Duty free shops – where wine goes to die
I took the above photo at a Sydney Airport duty free store just this weekend gone.
I was wandering around looking at Champagne prices you see (Dom is cheap at the airport), and sauntered over to check out this bottle of 2008 Penfolds Bin 620 Cab Shiraz. I actually just wanted to have a poke around really, particularly as Penfolds know how to package their top rarities. Kicking the tyres I was.
What I saw though was all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong.
Forget the fact that the price is hardly ‘duty free’. Forget too how odd it is that such a wine is freely available, even though it was made in tiny quantities. Forget even that it’s sitting open in the middle of the store, that lovely box more marked and dog-eared by the day. None of it really matters, compared to one thing – that bright light beating down on the bottle…
The problem? They’re 5 wines that will all taste completely different, and all unlikely to taste anywhere near as good as they should. 5 wines, $475 worth of quality, Rhone-styled Waiheke Island red that, yet again, have been ruined by the scourge of the spotlight…
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Great observation AG. I’ve often been amazed at this sort of thing myself. I get the fact that retailers like to draw attention to wines with bright lights etc in order to sell it, but ruining the product in the process just seems ludicrous. I also wonder if people who are potential buyers of premium wines, people you would assume generally have half a clue about how to store wine (trophy-wine shoppers excluded, maybe), would look at this sort of display and have the exact same observation. “Oh wow, a great bottle of wine. Shame that it’s been cooked. Perhaps I’ll look for this wine elsewhere”. Your edit from the e-mail version of this article is duly noted. Preferred the e-mail version personally 😉