Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, May 04, 2003
THE WISDOM OF THE BOTTLE has dripped upon the pre-schoolers of Background Briefing this morning.

Uncle wishes to congratulate the ankle-biters of the commune for their precociously good judgement in choosing the topic of - wine.

Here's Uncle's distillation of the matter: Australian wine is being produced in ever greater quantities, at qualities ranging from good to excellent, by a growing crowd of enthusiastic vignerons and makers, and sold in greater and greater quantities at lower and lower margins. And with great discounts just now.

Amen to all that, says Uncle.

Not even a communard could find a crisis there, surely? I have to say they didn't try very hard.

Even Henny Herald on a quiet Tuesday would have been stretched.

"Aspiring small capitalists fail to prosper!"

"Australians getting too much good plonk for the dollar!"

"International cork shortage threatens third-world thirsts!"

Doesn't work for me.

This better? Will the diversity of the Australian wine industry survive? Or will wine become like beer, controlled by only a handful of major companies?

Ah! Monopoly Capitalism. I can feel the hangover already.

Hang on a mo. Haven't the big beers given us booze cheaper than soda water, if you take out the taxes?

Aren't there more "boutique" breweries around now than at any time since the gold rushes? You can pay twice as much for your beer if you really try.

Sorry, pre-schoolers. But you're right to deal with the drinks that really matter, instead of the DINKS who merely chatter.

Time for Church.