Daily Wine News: Pizza Party

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-31-2020

“Pizza parties, low-fuss weeknight meals, dorm-room feasts and late-night slices are baked into our national DNA. But pizza helps democratize wine, too, perhaps even better than burgers or other traditional comfort foods.” In Wine Enthusiast, Caroline Hatchett looks at how pizza joints have become hotbeds for cutting-edge wine lists.

What makes a wine classic? Lettie Teague explores what the word means to her in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov highlights 20 reds under $20—but warns the prices may not last with the looming threat of wine tariffs.

In VinePair, Chasity Cooper profiles Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR) winemaker Diane Flamand, and looks at how she’s helping to make Bordeaux wines more approachable.

Good glassware can definitely enhance a wine experience. So what’s a wine lover to do when a restaurant or other establishment has less than ideal glassware? Robert Joseph ponders the answer in Meininger’s.

Is natural wine better for the planet? The answer, of course, is complicated, says Katy Severson in Bon Appétit.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni offers his impressions of the 2018 and 2017 wines from Chablis.

Daily Wine News: Don’t Stop Caring About Wine Tariffs Just Yet

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-30-2020

Wine tariffs are still a huge problem, says Alder Yarrow. “You see, there are two tariff disputes in existence between the USA and the EU… It’s vitally important that everyone in the wine world understand: when the news broke that Trump and Macron had agreed to a de-escalation and postponement of the tariff it that agreement ONLY covered Dispute #1… Dispute #2 is still very much a threat. A really big threat.”

“Scientists from some of the premier academic institutions in Europe and the U.S. found that diversifying grape varieties could reduce the losses to wine-growing regions by half should global average temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius,” reports Bloomberg.

There are few enigmas left in wine, but Clos Joliette, the most revered producer in the Jurançon, remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue. In Vinous, Neal Martin article sheds light on its history and its present status.

How big is New York’s wine business? Don Cazentre looks at the numbers.

Despite recent doom-and-gloom reports about the US market, consumers are still buying plenty of wine. And they’re doing it direct, according to a new report that Jason Sych reports on in Meininger’s.

On his blog, Jamie Goode checks out one of the new names in Beaujolais, natural winegrower Marc Delienne in Fleurie.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, reviews Becky Sue Epstein’s new book, Strong, Sweet & Dry: A Guide to Vermouth, Port, Sherry, Madeira and Marsala.

Daily Wine News: Microbial Terroir

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-29-2020

Ongoing studies suggest that vineyard-specific microorganisms affect wine character. But does that mean natural wine is more expressive of terroir? Alex Russan delves into the research in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine Enthusiast, Mike Desimone delves into the wine history of Georgia, “the spiritual home of natural wine.”

In fall 2017, Washington winery Cayuse informed its customers that faulty corks had ruined the majority of its wines from the 2015 vintage. The winery did not release the affected bottles and worked with its insurance company to reimburse its customers. Now its insurer is suing the cork producer, Lafitte Cork & Capsule, for the more than $3.5 million for damages it paid out, according to Wine Spectator.

Italian police have uncovered a wine fraud ring, responsible for faking more than a million liters of wine. Barnaby Eales has the story in Meininger’s.

Elsewhere in Meininger’s, Jim Boyce considers how the outbreak of coronavirus will affect the wine trade in China.

On JancisRobinson.com, an update on the extent to which the Australian bushfires are likely to affect the country’s 2020 vintage. (subscription req.)

Meg Houston Maker explores the charms of Bardolino. “I found a lot to love in Bardolino: beautiful landscape, wines of clarity, and winemakers passionate about their territorio who are working to improve their wines and reach. There is an optimism here, a hope.”

In the Growler, Britt Tracy makes the case for off-dry wine.

In the New York Times, James Reddicliffe explores the rise of meaderies, such as Enlightenment Wines in Bushwick.

Daily Wine News: What’s Next for Napa?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-28-2020

(Source: Visit Napa Valley) N

“The Napa Valley accounts for more than a fourth of wine shipped directly to consumers nationwide – and this from a region producing just 4 percent of California wine,” writes Sarah Klearman in the Napa Valley Register. “It’s an impressive share…But Napa’s existing command of the market begs the question: where to from here?”

