It’s not only a fast-moving world, but a very strange one. Each month the Burgundy wine office sends out a newsletter for journalists, and over the years I have read some strange pieces in the journal, but none has caused me to scratch my head as hard as the celebration of the Burgundy Wine Board’s efforts to increase the amount of burgundy purchased by supermarkets. The increase in supermarket listings and sales for 12 months to the end of February is 2.2% by volume, and 2.9% by value. The newsletter goes on to say ‘the increased number of varieties on the shelves of hypermarkets and supermarkets (on average 13.4 varieties of Burgundy white wines, compared to 12.8 one year earlier) shows the faith of stores and the real consumer demand for these products.’ I’m not quite sure what ‘varieties’ means, but it’s either brands or appellations. Either way, it’s not a trend that fine wine producers in Australia would celebrate.
There are also figures on exports which make a great deal more sense. Overall, exports grew 5.7% by volume for the fourth quarter of 2009 (compared withy ‘08), and while the recovery varies from market to market, the United Kingdom is up 24% by volume and 40% by value, even if these remain 30% below 2008 levels. Then, just to remind Australians that we won’t be the only fish in the Chinese pool, recovery in the Hong Kong and the Singapore markets, important platforms for re-exportation across Asia (particularly to China), is also reported.