Perils of a parallel universe
There are some spectacular online champagne deals at the moment, especially from the big supermarket retailers, but are they really good news? Ten days ago, Vintage Cellars advertised Bollinger Special Cuvee non-vintage at $56.99 (”Save $27”), plus delivery charges. ”That’s $10 less than I can buy it on my staff account,” says Robert Hirst, chairman of the official importer of Bollinger, Fine Wine Partners. Hirst is upset at what he sees as the trashing of the brand. How can a retailer sell a wine cheaper than the importer can buy it for himself? It’s called parallel importing, and the phenomenon is shaking the champagne industry to its core, writes Huon Hooke in the Sydney Morning Herald.