Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
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."