Daily Wine News: Greek Revival

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-01-2021

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

“It may seem paradoxical to think of Greece as an emerging wine producer, considering the ancient lineage of its grape vines and wine production. But in the global marketplace of fine wines, that’s exactly how Greece should be seen.” Eric Asimov explores Greek reds in the New York Times.

Jancis Robinson considers how attitudes to oak have changed. “Oak has been by far the material of choice for wine barrels. Being watertight, supple but hard, oak has a natural affinity for wine… Around the turn of the last century, however, consumers fell out of love with overtly oaky wines.”

Online wine sales continue to grow, but can they—or should they—replace local shops? In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at how the pandemic has affected brick-and-mortar wine shops.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray shares a few observations from a recent symposium at WineFuture 2021 about how the luxury wine business is adapting to the pandemic—online—and how many of those adaptations may be permanent.

In Wine Spectator, Suzanne Mustacich reports on how Bordeaux winemakers are utilizing the region’s new permitted grapes.

In Wine Enthusiast, Chasity Cooper highlights female entrepreneurs creating digital communities with wine.

Jill Barth explores Meritage wines, the name used by some wineries for their New World blends made with Bordeaux varieties, in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: Cider-Wine Moment

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-26-2021

(Source: Wikimedia)

In PUNCH, Dan Pucci explores the crossover between natural wine and cider, and how the crossover has delivered cider’s long-awaited moment. “Natural wine and cider’s relationship is not just relegated to the cellar, either. Regenerative agriculture is taking hold in vineyards around the country as a way to rebuild total ecology, and a lot of the research around best practices comes from the orchard community…”

Nikolay Shevchenko profiles winemaker André Tchelistcheff, who could have been killed in the Russian Civil War but survived to revolutionize the American winemaking industry. “Tchelistcheff pioneered viticulture in the U.S., helping American wine-makers to identify areas in their country that were best for cultivating certain kinds of grapes: he recommended that Pinot Gris be planted in Oregon and Cabernet Sauvignon — in Washington State… Tchelistcheff retired from the now world-famous BV — the Beaulieu Vineyard — in 1973 at the age of 72.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Mekita Rivas talks to wine professionals who contracted Covid-19 about how their loss of smell has impacted their careers.

W. Blake Gray looks at Covid’s impact on wine tasting in Wine-Searcher.

In Decanter, Jane Anson checks in on the 1990 Bordeaux first growths to see how they’re tasting now. (subscription req.)

Ray Isle highlights a handful of the Loire Valley’s natural wine producers in Travel + Leisure.

In Vinous, Eric Guido explores the changing wines of Valpolicella and Soave.

In Meininger’s, Daniel Lopez Roca looks at how Mendoza Malbec has evolved.

Daily Wine News: Pizza Wine Evolves

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-25-2021

Photo via Creative Commons

In PUNCH, Hannah Selinger explores the evolution of pizza wine. “Today, “pizza wine” denotes a spectrum—from col fondo prosecco to Sicilian frappato to mondeuse from Northern California—that has been transformed not just by the natural wine movement, but by the ambitions and ethos of the modern pizzeria.”

Are importers an endangered species? Terry Theise explores the answer on his blog. “Robert Parker deserves no end of credit for helping create the climate where artisan importers could thrive.. And thrive we did. This started back in the 80s, give or take, and a subsequent generation of importers are enacting their own visions in the wine market. And so, wherefore the dissent? Because there really is an opinion to the effect that the traditional “importer” model (viz. curator/gatekeeper) is quickly growing obsolete.”

“As the wine community contends with racial and sexual inequities, the climate crisis and other issues, many in the industry wonder how to improve its social sustainability.” Amber Lucas explores how the industry must evolve to create a more equitable and inclusive future in Wine Enthusiast. “What can we do to create a better future for wine? Will current policies and practices benefit the global wine community for years to come?”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague goes searching for wines that bring joy. (subscription req.)

In Imbibe Magazine, Penelope Bass explores what makes Spain’s sherry triangle so unique.

In Grape Collective, Jackson Mattek interviews “Barolo Girl” Giulia Negri. “Giulia Negri is a powerhouse. Young and passionate, she took over her family’s vineyards in her early twenties, vinifying wines while still traveling back and forth to Milan where she was in school before taking over with the full vineyard and cellar at her disposal in 2015. Cosmopolitan yet warm, intense yet kind, all of her facets are reflected in her outstanding vintages.”

Manhattan wine shop, Taste Wine Co., had its entire inventory stolen—2,000 bottles valued at about $300,000, reports the New York Post.

