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vol. 39 no. 10 - November 2020

If you’re not reading

National Liquor News is the only independent, impartial, trade journal published in our industry today. In these tough times, more than ever, it’s critical to keep the lines of communication open and National Liquor News has both the readership and the journalistic integrity to achieve this.” CHRIS O’BRIEN G E N E R A L M A N AG E R , L I Q U O R B A R O N S

National Liquor News is a great source of information as it brings together all the stories and issues from across this great industry. It packages up special interest, consumer trends, new product innovation, and current affairs all into the one easy-to-read format.” ANDREW WILSMORE C E O , A LC O H O L B E V E R AG E S A U S T R A L I A

National Liquor News really is the fastest way to get your message across to the whole Australian liquor industry. It’s as important to our members as the Financial Review is to the business community. When you’re looking for answers on any liquor issue then it’s always the first port of call. Basically if it’s happening in the liquor industry then you can guarantee they are across it.” PETER PECK C E O , L I Q U O R S T O R E S AS S O C I AT I O N O F W E S T E R N A U S T R A L I A

then you’re not up to speed on the latest trends, NPD, new releases and best practice running a liquor store, but don’t take our word for it…we asked some of the industry what they think.

National Liquor News delivers multiple purpose for me. The topical content on market trends and industry news helps us all to keep in touch with important information and in some cases, validates our promotional plans. It’s also a great platform to read the thoughts and opinions of our industry leaders on various topics across the national market.” VA U G H A N P E T E R S N AT I O N A L T R A D E M A N AG E R , L I Q U O R L E G E N D S

We find National Liquor News to be a forum of valuable expertise between industry colleagues, inspiring each other in the journey to successful achievements. It is an effective medium to foster the co-operative’s mission with the publication’s extensive and esteemed following.” PA U L E S P O S I T O CEO, INDEPENDENT LIQUOR GROUP

S U B S C R I B E : shop.nationalliquornews.com.au A DV E R T I S E : Shane T Williams – stwilliams@intermedia.com.au E D I T O R I A L : Brydie Allen – ballen@intermedia.com.au

Editor’s note


Editor’s note

Get the facts DrinkWise.org.au

Welcome to the November issue of National

tasting panel evaluated a festive favourite – the

Liquor News.

sparkling wine category.

What an exciting month it has been. Victoria

To help prepare for the holiday season, we

has taken more strides out of lockdown, the busy

have some important shopper insights too. Our

festive season is right around the corner, and I

friends at Snooper evaluated the best ways to win

got my first taste of life in the NLN Editor’s chair.

in store between the Spring Racing Carnival and

Many of you may know me or recognise my

New Year’s, while IRI looked into the opportunity

name from my time here already as journalist,

of wine in a can and Strikeforce discussed the best

working across National Liquor News and sister

new product launch strategies.

publications The Shout, Australian Hotelier and Bars and Clubs.

Also this month we have top insights from all our regular contributors, including Retail Drinks

As journalist, I had the great opportunity

Australia, Alcohol Beverages Australia, Wine

to meet so many incredible people from the

Australia, Independent Brewers Association, and

Australian liquor industry, telling their stories and

Spirits and Cocktails, along with the latest releases

getting them all the top news, information and

and news from suppliers.

advice from across the trade. I’m super excited to

Good luck with the next month and the hectic

continue doing this as Editor to an even greater

times ahead. My inbox is always open if you have

degree, including straight off the bat with this

stories or feedback to share – I’m keen to make

November issue.

sure this mag continues working for you and

There was a lot to cover this month, as we power

your business.

headfirst towards the busiest time of the year. We had our annual look into two important categories

Brydie Allen, Editor

for the Australian market – New Zealand Wine

02 8586 6156

and Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y – while our wine


Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y

Top Reads

Crowns of the Celtic Whisk(e)y still reigns the top of the shots in Australia, with distillers riding the wave of increased at-home consumption in 2020. With a captive drinking audience ready to learn and drink, from home, Brian Chase Olson investigates how whisk(e)y’s top performers are broadening the spirit’s audience with new products and virtual experiences to recruit future aficionados. Neat, straight, or shaken in a sour, no matter how you

increased from $64.98 in the 9 September 2018 MAT

serve it, Scotch whisky, and its whiskey counterpart

to $70.49 in the current MAT.

across the Irish Sea, has had a booming year in 2020. Scotch whisky, both blended and single malt

PUBLISHED BY: Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd A division of The Intermedia Group 41 Bridge Road GLEBE NSW Australia 2037 Tel: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 4419 Publisher: Paul Wootton pwootton@intermedia.com.au Editor: Brydie Allen ballen@intermedia.com.au General Manager Sales – Liquor & Hospitality Group: Shane T. Williams stwilliams@intermedia.com.au Group Art Director – Liquor and Hospitality: Kea Thorburn kthorburn@intermedia.com.au Prepress: Tony Willson tony@intermedia.com.au Production Manager: Jacqui Cooper jacqui@intermedia.com.au Subscription Rates 1yr (11 issues) for $70.00 (inc GST) 2yrs (22 issues)for $112.00 (inc GST) – Saving 20% 3yrs (33 issues) for $147.00 (inc GST) – Saving 30% To subscribe and to view other overseas rates visit www.intermedia.com.au or Call: 1800 651 422 (Mon – Fri 8:30-5pm AEST) Email: subscriptions@intermedia.com.au

Average Total Distribution: 10,119 AMAA/CAB Yearly Audit Period ending September 2019.

“COVID has led to strong growth of in-home consumption. This has seen a number of liquor

, continues to hold the largest share of sales in the

segments reverse long term trends or further

total Glass Spirit category, with $1.80 of every $10

strengthen growth,” Baun said.

being spent on Glass Spirits going towards Blended period last year (IRI National Weighted Liquor MAT

While consumers drink from home, distillers go digital

06/09/2020 - does not include Dan Murphy’s or BWS).

The most obvious of trends sweeping the total spirits

Scotch alone. This is up from $1.70 in the same time

Single malts also experienced tremendous growth

category, including the whisky space, has been

in the last year, doubling from 14.4 per cent sales

the proliferation of digital-only events. As social

growth in September 2019 to 28.3 per cent in the

distancing restrictions were implemented in Australia

current MAT.

in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, distillers

“When looking at growth by quarter you can see that Q2 2020 has seen extremely strong growth

from physical events and in-store tastings and find

(at 39.2 per cent). This will largely be driven by a

a way to continue the conversation about whisky to

significant increase in home consumption due to

eager drinkers.

COVID restrictions,” Geoff Baun, Senior Consultant – Liquor & Tobacco, IRI said. Irish whiskey has also experienced strong doubledigit growth in the same IRI figures and has been

Italian wines ticking all the right boxes (page 8)

and retailers, too, had to distance their promotions

The Glen Grant, which is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, was quick to respond with

Crowns of the Celtic (page 46)

The new normal for New Zealand wine (page 40)

virtual experiences to introduce their new expression, Arboralis.

growing steadily for the last couple of years. Of note,

“Early on we realised that people would be

the price per litre in ‘Total Glass Irish Whiskey’ has

housebound so The Glen Grant was one of the first

Ardbeg Distillery

November 2020 | 47

| National | National Liquor Liquor News News 4646

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4 | National Liquor News

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National Liquor News proudly partners with Retail Drinks Australia.


This publication is published by Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2020 - Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd

Contents November 2020




28 IRI: Broadening the appeal

Cover Story: Italian wines ticking all the right boxes

10 News: The latest liquor


of wine 32

industry news for retailers

the direct-to-consumer wine

around Australia

sales channel

Marketplace: Connecting


brands with liquor retailers 38

Retailer Profile: The Park

Retailer Profile: Regions Cellars, Dulwich


Retailer Profile: The first

NZ Wine Report: The new normal for New Zealand wine


Hotel Super Cellars 39

Wine Australia: Analysing

Wine Tasting Review: All that sparkles

Beer 3

Independent Brewers Association: Negatives and

Sessions store in Victoria

positives in a hectic time

Retail Focused



Unveiling a new three year


strategic plan



Retail Drinks Australia:



35 Strikeforce: Optimising


Shopper Insights: Winning the instore battle between spring racing and New Years

6 | National Liquor News

Spirits and Cocktails Australia: In the spirit of

a newbie

support for product launches

Christmas Marketplace: Spirits for gifting

Alcohol Beverages Australia: Observations of

The Brew Review


Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y: Crowns of the Celtics









Call us now to find out how LMG can grow your business. New South Wales Aidan Desmond 0427 250 618 | Queensland Shaun Landy 0436 002 418 | Victoria Chris Christofi 0401 714 257 South Australia & Northern Territory Simon Rowe 0417 417 886 | Western Australia Mike Stubber 0419 992 542

lmg.com.au | bottlemart.com.au | sipnsave.com.au | harrybrown.com.au


Cover Story

Italian wines

ticking all the right boxes The Italian selection from Combined Wines is tapping into consumer needs and market trends.

In the harsh economic climate created by the

start of the pink boom. Italian rosé had traditionally

COVID-19 climate, consumers are increasingly

been red in colour but Pasqua were amongst the very

looking for more affordable every day treats in the

first to produce a pink rosé, and we have spent this

wine category.

time establishing the brand to the point that it is

While quality imported wines may seem out of

selling in line with many Provence rosés.

reach for these consumers, the recent success of the

“The Cielo Prosecco is taking advantage of market

Combined Wines Italian portfolio is showing otherwise.

trends as it looks for a cheaper alternative to French

CEO of Combined Wines, Joe Molinari said:

Champagne. It also takes advantage of the markets

“Italian wines are showing great growth especially in

popularity towards the spritz boom, which needs

the budget area as consumers look to spend less due

Prosecco to complete the mix. Many consumers will

to the economic situation.”

look to the country of origin of Prosecco (Italy) when

Molinari added that while there is a range of

making their choice.”

affordable wines on the market in Australia right now,

Italian on-premise venues have contributed to

their quality Italian range is doing well due to the

increased interest in the off-premise for Italian wines,

individual brand reputations and current wine trends,

giving many Australian consumers an introduction to

and also for the authenticity it provides to shoppers

the sector and what it has to offer.

creating experiences at home.

Molinari said local consumers are attracted to

“As Italy is the home of Grigio consumers

the Italian selection from Combined Wines for a

are being drawn to Pasqua Pinot Grigio, especially

number of reasons, including because of the: “easy

with a retail price of around $15 per bottle. The

drinking nature, affordable pricing, great packaging

Pasqua family are one of the largest family owned

and the alternative to many heavily tannined wines

brands in Italy so quality will never be a problem,”

that are produced.”

Molinari said.

With Australia continuing to ease restrictions,

“The Pasqua 11 Minute rosé has taken advantage of

there are more opportunities for this consumer

the growth in the pink rose sector. Combined Wines

interest to build further, as people explore Italian

started importing this about four years ago, just at the

wines both in venues and at home.

8 | National Liquor News

“Italian wines are showing great growth especially in the budget area as consumers look to spend less due to the economic situation.” Joe Molinari CEO Combined Wines

News The latest liquor industry

For retailers around the country

TWE’s new gender equality and inclusion policies Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced a commitment to champion gender equality and inclusion, enchancing its parental support offering and working towards 50 per cent female representation in leadership roles by 2025. The progressive new parental policy provides both men and women with equal access to primary carer’s leave and up to 12 months of supernannuation contributions, even during unpaid parental leave. Meanwhile, secondary carers will receive six weeks of paid leave under the policy, and TWE will also be offering more access to training, resources and connection with the workplace to avoid the disadvantages of extended leave from work. “We are incredibly proud to be launching what we believe is the leading parental support offering in the wine

LMG reveals corporate rebranding

industry,” said Katie Hodgson, Chief People Officer at TWE. “This is such an important change because it predominately affects our employees mid-career which has positive flow-on impacts for women moving into leadership

Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) has revealed the results of a

positions, while also benefitting men as we recognise the

corporate rebranding, including a new logo and tagline (‘Retail

importance of shared parenting responsibilities as critical

Excellence Together’).

in closing the gender gap.”

LMG CEO Gavin Saunders told National Liquor News the

Hodgson said the 50 per cent representation goal was

changes come after 14 consecutive quarters of volume growth

a bold target, but that investing in changes like the new

and investment in the tools to help members succeed.

parental policies will help them achieve it. Currently 41

“With such a big focus on innovation to drive our success,

per cent of TWE’s leadership roles are held by women,

we felt it was a good opportunity to review and refresh our

while women make up well below 50 per cent of the wider

corporate identity with a new, more contemporary logo, but

wine industry.

more importantly, a tagline that better reflects who we are as a business,” Saunders said. “Retail Excellence Together recognises the evolution of retail banner groups’ requirement to provide more than just buying or buying and limited marketing. [It] directly reflects LMG’s mission to work collaboratively with our members, suppliers and our team to drive successful outcomes through the independent retail channel.” Saunders also said the tagline also symbolised “how LMG works to support our members with all facets of retailing, including customer engagement/connection, marketing, eCommerce, retail store environment, retail execution support, data and insights, along with maximising buying opportunities. “Our sole focus will always be to support our members – our rebrand reaffirms this focus, but with a new mission to operate by, we are more driven than ever to ensure we are delivering everything we can to help our members succeed.”

