The Sydney wine trade is a fickle beast.
On the one hand, there is a whole squad of motivated and knowledgeable merchants/somms/etc who crowd out tastings for super cool imports.
But then, for equally fine tastings of cool local wines, it’s like no one cares. Nobody. Sometimes, it’s purely down to timing – a double up between events. But other times, you find yourself in room surrounded by great Australian wines and no one to be seen.
Indeed that was me on Saturday at the Sydney Wine Show Trade & Exhibitors Tasting. There I was, in a giant show hall, with every single entrant to the Royal Sydney Wine Show (2200+ wines and gold medal winning beers) laid out ready to pour.
And less than 30 people in attendance.
Sure, this year the tasting was on a Saturday (rather than the usual pre-WCA lunch Friday morning), and mid-morning on a Saturday too. But still, it’s an event that offers unlimited tastings of 2200 of the best in the land. The finest of the fine. The cream. For free.
And still no one goes.
In fact, people do go, as the trade session is immediately followed by the public tasting, where punters pay $100 a ticket for the same privilege. Unsurprisingly, they get good numbers too. Why not, when you can look at the catalogue of what’s on offer too (have a squizz here)?
But it again begs the question – why the clammering for imports by our wine trade when great wine is on your doorstep? Is it a wine cultural cringe where we believe that Australia doesn’t make interesting wines?
It’s not like this phenomenon is an isolated incident. Trawl through some Sydney wine lists and be amazed at just how much the focus has shifted towards imports. And let’s not get started on how few NSW wines are on NSW wine lists (which the government spent $40,000 trying to address).
I’m keen to hear from winemakers and others in the Sydney wine trade here. Do you think this is a genuine issue or just a missed opportunity?