Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I have been told by several people that the Australian wines are more reasonably priced in the U.S. than in Australia. How can that be?
—Brigitte W., Hill A.F.B., Utah
It's true in some cases. According to Wine Spectator's Australian expert, Harvey Steiman, "Australia imposes a 29 percent tax on wine sold in Australia in the form of a VAT. The tax is not paid when the wine is exported. These taxes are based on a percentage of the wine's value, and the U.S. imposes taxes on wine based on volume. Therefore, the more expensive the wine is in Australia, the greater the savings when it is exported."
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