Australia is a great place, and it's probably no shock that this great country produces some of the best wines in the world and is well within the top ten largest wine producing countries in the world.
But what was a shock to me after seeing so many great independent winemakers spread across the country was that out of all the wine made in Australia, 92% of it is made by 22 companies.
How can there be so many small guys around with so many of us searching for these boutique wines and yet they only make up 8% of the market?
The more I searched into how the wine industry worked, the more I realised that almost every time we walk into one of the bottleshop chains these big companies are playing us.
At a guess you would have to say that there is probably 500 or so different bottles of wine at your average bottle shop, maybe a few more, and yet the biggest liquor store chains actually own about 300 of their own wine labels.
That's crazy, especially since they don't actually make these wines.
But to top that off, the same wine could (and does) have different labels on the bottle at different price points all sitting next to each other.
Sorry to ruin the mirage but if you have been buying "boutique wine" from these big chains then you might need to do some research to see if it actually is from an independent producer.
Here is a tip, if it says on the back label the producer is based in Surry Hills then the last time I checked there were no grape vines being grown in Sydney.
So the simple solution in my mind is to make sure you buy from the winemaker.
But how do you do that if you can't always visit wine regions and discover new and exciting wineries?