Monday, February 13, 2012

Endorsement of products – Antipodes

I have never endorsed (for reward, direct or indirect) a wine or winemaker; I have endorsed Riedel glassware, on the basis that I had been using limited amounts of Riedel glassware since 1969, beautiful, long-stemmed, small bowl sweet wine glasses, and Coopers Ale, its green label my perennial favourite beer. For the last endorsement (‘the winemaker’s beer’) Ian McKenzie and I were to receive a dozen bottles of Coopers each year, but it wasn’t too long before the deal mysteriously disappeared. Now there is Antipodes, a product that I have always thought the ultimate sparkling water to be served at any meal where wine is on the table. It has that magic balance between still water and fully sparkling, yet retains the prickle on the tongue for as long as you challenge it to do so. (It is also available without gas.) It does strike me as truly strange that we should import mineral water, sparkling or still, all the way from Italy and France (amongst other countries). Transport across the ditch is a very different thing to transport from Europe. And then there is Evian, which runs a distant second to Sydney tap water.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Langton’s, Australia’s leading auction house, has long had a system of rating wines by the prices achieved at auction. Wine index: Exceptional; Outstanding; Excellent; and Distinguished.

It has recently produced two lists that throw further light on the status of Australia’s best wines. The most simple of the two is the Top 100, arranged by price, utterly dominated by Penfolds Grange, but also including one-off wines where a back vintage (likely a single bottle) has attracted auction fever. The other lists the Top 100 wines by demand, and is the first time a list of this nature has been produced. It looks at the number of bidders for each lot of wines auctioned over the previous 12 months. It takes a different approach to the supply and demand equation: thus there need only be two bidders in the market for 1951 Grange to achieve the stratospheric price of $51,062, but the greater the volume of wine, the more important becomes the number of collectors chasing the wines. What you don’t see from the ‘by demand’ list is the vintage, simply because there almost inevitably will have a better spread of vintages from young to old. Then there are wines like Rockford Basket Press, Moss Wood, Wendouree, Giaconda, and so forth, that are always eagerly sought.

View Langton's List of Top Australian Wines Of 2011 By Price

View Langton's Top 100 Australian Wine Brands Of 2011 By Demand