So, CER was really just only mostly for Australia, wasn’t it?

It’s always bugged me that we signed the CER agreement with Australia, but they kept our apples out under some pretty nebulous pest threat.

But now this

The review of the Wine Equalisation Tax is a result of lobbying from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.

Last year Australian wine label Wolf Blass said New Zealand companies claimed about $25 million in rebates.

Federation chief executive Paul Evans wants New Zealand winemakers subject to the same terms and conditions as Australian producers. Read more »

Magic oak bottle – does it turn plonk into wine?


Wine expert Oz Clarke writes

Sipping a glass of glorious red wine which has been carefully aged in a hand-crafted oak barrel is my idea of heaven.

But until now the only way to enjoy a tipple with that gorgeous authentic taste that can only develop through spending years in a special wooden cask has been to pay through the nose.

The second I see the word ‘spicy’ on a bottle label (which suggests an oaky flavouring), I instantly know the price will be much higher. A £5 bottle has suddenly become £12 because the wine has lingered in an oak barrel before bottling. So when I read this week about a new gadget that claims to be able to ‘oak age’ wine in hours rather than years, my curiosity was seriously roused. The Oak Bottle promises to impart an authentic aged flavour — a process that can take up to two years — in just a day or two.

Can this bottle really take some Chateau Cardboux, add 24 hours, and turn it into Chateau Lafite?   Read more »


Will “wine based drink” damage our wine industry?


Wine based drink.  It’s 75% wine, and 25% something else.  Something else doesn’t even have to be defined, but can contain something like… milk.  And it is sold side-by-side with actual wine.  You know, wine wine.

Don’t believe me, do you?

Shoppers are being ‘misled’ by supermarkets selling ‘wine based drink’ which is only 75 per cent wine in bottles that look like the real thing.

The Australian plonk looks like a normal bottle and is sold in supermarkets alongside real wine – but the small print reveals all is not as it seems.

The labels show that the ‘wine based drinks’ are not proper wine, with experts calling on producers to come clean about what else goes into the drink.

Industry guidelines state that any drink containing less than 75 per cent wine must be described as a ‘wine based drink’, but suppliers do not have to say what the rest is, other than sulphur dioxide or any allergens.

Sainsbury’s is selling Copper Red and Copper White with 12.5 per cent alcohol at a price of £6.25.

Morrisons is stocking Shy Pig Red and White, at 11 per cent and 10.5 per cent alcohol, amongst some of their most popular buys at £3.29.


Terribly misleading.

I especially like the fact that they don’t have to explain what the other 25% is.  Could as well be lighter fluid or anti-freeze.

But the problem is that this a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  New Zealand wine makers need to front foot this development by popping stickers on with “REAL WINE” on them.

Also, a big push to prevent these pretenders to be placed among real bottles of wine.


Perhaps with the egg and milk in the ingredients, it should be shelved in the dairy section?

‘The fact that we had been misled into buying them as wine led us to do some more investigation.

‘We understand that supermarkets might find it difficult to have another section for these products on their shelves and may wish to merchandise them with wines, but we feel that low strength, low calorie and these drinks might all be best for their customers if merchandised clearly for what they are all together.

‘I suspect the other 25 per cent is water, but it could be unfermented grape must which would be better as at least that’s in wine,’ he added.

‘The so-called wine is highly misleading and it’s bad for the wine industry. It damages the industry’s integrity.

Next time, buy your own real cheap plonk, add some milk, eggs and water.  Much cheaper that way.

But much more seriously, having this crap among real wine will devalue the sector and the brands.  New Zealand wine makers must be proactive at making sure their product stands out as genuine.


– Daily mail

Cry Baby of the Week

Cry Baby of the Week: Recovering alcoholic Mario Marzola, of Picton, is outraged over a display of a wine bottle in the Blenheim Work and Income office.

Cry Baby of the Week: Recovering alcoholic Mario Marzola, of Picton, is outraged over a display of a wine bottle in the Blenheim Work and Income office.

People are outraged over all sorts of things these days, but check the outrage of this cry baby of the week.

A recovering alcoholic says a new display at the Blenheim Work and Income office which simulates wine pouring from a bottle is putting his sobriety to the test.

Picton man Mario Marzola said he found the display, near the centre of the office, highly offensive and undermining for recovering alcoholics.

The display features a wine barrel with a bottle of wine on top, tipped over and pouring water into a glass.

“Winz deal with people with addictions all the time. You get people in there who are really struggling with addiction. You shouldn’t advertise it [drinking] to them,” Marzola said.

Oh dear lord how will he cope?

What happens when he walks past a bottle store? Does he go on a rampage, his sobriety in tatters as a result of advertising?

He first saw the display on Monday when handing in paperwork for his sickness benefit, he said. Looking at the display while waiting in line brought on a desire to break his sobriety. “I’ve struggled with this [addiction] all my life. I’ve been sober for four years, and I think this display is totally inappropriate.”   Read more »

Map of the Day

Where is our Wine from


Where does your wine come from?