10 | National Liquor News


Gage Roads supports clean beaches Gage Roads Brew Co has released a new beer called The Bay

which also includes a series of national beach clean-ups. The

XPA, in collaboration with national surf publisher SurfVisuals,

first of which, in WA, gathered a great turn out of volunteers who

with part of the proceeds going towards the Australian Marine

collected over 29 kilos of rubbish in a single day.

Debris Initiative (AMDI). The program helps clean Australian

Bec Lauchlan of Gage Roads said: “Our team will be

beaches and track ocean health and since it was launched in

getting out there with Gage fans and trade partners to make

2004, it has removed more than 16 million pieces of debris from

our individual coastal playgrounds a cleaner place. We also

Australian coastlines, weighing 1369 tonnes.

hope our partnership with AMDI will help drive awareness and

Gage Roads teamed up with AMDI last month, a partnership

financial support to help them keep doing their amazing work.”

CCA backs $9.3bn takeover bid Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has received a non-binding indicative proposal from Coca-Cola European Partners

presented to Independent Shareholders.” CCA said that if confirmatory due diligence is completed

(CCEP) for the acquisition of all issued shares held by

and other conditions are satisfied, including CCEP and

independent shareholders of CCA.

TCCC reaching an agreement, then CCA intends to

CCEP has put forward a price of $12.75 per share, which equates to an implied equity value of around $9.28bn. The enterprise value of the offer, including debt, is $10.87bn. CCA chairman Ilana Atlas told an investor and analysts’ briefing that: “The Related Party Committee has considered

unanimously recommend the takeover to its independent shareholders. The current proposal follows a number of previous proposals received from CCEP and it remains conditional. CCA noted that there is no certainty that the proposal will

the proposal with the objective of maximising value for the

result in an agreed transaction and that it will continue to

Independent Shareholders and has unanimously determined

keep the market informed of any material developments in

that, based on the current price and conditions of the

accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations.

proposal, it is now in the best interests of Independent

CCEP is a leading consumer goods company, a strategic

Shareholders to allow CCEP to undertake confirmatory due

bottling partner to TCCC in Western Europe, and the world’s

diligence and further negotiate transaction documentation

largest independent Coca-Cola bottler by revenue. CCEP

in order to determine if a binding proposal can be

operates in 13 countries, serving one million outlets.

November 2020 | 11


Listel steps up Australian penetration Iconic French wine label Listel has noted the importance of the Australian market for its rosé, after entering a new exclusive partnership with Pinnacle Drinks. Guillaume Bladocha, Listel’s Export Director for the Asia Pacific said the company hopes to replicate the success of the rosé in France, where 98 per cent of retail stores stock Listel. “Australia is today not

We therefore consider Australia as a priority and definitely a market where we

More newsletter reads

have a very large potential for growth. This will take time and investment, and we are more than ready to support our

partners in the market,” Bladocha said.

Listel, part of the Castel Group and with history dating back to

C  ontainer Deposit Scheme starts in WA W  hite Claw officially enters Australian market B  WS announces Local Luvva winners

1883, is located in the

only a very large importer

south of France and

of French rosé wines, it

has the biggest single

is also a market where

vineyard in Europe. It

the growth rate for this

began the exclusive

category is one of the

partnership with Pinnacle

most dynamic worldwide.

Drinks from November 1.

Inside the Whisky Roundtable Sign up to our fortnightly Newsletter by going to this URL: www.theshout.com.au/ subscribe-to-nln

Government forecasting lower alcohol tax revenue Despite claims that the pandemic has seen Australians drinking more, revenues from beer and wine are expected to decline both this year and next year. According to Alcohol Beverages Australia, tax receipts from wine tax are facing an eight per cent decline in 20-21 before a 15 per cent drop in 21-22. Revenue from beer excise is also set to be hard hit and fall four per cent in 20-21 followed by a 10 per cent drop in 21-22. Spirits tax receipts, meanwhile, are expected to increase from MYEFO by 3.5 per cent in FY21 before a modest decline of 1.5 per cent in FY22. Revenue from spirits tax is expected to be above pre-pandemic levels in FY23 and beyond. Andrew Wilsmore, CEO Alcohol Beverages Australia, said: “Those scenes of long queues when Australians feared bottleshops could be closed created a perception that we were all drinking to excess at home but the reality, confirmed by Treasury, is that Australians continued to drink in moderation. “With tax making up a third to nearly half of the price of a bottle of wine, beer or spirits – some of the highest rates in the OECD – now is the time for Government to examine the affordability of a drink.”

12 | National Liquor News

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For more information please contact your local SouthTrade Sales Representative or Head Office on (02) 8080 9150


Tasmanian wineries increase focus on sustainability Wine Tasmania’s VinØ (‘vin zero’) Program is a detailed resource

Paul Smart, Wine Tasmania’s Technical and Extension

that helps wine producers in the state measure, benchmark and

Officer said that with 22 participating wine producers, more

improve their management and sustainability practices.

than half of Tasmania’s vineyards were managed under the

In place and updated annually since 2014, the program has now released its report for 2020 as well as announced the

program this year. “The aggregated score in 2020 was 2.37 out of a perfect

new program for 2021, showing an ongoing commitment to

score of four, with program members performing well in the

sustainability in the state’s wine industry.

areas of pest and disease management, water management

The 2020 VinØ Program featured eight key modules – managing soil health, pest and disease management,

and in social aspects,” Smart said. “Wine Tasmania uses the VinØ Program results to guide

biodiversity, water and waste management and social

priority activities and will therefore be focusing on the key

aspects, and two new modules – a stand-alone module on

areas for improvement including biodiversity, waste and

biosecurity, and a new winery module.

biosecurity management in 2021.”

New 9/11 store opens in Tasmania Vantage Group has opened a new 9/11 Bottleshop in

The Sandy Bay store is smaller to some other 9/11 outlets,

Tasmania, adding a Sandy Bay location as the 21st store in the

and is described as having a more luxe approach. There’s a

group. The outlet, which has been in the works for almost 12

focus on premium, boutique and local Tasmanian products,

months, opened to a great response from the local community.

which suits the local area and customer base.

Sharni Wise, Retail Operations Manager at Vantage Group, said: “A lot of planning went into customer research when we were making the decision. We held focus groups with different subsets of the market, just to make sure we were getting it right. “The opening has gone so well! We’re so lucky to be in a vibrant suburb on a busy road, right next to the beautiful Hill St Grocer and across the road from the University too. The local community have been delighted with the convenience of having a one-stop-shop for groceries and liquor with decent parking. The feedback on the Tasmanian range has been excellent, which is what we’d hoped for.”

14 | National Liquor News


Awareness for wine in a can increasing Wine Intelligence’s latest research into wine packaging formats in the Australian market shows that awareness for alternative packaging, like wine in cans, is noticeably increasing, but not at the same rate as purchasing. In the past three years, Wine Intelligence said the number of shoppers who are aware of wine in a can has increased. However, in those shoppers who are aware of wine in a can, the conversion rate to purchasing is actually declining – meaning less people are choosing to buy after they find out that canned wine is an option. Wine Intelligence’s Lulie Halstead wrote: “In a wine category dominated by the ubiquitous 75cl [700ml] bottle, alternative formats such as casks had carved out a more niche position with Australian drinkers seeking value for money and volume. In addition, the more recent appearance of wine in cans in the market has been primarily associated with the relatively

Hardys introduces money back guarantee promotion

occasional on-the-go moments in consumers’ lives.” 2020 has increased customer awareness of alternative wine packaging formats in Australia and helped them become more

Hardys has introduced a Money Back Guarantee

mainstream in consumer minds. With people often reevaluating

promotion across its entire bottled range, including its

their consumption habits and behaviour during the pandemic,

latest vintage wines; HRB Clare Valley/Tasmania Riesling

wine in a can is an option to assist portion control and

2020, Tintara McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mataro

product longevity.

2018, Tintara McLaren Vale Shiraz 2017 and Eileen Hardys Shiraz 2016. Aimed at giving consumers 100 per cent certainty in their wine choice the Money Back Guarantee promotion will allow anyone who is not satisfied with their wine a full refund. They will simply need to head to hardysmoneyback.com and along with providing their receipt explain in 15 words why they were not happy with their purchase. Senior Winemaker Nic Bowen said he hopes the promotion will not be a factor for the latest vintage wines, as he has strived to maintain the strong Hardys tradition of winemaking. “Like all my predecessors, I have always strived to produce wines that uphold Thomas Hardy’s dedication to the craft,” Bowen said. “Hardys today is built on Thomas’ unrelenting quest for quality and winemaking passion, and I am privileged to follow in his footsteps. It is fantastic to see the winery’s rich stories, heritage and awards come to life with this year’s new vintage wines.”

16 | National Liquor News

But there is opportunity to be found in wine in a can – and IRI explores this further from Page 28.

Turn to page 28 to find out more about wine in a can.

Marketplace Connecting brands and retailers

Plantation helps give the gift of rum For customers looking to treat the rum lovers in their lives,

If a consumer is

Plantation Rum has two perfect options to add a little luxury

looking to indulge

into Christmas gifting.

someone special,

The Plantation Rum Experience Pack is one of the indulgent

they could be interested in the Plantation XO 20th Anniversary

gift packs on offer - a collection of six elegant rums that take

Glassware Pack. It features the flagship of the Plantation range

the drinker on a journey through different styles of rum, from

along with premium glassware for a luxurious and intimate

fruity Barbados to funky Jamaica to decadent South America.

experience made for two.

It showcases the diversity of each country’s unique terroir of rum and is a perfect expression for both sipping or mixing.

Distributed by Proof & Company alongside other giftworthy brands like Drinks by the Dram, the Plantation packs aim to give the best return for retailers looking to capitalise on the Christmas occasion. National Sales Manager at Proof & Company, James ‘Dub Dub’ Chew Wynn-Williams said: “Each year, we continue to evolve our range of gifting options. This activity is designed to drive increased transaction value for our retailers and extra foot-fall to our partnered outlets during key selling periods.”

Four Pillars release their fifth annual Christmas gin Four Pillars has brought its Australian Christmas Gin back for

make the same recipe. It’s from here that the Four Pillars

a fifth consecutive festive season. The limited edition gin is

Australian Christmas Gin is distilled each year.

a favourite for the Four Pillars team, while also appealing to celebrating consumers across the country each year. The Four Pillars team said: “This gin is our distiller Cam’s

“The resulting gin smells like gin and tastes like Christmas,” the Four Pillars team said. Perfect for sipping neat or pouring over your pudding,

tribute to four things he loves: Australia, Christmas, gin and

it’s designed to be the go-to spirit for marking the

his late mum, Wilma.”

Christmas occasion.

Wilma would use the 1968 Australian Women’s Weekly recipe to make her Christmas puddings each year, and since 2015, on the same date, Cam and his family would be joined by the families of fellow Four Pillars Co-Founders Stu Gregor and Matt Jones to

18 | National Liquor News

Unique Christmas gifts from Drinks by the Dram Often during the festive season, consumers look for low effort

options, available through Proof & Company, offer a carefully

high quality gifts, which wrap up their sentiments

curated selection of tasting packs that will excite and delight

of the occasion with a bow. Drinks by the Dram

your customers this festive season.”

gift selection does that literally, with spirit tasting packs of different shapes, sizes and themes.

Some of those Australian packs include whiskey-filled baubles, ‘The 12 Days of Whisky’ sample pack, the ‘Regions of Scotland’

“Drinks by the Dram offers you the very highest quality gifting solutions for this key selling period or indeed for all-year-round

collection, and the ‘Citrusy Gin’ pack, all of which let consumers give the gift of exploration to the

gifting,” says Simon McGoram, Regional Sales

spirits lovers in their lives.

Manager for Atom Brands the UKbased craft spirits producer and exporter behind Drinks by the Dram. “Since 2009, Drinks by the Dram has been offering

Christmas with Proof & Company “This year joining the ATOM Brands Drinks by the Dram sets are some local options from Never Never Distilling Co and some new lines from Diplomático and Plantation Rums.

waxed-dipped and handsomely labelled samples of the world’s

Personally, I am excited about the Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy

favourite spirits to aficionados, spirits curious and newcomers

Pineapple Rum pack with the eco-friendly metal straws!”

alike. We currently have in excess of 5,000 spirits now available

James “Dub Dub” Chew Wynn-Williams,

in sample format (and counting) and our Australia gifting

National Sales Manager at Proof & Company.