Abe Schoener, ex-philosophy professor and the winemaker behind the Scholium Project, is opening a new urban winery in LA. Jamie Goode caught up with him to discuss his latest project.

With Robert Parker officially hanging up his quill last year, Roger Morris asks if predictions about the critical landscape in his absence have come to pass – or if something else has instead.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anne Krebiehl MW offers an early look at Burgundy’s 2018 vintage.

In Decanter, Chris Losh visits Taras Ochota, “Australia’s master of minimum-intervention wine.” (subscription req.)

Grape Collective talks to South African wine pioneer Chris Mullineux about the greatness of old vine Swartland chenin blanc.

Robert Joseph keeps hearing that the wine trade should stop producing heavy wine bottles. He offers another point of view in Meininger’s.

On Robert Parker’s Wine Journal, R.H. Drexel profiles Seth Cripe, founder of the LOLA brand.

Daily Wine News: The Minerality Mystery

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-27-2020


Jancis Robinson delves into “mysterious minerality” in wine. “Like many wine words, it has been used, particularly this century, without much precision, but we wine professionals do tend to agree at least about what it is not. It’s a character that is nothing to do with anything fruity, vegy, oaky, flowery or spicy. It’s a character often associated with a texture…”

Dynasties are reasonably common in the wine world, but they don’t always run smoothly, Margaret Rand discovers in Wine-Searcher.

From Ningxia geology to the new regional brand ‘Ningxia Hong’, Sylvia Wu offers the latest report on China’s up-and-coming fine wine region in the wild northwest in Decanter.

Émilien Boutillat joined Piper-Heidsieck at a time of rejuvenation. In Meininger’s, he discusses what’s changed and what will never change.

For the Oregonian, Michael Alberty ponders the future of piquette in Oregon.

In Somm Journal, Erik Segelbaum explores the diversity of Israeli wine.

In SevenFifty Daily, Australian importer Gordon Little discusses the ongoing bushfires, smoke taint, the 2020 vintage, and the outpouring of support from the U.S.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre reports on the Bonny Doon sale.

Daily Wine News: Wine Leaks Into River

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-24-2020

A 90,000-gallon tank holding Rodney Strong Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon suffered a leak, allowing some of the wine to make its way into the Russian River, reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. Staff is still working to figure out the cause of the leak.

In her weekly Drinking with Esther newsletter, Mobley chimes in on the eruption on Twitter about wine lists after Helen Rosner tweeted a confusing list.

“The EU has agreed to increase aid for wine promotion activities by 10%, to help boost exports,” reports Barnaby Eales in Meininger’s. “The additional funding is aimed at supporting EU wine producers hit by the US government’s 25% increase in import duties on some EU still wines.”

There’s challenges ahead for Champagne in 2020, says the head of France’s Comité Champagne trade body. Caroline Henry delves into the details in Decanter.

In the Washington Post, Kevin Ambrose talks to winemakers about what made 2019 a particularly good year in Virginia.

In Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery highlights natural wine fairs around the world.

Grape Collective talked with Dario Pieropan about Soave’s past and future, and the role of the Pieropan wines in both.

Brian Freedman explores the affordable world of Rioja Gran Reserva in Food & Wine.

Daily Wine News: Yes, Still Talking Tariffs

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-23-2020

(Source: Wikimedia)

The 25% tariffs on some European wines, imposed in October 2019, have hurt the wine trade on both sides of the Atlantic. In Meininger’s, Jeff Siegel hears about it from people on the front lines in the US.

ICYMI: Trump and Macron agreed to trade truce and avoid massive tariffs on French wine—for now.

In Beverage Media, Jim Clarke looks at the significant updates Austria has made to its new DAC system, and checks in on how the quality of the country’s wines have improved.

A new report suggests that some of California’s top producers might be pricing themselves out of the market. W. Blake Gray looks at what that means in Wine-Searcher.

In Decanter, James Button explores how terroir makes a difference in Barbaresco. (subscription req.)

On JancisRobinson.com, Tamlyn Currin rounds up five more wines books published in 2019.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Joshua Greene reports on how the International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA), an organization formed by Torres Family Wines and Jackson Family Wines, came to pass.

In VinePair, Julie Tremaine gets to know Happy Canyon, one of southern California’s tiniest AVAs.

