stuff?

Bubbly binge sweeps Australia

Australians love their wine and are splurging on bubbly. Forget the red wine or VB , sparkling is the pick, with winemakers even offering 'low-calorie' bubbles as waistlines bulge around the nation.

Craft beer boom boosts some ASX companies

The consumption of craft beer grows in Australia and abroad, barley malt producer GrainCorp (ASX: GNC) has benefited from robust malt sales while some listed brewers have benefited from higher beer sales too.

Discovering the beauty of Pinot Noir

PINOT Noir is a lighter red wine perfect for drinking with food. If you haven't tried it yet, it's time to get some Pinot Noir into your mouth and discover this elegant wine.

Wine in a can? Pour it please.

Wine being sold in a can is increasingly making an appearance on liquor shop shelves. While Australians prefer their wine in a glass, well-known brands are increasingly appearing in a can and a broad range of wines has seen big growth in canned wines available in Australia.