Manly Spirits releases their first festive gin Manly Spirits Co. has launched its first ever limited edition summer release, The Amber Spiced Gin. A collaboration with Campos Coffee, the new gin is described as being perfect for the Australian summer and festive season. Co-founder of Manly Spirits, Vanessa Wilton, said: “Summer holidays for us on the Beaches is all about endless days in the waves.’ Every year Wilton and her husband, Co-founder David Whittaker, would look forward to those summer days of the festive season, when there’s no schedule, no worries and time to enjoy the ocean and a drink with friends. “This is what we wanted to capture in our Amber Spiced Gin, reminding ourselves to relax and let go of the crazy year we’ve found ourselves in, and appreciate the beautiful Australian beaches on our doorstep.” The Amber Spiced Gin is infused with cascara and vanilla, and lead distiller Thiago Lopes said: “‘Our gins are known for celebrating bold and unique flavours, and we wanted to do the same with this summer gin.”

November 2020 | 19


Pernod Ricard releases JACOB Pernod Ricard has debuted its

“When I started at Pernod

delicacy and taut acid, which

new premium Australian sparkling

Ricard in 2016 my goal was to

will allow this wine to be enjoyed

wine, JACOB, which launches

make innovative, high quality and

over a number of occasions.

with the 2017 vintage.

great tasting Australian sparkling

“Making sparkling wine has

Years in the making and the

wine and I’m proud to say JACOB

always been a passion and

realised dream of Group White

delivers exactly that,” Smith said.

JACOB is a personal career

and Sparkling Winemaker Trina

“Sourcing premium grapes

highlight of mine. It’s a privilege

Smith, JACOB is made from South

from some of my favourite

to be able to craft a premium

Australian grapes and has an

vineyards throughout SA allowed

product that Australians

extended maturation of up to 32

us to create a lovely toasty and

can enjoy with meals and

months on lees.

complex wine with an underlying

celebrations across the country”.

Top Shelf International launches new Australian vodka A new, Melbourne-made, Australian vodka has just entered the local spirits market – Grainshaker Vodka from Top Shelf International. The new brand comes with three handmade vodka varieties, made respectively from wheat, corn and rye. Master Distiller Sebastian Reaburn said: “Vodka, for me, has always been the greatest expression of the art of distillation. “Our philosophy is to distil every part of the grain character, without the harshness. We have a custom-made twelve plate pot

New Australian seltzer brand Vacay launches

still where we manage every minute of distillation to achieve the sweet spot between flavour and smoothness.” Grainshaker is described as a craft brand with global ambitions, and has been built with scalability in mind.

New Australian producer Vacay, the first seltzer brand created with the help of a sommelier, has just launched its first flavours into the market -Raspberry, Lime, Pure, and Kakadu Plum. To create these products and bring Vacay to launch, Founder James McPhie brought on operations expert Amanda Schafer and Sommelier Alex Kirkwood, as well as two brand ambassadors that embody the brand values. Kirkwood notes how this is one element of the brand’s point of difference, and said: “In the US the category has continued to explode. We saw the opportunity to do something different here in Australia and are really excited by what we’ve developed - our points of difference set us in an incredibly exciting position.” Vacay has also committed to donating 10 per cent of all profits to Cure Cancer, an Australian charity which funds cancer research. 20 | National Liquor News

Sebastian Reaburn and Andy Lee



The perfect mix of Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic is now available in a VALUE 10 PK plus, the first ever Bombay & Tonic DOUBLE SERVE, for those looking for a bolder taste.


With 68% of Bombay & Tonic original shoppers new to gin†, the range aims to drive incremental sales to your store or venue. Bombay Sapphire’s pre-made gin and tonic range is both convenient and refreshing, a modern twist on a world class gin.



AVAI L A BL E NOW for more information please contact your local Bacardi martini Australia representative or contact our customer care team on 1800 357 994 or bmacustomerservice@bacardi.com †source: Quantium research data *New refers to the new can format only. BE BRILLIANT AND INSPIRED, DRINK RESPONSIBLY. ©2020 BOMBAY SAPPHIRE AND ITS TRADE DRESS ARE TRADEMARKS.


The feisty untamed whisky of the Ardbeg family The latest permanent expression to join the Ardbeg core range is feisty, smoky and untamed by age, being just five years old. Ardbeg Wee Beastie, touted as a ‘monster of a dram’ is matured in ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, with intense aromas of cracked black pepper, sappy pine resin and sharp tangs of smoke. The mouthfeel explodes with chocolate, creosote and tar, with savoury meats sinking into the palate followed by a long, salty, mouth coating finish. Ardbeg’s Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: “I’m in no doubt that Ardbeggians will love this tongue-tingling expression. The casks chosen for its creation make it ideal for enjoying neat or as the mouth-watering main ingredient in a powerfully smoky cocktail.” Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, said: “A new permanent expression in the core range is always momentous for the Distillery, but Wee Beastie is a particularly special dram. As it’s a younger whisky, it means we’re able to get as close to the still as possible. So it’s safe to say this is a ferociously good wee nip!”

Fast fact…

Wee Beastie is younger therefore smokier than other expressions - the longer a whisky is in the cask, the more subdued the smoke becomes.

Australian alcohol-free beer steps up its game Australian owned independent brewer, Hawkesbury Brewing Co, has launched their take on alcohol-free beer with the Prohibition Pale Ale. Using Hawkesbury Brewing Co’s advanced proprietary brewing technology, Prohibition beer isn’t compromised when the alcohol is removed. Instead, it’s brewed traditionally, fully fermented and attenuated, with full hop flavour. Head Brewer Tim Best said this means that Prohibition has: “The body and complexity of flavours which you could previously only experience when drinking a full-strength beer. This is what sets Prohibition apart. “We are really excited by what we’ve been able to achieve. Prohibition is a pale ale in terms of taste, body and flavour but without the alcohol and that’s a game changer.” Paul Weaving from Hawkesbury Brewing Co said it’s the perfect addition to the changing lifestyles of craft beer loving Australians. “We know from our research and from our own lives that attitudes to drinking are shifting,” Weaving said. “What is really exciting is the new drinking occasions which Prohibition is already creating. An ice-cold bottle of Prohibition is as appropriate as a refreshing Monday lunchtime drink as it is at a family barbecue or on a night out with your mates.” Prohibition Alcohol Free Pale Ale is available now from Drink Craft.

22 | National Liquor News


Château Tanunda announces 2020 collection release Château Tanunda has launched the highly anticipated

to date. The 150 Year Old Vines Semillon and Field Blend

Château Tanunda Collection 2020, featuring new vintage

have been producing great wines for a century and a

releases from The Everest, Old Vine Expressions and Terroirs

half. It is a pleasure of to be the custodian of these great

of the Barossa ranges.

vineyard sites.”

The wines in the collection are some of the most coveted

The rare and collectable wines of this collection have

by collectors internationally. Vineyards range in age, with

their reputation aided by the fact that Château Tanunda,

some up to 150 years old, resulting in premium wine creations.

now in its 130th year, only produces them in exceptional

Chief Winemaker Neville Rowe said: “As a winemaker,

vintages and always in limited release due to small

this is one of the most exciting parts of my role, nurturing

quantities. After launching with a

these wines from the vineyard to the bottle then to

virtual celebration and tasting, the

release. The 2020 collection wines are some of the finest

collection is available now.

Did you know… Château Tanunda is one of the oldest single vineyard sites in the world.

A new rosé spritz hits the market Pernod Ricard has unveiled a new wine-based RTD with the release of Rosie. The rosé spritz comes in at 8.5 per cent ABV per 330ml bottle and is sold in four packs as a lighter packaged alternative to beer, cider or other spirit based RTDs currently on the market. Kristy Farrell, Wine Ambassador for the brand, said it’s a great option for summer, both because of the liquid inside and also the convenient format. “We’re really excited to give Aussies a new, convenient rosé spritz just in time as the weather is warming up, making Rosie a great option for drinks with friends or family,” Farrell said. “Crisp and full of fruity flavours, Rosie pairs really nicely with a range of food, we see it as the go-to drink this summer. It’s especially perfect for those seeking a lighter alternative to other RTDs that are currently available on the market.” Outside, the bright packaging also embodies the drink’s profile, with flavours of strawberry, raspberry and a hint of cherry.

November 2020 | 23


Petaluma celebrates annual vintage release of Yellow Label range Adelaide Hills winery Petaluma has announced the annual

Senior Winemaker Mike Mudge said: “With distinguished

vintage release of its Yellow Label range, as well as the most

vineyard sites and meticulous attention to detail, Petaluma

premium wine from Croser’s sparkling portfolio, the 2006

has developed a prestigious winemaking reputation over the

Croser Late Disgorged Piccadilly Valley.

past four decades. Every year these wines are our pride and

The new vintages from the flagship Yellow Label range

joy and the 2020 Vintage Release is no exception. This year’s

include the 2019 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay, 2018

Yellow Label wines epitomise the style that Petaluma is known

B&V Vineyard Adelaide Hills Shiraz, 2015 Evans Vineyard

for by using only the finest fruit picked by hand to ensure

Coonawarra Cabernet Merlot, 2020 Hanlin Hill Clare Valley

optimum quality from the varied terrain.

Riesling and 2018 Coonawarra Merlot.

“All wines are drinking beautifully now however they will reward those with the patience to carefully cellar and enjoy with generous bottle age. After a tough end to 2019 and navigating the uncertainties at the beginning of 2020, we are excited to release these highly anticipated wines to the world.”

Fast fact… The Petaluma winery is located in Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills, which is South Australia’s coolest viticultural region.

Grapefruit aperitif Pampelle now available A new brand from Think Spirits has brought the world’s first

aperitif is the perfect cocktail for wanderlust, where it’s

ruby red grapefruit aperitif to the Australian market.

summer time, anytime.”

Created in the Cognac region of France, Pampelle is

Apart from the distilled ruby red grapefruits, Pampelle

an artisanal aperitif that captures the bittersweet essence

features an artisanal infusion of botanicals, citrus peels and

of the ruby red grapefruit. It’s designed to be versatile and

its signature eau-de-vie.

reminiscent of a relaxed holiday atmosphere. At 15 per cent ABV per 700ml bottle, Pampelle is complex and naturally lower in sugar, allowing it to work well by itself or mixed into a cocktail. Luke Grima, General Manager of Think Spirits said: “Aperitifs are increasingly favoured amongst Australians as a refreshing tipple on its own or as a flavourful ingredient in cocktails. Pampelle is an exciting aperitif for those looking for something naturally lower in sugar with a broader flavour profile. The colour and flavour makes you feel like you are watching lapping turquoise water and hearing serene sounds of the French Riviera, and its sweetly bitter disposition will make every sip feel like the sun and the sea. This refreshing

24 | National Liquor News


Fever-Tree’s first Australian major integrated advertising campaign Fever-Tree has launched its first ever major integrated

sales, we feel it’s time to announce ourselves further to Aussie

advertising campaign in Australia, encouraging consumers to

consumers. This campaign, our largest yet, highlights our best-

‘mix with the best.’ It’s a valuable message in the leadup to the

in-class range of products in a fun and refreshing way that

many summer drinking occasions, and reinforces the Fever-

appeals to consumers right across the country.”

Tree brand promise as a premium, high quality mixer for both light and dark spirits. The out-of-home element features colourful, refreshing

“With a reduction in social mobility, our focus on digital channels has been paramount and that will continue as we move into the warmer months ahead. We’re strategically

beverages made with Fever-Tree mixers and the tagline ‘If

utilising out of home advertising along with an integrated

3/4 of the drink is the mixer, mix with the best’. It rolls out

marketing campaign that extends across physical events,

across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over coming months,

digital advertising and our owned and operated channels

supported by in-store displays in both liquor and grocery

for maximum reach.”

channels, a promotional strategy across radio, digital and social media, and on-premise event activations. Fever-Tree’s Australian Marketing Manager Caroline Wood said: “We’ve been gradually ramping up our presence in market over the last year, and now, off the back of strong

The pandemic pivot Fever-Tree’s new campaign is the latest instalment of the brand’s restructure marketing strategy as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, and comes off the back of the annual Gin & Tonic Festival which for the first time was virtual this year.

A new addition to the Chivas portfolio Blended Scotch whisky brand Chivas has launched the newest edition to the portfolio, the Chivas Extra 13YO Oloroso Sherry Cask. Replacing the previous Chivas Extra expression, the 13 Sherry Cask is the latest addition to the new 13 YO collection, with more flavours still set to come. Sandy Hyslop, Director of Blending at Chivas, said: “The Extra 13 collection represents new territory for Chivas as we continue to open up the world of Scotch whisky to new audiences and fresh experiences. “At Chivas we believe that blended is better – and nowhere is this more evident than with our new collection, which blends exceptional Scotch with a diverse, internationally-inspired palette of flavours.” Each new expression also features artwork by renowned street artist Greg Gossel, combining images of the Chivas history with graffiti inspired designs that celebrate the blended of heritage in the range.

26 | National Liquor News

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CANS: broadening the appeal of wine Andrew Gerrard, Senior Consultant at IRI, writes about the potential of wine in a can and how it can drive category growth with occasion based consumption.

Dionysus, the God of the grape harvest and winemaking,

grew a very modest 0.4 per cent, so there has been a

was associated with the idea that being under the

pronounced resurgence in growth in the latest year.