Daily Wine News: Prosecco Progress

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-24-2021

(Flickr: kmerck131)

In Decanter, Alessandra Piubello reports on the changes afoot in Prosecco, including rosé, a heightened focus on terroir, and in-bottle aging.

Do virtual wine tastings really have an impact on the lives (and moreover, sales) of small producers? In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig talks to the importers, distributors, and the small producers to find out.

Also in Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence looks at France’s costly sustainable wine revolution. “Speak to any proponent of organic and biodynamic viticulture and they’ll proselytize until you’re dying of boredom. Speak to any producer contemplating a shift to organics in France’s wetter regions and they always highlight the same impediment: cost.”

In Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec talks to Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago about bringing an Australian approach (and even some blending wine) to the States and about how the company’s new line of California wines took shape.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews the recent book, The Wines of Georgia by Lisa Granik.

In Mic, Joseph Lamour highlights BIPOC sommeliers working to change the wine world.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan explores the loopholes present in the world of alcohol regulation during Covid.

Daily Wine News: Rebuilding & Better

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-23-2021

How can we build new—and better—power structures in the wine industry? “What‘s being served at the table is rotten, and the legs are wobbly. We’re better off building new tables and offering up fresh ideas with shared leadership.” Pamela Busch shares her ideas on how to get there.

“The worst fire season on record will cause most people to remember 2020 as the Golden State’s worst harvest on record. But in reality, the percentage of grapes impacted by smoke taint across the states was lower than many vintners expected, with entire swaths of California wine country unaffected, according to early lab tests conducted by wineries,” says Laura Burgess, who explores good news about California’s 2020 vintage in SevenFifty Daily. “In fact, according to many producers, 2020 was an exceptional vintage.”

Results from a new broad-based study from two economists shows that French critics rate organic and biodynamic wines 6-12 points higher compared to conventional or sustainable wines. Pam Strayer reports on the findings on WineBusiness.com.

John Fox, who ran the world’s largest wine Ponzi scheme from his Berkeley store, Premier Cru, gets out of prison, reports Frances Dinkelspiel.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on Fleurie Beaujolais, and announces what’s up next for Wine School: A taste of Grenache/Garnacha from three different countries.

In Wine Spectator, winery director and former sommelier DLynn Proctor talks about his journey through wine and his inspiration for co-founding Wine Unify.

Club Oenologique explores the world of New Zealand reds.

Daily Wine News: Tannins + Covid

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-22-2021

(Source: Wikimedia)

A new study suggests that tannic acids may help suppress Covid-19. In Wine Spectator, Taylor McBride looks at the results. “The findings don’t mean that drinking wine can cure COVID-19 patients. But the study suggests that the wine ingredient could lead to new treatments.”

California wine companies are doing what hasn’t been done in 20 years: go on the stock market. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on what wineries going public means. (subscription req.)

“Washington’s most important winery has made a major change, as head winemaker Bob Bertheau is out after 18 years at Chateau Ste. Michelle,” reports Wine-Searcher.

In SevenFifty Daily, Lana Bortolot tracks how the pandemic-fueled increase in online sales and decrease in vetting has led to more counterfeit bottles—and how wine professionals can spot them

Dave McIntyre talks about ideal temperatures for various wines in the Washington Post.

On Jeb Dunnuck’s site, R.H. Drexel talks about the union of music and wine with MJ Towler of The Black Wine Guy Experience.

In Decanter, Marina Gayan shares why two Argentinean producers have ventured out to the coast of Patagonia to age their wines in the Atlantic Ocean.

In Thrillist, Cathy Brown explores the “wine-soaked psychedelic paradise” of Patagonia.

Daily Wine News: Zero-Proof Wines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-19-2021

Wine has fallen behind in the no- and low-ABV category. Millie Milliken looks at why that is in VinePair. “Most consumers being sold a non-alcoholic wine will want something that tastes like the real deal, just as they’ve come to expect with the myriad no/low beers on the market. Yet, that goal is very rarely met…”

“Mt. Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano, erupted late Tuesday afternoon, spewing a spectacular display of lava and other pyroclastic material,” reports Alison Napjus in Wine Spectator. “Etna’s vineyards top out at about 3,300 feet elevation, well below Tuesday’s volcanic activity. Although some vineyards may have received a layer of ash and other material, this is par for the course for Etna vintners.”

Wine bottles once owned by organized crime box John Gotti are up for sale at a NYC wine shop: “the Gotti collection includes nine bottles of Pétrus (including a 1982 vintage that has been valued at $9,200), a 1983 Château Lafite Rothschild ($3,250) and a 1983 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands-Échezeaux ($6,200). One bottle of Pétrus has already sold for over $5,000.”

In Meininger’s, Roger Morris talks to sommeliers and winery owners who came up with strategies to do business in a world with no restaurant guests and no winery visitors.

In Club Oenologique, Simon J. Woolf shares an excerpt from his forthcoming book, wherein he and Ryan Opaz delve into the Dão region of Portugal.

Neal Martin offers a primer to South African wines in Vinous.

In Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery highlights emerging wine regions around the world.

Daily Wine News: Bidding Adieu

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-18-2021

(Source: Napa Valley Vintners)

Esther Mobley bids farewell to Auction Napa Valley in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Since the auction began 40 years ago, it’s generated more that $200 million for local community organizations… The pandemic is the main cause for the cancellation, of course, thought it didn’t help that the auction’s longtime setting, Meadowood restort, was severely damaged in last year’s Glass Fire. Yet whether or not the Napa Valley Vintners resuscitate Auction Napa Valley in some for in the future, it feels like a poignant moment — the end of an era.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone on how California winemakers are tackling fire fighting and prevention. “In 2020, the Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Farm Bureau partnered to offer a five-hour course on fire safety training to its community of people who already work the land… That training is in basic firefighting, but also in reducing the fuels that give fires the ability to spread wildly and go rogue. Linking the agricultural community to the scientific community is key to upholding the mantra of what is done in anticipation of fire season will be more impactful than what is done once a firestorm develops.

Cristal producer Louis Roederer has announced it is launching two single-vineyard still wines, a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, under the Coteaux Champenois appellation, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

“Australia’s Treasury Wine to overhaul business, sell assets as Chinese tariffs bite,” reports Reuters.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray counts the ways Covid has changed wine service.

Antonio Galloni offers his impression of the 2017 Barolos in Vinous.

How is Brexit affecting Bordeaux wine? Jane Anson takes a look in Decanter. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: New World of Pairings

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-17-2021


“Today, many of the world’s most cutting-edge restaurants eschew the ironed white tablecloths and wine pairings list for bold, multicultural flavors and a vibrant atmosphere. Natural wine, for its part, has helped to democratize how sommeliers and customers alike assign value to wine lists and the idea of pairing. In this conception of restaurants, it can feel difficult to understand what the traditional role of wine pairing is, so intertwined with associations of expense accounts and Western fine dining has it become. It’s worth asking today, what is the place of wine pairings in a much more diverse, democratized food landscape?” Priya Krishna explores the evolving world of food and wine pairings in PUNCH.

In Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec reports on Penfolds’ latest endeavor, which was just unveiled: “a lineup of four California-based wines from vineyard holdings in Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, with prices ranging from $50 to $700. In a twist, two of the bottlings also include a small amount of Australian wine.”

For CNN Business, Ben Westcott looks at how crippling Chinese tariffs are devastating Australia’s billion-dollar wine industry.

Sean P. Sullivan delves into the science of smoke taint in Wine Enthusiast.

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds explores the vast bounty of Central Spain. “Most serious wine drinkers have long been familiar with Central Spain’s most esteemed regions, particularly Ribera del Duero and also Toro and Rueda, which are where most of the region’s best wines are produced, but up-and-coming areas like Campo de Borja, Vinos de Madrid, Carineña and Calatayud are producing an increasing number of serious wines, with prices still lagging behind quality.”

Meininger’s reports on the factors contributing to the drop in French wine exports in 2020.

In Forbes, Lauren Mowery travels to New Zealand via wine.

Whiskey can show terroir like fine wine, suggests a new study. Chris Mercer has the details in Decanter.

Daily Wine News: Evolution

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 02-16-2021

(Flickr: noviceromano)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers some advice for how to think about wine vintages. “Even if vintages have pronounced differences, I believe we should pay less attention to them than perhaps we do. Far more important than obsessively following vintages is to single out producers whose styles you like.”

“Today, we have shattered the paradigms of wine and food pairings. The traditional Euro-American diet of “meat and three” has expanded to include Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian and Sichuan, to name a few. We mix and match ingredients and spices from around the world,” writes Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post. “And this culinary liberation extends to wine — as we now eat foods from around the world, we have wines made from grapes grown in regions once unfamiliar to us, from Slovenia to Salta to Patagonia to Otago to Kakheti to the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater.”

On JancisRobinson.com, Alder Yarrow looks at how restaurant wine programs have evolved to survive during the Covid era. (subscription req.)

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss profiles the leading women in Champagne.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Lena Vazifdar highlights the wines of three BIPOC owners in California.

Vicki Denig explores the idea of extended skin contact for white wines in Wine-Searcher.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider reports on Shannon O’Shaughnessy’s new venture, Aileron Estates.