Daily Wine News: After the Sale

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-22-2020

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray talks to Randall Grahm about the bumpy ride that led to the recent sale of Bonny Doon. “This is largely a downbeat story. Grahm’s heart was broken in wine when his estate vineyard near Santa Cruz died in the 1990s, and his business aspirations were thwarted several times. But the story also has – for now – a happy ending. Call it an upbeat finale to this season of the Randall Grahm show. Grahm has reinvented himself, again, with his Popelouchum vineyard – a vineyard in windswept San Juan Bautista on California’s Central Coast where he is reconsidering how wine grapes are planted. It’s a new focus of his ambitions.”

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray has an update on the threat of tariffs on all European wines: they’re apparently off the table for the immediate future.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto ponders the arrival of prosecco rosé, slated for New Year’s Day 2021. “My immediate reaction was suspicion. Wasn’t this more evidence that the world was going to hell in a wine basket? Were my adopted countrymen, Italians, cravenly trying to cash in on two wine trends in order to feed our never-ending thirst for novelty?”

“Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the owners of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte in Bordeaux, are branching out to California’s Napa Valley. The couple has purchased the Flora Springs estate, which straddles the Rutherford and St. Helena AVAs, at the base of the Mayacamas mountain range,” reports Aaron Romano in Wine Spectator.

In Bloomberg, Ainslie Chandler reports on how the wildfires that swept through Australia have impacted the 2020 vintage.

In the New York Times, Florence Fabricant shows a little love to Swiss wines.

Tom Mullen highlights three TED talks that relate to wine in Forbes.

Daily Wine News: Praising Winemakers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-21-2020

Do we over-emphasize the impact a winemaker has on the finished wine? Oliver Styles ponders the question in Wine-Searcher. “My point is the way we praise winemakers is somewhat problematic: are we praising the person themselves and their abilities; are we praising the employee of a company for doing her or his job; are we praising their ability to please us? How do we know what wines one winemaker would make if completely free of responsibilities to the board, responsibilities to the market, the pressures of their peers (this latter is a factor, especially in natural wine circles)? In other words, we can’t be sure that the winemaker we praise wouldn’t have made a completely different wine to the one we like if left completely to her or his own devices.”

Prices for fine wines have skyrocketed, while wine writing income has stagnated. In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph says that, increasingly, wine writers have little experience of fine wine to draw on.

Tim Atkin explores Chile’s outer limits. “In a country that’s currently experiencing one of its worst-ever droughts, especially in the classic growing areas close to Santiago, the longer term potential of southern areas like Lago Ranco, Osorno and now Añihué is considerable. There’s no denying that this is an extreme site…but the vineyard appears to be prospering.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Shana Clarke looks at the reasons why winemakers are creating custom barrels.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt charts the return of refined Oregon Pinot Noir.

In the Buyer, Richard Siddle talks to Polly Hammond, founder of the brand communications consultancy 5Forests, about what makes millennial wine consumers special.

The gang of pioneering natural winegrowers back in the late 1980s and 1990s achieved so much in Beaujolais. Now a new generation of naturals is emerging, including Louis-Clément David-Beaupère. Jamie Goode writes about his visit with him on his blog.

Daily Wine News: Wine List Debate

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-20-2020

How much should diners be expected to know about wine? A storm erupted on Twitter after Helen Rosner tweeted about confusing wine lists. Robert Joseph weighs in on the debate in Meininger’s.

“Sonoma-based wine company Vintage Wine Estates (VWE) and Kunde Family, a family-owned winery in Sonoma Valley, are suing their insurance companies for refusing to cover wines damaged by smoke from the [2017] fires,” reports Augustus Weed in Wine Spectator. “They argue that smoke taint destroyed the marketability of some of their wines, resulting in substantial losses that should be covered under their respective insurance polices.”

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Bruce Sanderson reports the death of Burgundy vintner Michel Lafarge, whose Domaine Michel Lafarge is “among Volnay’s leading domaines.” He was 91.

Few corners of the world can rival Armenia’s rich winemaking history and a new, exciting generation of wines have emerged in the post-Soviet era, writes Caroline Gilby MW in Decanter. (subscription req.)

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague offers tips for online wine auctions. (subscription req.)

In Wine Enthusiast, Lia Picard offers a guide to Atlanta’s wine scene.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre shares a few strategies for how to find great value when buying wines.