“One of the biggest challenges so far for

influence of the sweet nectar of wine (depending on

One might expect that with these uncertain times

your preference) could make one feel possessed by a

that shoppers would be more cautious with their

canned wine is on-shelf

larger energy. I’m sure many of us could attest to that,

discretionary spend, but when it comes to wine

although I find there is an inverse relationship between

at least, it seems that there is strong evidence that

or in-store presence.”

the quantity consumed and the power felt.

consumers are treating themselves at home. Sales in

The wine category in Australia is big business, with

the Champagne category have popped up by 28.1

off-premise sales of $4.9B (MAT to 6th Sept 2020).

per cent (which is three times the rate of total wine

Sales growth has been positive also with dollar sales

growth) and given the average price differential is five

increasing by 8.4 per cent (or put another way, actual

times that of wine, one can surmise that price is not a

growth of $382M has been recorded). That translates

factor insomuch as the occasion is driving demand.

into approximately 22 bottles of wine purchased per annum by every adult shopper in the market.

Canned wine performance

The off-premise channel has also seen an upsurge

So let’s look at the subject at hand now and investigate

in sales growth in the last six months as the impacts of

the performance of canned wine. Overall sales of canned

COVID-19 have been felt. Shoppers have been forced

wine represent just 0.2 per cent share of total wine,

to stay at home during the lockdown periods, but this

although the growth rate, as one would expect, is high

has translated into growth of 14.2 per cent (almost

as the format is still in its introductory phase (dollar sales

double the MAT rate).

have grown 140 per cent in the last six months).

To give even more context, when we look at the

Shoppers are currently looking more towards

growth rate from last year the wine category only

sparkling canned wine as this format represents 75 per

28 | National Liquor News

Andrew Gerrard Senior Consultant IRI


cent of all sales in total canned wines. However, expect

low risk purchase alternative (especially relevant

this number to change more towards still canned wine

for Millennials and Gen Z). On the flip side there is

as the recent growth rate for still is 12 times more

the opportunity to bring in existing shoppers more

than that of sparkling (which has been the result of

often, for occasions that wouldn’t warrant a whole

increased distribution).

bottle (such as festivals and picnics). It also offers an

One of the biggest challenges so far for canned

alternative for those who want to enjoy wine with a

wine is on-shelf or in-store presence. At the moment

meal but not consume as much alcohol, keeping with

canned wine accounts for just 0.7 per cent of all items

recent trends around wellness and moderation (AKA

available in the market and a recent visit to a major

mindful consumption).

liquor retailer revealed just four facings in the chiller

The other advantage in growing the canned wine

versus over 250 for bottled wine. This in itself will

segment is that it will enter the consideration set of

make expanding the category difficult, but if we look

shoppers who are looking for the canned format when

at other liquor formats in cans (e.g. RTDs and seltzers)

purchasing alcohol for convenience sake, or to be able

then we can expect momentum to come once brands

to better manage consumption with smaller pack sizes

invest in more new product developments to tap into

that cans make available.

this nascent space.

The future bodes well for this segment, especially when we see that household penetration for canned

The future of canned wine

wine (i.e. the number of households that have

Canned wine has the potential to attract new shoppers

purchased) has increased by 40 per cent over the last

who are not used to wine or are trying wine for the

year to one per cent (admittedly of a small base) and

first time and as the price point is generally lower

that the interval between purchase has dropped from

on average than a 750ml bottle, this then offers a

every nine weeks to every seven weeks on average.



IRI Weighted Liquor National MAT to 6th September 2020 (does not include Dan Murph/y’s or BWS) IRI Shopper Panel 19th July 2020

November 2020 | 29

Retail Drinks Australia

Retail Drinks unveils new three year strategic plan After its second ever AGM, Retail Drinks looks to the future and how it can continue the positive momentum, writes Acting CEO Michael Waters.

“In the next three years Retail Drinks will lead, innovate and grow by focusing on continuing to drive momentum and deliver value.” Michael Waters Acting CEO Retail Drinks Australia

As part of Retail Drinks’ Annual General Meeting

In our first two years of operation we stopped

(AGM) held in late September, we have now unveiled

the bleeding and fixed the base by consolidating the

our new strategic plan to guide our key priorities over

national membership, building internal capacity and

the next three years.

capability, and developing core member services and

We are incredibly proud to have achieved such

benefits. In the next three years Retail Drinks will

a significant amount in a short space of time as a

lead, innovate and grow by focusing on continuing

newly formed national peak industry body. In the

to drive momentum and deliver value.

last 12 months alone from a policy and advocacy

We will build on our foundation by delivering

perspective we launched our Online Alcohol Sale &

superior advocacy and services to become a respected

Delivery Code of Conduct, extended trading hours

and financially secure organisation, armed to enhance

for packaged liquor licences in multiple states and

the sustainable growth of the industry. We will expand

territories, advocated for liquor retail to be classified

upon our already comprehensive suite of benefits and

as an essential service and helped save PLLs over

services and continue to help nurture a responsible,

$8 million in liquor licence fees through discounts

engaged and respected industry while improving

and waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We

compliance and reducing regulatory risk. We will

also delivered a number of key member services

educate and support not only liquor retailers and the

outcomes, including our appointment by the

industry, but also consumers and the community.

Commonwealth Government as Small Business

Importantly, we will change the narrative, both

Digital Champions, hosting the inaugural Liquor

within the industry as well as externally, by promoting

Retail Summit and Retail Drinks Industry Awards

initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to best

and launching several new services and benefits to

practice, and by showcasing the best of our diverse

help members run their businesses more efficiently

industry and people.

and effectively.

30 | National Liquor News

Undoubtedly, this year has shown us how incredibly

Retail Drinks’ new strategic plan will continue this

important it is for all organisations to be agile with

positive momentum in meeting our core objective of

their planning and response to unexpected challenges

enhancing the freedom to retail responsibly, and we

and pressures as they arise. Whilst it is impossible to

are certainly very excited about our ambitious agenda

accurately predict the future, Retail Drinks members

which we have planned for the coming three years.

can rest assured that your national peak industry body

Our mission is clear – to ensure a stronger, more

is committed to representing the needs and interests of

inclusive united voice that is representative of all of

the retail liquor industry and enhancing your freedom

Australia’s retail liquor industry.

to retail responsibly.

Alcohol Beverages Australia

Observations of a newbie Alcohol Beverages Australia’s new Media and Communications Director, Tony Ritchie, shares his thoughts as a new entrant to the industry.

What an industry this is, and what a time to join!

clubs were closed – and the evidence is now official.

A lifetime employed mostly in the media has

Based on the figures in the recent Federal Budget,

swiftly opened my eyes in my new job as Media and

the Government is budgeting to receive $670m less

Communications Director at ABA.

in alcohol taxes over the next two years.

One of the first comments I heard has stuck firmly;

We do need to be more proactive, not just react

that we are the voice of the 16 million Australians

to negative news, because in so many ways we are

who enjoy a drink as part of their lives and do so in

a ‘good news’ story. Australians who enjoy a drink

moderation and responsibly.

help deliver in excess of $8B in taxes to Government

Of course, that’s not the only role of Alcohol Beverages Australia. We also represent producers,

coffers every year, provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and often tie communities together.

retailers, and distributors to help set a path for the

The old saying that good news doesn’t sell is

industry through the political, policy and health

probably true. And the opposite is also true that ‘bad’

minefield that has to be negotiated. And, in my view,

news, especially topics that question conventional

it is a sector that gets an unfair rap.

thinking, get a disproportionate level of coverage.

Australians who enjoy a drink often miss the facts. I didn’t know, and I suspect neither do many

We just have to accept the media isn’t there to be cheerleaders for us.

others, that per capita drinking levels are at a 50-

Our strength is human. That is, the real people who

year low, that the age of initiation for teenagers is a

make up this industry from the farm gate through

full two years later in life than it was just 10 years

to the shop door or over the bar. Whether it’s the

ago or that independent research confirms 98.8 per

entrepreneurs who have created a craft brewery or

cent of women either abstain or reduce their alcohol

new distillery; the glass manufacturer using new

consumption once they know they are pregnant

energy efficient methods; the bottle shop owner with

because they are aware of the risks involved.

an encyclopedia wine brain; every one of them has a

What I have become passionate about is how agendas are being used to make people feel guilty about enjoying a drink.

“We do need to be more proactive, not just react to negative news, because in so many ways we are a ‘good news’ story.” Tony Ritchie Media and Communications Director Alcohol Beverages Australia

story to tell. Our challenge is to help tell those stories and get this industry on the front foot. There’s no hiding from the scrutiny we are always

That was brought home sharply in recent months

under from governments or our opponents, or the

when articles appeared suggesting Australians were

regulations placed upon us. But we deserve to be heard

drinking excessively in lockdown because take home

louder as we remind governments that there is a place

sales had soared. The reality was consumers were

for a beer, wine, spirits and cider to be enjoyed in this

actually spending less on alcohol because pubs and

great country.

November 2020 | 31

Wine Australia

Analysing the direct-to-consumer wine sales channel The results of Wine Australia’s recent Wine Direct-to-Consumer survey report 2020 show how the channel has performed in relation to others during the pandemic, writes Sandy Hathaway, Wine Australia Senior Analyst.

The results of Wine Australia’s recently published Wine Direct-to-Consumer survey report 2020 show that the direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel grew by seven per cent in value in 2019–20, outperforming other sales channels. Overall, wine sales revenue declined by three per cent, consistent with Wine Australia export data showing a decline of one per cent in export value combined with significant decreases in the on-premise due to pandemic-related restrictions. The

“Wine purchasing frequency among regular wine drinkers increased for both physical and online buying channels compared with pre-pandemic behaviour.” Sandy Hathaway Senior Analyst Wine Australia

off-trade channel grew by six per cent in retail value, but it is not known how much of this translated to increased income for wine businesses. DTC sales are relatively high value, making up an estimated 17 per cent of total wine sales value for wine businesses but only six per cent of volume, with an average nine litre case value of $242. The best performing DTC categories in terms of growth in 2019–20 were wine club, database and online sales, with online increasing the most in percentage terms. The strong growth in online sales is consistent with sales data and consumer research showing a significant shift to online purchases as a result of the pandemic restrictions, both in general across all consumer goods and specifically for alcohol and wine. Wine Intelligence consumer research conducted in April and August 2020 showed that wine purchasing frequency among regular wine drinkers increased for both physical and online buying channels compared with pre-pandemic behaviour across a number of wine markets, and for every market featured, the increase in online purchasing was much greater than in-store purchasing. The increase was enhanced in August compared with April, suggesting that this trend was not a short-term effect of lockdown. Normally, the DTC channel is considered separately from the retail channel and any increase in one DTC category is expected to come at the expense of another DTC category (e.g. wine club sales taking share from cellar door). However, in the case of


IRI MarketEdge data – year ended 5 July 2020, Wine consumer trends in the COVID-19 era – Wine Intelligence October 2020.

32 | National Liquor News

online, winery-direct online sales could take share from retailer online sales, which are counted as part of the off-trade channel.

Independent Brewers Association

Negatives and positives in a hectic time There’s been good and bad news for independent beer in the wake of COVID-19, writes Kylie Lethbridge, General Manager of the Independent Brewers Association.

It has been a busy time for us at the Independent

life returning to normality. We obviously hope that

Brewers Association (IBA). With a wide range of

will be the case and although it’s still an unknown,

restrictions experienced around the country, some

we need optimism because the alternative is not one

members are reporting great re-openings, but others

we want to consider.

are doing it a bit tougher.

There is still more to be done however and we will

To rub salt in the wound, many of our Melbourne

continue to push for our requests around excise and a

breweries have been excluded from the State

national indie beer strategy at the upcoming Federal

Government’s Hospitality Venue Fund. That means

midyear budget review.

that breweries with taprooms and cellar doors

In further positive news, we are ending the

operating under a producer’s licence are ineligible,

year with a big celebration on November 19. The

while those with a separate General, Restaurant or

Independent Beer Awards will be broadcast from a

similar licence are eligible. The disparity based on a

Melbourne studio and streamed into viewing parties

technicality is a small difference that could lead to the

around the country. While it would be great to be in

loss of jobs and businesses, while their neighbours

the same room, this gives us a chance to make our

might be eligible for up to $45,000 in grants.

awards a true nationwide celebration of independent

It would have been a fantastic opportunity for all

Australian beer. We had more than 700 entries this

Victorian breweries impacted by COVID restrictions,

year, which is amazing given the stresses brewers have

but instead it has become another kick in the guts for

been under, and it shows they still care about and are

these already struggling businesses. On a more positive note, there was some good news in the budget for indie brewers. The Federal budget provides options for indie brewers when it comes to the Modern Manufacturing Fund, hire of trainees and the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme, and the government objectives of jobs, jobs, jobs certainly resonates with our aims as an industry. However, it is predicated on not only having a vaccine, but all borders being open and

“We need optimism because the alternative is not one we want to consider.”

proud of the amazing beer they make. It’s not an easy task to run national awards in the current environment but our team has worked hard to create three remote judging hubs around the country and mobilised our resources to conquer the logistical nightmare. We are also opening the event up to the public so make sure you join us from 8pm [AEDT] to

Kylie Lethbridge

celebrate everything that is independent beer. Check

General Manager Independent Brewers Association

see you there!

our social media for viewing options, as we’d love to

November 2020 | 33

Spirits and Cocktails Australia

In the spirit of adaptation Australian distillers adapted to help the community during the pandemic, now is the perfect time for the Government to return the favour, writes Greg Holland, CEO of Spirits and Cocktails Australia. “In a modern economy, workers and businesses need to adapt. So should our tax system.” Those are not my words, but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s, from his 2020 Budget speech. In a year of often devastating change, it would be hard to find anyone to disagree with his point. We all must be prepared to tackle challenges, overhaul outdated mindsets and embrace new solutions. If the Treasurer is keen to demonstrate his spirit of adaptation, Australia’s unfair alcohol tax system is an excellent place to start. As the COVID-19 pandemic began, Australia’s distillers showed the sort of community spirit and innovative approach our political leaders extol. Craft distillers produced quality hand and surface sanitiser to meet shortages, while larger distillers established funds and initiatives to support struggling on-premise operators and staff. Meanwhile, their core businesses were hurting.

