A beer advert has fallen flat, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of some male wine fanciers for implying that real men drink only beer.

The series of DB Export Dry ads, on television and in newspapers, is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek look at the next chapter in the DB Export story in which beer rescues 1980s Kiwi men from wine.

But Ken Sheldrick, cellarmaster for the Wine and Food Society of Auckland, called the ads nonsense.

"It's so out of date and so old-fashioned but I know every generation keep trying these silly ads on the new generation that comes along."


In the newspaper advert, a man looks dismally into a glass of red wine with the headline, "Sean notes the complex mix of both shame and regret".

It goes on to say: "One of the main problems with wine is that it isn't beer ... so the next time Sean finds himself socialising with his wife's friends, he'll have a choice. Drink wine and swallow his pride. Or drink Export Dry and swallow some beer."

Mr Sheldrick said the macho, age-old phrase that real men drink beer was juvenile.

"It's so childish it doesn't even bear commenting on because everyone knows people have been drinking wine since Roman times.

"New Zealand has become much more sophisticated and for adverts like that to appear just puts us back in the dark ages."

The 79-year-old from Cambridge has been cellarmaster for the Wine and Food Society of Auckland for 25 years and said that while he personally preferred wine to beer, there was room for both on the palate.

Another wine connoisseur, Hamilton school principal Dave McNair, said he drank both drops and believed there was a time and place for each.

"If I'm out exercising or doing some manual labour I'm not going to reach for a glass of wine, I'm going to reach for a beer to cool down with.


"But if I'm cooking tea or eating tea I'd definitely have a glass of wine. I like a good beer and I like a good wine."

He called the ads infantile.

However, DB Export's marketing manager, Russell Browne, told the StopPress website that in the 1980s, men found themselves supping wine when all they wanted was a cold beer.

He said the humour of the campaign, which celebrates DB Export Dry's 25th anniversary, would resonate with those Kiwi males who reluctantly found themselves holding a glass of wine.

Wine has become an important export for New Zealand, which now has more than 700 wineries and is acknowledged internationally as being a leading producer of fine wines.