Daily Wine News: The Cost to California

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-22-2021

(Source: Visit Napa Valley)

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley has an early estimation of what last year’s disasters may have cost California’s wine industry, which according to one industry analyst, may amount to as much as $3.7 billion.

Alder Yarrow sat in on the first of several “listening sessions” conducted by the board for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas to discuss the way forward following the allegations of sexual misconduct and assault brought to light, and reports on the progress being made.

Why is Screaming Eagle’s winemaker making $90 six-packs of lager? Aaron Goldfarb has the story in VinePair.

In Decanter, Matthew Luczy questions why, even though the style of California Chardonnay has evolved, many perceptions of the wines have not, and explains why it’s time to revisit the wines. (subscription req.)

“Will wine’s next chapter be characterized by continued crisis and austerity? Or is a return of the Roaring Twenties on the cards?” Mike Veseth, the wine economist, considers the changing wine market and where it might be going next.

Ray Isle recommends sweet wines for winter drinking in Food & Wine.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe offers a guide to the world of Amarone.

In SevenFifty Daily, Andrew Kaplan explains why “active ages” could help drive post-pandemic wine sales.

Daily Wine News: Florida Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-21-2021

Wild Muscadine grapes. (Photo credit: Wikimedia)

In Wine Enthusiast, Carrie Honaker explores Florida’s growing wine scene. “Now, after years of failed attempts to grow European varieties, producers embrace native Muscadine grapes and other fruits to craft bottles that tell the centuries-old story of Florida’s wines.”

In Club Oenologique, Sarah Marsh picks out a host of under-the-radar gems from the Burgundy 2019 vintage.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Jamie Goode reports on Amorim’s newly announced Naturity, “a new technology that the firm asserts will help bring an end to cork taint.”

South Africa’s wine industry has endured a series of alcohol sales bans during the pandemic. Meininger’s looks at the toll they’re taking on the country’s wine industry.

“Château du Tertre, the fifth growth estate in Bordeaux’s Margaux appellation, has been sold by the Albada Jelgersma family as part of a strategic shift, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

In Wine Spectator, Shawn Zylberberg talks to scientists about how Covid-19 impacts a person’s sense of smell, “a nightmare for wine lovers.”

In Wine-Searcher, Natalie Sellers offers suggestions for pairing wine in a meat-free world.

In Condé Nast Traveler, Megan Spurrell explores the world of Bolivian wine.

Daily Wine News: Wine’s Future in Israel

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-20-2021

Nana Estate Winery in Negev, Israel. (Photo credit: Nana Estate)

Euro News reports on an experimental vineyard in Israel’s desert, where researchers are investigating how grapes can grow under the extreme conditions and showing us how to cope with climate change.

“Estimates of the total tons picked in 2020 show what many in the North Coast feared; Sonoma County’s Pinot Noir crop appears to have suffered the most,” reports Andrew Adams on WineBusiness.com.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at American regions whose 2020 vintage were most impacted. “There is a “no duh” feel to that statement: both Napa and Oregon’s Willamette Valley were hit by wildfires and smoke and many vineyards didn’t even harvest their fruit.”

Silicon Valley Bank has released its 2021 State of the Wine Industry Report.

Where is the Italian wine industry heading? In Wine Spectator, Alison Napjus discusses the short history of modern viticulture in Italy and how many time-honored vineyard practices are being fine-tuned. (subscription req.)

In Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery explores the importance of winter for wine vines. “This period of rest is vital to recovery. The vine’s slower metabolism allows it to stockpile carbohydrates for when vines transition, or deacclimate, into spring. Think of it as grizzly bear hibernation for Pinot Noir and Riesling vines.”

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis has acquired the London-based Wine Intelligence, according to Wine Industry Advisor.

In SevenFifty Daily, Christy Frank looks whether Biden will remove the recent additional wine tariffs.

Daily Wine News: Wine Influencers

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-19-2021

Tom Wark reacts to James Lawrence’s recent Wine-Searcher piece about wine influencers. “His conclusion is that they have little and he doubts their very, very pretty pictures are worth much in the way of sales. But this doesn’t mean they can’t be useful in the pursuit of another sale of wine… In the end, the phenomenon of the Wine Influencer is no different than any other form of communication vehicle: it is a reaction to new technology. Just like blogging, websites, Zines, magazines, newspapers, books, and carrier pigeons.”

In Barron’s, Alia Akkam talks to winemaker Dan Petroski about his new monthly Instagram-only magazine and other pandemic inspirations.

