It was widely reported that the 'alcopops tax' had failed to deter binge drinking. This was based on a study of alcohol related admissions to Gold Coast hospitals however it isn't clear to me that this is necessarily a good or complete indicator of positive health benefits.
It was claimed that drinkers would simply switch to spirits and mixers but this doesn't seem to be reflected in the numbers with consumption falling in that entire sector following the tax. The entire sector had grown substantially in the decade before separate reporting of RTD's. Pigovian taxes work!
Following lifestyle trends the growth sector over the last 50 years has been wine. Wine is also the sector least taxed and also the only beverage taxed on price rather than alcohol volume. As previously posted this creates an obscene anomaly in taxation of wine casks which is also the most widely abused: Eclipse of the wine cask long overdue
Despite overwhelming evidence politics continues to trump good policy on alcohol taxation. There is a rather scathing assessment of the impacts of the wine equalisation tax from Adelaide wine identity Philip White: wine equalisation tax unequally wet
Neither should they be forced to compete with ethanol refiners – barely taxed at all - who use enormous amounts of water mining the Mallee for sugar, and wreak environmental, social and economic destruction at both manufacture and consumption ends of this nasty, depressing chain.
Further links: Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education
NAB: Australian wine market
TAI: The liquor industry