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(LEAD) (Yonhap Interview) Diversity underpins competitiveness of Australian wine: connoisseur

All Headlines 17:43 September 10, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS throughout)
By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- Beyond the commonplace measure of taste and texture, diversity based on Australia's geological and climatic varieties underpins the competitiveness of the country's wine, a renowned connoisseur has said.

During a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul, Ned Goodwin, Australian master of wine, said that wine is like a "liquid postcard" that enables people to get a taste of uniqueness in certain parts of Australian life.

"There are a lot of diverse regions, geological soil types and climates (in Australia). So I think the diversity and quality of life manifested in very well made wine is Australia's strong point," Goodwin said.

"It is diverse in terms of representing a lot of different places. As the market matures, what wine drinkers really invest in is not just taste. ... It is an investment in what a wine stands for," he added.

This photo, taken Sept. 7, 2018, shows Ned Goodwin, Australian master of wine, speaking during an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Goodwin was here last week for a tasting program and other events, including the seminar, "Minimal intervention: A progression from natural wine to a sustainable maturity" that he hosted to introduce contemporary styles of Australian wine.

Issued by Britain's Institute of Masters of Wine, his title, the master of wine, is a qualification viewed as one of the highest standards of professional knowledge.

Asked about his philosophy of wine tasting, Goodwin likes to use the "liquid postcard" metaphor, which he said well captures what he believes is important in the quality of the alcoholic beverage.

"If you give me six wines from different places, I will probably have a pretty good chance of telling where they are from even if I can't see the labels. Absolutely, there is definitely a stamp of DNA from a place," he said.

"(Wine) takes you to all sorts of beautiful places ... eventually of course, you probably will (go there) because wines will make you want to go there," he added.

He, in addition, pointed out that contemporary Australian wine styles reflect the nature of the country's people to some extent.

"Australians are a fairly optimistic and confident bunch of people, and I think that emanates across wine styles. When I drink Australian wine, I drink a wine from a place I want to live in," he added.

Noting the recent increase in Koreans' consumption of Australian wine, Goodwin painted a positive outlook for the growth of the Asian country's wine market.

"I think it is a quite an open-minded market that is quite different from some other Asia markets," he said.

According to Wine Australia, a government agency that promotes the country's wine, Australian wine exports to South Korea showed a growth rate of 24 percent from July 2017 to June this year in value, indicating increasing consumer interest here.

Born in London, raised in Australia and educated in Tokyo and Paris, Goodwin, once an art history student, has built a strong presence across both print and television media in Asia with his vast experience as a corporate buyer, public speaker and event coordinator.


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