Thursday, 9 April 2015

There have apparently been w(h)ines

from the grape growers again - you know the people who call themselves "vignerons" rather than farmers or market gardeners.
A lot of them apparently failed to make money last year and one of their supporters in the Senate has been suggesting a twenty-five cent levy on each bottle of wine to prop them up.
I have no problems with the levy but I do have a problem with using it to prop up an industry which should not be propped up. Put simply, too many grapes are grown.
Have you stopped screaming yet? Do I need to repeat myself? 
Grape growing seems to be regarded as rather more important an activity than growing potatoes or pumpkin, pears or plums or peaches. The very fact that grape growers in this country choose to use the French word rather than "grape grower" is something of a giveaway. 
Then there is all the arcane ritual surrounding the making of wine. It has been turned into a business of immense complexity, an art form rather than something which is drunk. 
But is it really that complex? When my parents were having this house built the Italians who were doing the plaster work gave my mother a bottle of their home-made wine. She tried it and liked it. She gave some to a person who believed he was a bit of a wine expert. She didn't tell him where it came from and he thought it had come from a very expensive winery indeed. 
I don't drink alcohol. I am allergic to it and come out itching all over - not to be recommended. I do know though that, like home made anything, wine can be nice or nasty. That was apparently nice wine. 
So the fuss is surely all a bit of "con" job isn't it? And do we really need all that wine? For years some of it has been bought just to be thrown away. Other bottles, such as "Grange Hermitage", sell for far more than I would be prepared to pay even if I did drink wine. 
Wouldn't it be better and more useful for some of those grape growers to grow almonds or olives or peaches or something people could eat?
The people who grow our food should be respected and given all reasonable help. We should not be singling out those who grow something that should be nothing more than the occasional drink. They really are not that important when it comes to feeding people. 


Philip C James said...

What's the collective noun? A Whinge of Vignerons?

Does Australia have a wine lake? Who'd have drunk it?

catdownunder said...

A Whinge of Vignerons? Oooh I like it!

Anonymous said...

I don't mind grape growers ... the ones who grow grapes for us to eat.
I also like "A Whinge of Vignerons" ... sounds perfect.