Independent modelling by PwC, commissioned

Contrary to misleading reports, the closure of venues

by Spirits and Cocktails Australia, shows this reform

and borders meant April was the worst month on

would actually boost tax revenues by $1.4 billion

record for spirits producers. But these operators did

over forward estimates, with a less than one per cent

what Australians have always done: put self-interest

increase in overall consumption.

aside to help their communities.

Fixing the spirits supertax would deliver a triple

Now, many are battling to get back on their feet

win. First, it would incentivise spirits producers to

– and they’re being held back by a “dog’s breakfast”

employ more staff, buy more produce from local

of alcohol taxes. Again, I’m borrowing words. It

suppliers, and expand their operations. Second,

was former Treasurer Peter Costello who famously

Australian spirits consumers would no longer be

derided our alcohol tax system this way. He was far

penalised for their beverage choice. Finally, it would

from alone. In 2009, former Treasury head Ken Henry

generate revenue for Treasury; the unfair tax is now

labelled it “contradictory” and “incoherent”.

so high, the Government actually collects less revenue

Arguably the worst part of this mess is the spirits

than if the rate were lower.

super-tax. Australians pay the third highest rate

When their communities needed them, distillers

of spirits tax in the world. That rate is indexed to

stepped up. Now, they need a break so they can get

inflation, further blowing out the inequity between

back to doing what they do best: creating world-

this beverage and other forms of alcohol.

class products.

Our distillers deserve a fair go. Replacing the

If the Treasurer really believes in the importance

supertax with a fairer tax system – one that aligns

of adaptation in this unpredictable modern world,

with brandy and freezes CPI increases – would deliver

there couldn’t be a more compelling case than fixing

more than fairness.

the spirits supertax.

34 | National Liquor News

“If the Treasurer is keen to demonstrate his spirit of adaptation, Australia’s unfair alcohol tax system is an excellent place to start.” Greg Holland CEO Spirits and Cocktails Australia


Optimising support for

product launches There are some checkpoints to consider to get the most from new product launches, writes Stephen Wilson, Category & Insights Manager, Strikeforce.

There is nothing more frustrating than spending

Stock availability – is this a limited availability of

precious capital and becoming invested in a new

stock (e.g. a launch aligned with a special or one-off

product launch, then experiencing unrealised sales

event with a limited time frame) or is this the launch

due to missing one of the crucial steps in an integrated

of an everyday brand or item? Benchmarking your results – key performance

‘go to market’ program, whether you are a supplier or retailer. There are some checkpoints worth considering – understanding your core shopper, pre-sell activity, stock weight, stock availability, benchmarking your results, managing sales peaks and troughs and seeking end user feedback. So, let‘s look briefly at each of these. Understanding your core shopper – knowing what motivates them, how they shop, what their mission is and what their non-negotiables are will drive trial during your ‘go to market’ activation. Pre-sell – create some excitement and anticipation

indicators will help you determine whether the product

“These are all prudent steps along the way to realising the full sales potential of new product offerings.” Stephen Wilson Category & Insights Manager Strikeforce

launch is as successful as you hoped it would be, and whether you are picking up early signals that you may need to increase order quantity or frequency or reduce inventory levels due to lack of customer interest. Managing peaks and troughs – understanding when the peak period of sales is may determine the amount of focus the new product will need at any given time (e.g. it may be beneficial to run a sampling program during the peak periods of foot traffic to increase trial and purchase of the new product). There’s no point in gearing up additional stock and

around the launch with your most ardent influencers:

staff resources without understanding when this type

your retail partners and customers. Engaging early

of engagement or activation will generate the most

on with a well-executed pre-sell campaign, including

customer interventions.

activation and support details and maybe an

Seeking end user feedback – it is worth noting

introductory offer for the initial buy or early stages

which customers were first time purchasers of the new

of the launch period, will assist early sales momentum.

product and asking them about their experience. Did

Stock weight – this is not a one size fits all scenario.

the product live up to expectation? Would they buy it

The days of simply allocating the same number of

again? This will be a key indicator if stock weight and

cases equally to all stores are long gone. Each store

order frequency needs to be adjusted in the future.

has unique physical attributes, a different customer

In summary, these are all prudent steps along

base with different needs and is located in postcodes

the way to realising the full sales potential of new

with differing income levels.

product offerings.

November 2020 | 35

Winning the instore battle between the Spring Racing Carnival and New Year Maximise end of year festive execution via the right kind of displays and supporting mechanics, by Laurie Wespes, Co-founder and CEO of Snooper.

From November to January each year, celebrations

Festive period intensifies fight for display

are a feature of our lives – yes, even this year – with

Last year, between spring racing and Christmas, the

the Spring Racing Carnival, summer entertaining,

overall number of offlocation displays increased by

and Christmas/New Year festivities. According to

60 per cent, but it should be noted that spring racing

Quantium, Christmas typically sees a 20 per cent

displays are under-represented overall. This might be

increase in alcohol sales.

explained by the prominence of the occasion in the

Each year, Snooper analyses instore execution, particularly offlocation displays, during this important

on-premise. Either way, it represents an opportunity for both brands and retailers to dial up.

period. In 2019 between November and January, our

Wine was the most off-located category throughout

community of shoppers reported insights in 300 stores

all key retail events with Pepperjack, Oyster Bay and

nationally across banner groups. We assessed the

Jacob’s Creek displays featuring heavily.

share of display by category, measured which brands

Even though sparkling wine and champagne

over-indexed in off-location space and evaluated the

are traditionally associated with spring racing, the

most impactful activations from a shopper-centric

subcategory’s share of display still managed to double


in the period between spring racing and Christmas.

Below are some findings from last year’s Spring

Yellowglen in particular attracted our shoppers’

Races to Summer report, with some implications for

attention, reflecting the increasing consumer

this year.

acceptance of premium domestic sparkling wines.

36 | National Liquor News

“Interestingly last year nearly half of shoppers selected multi-category displays – rather than single brand displays – as being most impactful.” Laurie Wespes Co-founder and CEO Snooper

Shopper Insights

Spirits, traditionally a strong category for Father’s

discount into second place as shoppers look for

Day, saw its share of display increase during the

inspiration. However, brands appear to be missing a

festive season by a factor of two versus Father’s Day

few tricks in this area given the intensified fight for

and by a factor of three versus spring racing, albeit

space during this period. There are opportunities

that these were mainly part of multicategory displays

for them to up their game, given that fewer than

in independents (but predominantly standalone in

one in five brands themed their displays festively

national banners). In liqueurs in particular some

last year.

brands over-invested during in the lead up to

Interestingly last year nearly half of shoppers

Christmas. For example, Baileys punched well above

selected multi-category displays – rather than single

its weight during the festive season, with a display in

brand displays – as being most impactful. This was

more than one in three stores visited versus its two

particularly observed when retailers were setting

per cent volume share of spirits (Euromonitor 2018).

up dedicated themed zones and gift stations in

Whisky was the second most offlocated category

prominent locations in store.

within spirits, but Aperol also managed to make its way to the top three brand podium. Last year saw RTD with a higher share of display in independents than national banners, with displays

Likewise, shoppers are looking for themed products and packaging relating to festive occasions, as well as appropriate promotional mechanics such as occasion related prizes or gifts with purchase.

having increased by 60 per cent during the festive

Taken together, last year’s findings would indicate

season versus prior period. It remains to be seen

that whilst location is still key, best results come from

what will happen this year, given the introduction of

a themed display that also includes some sort of festive

‘better-for-you’ products such as hard seltzers and

packaging or promotion, whether price or otherwise.

kombuchas into the category.

There is an opportunity for brands to block the three

Given the increases in share of display seen in wine, spirits and RTD, someone had to be the loser and that was beer, whose share of display halved during festive season but was regained from January onwards.

month period with theming for spring racing, the festive season, and summer respectively. Given the changes in several categories in the past 12 months, we expect the findings of this year’s study to vary in a number of respects from last year. We

‘Christmas gifts made easy’ at Liquorland

Themed displays trump promotion only

look forward to seeing if the percentage of themed

Whilst location remains the number one lever for

display will increase and if the same brands will win

impactful displays, during the festive season the

the battle for off-location space during the most

importance of themed displays leapfrogs price and

important period of the year.

‘Gifts that will never be returned’ at BWS

Christmas themed display with Tanqueray

November 2020 | 37

Retailer Profile

The Park Hotel Manager, Mark Brown, and Retail Manager, Kim Supple.

Preparing for the busiest summer yet Retail Manager for Suffolk Park’s The Park Hotel, Kim Supple, talks to National Liquor News about the hotel’s Super Cellars bottle shop and its approach in the lead up to summer. Just south of Byron Bay NSW, in the town of Suffolk Park, is The Park Hotel, which features a Super Cellars bottle shop under the Independent Liquor Group (ILG) banner group.

“We put high emphasis on providing in store training of all new staff so we can continue to offer fantastic customer service at all times,” Supple said. “We are aware of the ongoing trends within the industry and keep up a very good knowledge with all categories.”

It’s a very successful and popular store for the local community, something The Park Hotel Retail Manager Kim Supple describes as being thanks to their involvement in the local area.

In the ‘new normal’ retail environment created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Supple noted several trends from local shoppers. There has been a huge demand for craft beer, reflecting the booming craft scene in Byron Bay and surrounds, both in the off- and on-premise. At the same time,

This connection forms part of the bottle shop’s

with more people indulging at home lately, the popularity of high end craft spirits

biggest point of difference, as Supple said: “We are

has also been on the rise, while Supple also noted a lot of movement in the new

involved in the local sporting community in Byron

hard seltzer category in the lead up to a so-called Australian ‘summer of seltzer.’

and are highly active in employing locals to join our team.”

Understanding these trends in customer demand helps Supple and the retail team at The Park Hotel innovate new promotions to draw more shoppers in store.

Also forming this point of difference is the emphasis the store has on staff education, which leads to the best possible outcomes for customers looking to explore new products and categories.

These ongoing promotions bring successful outcomes for both the store and the wider hotel. Supple gave an example and said: “We have an amazing association with Coopers enabling us to do a lot of inhouse promo such as giveaways within the whole of the establishment. We have recently given away a tinnie/trailer and in the upcoming

“We put high emphasis on providing in store training of all new staff so we can continue to offer fantastic customer service at all times.” Kim Supple Retail Manager The Park Hotel

38 | National Liquor News

weeks we will be giving away a car.” “These very successful promotions are ongoing and draw a huge crowd.” In the lead up to their busiest time of year and what is tipped to be one of the busiest summer holiday periods yet for Suffolk Park, Supple said they are continuing to employ COVIDSafe retailing techniques to: “maintain a high level of responsible service.”

Are you a retailer with a story to tell? Get in touch at ballen@intermedia.com.au

Retailer Profile

A retail dream two years in the making Jeff and Michelle Ottaway have finally opened Regions Cellars in South Australia, after spotting a ‘For Lease’ sign two years ago. Two years ago, Jeff and Michelle Ottaway were walking their dog Moxie around the local area in Dulwich, South Australia. When walking past Dulwich Village, home to cafes, a bakery, butcher and supermarket (but no bottle shop), one particular space caught their eye. “We said, ‘Imagine if this ever became available to lease?’ And then a couple of weeks later a ‘For Lease’ sign went up,” Jeff said. Knowing that the only thing missing in the shopping village was a bottle shop, and wanting Dulwich locals to have the opportunity to support and explore the South Australian drinks industry, the Ottaways set about acquiring the space to create a boutique bottle shop. But it wasn’t an easy process. “We thought it would be just like any other business: lease the space, put in an application to get a liquor license, and off you go, but it wasn’t like that,” Jeff laughed. Jeff and Michelle leased the empty space for two

Australia with producers, brands and products that you

years while they underwent the process to get their

don’t normally see in the major supermarket chains.

liquor licence. They knew, as did the community, that

We’re keeping the money in South Australia with local

the space at Dulwich Village was the perfect spot.

producers and we’re employing local people.”

