“Italy is the country that exports the most wine of any country in the world,” Italian Democratic Party Senator Roberto Rampi says in Italian, holding up a bottle of Italian red.
“C’mon, who needs wine when you have Aquavit?” jokes Norway’s former Liberal party leader and MP Trine Skei Grande.
“You know what? Japanese sake is the best!” says Shiori Yamao, an independent member of Japan’s House of Representatives before Republican Senator Ted Yoho declares “two words – Napa Valley”, before saying it is time to “drink something a little bit different” and buy Australian wine, “because our friends need our help”.
“We are asking you all to join us in standing against Xi Jinping’s authoritarian bullying,” says Miriam Lexmann, a Christian Democrat Member of the European Parliament.
“By drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and letting the Chinese Communist Party know that we will not be bullied,” says Swedish Christian Democratic, Elisabet Lann, a municipal councillor who holds up a glass of Penfolds.
The video features one Australian MP — Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching from Victoria — who said that China’s attempts to bully Australia, including its list of 14 grievances, as an attack on “free countries everywhere”.
It also features footage of Zhao Lijian, the Chinese government spokesman and Foreign Ministry official, who posted an inflammatory tweet on Monday showing a doctored image of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of a child.
“Australia is not alone,” Samuel Armstrong, London-based spokesman for the IPAC told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
The IPAC was founded by former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith in June, when it counted with 19 legislators who wanted their governments to take a tougher and collective stance towards China. Its stated aim is to collaborate to safeguard the international rules based order, uphold human rights and promote trade fairness among others.
The campaign follows a groundswell of online support amongst diplomats and China-watchers across Europe who have also urged the drinking of Australian wine.
“It’s not a bad idea to buy some extra wine these days to show solidarity,” Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt said this week. He predicted that China’s attempts to weaponise trade in its political disputes would backfire but urged the world to pay attention to the developments.
Even the US National Security Council tweeted that Australian wine would be featured at a White House function this week. “Pity vino lovers in China who, due to Beijing’s coercive tariffs on Aussie vintners, will miss out,” the post said along with the hashtag “AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi”.
But any drive to drive sales of Australian wine will need to be significant to have any impact for winemakers.
Australia exports wine to 117 countries but 39 per cent of it goes to China. Its next biggest markets are the US and the United Kingdom which make up 15 and 14 per cent of total Australian wine exports respectively.
The export market was valued at $4 billion in September, before the tariffs came into place.
Latika Bourke is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in London.