Monday, October 24, 2011

When is wine not wine?

Some time in October this year the minimum alcohol requirement for Australian wine will drop from 8% alc/vol to 4.5% alc/vol. There has been what some might call a conspiracy of silence between the wine industry, the Commissioner of Taxation and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all about the moscato (and a few others) with less than 8% alc/vol being sold and taxed in Australia on the basis that they conformed to the requirements of the legislation being the Food Standards Code of Australia and New Zealand. In other words, it has suited the Commissioner to tax the ‘wine’ turning a blind eye to the alcohol issue, and it has equally suited the producers and (presumably) the Winemakers Federation of Australia not wishing to create waves for no good reason. Anomalously, the EU has for some considerable time mandated a minimum 4.5% alc/vol level, and, under the EU wine agreement, Australia has been obliged to accept those wines and allow them to be sold on the Australian market.

There is always the outside chance that the bureaucracy may not accept the FSANZ recommendation to reduce the alcohol level, but that seems highly unlikely.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This displays breathtaking ignorance of the relevant WET legislation. Grape wine(such as moscato)has no minimum alcohol content (other than 1.15% required to get it taxed at all). Grape wine products (of which moscato is not one) has a minimum allowable alcohol content of 8% - below that they are excisable. The WET legislation has no direct link to food standards.

Wine Companion Team said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wine Companion Team said...

First, the change became effective on October 13, 2011. Second, Andreas Clark, the General Manager – Legal and Corporate Services of Wine Australia, has confirmed “this change does not affect the status of such [sub 8% alcohol] wines under tax law.” JH

Subing said...

The approximated costs may be a quite fantastic indication belonging to the relative high quality of each and every of those innumerable

Anonymous said...

Presumably the JH comment of 21 November means that the original comment by anonymous that the opinion piece was totally wrong was correct. If so, why not swallow your pride and say so in plain English.

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