Throughout the application process, the husband and

Jeff and Michelle are excited about the prospect

wife team received more than 150 letters of support

of helping people in the inner eastern suburbs of

from local residents.

Adelaide explore what the wider state has to offer,

“We’ve travelled all over South Australia to meet with local producers to bring some of the best bottles we could

The result of this support, alongside a successful

something that is especially valuable as Australia

liquor licence, is the newly opened Regions Cellars,

overcomes the pandemic. They’re also looking

find back home to

stocked exclusively with products from South

forward to connecting even more with the community,


Australian producers. Some of the brands on offer

employing a customer loyalty program and planning

include Kangaroo Island Spirits, Unico Zelo, Pikes

ways they can say thanks to locals who have supported

Beer Company, and many more.

them over the past two years.

“We’ve travelled all over South Australia to meet

“We’ll be sending out hand-signed letters to the

with local producers to bring some of the best bottles

community to thank them because their support was

we could find back home to Dulwich,” Jeff says.

part of the reason we got the license and we can’t thank

The focus on local forms a large part of the store’s philosophy and as Michelle described: “This is a friendly local shop for our community.” “We want locals to experience the best of South

Jeff Ottaway Co-owner Regions Cellars

them enough,” Michelle said. “The wait is finally over and we are so excited to be bringing the ‘Regions’ of South Australia to your neighbourhood bottle shop.”

November 2020 | 39

The new normal

for New Zealand wine It’s been a challenging year, but there’s still great things happening in New Zealand’s wine industry. By Andrew Graham.

They’re calling it the ‘lockdown harvest’.

The more wine producers you talk to, the more everyone

2020 will go down as the most unusual vintage in

seemed happy just to have been able to work and provide work.

New Zealand’s history, with the whole country entering stage

Malcolm Rees-Francis of Rockburn in Central Otago lays

four lockdowns at the end of March, right as grapes were about to be picked for many vignerons. Cue the sound of winemakers panicking.

it out plainly. “Guidelines came through from NZ Winegrowers daily, with tweaks and clarifications and a very clear message to ‘Not

At first, the fear was that vintage wouldn’t happen. Producers

Stuff This Up’. We were extremely privileged to be allowed to

faced the business-destroying prospect of a lost crop and

carry on, and we had to be enormously careful every day in

scrambled to do whatever they could, only to be saved by

every way,” he said.

an 11th-hour exception that classed wine production as an essential service. The whole wine industry breathed a sigh of relief. Still, the

Ivan Sutherland of Dog Point Vineyard echoes that and said: “We were lucky to be able to continue with our ethos and commitment to quality, by continuing to handpick all varieties.

restrictions made it a very different experience. Gone were

“We also saw this as a commitment to the pastoral care of the

the long vintage lunches, in came the winery and vineyard

workers allowing them to earn and contractors to stay afloat.”

bubbles. Though as Giesen Estate’s Senior Winemaker Duncan

Beyond lockdowns, what makes this vintage even more

Shouler explains, it was the secondary considerations that

unusual was that it was, in Marlborough at least, an excellent

were the hardest.

vintage. The warm and dry weather making for fruit in perfect

“Undoubtedly the biggest challenge for me was being in isolation away from my family,” he said.

condition – which only helps buoy the spirits of those working with strict limitations.

“For six weeks of lockdown, I had to stay in a hotel, which

Notably, 2020 will likely go down as one of the best

was all the more difficult when it was only three minutes drive

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc vintages in some time, and the

from home!”

enthusiasm doesn’t stop at Sauv, as Jules Taylor of Jules Taylor

It wasn’t just the senior staff affected either. As Shouler said:

Wines notes.

“We spent a lot more time focused on HR tasks and helping

She said: “Our Pinot Gris I think is probably one of the

to manage the stress and change in lifestyle with people being

best I have made! Nice small berries packed with flavour –

isolated due to COVID-19. Then, of course, we had the visible

and some of the newer clones planted in the region really

two-metre physical distancing throughout it all too.”

starting to shine.”

40 | National Liquor News

New Zealand Wine Report

Giesen Wines Vineyards

There were other unexpected benefits of this odd time too, as Sutherland notes: “Having a beer after a big day and just sitting outside listening to the birds, no distant traffic or aircraft noise was amazing. “Perhaps for the soul, we need more of this, but without COVID.” Outside of Marlborough, the story is a little more mixed. In

Those that navigated this weather, however, will make fine, savoury wines with vigour and delicacy. Rees-Francis puts it well: “The ferments were well behaved and in fact, look quite ‘classic’ within the Central Otago framework; juicy cherry notes and silky tannins in the Pinot, pure fruit salad palate in the Gris, and one of the prettiest Stolen Kiss Rosés I think we have ever produced,” he said.

Nelson, Rosie Finn of Neudorf reports that quality was very

“The vintage was small but perfectly formed, in other

high, with Pinot Noir the biggest highlight. Further north,

words, and some exciting results given the pressure-cooker

Villa Maria Group Chief Winemaker Nick Picone writes that

environment of the level four lockdown.”

Gisborne had one of its earliest harvests on record, the warm vintage delivering ripe flavours. Ditto for Auckland, which

Flavours of the pandemic

Picone calls “one of the best [vintages] we have seen” with

While lockdown significantly changed the complexion of

“near-perfect warm and dry conditions for ripening fruit

harvest, certain things haven’t changed - like the popularity of

without weather pressure.”

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Hawke’s Bay, sadly, had some issues with both frost and

Premium Marlborough producers are acutely aware of a

hail, hitting yields with inconsistent results but not necessarily

perceived commodification of Sauvignon Blanc, as Sutherland

affecting quality. In the South Island, it was a similar story, as

explains: “The so-called bulk wine presence and its expansion

Misha Wilkinson from Misha’s Vineyard explains.

is of concern to many, particularly the smaller producers.

“You certainly won’t hear anyone in Central Otago pronouncing this as the ‘vintage of the century’,” she said.

He adds that this had lead “to the establishment of AMW (Appellation Marlborough Wine).”

“Overall, it has been a cool and wet season - in fact, one of the

AMW is a new initiative that requires the 52 member

coldest on record. Many vineyards were hit by frost and hail in

producers to use 100 per cent Marlborough fruit, wine bottled

November, and everyone faced relentless wind throughout spring

in NZ, and grapes grown under a recognised sustainable NZ

and summer. A cool and windy December caused an uneven

winegrowing program with crops at set tonnage parameters.

fruit-set and then all through January vineyards fought powdery mildew with many succumbing to the disease pressure.”

While not as rigid as a European appellation systems, this program could, according to wine critic Bob Campbell MW, November 2020 | 41

New Zealand Wine Report

“raise the quality, and probably the price, of top-end

The numbers that matter

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.”

New Zealand’s love affair with Sauvignon Blanc isn’t slowing. In the last

Beyond this quality push, producers still can’t

ten years, the vineyard land devoted to the grape in Marlborough has

ignore the popularity of Sauvignon Blanc in general,

doubled (from 16ha to 25ha according to NZ wine stats). Further, the

as Taylor explains.

volume of all varieties exported to Australia is at record levels, up 26 per

“Even if some in the trade don’t think they have

cent since 2011. Crucially, the dollars per litre of wine destined for our

anything to learn from the classic style, consumers

shores is significantly down over the same period, dropping from $7.48

still enjoy this style of wine - there is a SB out there

to $5.98 primarily due to decreased prices for Sauvignon Blanc.

for everyone,” she said “The alternative style category is seeing more and more companies offer a wine in this space.

What’s perhaps surprising is that the other varieties that are proving more popular.

Those gorgeous, riper and more textural wines using

“As the warmer months kick in we’re seeing rosé

handpicking, wild ferment and MLF to soften the acid

sales pick up again, but Chardonnay is the one that

profile are becoming more popular.”

seems to be leading the charge recently, followed

While Sauvignon Blanc hogs the headlines, it is another style that is the recent star - rosé.

closely by Pinot Noir,” Finn said. ‘Albariño is the one everyone is talking about. We

Rosé is now the fourth largest New Zealand wine

have a small block of it on Rosie’s Block which we are

export. Although far overshadowed by Sauvignon

really liking. Nelson has a great climate for the variety,

Blanc’s 231m litres, it isn’t too far behind Pinot Gris

with the maritime climate of Tasman Bay and warm

at 8.67m litres and beats Chardonnay (5.088m litres

but not overly hot summers bringing out the saline

exported in 2019) for the first time.

mineral notes that it is so famous for.”

The big winner here is Treasury Wine Estate’s

On a premium retail level, demand is quite diverse

Squealing Pig brand, which has been a massive success

too, as Erez Gordon of Carboot Wines explains: “From

in the Australian market. Ben Culligan, TWE ANZ

an organic sales perspective for us, New Zealand is

Marketing & Category Director, shares the numbers.

represented mostly by Pinot Noir, which is definitely

“There’s no doubt that Squealing Pig Rosé has

informed by our customer base.

cemented its place in the category – we’re proud to

“Although we do offer sauvignon blanc on the

see it retained its position as the number one rosé in

website it doesn’t get that much of an airing. We are

the market, up 40 per cent in value versus YA / +52

likely to sell Riesling and Syrah before Sauvignon

per cent in value in the latest quarter.”


It’s not just big companies either. Marlborough’s Two Rivers took out the trophy for Best Rosé at the NZ Wine of the Year competition and apparently can’t make enough of their quality rosé.

Duncan Shouler Giesen Senior Winemaker

42 | National Liquor News

It’s a similar story of diversity at Giesen, as Marketing Manager Angela Flynn notes. “Our best-selling Giesen Estate Riesling is always on the list [of popular wines], and we’ve been pleased Villa Maria Winery, Marlborough

“Even if some in the trade don’t think they have anything to learn from the classic [Sauvignon Blanc] style, consumers still enjoy this style of wine – there is a SB out there for everyone,” Jules Taylor Jules Taylor Wines

*All Stoneleigh Classic range wines vintage 2020 are certified vegan.

Enjoy Stoneleigh Responsibly. ™

Same Vibrant Taste

For further information, please contact your Pernod Ricard Account Manager.

New Zealand Wine Report

to see our Giesen Estate Blush Riesling

expanded organic range, building on

join the ranks as a strong performer,”

research that consumers will pay more

she said.

for wines that are perceived as healthier

“Some great surprises for us have

and more sustainably produced.

been a resurgence in popularity for

The benefit of organic products

our classic Giesen Estate Marlborough

doesn’t stop at consumer expectations

Sauvignon Blanc, and the outstanding

either. The Dog Point vineyard is now

performance of our new Giesen 0% -

one of Marlborough’s most established

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.”

organic plots and its showing results.

“This was the first alcohol-removed

Sutherland explains: “Under

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough,

the organic regime [there is] more

and has been very well received

consistent cropping, less susceptibility

with sell-outs in New Zealand and

to diseases like powdery mildew and


botrytis and we believe a little more body/structure in the finished wine.”

Healthy organic future

“As the warmer months kick in we’re seeing rosé sales pick up again, but Chardonnay is the one that seems to be leading the charge recently, followed closely by Pinot Noir.” Rosie Finn Neudorf

Finally, the big scoop for Giesen is

Giesen’s experience with the popularity

something very different indeed. Flynn

of alcohol-free wine is a notable shift in

lets slip what’s coming.

wine drinkers’ habits.

“We’re always looking for new ways

“We’re seeing consumers paying

to innovate, and so playing into that

more attention to the environmental

‘better for me’ space we’re excited to

impacts of their purchases, and of

launch our first seltzer,” she said.

their own health and well-being,” Flynn said. According to New Zealand research on the Australian wine market released

“Tink Seltzer will start hitting shelves in New Zealand at the end of October, with Australian distribution following early 2021.

last year, shoppers are seeking out

“It’s NZ’s first seltzer with a fruit

options that are vegan, organic and

wine base, produced with fermented

‘better for me’, with the organic

grapes, natural fruit juice, and sparkling

category in Australia up 58 per cent by

water. What this means is that we don’t

volume and 78 per cent by value (and

have any added flavours – it’s low sugar,

still growing).

low carb, and low calories, so look out

For Giesen, this has meant not just the alcohol-free wines, but also an

for three great flavours coming into store soon.”

Mishas Vineyard

44 | National Liquor News

Crowns of the Celtic Whisk(e)y still reigns the top of the shots in Australia, with distillers riding the wave of increased at-home consumption in 2020. With a captive drinking audience ready to learn and drink, from home, Brian Chase Olson investigates how whisk(e)y’s top performers are broadening the spirit’s audience with new products and virtual experiences to recruit future aficionados. Neat, straight, or shaken in a sour, no matter how you

increased from $64.98 in the 9 September 2018 MAT

serve it, Scotch whisky, and its whiskey counterpart

to $70.49 in the current MAT.

across the Irish Sea, has had a booming year in

“COVID has led to strong growth of in-home

2020. Scotch whisky, both blended and single malt

consumption. This has seen a number of liquor

, continues to hold the largest share of sales in the

segments reverse long term trends or further

total Glass Spirit category, with $1.80 of every $10

strengthen growth,” Baun said.

being spent on Glass Spirits going towards Blended period last year (IRI National Weighted Liquor MAT

While consumers drink from home, distillers go digital

06/09/2020 - does not include Dan Murphy’s or BWS).

