While the Reserve Bank of Australia frets over a potential housing bubble, it certainly has a taste for domestic bubbles.
The central bank has released its grog bill for the last three years following an FOI request, which reveals its favourite drop is the Victorian sparkling wine Yarra Burn and the prices they pay suggest they have some pretty good contacts.
In FY17, the RBA bought nearly $10,000 worth of Australian sparkling wines. The crowd favourite was vintage Yarra Burn – nine cases of the 2015 worth $2050 and another 14 cases of the 2012 for a little over $5100.
They also grabbed a couple of cases of Seppelt sparkling shiraz, spread over three vintages, and were very thrifty in picking up 18 cases of non-vintage Seppelt Fleur De Lys sparkling at $8.31 a bottle – around a $1 less than mortgage holders pay at Dan Murphy’s
But the biggest thirst the bankers have is for James Squire 150 Lashes pale ale, ripping through 157 cases costing nearly $8500.
The Sydney beer, brewed in the inner-west by local legend Chuck Hahn, is named after a convict sent to Australian with the first fleet. Squire even had a link to banking, having established a credit union during a long and varied career as he transformed to become an influential member of the colony until his death in 1822.
All up, the RBA’s internal bar tab comes to a little over $47,000 for more than 1600 bottles of wine.
The bank’s drinking habits are a long way from reckless however, with the budget generally under $20 a bottle and mostly Australian.
The New Zealand economy had a small boost thanks to six cases of the ubiquitous Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc – Australia’s best selling wine – at $13.62 a bottle.
The sauvy seems to be the bank’s favourite white – and it went a bit top shelf splashing out on 13 cases of the 2016 Shaw and Smith from the Adelaide Hills, which at $21.25 is still a couple of bucks cheaper than you’ll find it at the bottle-O.
Chardonnay swillers were the most costly to please via six cases of the Yarra Valley’s Coldstream Hills chardonnay – the winery founded by critic and author James Halliday, now owned by Treasury Wine Estates – at $22.72 a bottle, supplemented by three cases of De Juliis chardonnay from the NSW Hunter Valley at $14.55.
The bank went to the Barossa for its shiraz, spending $2000 on nine cases of Pepperjack – its most purchased red, closely followed by pinot noir – Ninth Island from Tassie, Stonier from the Mornington Peninsula and Coldstream Hills again
James Boag was the bank’s second most popular beer, knocking back 112 cases at 5,312, as well as 65 cases of Coopers pale ale.
They even did their big for Queensland brewing with 38 slabs of XXXX Gold mid-strength stubbies.
All up, the RBA bought around 20 different wines – some semillon and riesling, cabernet and other red blends.
It’s a list that demonstrates plenty of fiscal restraint. They’re wines that are familiar and mid-range – for knocking over mid-week or to throw on the table at a barbecue hosted by the parents of your child’s schoolmate.
Wine writer Nick Ryan told Business Insider there was a “treasonous” amount of Oyster Bay on the RBA’s shopping list, but the Lake Breeze Bernoot shiraz cabernet “was a canny buy”.
“It’s not obvious but one of the best value reds in the country,” he said.
As for the rest: “it’s the best you could do at a BWS store in a mid-size country town,” he says.
It’s good to know that the RBA bar, as well as the economy, is in safe and steady hands.
Here’s the full list:
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