Bastard Box is a trademark registered wine from the Upper Goulburn wine growing area in Victoria, Australia. It’s about 2 hours NE of Melbourne and about an hour further on from the Yarra Valley.
The name Bastard Box came about because the trees growing on the property were referred to by the early settlers as just that – bastard box, box being a common name for a type of gum tree. The settlers said the wood was “a bastard to burn” (true) and “a bastard to work with”. The name also happens to fit nicely with my nickname “Box” and well….the rest is history.
Like all great wineries, we’ve started with a label and a name. No wine, just a label and a name. Oh, did I mention we only have 120 vines. Well, last time I looked we had 120, but the wombats might have got to some in the meantime. I’ll keep you posted on our progress towards our first vintage.
Whilst we’re waiting for the vines to bear fruit, I’m using this blog to help people who live in Singapore (like us) make better choices when buying Australian or New Zealand wine in Singapore. “Sticker shock” is an understatement when first venturing into wine stores in Singapore, but with research and help, you CAN buy decent down under wines in Singapore at a decent price. You just have to do your homework.
And that’s where BastardBoxWine comes in.
On a purely random basis, I have a look at what’s being offered and sort out the wheat from the chaff. The ratings I quote come from reputable sources (James Halliday, Jeremy Oliver, Campbell Mattinson, Gary Walsh, Bob Campbell, Michael Cooper, Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Jancis Robinosn and others – phew!) so the opinions are not mine, but the data base is. I use the Bastard Box Index (BBI) to take out all the taxes at source (especially the nasty WET tax in Australia), assume a wholesale price for export, add on freight and the Singapore tax ($7 a bottle on average) and VAT (7%) and mark it back up 100% to retail. If the price in Singapore comes to a BBI of 1.0, then I reckon it’s fair comparative value with its home country price. Mostly (and you might find this hard to believe if you’ve just arrived here) wines come in well below 1.0 meaning some retailers are taking a sensible approach to margin. But there’s always the greedy and the adventurous. It’s been clear over the last few years that some retailers reckon they can get away with a 300% mark-up. Well not with Bastard Box around!
Best of all, the blog is free.
So, if you’re tired of wandering into that Singapore supermarket and paying $30 for a wine that sells at Dan Murphys in Australia for less than $5, tune in to BastardBoxWines on a regular basis and see how you can buy decent wines at a reasonable price, and hopefully lift the quality of your drinking without breaking the bank.