The most obvious of trends sweeping the total spirits

Scotch alone. This is up from $1.70 in the same time

Single malts also experienced tremendous growth

category, including the whisky space, has been

in the last year, doubling from 14.4 per cent sales

the proliferation of digital-only events. As social

growth in September 2019 to 28.3 per cent in the

distancing restrictions were implemented in Australia

current MAT.

in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, distillers

“When looking at growth by quarter you can

and retailers, too, had to distance their promotions

see that Q2 2020 has seen extremely strong growth

from physical events and in-store tastings and find

(at 39.2 per cent). This will largely be driven by a

a way to continue the conversation about whisky to

significant increase in home consumption due to

eager drinkers.

COVID restrictions,” Geoff Baun, Senior Consultant – Liquor & Tobacco, IRI said. Irish whiskey has also experienced strong doubledigit growth in the same IRI figures and has been

The Glen Grant, which is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, was quick to respond with virtual experiences to introduce their new expression, Arboralis.

growing steadily for the last couple of years. Of note,

“Early on we realised that people would be

the price per litre in ‘Total Glass Irish Whiskey’ has

housebound so The Glen Grant was one of the first

| National | National 4646 Liquor Liquor News News

Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y

Ardbeg Distillery

November 2020 | 47

Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y

brands to respond by creating an online digital

even created a guide on how to pair home delivery

masterclass,” said Simon Durrant, Managing Director,

meals with Glenfiddich.”

Campari Group – Australia & New Zealand.

Asciak feels the digital response from distillers has

The masterclass allowed a limited number of

had a significant impact on how consumers engage

consumers to purchase tasting kits that allowed them to

with the category, particularly when it comes to the

access an intimate virtual tasting with The Glen Grant’s

appreciation of whisky-based cocktails.

Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm, who celebrates his 60th anniversary at the distillery next year.

“I expect the increased exploration in whisky and cocktails to continue into the future. These are both

“The program has been so successful that one of

existing trends that have been accelerated during

our tasting sessions has been viewed over 30,000 times

COVID restrictions. I wouldn’t be surprised if it also

by Australian Single Malt enthusiasts,” Durrant said.

leads to accelerated growth in cocktails in the on-

Glenfiddich, Australia’s top-selling single malt, also

premise as people take their enthusiasm back into the

took to the digital space to engage whisky aficionados

bar to share with friends,” Asciak said.

and newcomers alike. “Generally our approach has been to transfer our

Innovation and exploration

real-world events into online experiences, and also

While digital experiences have been a useful tool

to create content that directly talks to the at-home

in getting drinkers to appreciate the art of whisky,

occasion,” said Kristie Asciak, Marketing Manager,

distillers have also been rolling out a range of new

William Grant & Sons Australia.

releases that showcase craft and innovation for

“We took World Whisky Day indoors this year and

drinkers to explore.

inspired whisky lovers with Glenfiddich cocktails,

One of those new releases comes from Ardbeg in

home delivery mixers for experimental highballs, and

the form of Wee Beastie, a new permanent expression in the distiller’s core range. Described as a ‘monster of a dram’, at just five years old, the whisky is aged in ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks giving it a powerfully smoky character. “A new permanent expression in the core range is always momentous for the Distillery, but Wee Beastie is a particularly special dram. As it’s a younger whisky, it means we’re able to get as close to the still as possible,” said Ardbeg Distillery Manager, Mickey Heads. Ardbeg describes the nose as bright, fresh and

48 | National Liquor News

“I expect the increased exploration in whisky and cocktails to continue into the future. These are both existing trends that have been accelerated during COVID restrictions.” Kristie Asciak Marketing Manager William Grant & Sons Australia








selectively matured in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks, resulting in an “intense, rich and wonderfully drinkable blend” according to the Chivas website. “The extra year and the extra cask finish is a compelling offer at a great price point that will encourage exploration and discovery in the premium herbal with hints of vanilla, pear, freshly cracked

blended whisky category,” Thomson said.

pepper and honey-glazed ham. The taste is described

“Whisk(e)y is loved for its heritage, but today the category is moving on in Australia. It’s more vibrant, more inclusive and more democratic.” Melissa Maidment Diageo Marketing Manager Whisk(e)y

50 | National Liquor News

as rich and explosive, with smoky layers of tar, creosote

Democratising the dram

and smoked bacon.

In last year’s National Liquor News Scotch whisky

“Adventure has really been everyone’s middle name

update, both suppliers and retailers agreed there has

over the past year. This is what Ardbeg lives for, it’s made

been a democratising of the whisk(e)y category with

by and for the insanely committed. Big, bold, peaty

a more diverse audience coming into the fold.

whisky doesn’t need to be something you transition

“There’s more variety in whisk(e)y than ever

to after years on your whisky journey,” Andy Marsh,

before and I honestly believe there’s a whisk(e)y for

Brand Manager, Glenmorangie and Ardbeg said.

everyone,” said Scott Fitzsimons, Whisky and Spirits

In the blended Scotch space, Chivas has reported exceptional results for its recently released products with more limited releases on the horizon. “Chivas remains our biggest whisky brand and has

Educator of Sydney’s The Oak Barrel. The broadening of the whisk(e)y drinking audience has seen many suppliers look at how they market their products to recruit new drinkers.

also experienced eight per cent growth over the last

“Whisk(e)y is loved for its heritage, but today the

year, driven by the core Chivas 12 Year Old and our

category is moving on in Australia. It’s more vibrant,

Super Premium Chivas 13 Year Old Rye Cask NPD

more inclusive and more democratic (Kantar 2020),”

and Chivas XV 15 Year Old,” Eric Thomson, Global

said Melissa Maidment, Diageo Marketing Manager,

Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard Winemakers said.


“Off the back of the successful Chivas 13 Year Old

“The old category conventions of age and

Rye Cask launch last year, we just launched our Chivas

masculinity are no longer relevant, and the future is

13 Year Old Sherry Cask nationally in October.”

in vibrant flavours and serves,” Maidment said.

The Chivas Extra 13 Oloroso Sherry Cask is

Maidment points to Johnnie Walker’s transformation

Scotch and Irish Whisk(e)y

What’s next in whisky? Indian whisky, while relatively small in comparison to Scotch and Irish whiskies, brings a new expression for whisky fans to explore. Andrew Milne, Southtrade International’s Brand Manager for Whisky, explains below. What is the perception of Indian whisky in Australia? “Indian whisky is relatively small in Australia, as it is across the world. For Single Malt Whisky, there are just four distilleries exporting, and you really only see three of them in most countries. With limited brands in Australia, it’s hard to gain an understanding of what Indian whisky truly is.” How does Indian whisky compare to Scotch and Irish in style and quality? “Climate plays a huge factor in style. The humidity of India means that their whiskies mature much faster than whiskies in Scotland and Ireland. With the humidity, they lose more water than alcohol. All of this impacts the flavour and style of the whisky, but trying to box three to four distillers into one

campaign launched last year, which they note is

style is nigh on impossible. Paul John uses local, Himalayan barley, which is

resonating amongst consumers through a mix of more

high in protein and provides a richer mouthfeel and texture to those from

approachable, flavour-forward cocktail serves.

Scotland. The quicker maturation rate of Indian whiskies certainly plays into

“As a brand that has experimentation in its DNA, Johnnie Walker has an extensive portfolio for consumers

their ‘house style’ however, offering a richer, more ‘upfront’ style rather than a very delicate bourbon cask Scotch or Irish whisky for example.”

to discover. Not only that, we are heroing the Johnnie Highball as our signature serve to educate and inspire

Do you see Indian whisky getting as much notoriety as other new

consumers to try whisky and Johnnie Walker.

world producers like Japan or Taiwan?

“A Johnnie Walker Black Highball is an exceptional

“Paul John is the most awarded distillery in the Southern Hemisphere. So it’s

balance of both fresh and vibrant flavours with four

safe to say that they’ve earned their stripes. I think there has been greater

delicious ways to enjoy responsibly: Johnnie & Blood

media presence around Japanese whiskies. I would say that Taiwan is in a

Orange; Johnnie & Lemon; Johnnie & Crisp Apple

similar position, with only two distilleries exporting Single Malt. I definitely

and Johnnie & Ginger,” Maidment said.

think its time is coming. How soon? That’s a tough one to answer. It’s the

Recruitment is also key to growth at Monkey

one to watch for sure however. The range that we’ve seen thus far from

Shoulder, where accessibility presents a chance to

India, and what we can expect for the future, is sure to impress anyone that

help consumers trade up into the category.

gets to taste it.”

“Our Original ‘Batch 27’ continues to provide consumers the opportunity to mix at home through

How can retailers teach whisky

an affordable price and approachable flavour profile,”

shoppers about Indian whisky?

said Mike Lowe, Brand Manager – Monkey Shoulder,

“I think it’s more about offering trust in

William Grant & Sons Australia.

the liquid. As consumers, we are often

“This enables us to have the opportunity to recruit

hesitant to try something new without

new drinkers into the category and step up into single

having a recommendation first. If someone

malts such as Glenfiddich.”

can provide that trust that we won’t be

“We’re big champions of drinking whisk(e)y

disappointed, then that’s all that is needed.

however you enjoy it; neat, on ice, with a mixer, in

More often than not, there is something

cocktails. If we can keep celebrating that it won’t just

from an Indian distillery that fits what the

be younger demographics that we’re opening up, but

customer is looking for.”

all sorts of new markets,” Fitzsimons said.

November 2020 | 51

The Brew Review With winter in full swing, our tasting panel sat down to try some amazing beers and ciders.

The Panel

Michael Capaldo Sales Rep, Hops Products Australia

Liam Pereira Charlie Whitting

Venue and Events Manager, Batch Brewing Co

Former Editor, Beer & Brewer

Rosemary Lilburne-Fini Guy Southern

Craft Beer & Cider Specialist, Camperdown Cellars

Contributor, Crafty Pint

Josh Quantrill Neal Cameron

NSW Sales Manager, Capital Brewing Co.

Technical Director, Brewtique

Judd Owen Jamie Webb-Smith

Contributor, Crafty Pint

Brewer, Yulli’s Brews

Aaron Edwards Benji Bowman

Owner, Bitter Phew

Sales Rep, Capital Brewing Co

Keith Grice




Justin Fox


Head Brewer, Hunter Beer Co

Head of Sales, Bintani


52 | National Liquor News


What’s our Seasonal Focus? This issue, we’re taking a look at those darker beers, the porters and stouts

Beer Tasting

Blackman’s Mervyn Pale Ale

Balter Dimples West Coast IPA

Style: Pale ale ABV: 4.6%

Style: IPA ABV: 7%

This is a full-bodied pale ale in a more American style with solid perceived bitterness and hopforward notes. A tropical fruit salad of mango, pineapple, lemon and lime greets the nose and palate and there’s a firm, semi-sweet malt base there too to provide some balance. The lower ABV and lasting bitterness make this bright golden beer very sessionable.

This beer is a real pine bomb. It’s super clear, with honeyed orange tones coming through an amber liquid. Passionfruit and mango are very pronounced on the nose, with a sweetness that rounds out the aggressive piney notes. There’s also a good malt backbone. The palate is quite sweet and piney, with orange and guava notes there too. The mouthfeel is slick and full.




Holgate Road Trip Style: American IPA ABV: 6% A strong but restrained dank and resinous aroma greets the nose from this American IPA, which is the colour of light bronze. Orange, pineapple, tangerine and melon also come to the fore along with coriander seed. Taking a sip brings plenty of hoppiness on the palate but it’s not overpowering. There are piney notes and the flavour of burnt orange but without the sweetness. The beer coats the tongue excellently, delivering bitterness and a sweeter finish that clamours for a second gulp. Holgatebrewhouse.com

Hawker’s Right On Schedule Style: Hazy IPA ABV: 8.5% A translucent hazy ale with a fruity aroma balanced by a pleasant wheatiness. This juicy ale is practically one of your five a day with pineapple, nectarine, mango, and apple all present. Pleasingly balanced by spicy notes of white pepper, candied ginger and pine resin – not to mention the boozy warmth - this is a smooth drop filled with gentle sweetness. A resiny-hoppy kick at the end stops it from being a one-anddone level of sweetness. Hawkers.beer

Bright Barrel Series Aged Barleywine 2019 Style: Barleywine ABV: 13.9% Perhaps the perfect beer for isolation, this fullbodied spiced ale invites you to drink it slowly, taking in the changing aromas and flavours sip by sip. A big beer for contemplating the big questions in life, it comes into its own as it comes to room temperature. The pleasant warmth of the alcohol and the smooth sherry and whiskey notes are balanced by dried raisins and honeyed sweetness, all with pleasing viscosity in the mouth.


