There are sales, and then there are sales.

Wine Directions has a sale at Extra Space this coming Saturday and I’ve already favourably reviewed some of their offerings. I’d call it a sale.

But there’s another “one-day” sale on Saturday across town. Now, I have to confess that I failed mathematics at school, so my ability to deal with complex numbers is limited at best. That’s why I have trouble subtracting 15, 20 or even 40% off the recommended retail price and still coming up with a sale price that seems to be higher than normal selling price for others.  I guess it’s probably crystal clear to the more numerically minded amongst you, so perhaps one day you can explain it to me.

Here’s what I’m struggling with:

2009 / Grosset / Polish Hill / Clare Valley / Riesling / Sale price S$55.25…….. but it’s for sale at S$46 elsewhere in Singapore

2008 / Ata Rangi / Martinborough / Pinot Noir / Sale price  S$82.45……but you must know if you’ve been following my blog that you can get it retail (yes, at a real shop with real people, not just on-line) for S$69.

2009 / Dog Point / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / S$43.35…..but you’ll find it at S$35 if you look around.

You see my problem. I never did understand just how things added up.

Speaking of sales though, I saw this headline in an e-mail that lobbed on my computer. “Save up to $1,000 a dozen” – must surely be one of those 2009 Bordeaux  offers I thought – but no. It’s for a $24.99 wine! Yep, that’s right, a $24.99 wine. Well it is now at least. I’m talking of the 2008 The Colonial Estate Émigré Barossa Valley GSM which sold (or maybe that should be, was offered for sale) in the US for US$85 a bottle and typically gained a Robert Parker rating around 94 points. Ouch!

Now before you get too excited, that’s the price on offer in Australia at

And whilst were on the subject of things adding up, can you figure this out? Last year there was I am told around 100 million cases of unsold wine languishing in Australia. It’s quite rightly been labelled a wine glut. So, according to a recently conducted survey, the 2010 South Australian Wine Grape Utilization and Pricing Survey to be precise, growers are planning to INCREASE production by between 150,000 to 830,000 tonnes next year. There’s those damn numbers again confusing the hell out of me. I thought the answer would be to subtract, but it seems the answer is to add.

A couple of tempters from Epsilon Wine Resources (

1999 / Elderton / Command / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$92

2000 / Elderton / Command / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$90

I’m a big fan of Elderton’s premier wine. Yes, it can be at bit variable, but isn’t that what people say they want instead of sameness year after year?  You’ll find a Command is always in my cellar, and these two years, whilst not the greatest, would still find a place. Jeremy Oliver rates the ’99 at 90 points and suggests that it might have been at it’s best a couple of years ago. The ’00 he rates at 93 points with drinking out to 2012+.  If you find Command under S$100 bucks these days, it’s worth trying.

“Wine is mostly a pleasant-tasting liquid soporific and/or stimulant. It is not a religion, a branch of philosophy, a sacred repository of human knowledge, or better than sex (except for Central Otago pinot noir). “ – Morris Gleitzman writing in Gourmet Traveller Wine, January 2008


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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907