Can you believe Glug warm climate wines are dismissed by the wine elite?

Read why and the date

A wine surplus does not just appear it builds for years before spilling over. No district is spared and that is now happening. What is new is watching the high prices small wineries charge clashing with the market price they receive for wines sold ex barrel. Here are two boutique Cabernets you will enjoy; Glug Back Block Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 and Glug Cellar Range Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2022. Offer finishes midnight.

To deepen your wine appreciation these letters explain how I developed mine. From 1975 till the early 1980s I attended wine tastings three to four nights a week. I wanted to know all about wine, yet the great lesson was learning about myself. I found the wine does not alter but the taster does. Why do I rate a wine highly then in another time and place find it average?

Becoming a wine merchant and rational taster while serving customers that are often irrational is part of the interest that prolongs my career. The cognitive psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahnehan studied why people’s mental biases may lead them to make decisions that run counter to their own interests. His recent death reminded me that it was not a particular wine book that advanced my thinking but the textbook Microeconomics and Behaviour by Robert Frank.

To invent wine from the tiny fruit of a wild vine was a brilliant advance. Still, we could not leave well enough alone and wanting to experience a deeper meaning, beyond that found in the taste, created many a tall tale.

The beautiful thing about wine is the endless variety. Fertile ground for busy bodies to offer advice which quickly becomes an authoritarian viewpoint of what is correct. At least the wine equivalents of farfetched conspiracy theories do little harm except to the bank account.

You may have noticed the Glug business sits outside the mainstream of wine retail. Glug was designed to be an outsider and is not impacted by much at all. We have no need of an expert to evaluate our wines or to enter them in the judging system as that is for insiders.

I also dislike tasting notes which evolved from answering is the wine drinkable or not drinkable, to silly waffle. As well Glug wants no part of stocking branded wines which are a con on the public as they increase prices. Wine reviews, point scores, medal counts are not us as that plays the insider game.

You either join the establishment or reject it and in the interest of customers it must be rejected. Consider this.

James Halliday the critic, wine judge and writer, incidentally he announced his retirement this past weekend, said in a lecture to the N.S.W. Wine Press Club in 2005, ‘Under the Chairmanship of Brian Croser, there has been an emphatic instruction to all judges to reward wines with finesse and elegance, and to penalise over-ripe, over-extracted wines. I can assure you there will be no change of policy under my forthcoming Chairmanship’.

There you have it and this continues today. The two most influential wine figures of the last 40 years, Halliday and Croser, altered the system to teach my customers that what they like to drink, full bodied warm climate wines, which Glug makes, do not have their approval.

In November 2013 the Europhile wine writer for Decanter U.K., Andrew Jefford was in Australia and left us with this review of Chris Ringland’s Eden Valley reds, some over 16% alcohol, ‘I was there to taste some of Australia’s most astonishing red wines, yet I hardly dared tell anyone I was going. When I owned up later, and shyly admitted how much I’d liked them, I was met with near-incredulity. At least once, I was asked to confirm what I’d just said. These are the great wines you aren’t, in right-thinking circles, meant to like: too rich, too much alcohol, too many ‘Parker points’. They swim like bandit trout against Australia’s current tide of early-picking righteousness and buttoned-down restraint.  But, sorry folks, great they are’.

Fortunately, Glug drinkers make up their own mind and from the Eden Valley try the Mount Eagle Eden Valley Cabernet Syrah 2022 or move up a notch to the recently bottled, only 30 cases, Brutus Barossa Valley Shiraz Durif 2018.

So, Drink Widely Drink Well

David Farmer