Proof: Champagne is a socialist’s drink (so long as someone else is paying)

I hope no one tells Cactus Kate about this startling new discovery…tough to be fair she buys her own champagne…because no one else can afford her preferred tipple.

It’s official: champagne is a socialist’s drink. That’s according to a consumer study from the US that has correlated what people imbibe with their voting habits. Apparently, wine-drinkers are most likely to turn out at elections (the hangovers are lighter than for spirits) and rum is the most bipartisan tipple of all. Right-wingers prefer whiskeys such as Jim Beam and Wild Turkey. Left-wingers like prosecco, vodka, gin and champagne.

The survey has plenty of gaps. What if, like me, you spent New Year’s Eve mixing your drinks? Does that shot of vodka washed down with a glass of whisky make me an undecided voter, or just a diabetic waiting to happen? And what’s the significance of people’s taste in nibbles? Red meat for the conservatives; canapes for the socialists. Meanwhile, those of us who prefer a fun party to a political party just abstain from eating altogether.

The survey is American, so how would it translate into British politics? Well, in my experience, fiscally unsound Labourites will drink anything that’s put in front of them. So long as someone else is paying.

Or how would it translate into NZ politics.

I somewhat suspect that Labour politicians no longer drink beer, with the exception of Shane Jones and Damian O’Connor…they alone would drink beer and from the bottle.

If they were drinking beer it would probably be Stella Artois or that Mexican rubbish.

The Greens though they’d want something recycled…probably their own urine.

The Maori party would drink only Lion Brown…seems suitable if you get the pun.

Act? The younger hipster types would be Absinthe drinkers for sure. Top shelf for the older ones.

National…fine wines with quality beers for BBQs. The Young Nats would certainly hook into Farrar’s free liquid panty remove…if only they were into chicks.

The Whacky World of Wendyl Nissen, she talks about boozing, vodka, wine and homepathy

On Friday Wendyl Nissen once again mislead listeners over products. This time it was wine.

Have a listen as she boasts about getting hammered on Vodka because it is pure and at the same time saying she doesn’t trust wine because you never know what they are putting in it.

She either doesn’t know what she is talking about, or is deliberately lying. Since she touts herself as a food expert one assumes she is doing it deliberately.

In order for something to be called wine the Food Standards Australia NZ stipulates:

1             Interpretation

In this Standard –

wine means the product of the complete or partial fermentation of fresh grapes, or a mixture of that product and products derived solely from grapes.

wine product means a food containing no less than 700 mL/L of wine as defined in this Standard, which has been formulated, processed, modified or mixed with other foods such that it is not wine.

2             Addition of other foods to wine during production

The following foods may be added to wine during production –

(a)          grape juice and grape juice products; and
(b)          sugars; and
(c)          brandy or other spirit; and
(d)          water, where the water is necessary to incorporate any permitted food additive or processing aid.   Read more »

Doug Sellman links Parliamentary Services to ecstacy dealers


Ok, well maybe a bit of a stretch but seriously, Professor Doug Sellman must have forgotten to take his medicine. Either that or there’s something in the wind at the moment.

If it’s not troughers calling for kids to covertly film their parents smacking them, it’s Super Trougher Boyd Swinburn trying to get schools to tell parents they’re dumb.

Last week we had the University of Otago’s National Drug Addiction Centre’s Professor Doug Sellman call his local supermarket owner “the biggest drug dealer in Ilam”. I wonder how that’s working out for him.

This week he’s linking Dunedin Council’s refusal to allow the sale of a few beers for dads at Elmgrove School, to the sale of ecstasy. Thankfully he cops it in the chook from just about all quarters.   Read more »

Kiwi artist features in French wine label artwork

Kiwi graffiti artist Askew One features in this mini-doco:

French winery Cave Fin Bec brought in eight graffiti artists from around the globe to paint on large wooden canvases made from wine crates. The art was then used for a series of wine labels. The winery commissioned by old friend Chris Courtney of to document the project. myFINBEC

Very hard thing to legislate

The Telegraph

Some of Farrar’s lot were out spreading the gold in Italy when they ran into bottles of wine that were offensive.

Michael Hirsch, a lawyer from Philadelphia, complained to local media after he found a supermarket near his hotel was stocking wine bottles with Hitler in various poses and another bottle featuring an image of Pope John Paul II.

“It is very shocking and startling to us,” Mr Hirsch told The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday. “We would think of it as neo-Nazism It makes you wonder about the sympathies of the local people.”

One bottle features Hitler with his arm raised in the Nazi, another is labelled ‘Mein Kampf” and another was labelled “Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer” (one people, one empire, one Fuhrer), Mr Hirsch said.

It doesn’t appear that the wine bottles have broken any laws, so the prosecutor wants a new one.

Prosecutor Mario Giulio Schinaia told news agency ANSA that inquiries were under way.

“The only crime that could be currently attributable to this is that of apologising for fascism,” prosecutor Mario Giulio Schinaia told Ansa. “At this point though it would be opportune to invent the crime of human stupidity”.

Human stupidity is probably not going to be on the statute books any time soon. Thought the Greens and labour give it a good crack as often as they can.