We should all be aware by now of the dodgy nature of some of the ‘gold medals’ emblazoned on bottles of wine. But I was stunned to find out a little known ‘dirty secret’ behind the Tasmanian Tourism Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and all that, but BLOODY HELL, I was shocked!
Before I proceed, let me tell you I really do like Peppermint Bay (www.peppermintbay.com.au). I haven’t tried the fancy shmancy restaurant yet, but I think The Local (i.e., the pub-esque bit with the funky tables) is pretty darn good. Cheap pizzas (reputedly “ace”) and pretty scrummy seafood chowder (take note Rockerfellers), most meals are around the $10 mark (even their very good steak is only $16 or so), and there's a cozy little lounge area like something from a 1970s knitting catalogue (in a good way!). So, I was not surprised by PB’s recent gong at the Tas Tourism Awards. Well done PB, well done Simon Currant, job well done, gong well won. … But did I mention BLOODY HELL.
You and I would think that to win an award for outstanding professional excellence and tourism magnificence, one must be nominated right? WRONG! The awardees APPLY for these awards. They fill in screeds of paperwork and try to meet selection criteria etc etc and then cross their fingers. So, I hear you say, that's a surprise. But hey, Peppermint Bay still won on their merits and that's really great. Except that in their category, Peppermint Bay was the ONLY APPLICANT.
So in the interest of consumer education I pass along this little tid-bit to encourage educated decision making by locals and tourists alike. Don’t be lazy. We’re getting better at reading the gold labels before letting them trick us into thinking the “Wandin Valley Croquet Club’s Quaff of the Christmas Party Award” is equivalent to a thumbs up from the hard core wine fraternity. So let’s get equally canny about the subliminal influence exerted by potentially empty tourism awards.
But well done Peppermint Bay, keep up the standard. And as I lay me down to sleep, I pray you won’t become complacent.
GW the HRB