By Robert Farmer
I suppose we are now officially in the age of Expectations
Adjusted Downward. News from Down Under recently popped up about over-supply of
and under-demand for premium wines. Australian wine makers have historically
relied upon a consumer base outside their borders. And global demand for
higher-end wine has been evaporating faster than a rain puddle in the Outback.
So, as has been the trend globally, Australian producers
have had to adjust prices downward, setting a new threshold for so-called
premium varietals. Have we entered the era of $10 premium wines? Probably not,
but we’re getting closer. And in Australia, the problem may have been self-inflicted
–at least partially.
According to a report by Reuters, Australian wines
have been successful based largely on marketing rather than quality. Sales were
driven low price and catchy labels. And so as quality wines from Italy,
France, begin to inch toward the same price as Yellow Tail, consumers will make
a predictable choice.
We’re in a buyer’s market, friends. The high-end
is now lower. The playing surface may be evening out for the wine-buying
public–or what is left of it, anyway. Let’s hope together that we
can all take advantage.