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News posted on Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Wine Australia launches flavours card for Chinese consumers
A new ‘Wine Flavours Card’ aimed at helping Chinese wine drinkers better understand Western wine terminology around tastes and aromas has been released by Wine Australia. The one-page Australian Wine Flavours Card has been created based on research by the University of South Australia linking an Australian wine descriptor with an equivalent taste identified by Chinese consumers.

Australia’s innovative winemakers you need to know about
In your mind, picture an Australian wine region. Presumably, that mental image won’t look like South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. Most likely, your image resembles the flatter, more sun-baked terrains of the regions flanking “The Hills”. But perhaps most unexpected is the small but growing number of artisanal winemakers transforming this bucolic region into a leading light of modern-day winemaking, changing the face of the Australian wine industry along the way.

Wine Australia’s record presence at show reflects global growth of premium exports
Australia increased its stand space at Prowein by 30 per cent this year, with some 46 exhibitors showing wines from 21 producing regions, aiming to build upon a renewed confidence rooted in growing global exports, including strong premium sales to Asia and growth in the US. Speaking to Harper’s at the show, Wine Australia’s general manager for marketing, Stuart Barclay, highlighted the positive trend in exports.

Chandon partners with the McLaren-Honda team for the 2016 Grand Prix
Teaming fast cars with fashion, fine dining and luxury, it was only natural one of Australia’s leading sparkling wines would step up to the plate for the 2016 Grand Prix, launching in Melbourne on March 17. This year, the McLaren-Honda team will partner with Chandon for celebrations on and off the track. Chandon is set to be a major player at the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix, with the race marking the official launch of its partnership with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team.

Wine now neck-and-neck with beer as Australia’s favourite alcoholic drink
WOMEN and their beloved wine have turned the booze-popularity table on its head. Forty years ago, beer was the Aussie drink of choice. About 70 per cent of drinkers chose beer, 20 per cent drank wine, and 10 per cent had spirits. According to Australian Hotels Association SA general manager Ian Horne, times have changed. He believes a huge shift in women’s incomes, social and drinking habits over the past four decades, their drinking “presence” and preference for wine has toppled beer as the bar favourite.

Warm summer bodes well for Nelson grape harvest
A golden summer promises a golden vintage for Nelson wineries this year. Local grape growers are anticipating a quality harvest due to the abnormally warm summer the region experienced. Nelson Winegrowers Association chairman Jonny Hiscox said harvest was about to "start kicking off" with grapes looking to be in good condition, even after the heavy rain spells that hit the district earlier in the year.

John Saker: Pinot Noir thrives in a spirit of generosity
You find a spirit of generosity at the heart of many wonderful things. It's certainly the case with two wonderful things I have an interest in – Pinot Noir and basketball. Basketball's birthplace is America. Even before I played there in the 1970s, I was aware of the givingness of United States coaches and other basketball people. They kept nothing to themselves, but were always quick to share every basketball truth and insight they knew with anyone who was interested. I had the sense they felt the game deserved no less.

Expensive wine might not be as great as you think it is
Can’t tell the difference between a glass of “Two Buck Chuck” and a $100 bottle of wine? Don’t worry — you are far from alone. A study conducted by a psychologist at Hertfordshire University revealed that when asked to distinguish between inexpensive and expensive wines, people guessed correctly just about half of the time, reports wine writer Mike Peterson for Quartz.

How character-driven labels are driving wine sales
As the wine aisles swell with an ever-rising sea of brands, wine producers are looking to increasingly rich and imaginative narratives on which to build their brands. Often, these narratives have nothing at all to do with the origins of the wine itself. Rather, these brands borrow from historical events or are based in universal human experience. The resulting brands are engaging customers and moving a whole lot of wine in the process.

The future of wine festivals
When the Prosser Wine and Food Festival announced this winter that it was ending after 34 years, I was struck by a wave of nostalgia and melancholy. Two decades ago, it was the first wine event I ever attended. My wife and I — recently married and knowing little about wine — thought it would be fun to go. It turned out to be much more. It was there on the football field at Prosser High School where we fell in love with wine. It was an event that led me down a new path: a career in wine writing that has brought immeasurable levels of joy and gratitude.

Opinion: Fashion matters in wine
Fashion is the forgotten driver and destroyer of categories. Producers, sommeliers and importers focus on the qualities of a wine; yet we are responding to what our customers want and this is dictated by many more factors than quality. The reasoning behind an importer listing 10 Burgundies and only one Alsace is the same as that of a Marlborough producer with a prime spot to plant Chardonnay who instead puts in Sauvignon. Both are the right commercial decisions based on what’s in vogue.

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