Alder Yarrow offers his two cents on one of Trump’s last acts as President: extending wine tariffs to French and German wines over 14% ABV.

According to the Drinks Business, “the Biden team have hinted that removing the tit-for-tat tariffs is not high on the incoming President’s ‘to do’ list.”

In Wine Spectator, former World Series champ Dusty Baker talks about learning wine from Willie Stargell, planting his own vineyard and his new Cabernet partnership with baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

In Forbes, Per and Britt Karlsson looks at the role Texas played in saving the French wine industry from phylloxera.

Blake Gray gets a taste of smoke-tainted canned wine and shares his impression of it on his blog.

Daily Wine News: Corporatization

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-18-2021

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

In Wine Enthusiast, Emily Saladino considers the Gallo-Constellation acquisition, and its impact on corporatization in wine.” Every member of the industry wants to sustain the business, and bring consumers’ hearts, minds and hard-earned dollars to wine. While all can agree that making bottles available to curious drinkers is crucial, some worry that consolidation silos the market.”

Jancis Robinson explores the world of sustainable wine packaging. “Glass, so usefully inert, will surely remain the material of choice for fine wine that deserves long ageing, but for the sake of the planet we need to look more favourably on the alternatives for wine that is drunk within days or weeks of purchase – which constitutes by far the majority of all wine sold.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and announces what’s up next: Fleurie, “one of the 10 Beaujolais crus that collectively produce the region’s best wines. They form the top tier of the Beaujolais wine hierarchy.”

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence on “the incurable plague of wine influencers.”

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher highlight the wines from the sixth generation to run Burgundy’s Domaine Matrot.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley gets to know Lang & Reed, “the rare Napa winery focused on Cabernet Franc.”

Decanter highlights five of Napa’s most stunning wineries.

In Vinous, Antonio Galloni offers a preview of the 2019 Sonoma vintage.

Daily Wine News: The Midwest’s Natural Wine Scene

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-15-2021

(Photo from Nonfiction Wine)

In Wine Enthusiast, Shea Swenson takes a look at the Midwest’s natural wine scene, and the people who worked hard to cultivate it. “Now, more small natural wine shops and distributors have popped up throughout the Midwest. Many are driven by consumers-turned-wine professionals who open businesses to address the lack of access to their preferred wines in their region.”

Where are the diverse voices in Bordeaux wine? In Decanter, Jane Anson speaks to an academic expert about the challenges of breaking into the upper echelons of Bordeaux’s wine industry, and shines a light on women in senior roles at classified châteaux.

In Meininger’s, James Lawrence ponders the future of Bordeaux’s en primeur. “After years of suspicion and reluctance, Bordeaux’s châteaux have been forced to recognise the value of the digital space, finally catching up with other industries. En primeur 2019 was carried out under this new normal, with samples sent to global press and tastings conducted via zoom. Will En primeur 2020 follow the same model, and is this a more pragmatic way of organising such an important event in Bordeaux’s calendar?”

California winery Williams Selyem will hand over control to a French producer, Domaine Faiveley, reports Esther Mobley, who also looks at what the acquisition means in her Drinking with Esther newsletter.

Does it matter where a wine comes from? Margaret Rand explores the idea of familiarity vs. difference in wine on Tim Atkin’s site.

A Covid rebound could spell better times for producers, retailers and consumers in the American wine market, says W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

In Food & Wine, Vicki Denig highlights a range of low-alcohol wines.

Daily Wine News: Space-Aged Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-14-2021

Photo source: Pixabay

A case of Bordeaux wine and 320 grapevines is heading back to Earth after a year in space, reports CNN. “The research, known as Mission Wise, is exploring how to develop “new ways of growing plants on the Earth and scale up to feed more people on the planet.”

In Food & Wine, Oset Babür tackles the problem with clean wine. “As clean wine inches further and further into the mainstream—brands like The Wonderful Wine Co., from Winc, Good Clean Wine, and FitVine Wine have, in recent months, cropped up in a nightmarish game of vinicultural whack-a-mole—the natural wine community is trying, largely for its own sake, to figure out how to standardize and restore integrity to the conversation.”

Joshua Greene remembers Howard Goldberg in Wine & Spirits Magazine. “Howard passed away early in January, leaving an empty seat in that small, tight community of wine, a seat no one could ever fill with the same New York sense of humor and grace.”

Alder Yarrow reports on a new set of regulations for canned wine. “For a few years, while the government has allowed wine to be packaged in 250ml cans for instance, it has not allowed that amount of wine to be sold on its own, forcing producers to group cans into sets in order for them to be legally sold. The new regulations released last week by the TTB now allow wine to be sold in the following volumes: 355 ml, 250ml, 300 ml, 187ml, 100ml and 50ml.”

