By Andrew Starke

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) says it is surprised and disappointed
Victorian Premier John Brumby has linked wine to Melbourne’s problems with excessive alcohol consumption and violence.

The winemaking lobby group’s comments echo those of Nightclub Owners Forum convenor, Peter Iwaniuk, who recently penned an open letter to the premier indicating his concerns with Victoria’s proposed liquor licensing system.

“[Premier] Brumby blames what he calls cheap alcohol for fuelling the problem and specifically refers to cheap wine, yet that comment flies in the face of the reality,” said WFA CEO Stephen Strachan.

“All the evidence shows that wine is not the drink of choice for young, high-risk drinkers and is certainly not the cause of binge drinking,” he continued.

“Cask wine has become an easy target because it is one of the more inexpensive forms of alcohol per standard drink, but that does not make it a problem if it is not fuelling abuse.”

Strachan said the WFA supported calls for responsible drinking in Australia and sympathised with the State Government’s specific concerns, but had a duty to base it’s response on the facts.

“The vast majority of cask wine consumers are older and poorer and enjoy cask wine responsibly,” he said. “Most have less than two glasses per drinking occasion – well within the Federal Government’s healthy drinking guidelines.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *