Daily Wine News: Time to Shine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-30-2021

Cinsault. (Wikimedia)

In Club Oenologique, Henry Jeffreys takes a look at what Cinsault has to offer beyond the red blend and why now is the grape’s time to shine solo.

There has been a strong rise in Bordeaux winemakers converting to organic as part of wider sustainability plans, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter, as a new report estimates 6% of the world’s vineyards are now certified.

“The US wine market is getting back to where it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but a full recovery won’t mean business as usual like in 2019,” says Andrew Adams on WineBusiness.com. “The on-premise market is smaller, while e-commerce is significantly more important and the fight for market share is even more brutal.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at recent US wine sales, which show promising signs.

In PUNCH, Leslie Pariseau explores how at Harlem’s Contento, sommelier Yannick Benjamin’s list is the latest to envision a program as a means of representation beyond territory and terroir.

For the Wine Industry Advisor, Randy Caparoso tells sommeliers that it’s okay to love Zinfandel.

In the Drop, New York sommelier Kenneth Crum explains what makes whole-cluster Pinot Noir so seductive.

In SevenFifty Daily, Courtney Schiessl Magrini talks to wine directors about how to nail the coursed wine pairing.

Daily Wine News: Diversity Developments

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-29-2021

Last year, the drinks industry made a commitment to diversity. In SevenFIfty Daily, Chasity Cooper looks at the programs, organizations, and scholarships created to bring real change—and explains why there’s still more work to be done.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patrick J. Comiskey and Joshua Greene present an oral history of the late Jim Clendenen, the man—and mind—behind Au Bon Climat.

In Club Oenologique, Simon Pavitt explores how tech is changing how we buy wine. “Every actor in the fine wine world – from winemaker to merchant to consumer – has had to reappraise needs and adopt new solutions over the past 18 months…All over the fine wine landscape, digital tools and experiences were adopted in order to engage customers.”

Millennials are driving the sparkling wine category, according to Wine Intelligence. “The growth in the sparkling category in the past few years – and which has accelerated in the past 12 months is coming primarily from the urban affluent consumer aged under 45 – principally the Millennials and LDA Gen-Z cohorts. In contrast to the traditional fizz-drinker stereotype, these recruits are more likely to be male than female.”

After years of baking temperatures and high sugars, James Lawrence welcomes a return to classic wine styles with the 2021 European vintage in Wine-Searcher.

The young English wine industry has been hit by Post-Brexit and Covid costs, labor shortages and severe export hurdles. But a rise in domestic sales has helped soften the blow, says Barnaby Eales in Meininger’s.

In TRINK, Paula Redes Sidore pens a letter to her younger somm self.

Daily Wine News: País Rebounds

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-28-2021

A basket of País. (Source: Concha y Toro)

Chilean vignerons are finding a new respect for País, reports Amanda Barnes in the Drop. “Although it was widely planted historically, the variety has virtually disappeared elsewhere, only retaining its stronghold in Chile. Its highly productive nature made it popular for plentiful table wines that kept the nation well-watered during their wine consumption heyday. But as local consumption declined, from around 14 gallons per capita in the 1960s to just four gallons by the mid-1990s, and Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc exports boomed, País’ plantings dwindled — from over 74,000 acres in 1985 to some 25,000 today. But the País story doesn’t end there.”

The 2021 State of the Industry Survey is now open and will remain so through October 15.

Vitisphere delves into why the French wine industry is running out of wooden cases, boxes and glass bottles.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks at how three Portuguese wineries have diversified their offerings in order to grow in a stagnant market.

In Wine Enthusiast, Laura Beausire highlights wine regions that also make great birding destinations.

Washington State Wine Commission is forecasting a 5-10% increase in wine grape tonnage over last year’s 178,500-ton harvest.

David Morrison looks at the stats for per capital US wine consumption by state.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher explore the beauty of Elena Walch’s Schiava.

Bright Cellars has landed more funding to personalize its subscription-based wines.

Daily Wine News: #WineTok

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-27-2021

tiktokIn Wine Enthusiast, Rachel Tepper Paley reports on how TikTok creators are crafting a new frontier in the wine world, one largely free of the hang-ups of traditional wine culture, with its formal reputation and pricey barrier to entry.. “The use of wine-related hashtags like #sommelier and #winetok on the platform increased by nearly 50% to more than 56,000 from March 2020 to August 2021. Those hashtags’ monthly views were up approximately 125% during that same time period, seen by more than 37,000,000 people.

“Here’s my advice for welcoming an opinionated California friend to your home region, be it Virginia, Maryland, New York, Michigan, Texas, Missouri or Colorado. Don’t try to match your local wines to California’s or any other wine regions. Showcase what your region does best. The quality of wine around the country has improved so much in recent years that we no longer have to apologize for local wines not tasting like Napa. Instead, we can celebrate their individual expression as something special.” In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre notes that there are plenty of non-Napa American wines to be loved.

Jancis Robinson shares some ideas for what to do with wine leftovers. “But which wines last longest?…In my experience, Rieslings are almost immortal.”

What does it mean for a wine to be alive? In the Drop, David M. Brown delves into what lives inside a bottle.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley highlights a handful of non-cloying California red blends that defy the category’s stereotype.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig takes another look at the importance of old vines.

In VinePair, Ashlie Hughes explores the difference between carbonic maceration and anaerobic fermentation.

Daily Wine News: At Risk of Collapsing

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-24-2021

(Source: Visit Napa Valley)

Without federal aid for wildfires, California’s wine industry could collapse, vintners say. Esther Mobley has the details in the San Francisco Chronicle. “…the severity of the smoke-taint issue has reached a level of national attention. This isn’t simply about some fancy Napa Cabernets having more-pronounced-than-usual notes of grilled ribeye. It’s about the very survival of a $40 billion statewide industry that employs 325,000 Californians, according to the Wine Institute, including about 6,000 farmers.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov explores the explorative winemaking happening in Oregon’s Applegate Valley. “The Willamette Valley to the north dominates most people’s perception of the Oregon wine industry with its exceptional pinot noirs and chardonnays. But quietly, other Oregon regions like the Applegate Valley and the Columbia Gorge are beginning to carve out their own identities as producers of strikingly good wines. Willamette winemakers are among the Applegate Valley’s biggest fans…”

As Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute turns 25, Wine Spectator’s Kim Marcus looks to the past and the future in conversation about the development and outlook of the wine industry

Anna Archibald looks at the growing movement to revive Kansas wine in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Financial Times, Alan Livsey considers how climate change will impact the future of fine wine, looking at why collectors are reviewing their stock of wines and explaining how winemakers with the deepest pockets are better placed to maintain quality in the face of variable weather patterns.

Eater Austin has put out a beautiful guide to Texas Wine Country.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague highlights the best inside websites for tasting notes, industry intel and wine guidance. (subscription req.)

In Wine Spectator, Collin Dreizen highlights sommelier Linda Milagros Violago, the first woman to run Seattle restaurant Canlis’ wine program since the restaurant opened in 1950.

Daily Wine News: A Foraged Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-23-2021

Foraged elderberries Ashanta Wines uses in a co-ferment. (Source: Ashanta Wines)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how the couple behind Ashanta Wines are working with foraged elderberries, abandoned vines in urban Los Angeles and a historic Sonoma Mountain vineyard.

In Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery covers what autumn in a vineyard looks like, and all the high hopes that come along with harvest season.

In the Drop, Sophie Kevany looks at French vineyards are turning away from tractors and back to horses.

In Food & Wine, Sherri McGee McCovey profiles Steffini Bethea, the woman on a mission to make Atlanta’s wine scene more inclusive.

Despite an intense heatwave, Oregon’s winemakers are excited about the 2021 vintage, according to W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

Julia Coney charts the rise of Muscadet in VinePair. “Melon de Bourgogne has notes of citrus and apple with high acidity. Because of these factors, it is often overlooked by wine professionals and consumers. However, this reputation is beginning to change, as a group of winemakers work to popularize the grape through exceptional winemaking and viticulture practices.”

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph considers the export competition between South Africa’s raisins, grapes and wine—and the surprisingly low average price of wine in the UK.

Daily Wine News: Horsin’ Around

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-22-2021

(Source: Wikimedia)

In SevenFifty Daily, Sophia McDonald delves into the science behind horses’ impact on soil and vineyard health—and why some growers around the world are bringing back this traditional, yet difficult, way of farming.

In Club Oenologique, David Kermode argues that Austria is the next great fine wine region. “Austria has made its name with the indigenous, herbaceous and, frankly, delicious white variety Grüner Veltliner, but it has so much else to offer…When it comes to the reds, the world is yet to be fully seduced by the structured, spicy charms of Blaufränkisch, from Leithaburg or Carnuntum, or the beguiling, almost mystical St Laurent, yet both of these varieties offer serious Burgundian-style ageing potential at a relative snip.”

The liter wine bottle is having a moment, declares Ari Bendersky in PUNCH. “The success of Unlitro and La Boutanche signals not only a new format for the wine drinker seeking low-intervention styles, but an opening for more kinds of wine drinker and more kinds of occasions.”

In the Drop, Meg Maker explains the difference between oxidized and oxidative.

In VinePair, Roger Morris looks at the historical connections between Corsica’s pink wines and Napoleon.

With new ownership and a new winemaker, Stony Hill, one of Napa’s historic properties is being dusted off, reports Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth. (subscription req.)

In Grape Collective, Marco Salerno chats with Alessando Viola and Luigi Stalteri about artisanal and natural wine in Sicily.

Daily Wine News: Breaking Glass Ceilings

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-21-2021

Mireia Taribó and Tara Gomez. (Source: Camins 2 Dreams)

In Bon Appétit, Victoria James looks at how Mireia Taribó and Tara Gomez are breaking glass ceilings, dismissing stereotypes, and mentoring the next generation of winemakers through Camins 2 Dreams. “While many neighboring wineries in Santa Barbara County are producing the easier-to-sell Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Taribó and Gomez have hung their hats on more obscure varieties such as Graciano. It’s a bold choice that speaks to their conviction to follow their own path, despite how difficult it is in the wine industry.”

In TRINK, Alice Feiring pens an essay about how natural wine made her confront her inherited boycott of German products. “Those long-lived, petrol-ish Rieslings? I ignored them as long as I could professionally get away with it. The crazy thing is that I never once thought my resistance had anything to do with my early tutelage to shun products that spoke German…When I first tasted an unadorned Riesling from the Mosel unlike any I had ever had, silver water littered with rose petals and faint sun rays,  my hardened heart softened. The call of natural sounded.”

In Decanter, Andrew Jefford explores three books that delve into the ever-fascinating way in which soil can leave its imprint in wines.

Food & Wine put together a package about the new rules of dining out.

In Barron’s, Abby Schultz looks at how premier wine regions are adapting to climate change.

Europe’s 2021 wine harvest will be smaller but the quality of the grapes will be higher, says Bloomberg.

In Wine Enthusiast, Caroline Hatchett talks to five pros about strategies for selecting the perfect bottle when it’s your turn to somm for your table.

Daily Wine News: Biogenic Amines

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-20-2021

Jancis Robinson reports on research on wine intolerance that looks at a group of compounds called biogenic amines. “The symptoms of biogenic-amine toxicity, such as headaches, nausea, rashes and flushes, exactly mirror those associated with wine intolerance…Our individual sensitivity to biogenic amines varies according to our genetic make-up and the state of our gut. Alcohol also plays a part, in that it stops the specific enzymes that allow our bodies to get rid of excess biogenic amines, so biogenic amines are particularly harmful in alcoholic drinks such as wine.”

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre profiles Rachel Lipman of Maryland’s Loew Vineyards, whose grandfather was a Holocaust survivor who started a winery and meadery to preserve family legacy.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov explores the great Oregon wines of the Columbia River Gorge (which technically crosses into Washington State).

In Wine Enthusiast, Karen Wytmans explores the history of vines in Paso Robles.

In the Los Angeles Times, Sharon Boorstin covers the new wave of canned wines.

Cristina Mariani-May is the daughter of John Mariani, who along with his brother Harry, founded the Banfi wine brand in the 1970s. In Wine-Searcher, Tom Hyland asks her a few questions about the brand and Italian wine.

In the Drop, Zach Geballe explores Canada’s Okanagan Valley wine region.

Daily Wine News: Goldridge Glory

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 09-17-2021

Goldridge soil. (Source: Twitter user @@NickWineJournal)

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone explores the magic of Russian River’s Goldridge soil. “A rare, fine-grained sandy loam, known for its excellent drainage, Goldridge soils are light and fluffy… Some believe the light texture of the soil seems to contribute fine tannins, though there hasn’t been a proven correlation between soil texture and tannin structure.”

Once just a bit player in Chianti, the grape Ciliegiolo is now being singled out for its ability to produce juicy, chillable red wines. Megan Krigbaum highlights some bottlings in PUNCH.

“What’s the key to taking a one-thousand-acre mountain vineyard that’s been conventionally farmed and converting it to all-organic farming? In the case of Shannon Family of Wines, it’s the sheep.” On WineBusiness.com, Cyril Penn reports on Project Ovis, the transformation of a 1,000-acre mountain vineyard in Lake County into a “sustainable, regenerative organic farming system.”

In the Drop, Chris Losh looks at the “not safe, not boring” side of Chilean wine.

GuildSomm explores the history of women in the wine industry.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on California’s harvest.

And in some other news, hard seltzer sales are finally starting to decline.