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News posted on Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Judging commences for Sydney Royal Wine Show
The best of Australian wines have been put under the microscope at this year’s KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show. Michelle Bouffard, world renowned French-Canadian sommelier was busy smelling, sipping and spitting more than 2,200 Australian wines on day-two of judging out at the Sydney Showgrounds. “I am so impressed with the rigour of the judging process at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show and delighted with the standard of the wines that I have tasted so far,” she said.

Australia’s reputation for fine wines is under threat
The wine tax and its accompanying rebate are outdated and distorting the Australian wine industry. The tax is encouraging the production of cheap wines and oversupply at a time when the industry is struggling to compete internationally. While Australian wine drinkers might not care too much about drinking non-premium wine, this comes at the expense of Australia’s reputation as a premium wine producer to overseas markets.

Pokémon Go: Wineries catch on to potential
Will the new online Pokémon game become a marketing tool for wineries seeking to attract Millennials? The 'pocket monsters' have shown up in the award-winning Noma restaurant and vineyards in the US, France and Australia... Wineries and restaurants around the world have been among those tweeting sightings of the pocket monsters after the launch of the Pokémon Go app earlier this month on iPhone and Android phones.

Alibaba is coming to Australia
The world’s largest e-commerce company, already known by keen online shoppers in Australia and worldwide for its eBay-rivalling digital marketplace of very cheap, mass-produced, drop-shipped consumer goods, is setting up an office down under. 1300 Australian brands are already sold through Alibaba’s online stores, and the digital giant is keen for that number to grow.

Much life in the Brokenwood Graveyard
I’VE been fortunate enough to taste all Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz wines released since the first from the 1983 vintage and I reckon the newly released 2014 is one the best of them all. It comes from what’s been described as a “Holy Grail” Hunter vintage and at last year’s Hunter Valley Wine Show it won trophies for the best red of the show, the best shiraz, the best named vineyard wine, the best named vineyard red and the best current-vintage or one-year-old shiraz.

John Saker: Smaller wine producers drive authenticity
Comparisons between Marlborough and Champagne are not uncommon. Both regions are blessed, producing wine styles that get winery accountants grinning from ear to ear. Their vines often carry massive crops, ripeness isn't the big issue it is in other regions and at the end of it there is a distinctive wine the world wants to buy. At a time of fierce global competition, there are worse formulae to have working for you.

Colour guide gets it right
I well remember a childhood treat where Mum would give me money to buy a bottle of fizzy drink from the dairy. The bottles were so incredibly cold that the first mouthfuls caused a searing pain to rush through your nose and into your brain. Somehow, this was meant to be pleasurable. We've come a long way since then, but appropriate serving temperatures for wine can still be elusive. White wines often suffer the greatest misfortune in our homes, cafes and restaurants: served direct from the fridge, they glisten attractively with condensation.

Winemakers may be able to select cork according to its phenolic content
In the future, winemakers may be able to select a natural cork closure with a specific concentration of phenolics to positively influence a wine’s development in the bottle. As previously reported by the drinks business, cork may benefit the ageing of wine through the release of phenolics and volatiles from the structure of the closure, which comes from the bark of the Quercus suber, commonly called the cork oak.

Barolo Burglars Steal Thousands of Bottles of Wines
Two of Barolo's wineries have been robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of wine in less than three weeks, and the evidence suggests the same thieves are behind both crimes. Methodical teams wearing laboratory-style cleanroom suits that hid their identities from security cameras broke into the Armando Parusso winery in Monforte d'Alba in the middle of the night on July 13 and took roughly 120 cases of some of Parusso's best wines, worth about $112,000.

The future of the family-run wine business is in young hands
Commercial, industrial, investment-oriented? Or artisan, small-scale, family-centred? Which is the future of wine-making? Anyone reading the trade press will realise how important that first trio has become, not least with the oriental enthusiasm for buying wine estates – remarkably, more than 100 Bordeaux châteaux now have Chinese owners.

CEO of wine supply giant Conviviality plays down Brexit worries
The CEO of Conviviality, which has this year become one of the largest wine suppliers to restaurants and supermarkets in the UK, says the group is well equipped to cope in Brexit Britain. A weak pound and warnings of significantly slower economic growth for the UK in the next few years have failed to dampen an optimistic mood at Conviviality, the owner of Bargain Booze shops which has transformed its business in the past 12 months by buying major suppliers to restaurants and supermarkets.

Minimising microbial spoilage risk during packaging
Wine packaging processes strongly influence the integrity of wine that reaches consumers. If microbial contamination occurs during packaging it can cause off-flavours and hazes/deposits, which negatively affect consumer perception. The worst cases of such problems can result in costly product recalls and brand damage.

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