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Musings on… Respectful Drinking
  • Author Joshua Elias
  • Location Alquimie HQ

You, our readers, have frequently voiced your enthusiasm for our ‘Manifesto’—a mainstay of the final page of our magazine. In our long-form bi-annual discussion celebrating the nuances of drinking, a single page devoted to responsibility and awareness about the harms that alcohol can cause, seems like a mere footnote. Alcohol enjoyment and sensitivity are not mutually exclusive, in-fact, they enhance one and other.

My thoughts on this topic gathered pace whilst tasting a unique wine from Turkish producer Vinkara. An indigenous variety known as Öküzgözü, it was a red wine that was equal parts unknown, exotic and exciting. Billowing with smoky earthen notes, sweet plum and stalky spice. To taste, the wine was fresh, silky and comforting. Back in edition 5 of our magazine Lauren Mowery chronicled a few of the struggles that Turkish wineries have encountered with their government’s strict legislature. Wine is a generous gift that we too often take for granted in Australia.

In the face of budget deficit, the Australian Government looks towards wine as a possible revenue raiser via excise. Akin to the heavy excise imposed spirits and tobacco, it is likely that wine will be a more heavily taxed product in Australia if not immediately, it will be, inevitably. Increased taxation can be jointly justified as a health decision; a disincentive towards consumption of alcohol. Recent studies suggest the higher taxation will indeed curb drinking habits. However, as Alquimie idealists, we live in hope that education and communication about responsible drinking could be a more viable avenue towards respectful drinking.

We’d like to believe that in our Alquimie community of wine drinkers, our understanding of alcohol’s risks are well accepted. Likewise, it is our duty to spread our enthusiasm, share our cellars and welcome our friends, our children and our family around the dinner table for a conversation over a glass. In what ways do you practice respectful drinking? With whom do you do it? We’d like to think that we can use social media to change the way people think about what they drink. Email us, Tweet us, we’d love to know. A

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