Stone & Wood Green Coast

Wayward Mango Mosaic Magic

Style: Lager ABV: 4.7%

Style: Dry hopped sour ABV: 4%

Quintessentially lager. Light gold in colour with a bright head and the slightest haze. The bittering hops are present on the nose, with some grassiness and herbacity brought to the party as well, solidified with some malt at the back. The mouthfeel is clean and refreshing with some good nice body, and the aftertaste is dry, encouraging another sip. A more-than adequate thirst quencher on a hot day. Stoneandwood.com.au

If you like fruity beers, this is the one for you. This bright, inviting, very pretty beer is deep straw in colour with good haziness and incredible head retention. Sauvignon blanc dominates the nose, with lots of juicy brightness – passionfruit and guava – with green mango and green strawberries hinting at some acidity. The guava and mango are even more intense on the palate, making for a delicious, almost NEIPA-ish beer, with the acidity rather subtle and a sweet mango finish.

Kaiju Golden Axe

Dainton Wonderland

Style: Cider ABV: 5.2%

Style: NEIPA ABV: 6%

This cider is bright, clear and sparkling in appearance. The aromas are promising – plenty of apples and green apple skin coming through. Taking a sip of this light bodied cider brings a slight tannic astringency. There’s a medium dryness on the palate which is balanced by some honeyish sweetness. Apple flavours are of course to the fore – red or possibly Pink Lady. A bright and refreshing cider.

Dainton continues to push the boundaries with this Easter release bringing white chocolate into the fold. Pouring a hazy gold, a sweet lactose aromatic takes the lead over a subdued hop influence. There is fresh white chocolate on the palate, masked under the malt and lactose early on but asserting its presence further as the glass warms. It’s highly drinkable and avoids any fatigueinducing white chocolate bombardment.









Jetty Road Milk Choc Stout Style: Stout ABV: 4.8% A reincarnation of their much-loved Easter milk stout, this is a deliciously silky beer that brings cacao, vanilla and smooth malt together in a blissful union. Jet black with a dense off-white foam, hits of vanilla are fittingly integrated and the body punches well above its sub-5% weight. The lactose presence adds to the fullness but avoids taking the spotlight for an impressive drinkability at any temperature. This one will fly off the shelves so grab it quick. Jettyroad.com.au

Wayward.com.au As published in Beer and Brewer Spring 2020

November 2020 | 53

Wine Tasting Review

All that sparkles The National Liquor News tasting panel sampled a selection of sparkling varieties this month, with multiple styles including Champagne, Prosecco, sparkling rosé, sparkling Shiraz and more. Here are their highest scoring wines across three price brackets.

Panels Picks

The Panel ➤

C  hristine Ricketts, Wine Educator, Endeavour Group G  eoff Bollom, Retailer, Fennell Bay Cellars B  rian Chase Olson, Director, Blend Public Relations E  mmanuel Conde, Brand Ambassador, Cerbaco M  ichael Mcintosh, Fine Wine Brand Ambassador, Accolade Wines J ye Hosking, Account Manager, Agnew Wines A  l Fencaros, Chief Winemaker, Allinda Wines A  ndy Young, Editor, The Shout & Bars and Clubs

The System 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine 90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character 85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities

54 | National Liquor News



Taltarni Sparkling


Premium Rosé


Premier Cru

Region: Tasmania


Region: Victoria

VIN: NV LUC: $21.50

VIN: 2018 LUC: $19.78

Region: France

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

VIN: NV LUC: $44.99

Samuel Smith & Son

Oatley Fine Wine Merchants

“Long finish and delightful red fruits.” - Christine Ricketts.

“Great colour. Pleasant. Fantastic BBQ wine.” – Geoff Bollom

Distributed by: Decante This

“Good structure, sublime fruit, balanced.” – Geoff Bollom

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $25 and over Champagne



Vintage Cuvée

Blanc de Noirs

Region: Tasmania

Region: France

VIN: 2015 LUC: $34.40

VIN: NV LUC: $54.20

Distributed by:

Distributed by: Decante This

Samuel Smith & Son

“Austere and mineral, showing both restraint of fruit and power.” – Michael Mcintosh

“Delightful layers and strong lingering finish. My choice for a summer’s afternoon.” – Christine Ricketts

“The lower price point is showing the leverage towards the younger drinking group with more fruit forward, easy drinking styles.” Christine Ricketts Wine Educator Endeavour Group


Veuve Fourny

Montaudon Brut

Grande Réserve Brut

Region: Reims, France

Region: France

VIN: NV LUC: $60.00

VIN: NV LUC: $56.00

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Single Vineyard Sellers

De Bortoli Wines

“An intriguing and interesting nose – in a good way. Enjoyable acidity to balance the fruit.” – Andy Young

“Classic Champagne. Delightful autolytic notes.” – Christine Ricketts

Food Pairing ➤

Clover Hill



Pollyanna Polly

Region: Tasmania

Sparkling Brut

VIN: NV LUC: $25.37

Region: Adelaide Hills

Distributed by:

VIN: NV LUC: $27.09

Oatley Fine Wine Merchants

Distributed by: NSW/ACT:

Young & Rashleigh; QLD: The

“Good acid overlayed with subtle fruit.” – Geoff Bollom

Wine Tradition; VIC: The Wine

“ I’d pair Australian sparkling with fried calamari, roast veggie skewers or a beautiful charcuterie platter.” – Brian Chase Olson “ Oysters natural or crayfish.” – Geoff Bollom “ Prosecco with battered fish goujons and chips with tartare sauce, and Blanc de Blancs Champagne with tuna tartare and finger lime.” – Michael Mcintosh

Company; SA: Empire Liquor; WA: Off The Vine

“Very smart, great food wine.” – Michael Mcintosh

“ Snapper, hollandaise and chat potatoes with a fair share of butter, lemon and rosemary.” – Emmanuel Conde

November 2020 | 55

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $20-$25

“Australian sparkling is showing a lot of strengths. Great quality, considered winemaking and fresh, beautiful wines.”

Château Tanunda


Blanc de Blancs

Sparkling Shiraz

Region: Barossa

Region: Barossa

VIN: 2009 LUC: $23.95

VIN: NV LUC: $24.46

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Crush Wine + Drinks

Treasury Wine Estates

“Balanced and approachable. Some leesy notes over rich appley fruit.” – Michael Mcintosh

“A more intriguing wine with some savoury notes underneath the sweetness. A well put together sparkling red.” – Andy Young

Brian Chase Olson Director Blend Public Relations

Pirie Traditional




Region: Tasmania

Region: Henty, Victoria

VIN: NV LUC: $21.50

VIN: 2013 LUC: $20.43

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Brown Family Wine Group

Treasury Wine Estates

“Pleasant, balanced, structured. Subtle bubbles.” – Emmanuel Conde

“A lovely peach draw to bring you in, with fine bubbles to give a great structure.” – Andy Young

Editor’s Picks ➤

 0 Rotari Rosé 2014, Italy, 9 LUC $35 (Single Vineyard Sellers)  5 Bird in Hand Sparkling 8 2020, Adelaide Hills, LUC $19.78 (Bird in Hand)  5 Highgate Chardonnay 8 Pinot Noir NV, South Australia, LUC $25, (Single Vineyard Sellers)  2 Ferngrove Sparkling 8 Cuvée NV, Frankland River, LUC $13.98 (Ferngrove Wines)

56 | National Liquor News

Mezza di


Mezzacorona Italian

Premium Cuvée

Glacial Bubbly

Region: Tasmania

Region: Italy

VIN: NV LUC: $21.50

VIN: NV LUC: $25.00

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Samuel Smith & Sons

Single Vineyard Sellers

“Intensity with some complexity. Touch of sweetness. Nice pairing with Pavlova.” – Emmanuel Conde

“Clean, crisp with a short length. Very drinkable.” – Jye Hosking

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $20 and under Voyager Estate

Trentham Estate

Project Sparkling

Reserve Pinot

Chenin Blanc


Region: Margaret River

Region: Tasmania

VIN: 2019 LUC: $19.78

VIN: NV LUC: $17.85

Distributed by: NSW/ACT/

Distributed by: VIC/NSW/

QLD: Déjà Vu Wine Co.; VIC/

ACT/QLD/TAS: Bacchus Wine

TAS: Bibendum; SA: Alpha Box

Merchant; SA/NT: Empire

and Dice; WA: Liquid Library

Liquor; WA: Dave Mullen Wine


“Nice, pleasing wine with a pleasant finish.” – Christine Ricketts

Sparkling wine facts

“Creamy, soft finish. Good structure. Green apple, lemon, nougat.” – Geoff Bollom

Squealing Pig

19 Crimes

Sparkling Rosé

Blanc de Blancs



South Eastern Australia

South Eastern Australia

VIN: NV LUC: $14.73

VIN: NV LUC: $11.40

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Treasury Wine Estates

Treasury Wine Estates

“Easy drinking, wonderful summer wine.” – Christine Ricketts

“Pleasant. Could be a crowd pleaser for a mix of the young and the more experienced.” – Christine Ricketts

Morris of Rutherglen

Brown Brothers

Sparkling Shiraz

Prosecco Premium



Region: Rutherglen

Region: King Valley

VIN: NV LUC: $13.76

VIN: NV LUC: $15.48

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Casella Family Brands

Brown Family Wine Group

“Balanced. No hiding the Shiraz. Good fruit. Great value at this price.” – Geoff Bollom

“Richer and riper style Prosecco. Pears and spice on palate. Larger bubbles. Textural.” – Michael Mcintosh

T he first sparkling wine was created by accident in northern France, but by the 1600s winemakers had embraced it to craft the styles we drink today. O  ne in five bottles of bubbles in the world was produced in France.  hile today the default W glass for sparkling is a flute, the traditional glassware used was actually a coupe glass, which was said to help the drinker better smell the wine’s aroma and therefore boost the experience. T here are multiple methods to make sparkling wine, some of which are called out on the bottle (for example, the traditional method). T he pressure inside a sparkling wine bottle can be three times that of a car tyre, which is why sparkling bottles traditionally have thicker glass that other wines.

“All wines presented well within their respective price categories.” Michael Mcintosh Fine Wine Ambassador Accolade Wines

November 2020 | 57

Retailer Profile

Launching a new banner group in a pandemic One of the retailers behind the new Sessions Sandringham store describes the challenging yet rewarding journey of opening a new store under a new banner group during the pandemic. Sessions, the retail banner group debut from Paramount Liquor, has now opened the doors to its first store in Sandringham. Paramount Liquor’s General Manager of Retail, Jon Fernandes, told National Liquor News about the vision for the group, and how this first store embodies it. “Sessions has been designed to bring to life a brand that is truly local and focussed on the emerging strong trends that are now embedded in the more modern retail stores,” Fernandes said. Although its early days, the opening of the first of two Victorian pilot stores has been really encouraging for both the retailers and the group and is an incredible achievement considering the challenging environment in the state right now. One of the three retailers behind the first store in Sandringham, Dan Macpherson, told National Liquor News about the journey so far. “The three of us as owners have lived and owned businesses in Sandringham for over thirty years. Our philosophy is based around the Australian craft liquor industry which is one of the best in the

L – R: Michael Giampa, Antoinette Giampa, Dan Macpherson, Nathan Rowe and Wilbur Van Derham.

“We’ve been blown away with the support and reaction from the community. It’s humbling to see something we worked so hard to create, bring jubilation and a little bit of ‘wow’ to our area.”

world. We’ve watched as the consumers have switched away from

Dan Macpherson

mainstream brands towards craft and especially local, our store

Retailer Sessions Sandringham

highlights these consumer values,” Macpherson said. “We were operating a pop up bottle store out of our bar Sparrows Bar and were being bombarded with requests for niche products, that

about their concept for Sessions we highlighted similar values in their

up until then we had assumed were being catered to in our local area.”

vision, a craft focus and less mainstream. We also were attracted to

“So we started asking questions around town and began the first stages of our plan. We had originally planned on remaining 100 per cent independent. When we first spoke with Paramount

the fact that Paramount was founded as a family business. “The more we discussed it with Paramount the more impressed we were and were happy to join to combine our visions.” Macpherson described how the team put all their energy into the Sessions store while their other businesses were closed during COVID, and despite challenges, they’re able now to see the impact of that hard work. “Its been fantastic, we’ve had so many people coming in and taking photos of our store and just taking it all in. For example, we have a huge gin wall that has been attracting a lot of attention in the area, Macpherson said. “We’ve been blown away with the support and reaction from the community. It’s humbling to see something we worked so hard to create, bring jubilation and a little bit of ‘wow’ to our area.” The Sandringham Sessions store is to be followed by another in West Brunswick.

58 | National Liquor News

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National Liquor News November 2020  

National Liquor News prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...

National Liquor News November 2020  

National Liquor News prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...