Saturday, August 1, 2009

the Cleanskins Wine: The Lowdown

It's the wine without the fancy label and with just the barest details to guide selection. But the "cleanskin" is grabbing attention from wine buyers across Australia.

An oversupply of grapes and intense competition within the industry means many producers are having to find inventive ways to turn a profit. The no-fuss bottles allow wine producers to quietly rid themselves of excess stock - whether it's a prestige brand's bin end or a boutique winery forced to balance its books.

By law the labels must show alcohol content, volume, additives and standard drink information.
. . . but beware

Often when wineries have trouble selling a certain line, they package it as a cleanskin. And if they need to clear the warehouse or empty tanks, they do the same.

Worse, a few operators even use it as a way to clear that sem-sav that fell victim to a batch of bad corks or the unripe cabernet that Joe Winemaker was obliged to take in because of a contractual obligation. But to be fair, this can happen under known brands, too. The only way you will know for sure is to try the cleanskin first.

They are usually so cheap that retailers shouldn't baulk at pulling the plug on a bottle and pouring a free taste. And if you aren't allowed to taste it first, why wouldn't you prefer a well-known brand that you know you can trust? Especially when well-known, mass-marketed brands are also being discounted to amazingly low prices these days.

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the Cleanskins Wine: The Lowdown

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