It’s a crucial time for Lebanese wine, says Christina Pickard in Wine Enthusiast. “Despite recent hardships, Lebanese wines have experienced something of a renaissance. From 1996 to 2020, the number of wineries grew from 40 to nearly 80.”

What’s up with all these wine cask-finished spirits? Pete Ranscombe takes a look in Club Oenologique.

On JancisRobinson.com, Matthew Hayes explores “the tyranny of scores.”

Daily Wine News: Accessible Bordeaux

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-13-2021

The first growths of Bordeaux used to be off limits to most wine lovers. Now Prince Robert of Luxembourg, owner of Haut-Brion et al, is leading a charge to make the region’s riches more accessible. Guy Woodward has the story in Club Oenologique.

Sheep grazing in a Champagne vineyard used by Moët & Chandon to trial eco-friendly viticulture have reportedly been stolen, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear Lebamoff v. Whitmer, a wine-shipping case from Michigan that now throws into question again whether or not states can discriminate against out-of-state retail stores, reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

Terry Thiese remembers the late Howard G. Goldberg. “There were many things to admire about Howard, and they will be properly cited in the obituaries to come, but Howard’s sweetness becomes woven into a kind of ecstatic spell in which I suddenly remember many moments of sweetness with men at various times.”

“Right now, when there is more danger of frustration and anger over mobs, over culture, over ideologies and over the future bubbling into violence, wine and its ability to connect us might be a proper focus,” writes Tom Wark. “The pleasure that wine gives and the intellectual satisfaction wine provides might be a path toward turning the volume down.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Caroline Hatchett looks at the word-of-mouth wine community created by Chinatown BYOBs in New York City, and wonders whether it can survive the pandemic.

Eric Guido offers notes on the past three vintages of Rosso di Montalcino (2017, 2018, and 2019) in Vinous.

In VinePair, Nicole MacKay charts the effects of the Judgment of Paris.

Daily Wine News: Sulfites or No Sulfites?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-12-2021

Sulfites or no sulfites? In Decanter, Rupert Joy weighs the pros and cons of a sulfite-free approach to winemaker. “Ultimately, the decision about whether or not to add sulphites is about appetite for risk. ”

Is there any chance mainstream wine writers will stop attacking natural wine on principle? Probably not, says Oliver Styles in Wine-Searcher.

Elsewhere in Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence looks ahead to what’s to come for wine in 2021.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan reports on the new round of wine tariffs—a 25% tariff to certain European wines—that are part of the Trump administration’s escalating trade war.

Julia Coney explores why small-format wine bottles are trending in VinePair.

In Grape Collective, Stefanie Harris looks at how grower producers in Champagne’s Aube region are leading the way towards a new set of traditions, ones based on sustainability and more individualized expressions of terroir.

Antonio Galloni highlights the “thrilling” wines from Napa Valley’s 2018 and 2019 vintages in Vinous.

Archaeologists have unearthed a wine and snack bar in the ash-buried Roman city of Pompeii, reports Collin Dreizen in Wine Spectator.

In Forbes, Jill Barth surveys the cultural implications of the pandemic.

Daily Wine News: What’s In a Label?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-11-2021

What goes into the making of a wine label? (Source: Wikimedia)

What goes into designing a wine label? In Eater, Brittany Holloway-Brown talks to three designers about their approach to making eye-catching labels.

In PUNCH, Jordan Michelman is also thinking about wine labels, more specifically, the look of natural wine labels. “Natural wine’s approach—an embrace of vivid, cartoonish, irreverent design—works as a clarion call, signifying that what’s in this bottle is new, different, an alternative to the stuffy beige cursive such-and-such monopole and Premier-de-French formalism of the wine bottles of yesteryear… wine labels have de-emphasized traditional devotions to provenance and classification, instead focusing on connecting fluently to drinkers—particularly young drinkers—and expressing the almighty vibe. In turn, drinkers have come to equate interesting labels with interesting bottles, for better or for worse.”

Wine writer Howard G. Goldberg, an editor at the New York Times who wrote the Wine Talk column for a period, has died, reports WineBusiness.com.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague looks into the wines featured in Wine and the White House: A History, and offers a roundup of favorites to uncork now.

VinePair announces that its new executive editor is Joanna Sciarrino.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre surveys popular 2021 wine resolutions, like shopping online more and choosing not to wait to drink prized bottles.

Jancis Robinson offers her recommendations for white wines for winter.