Daily Wine News: Inclusion & Impact

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-25-2020

Have recent campaigns to support black businesses actually impacted black-owned wineries? Janice Williams investigates in VinePair. “There’s still much work to be done in terms of inclusion within the wine industry in the U.S. and on a global scale, but the uptick in awareness and exploration of Black-owned wineries here in the states is a good place to start, and it’s one that winemakers of color hope will last, not to mention, possibly lead to more opportunity.”

Alder Yarrow says we’re living in a (brief) new era of unbelievable wine deals. “These kinds of deals will continue as long as restaurants and hotels aren’t buying, and until distributors manage to wiggle out of their contracts to sell these wines, or wineries find better places to sell them for higher margins.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Joshua Greene explores the 2018 Douro Valley vintage.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan and Paul Gregutt explore the “terroir-driven treasures” of the Columbia Gorge.

A counterfeiter who displayed fake Bordeaux wines at a trade show in China has been found guilty and given an 18-month suspended prison sentence by the court of Pudong in Shanghai, according to Bordeaux’s wine council, the CIVB. Chris Mercer has the details in Decanter.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, rediscovers Ruché, “one of Italy’s invisible wines.”

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer revisits the 2001 Napa Valley Cabernets. “Although many ‘01s went through a reticent stage at some point between about ages 4 and 15, today virtually all of them have embarked on their windows of peak drinkability, and they are showing beautifully.”

Daily Wine News: The Court Drops Use of Term “Master”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-24-2020

The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas will drop use of term “master” as part of an effort to be more inclusive and to help diversify the wine industry, reports Christina Morales in the New York Times. “It has been common to use the term “master” with someone’s last name as a title for master sommeliers, Devon Broglie, the chairman of the court’s board of directors, said in an email on Sunday. In the future, the organization will cease its use of the singular term in favor of the full term “master sommelier” with a person’s surname in all formal communication and programming.”

Is it worth it to go wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma amid coronavirus? Esther Mobley explores the issue in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon talks to Philip Long, president of the Association of African American Vintners, about the Black Lives Matter movement and how to show support for marginalized communities in the beverage industry.

“The coronavirus pandemic may have impacted large portions of American life in recent months, but it did not pause the tariffs the Trump administration imposed on many European wines last year. Now those tariffs are up for review again. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) begins accepting public comments on the tariffs on June 26, giving members of the wine trade and consumers a chance to speak up,” says Mitch Frank in Wine Spectator.

In VinePair, Courtney Schiessl explores the many ways sommeliers can pivot to other wine jobs.

In JSTOR Daily, Matthew Wills covers a brief history of hybrid grapes.

In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph looks at an often overlooked way to make money in wine.

Daily Wine News: Representation Matters

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-23-2020

Jancis Robinson says it’s time for the wine industry’s black talent to get the recognition they deserve. “By far the most common place to find a person of colour working in wine is in a South African vineyard earning a pittance. But an increasing number of seriously talented Black individuals are, at last, occupying considerably higher positions in wine. They deserve to be given far more prominence, and on a long-term basis. Not least because of the hurdles they have had to overcome in the overwhelmingly white world of wine.”

“When the tariffs were reviewed in February 2020, U.S. businesses were relieved to find that, while they remained in place, their rate was not increased to 100 percent, as might have been possible,” reports Tim McKirdy in VinePair. “The tariffs are now set for another round of reviews and the threat of 100 percent tariffs once again looms large over U.S. importers, distributors, retailers, and on-premise operators.”

Big wine has been muscling independents out for years in the world’s largest wine market. Covid-19 has only exacerbated the trend. In Wine-Searcher, Kathleen Willcox assesses the uncertain future for smaller wineries post-Covid.

Amber LeBeau details how to not respond to a guest’s concerns about Covid. “Even with all the headaches and hassles that COVID has tossed on our laps, the very last thing that any wine business should do is to lose sight of basic customer service.”

PIWIs, or fungus-resistant grapes, are emerging as an alternative to classic grape varieties. But they’re not problem free. Simon Woolf explores the issues in Meininger’s.

In Wine Spectator, Jean-Charles Cazes—owner of Bordeaux’s Lynch Bages and Haut-Batailley—discusses the 2019 futures campaign, a new winery and more.

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Donae Burston gets candid about his new rosé from St.-Tropez, giving back to low-income youth, and how the wine community can do better on racial inclusivity

In Wine Enthusiast, Kelly A. Magyarics offers tips on how to pursue a career as a vineyard manager.

Daily Wine News: Being the Lone Black Employee in a Tasting Room

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-22-2020

In VinePair, J’Nai Gaither shares her experience as the lone Black employee working in the tasting room of a Napa winery. “In my experience, every aspect of the wine industry has failed people of color. But in nowhere is it more evident than in the tasting room… Wineries don’t want to acknowledge that people of color on staff get treated differently, because they don’t want to do the work required to develop truly inclusive workplaces.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Esther Mobley talks to the wine professionals speaking out against the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, for charges that include the court failing to be equitable and inclusive for people of color.

Wine Country has reopened, but a rise in coronavirus cases in Napa and Sonoma stirs fears, reports Shwanika Narayan and Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Wine-Searcher, Oliver Styles makes a case for getting rid of blind tasting.

“No other wine has been the object of such devoted campaigning, proselytizing and ardor as riesling.” Eric Asimov wants you to give Riesling another chance.

Wine sales have surged during the pandemic—but for who? In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre says bigger players are dominating the field, with small producers needing to get creative.

In the Buyer, Jamie Goode explores the evolution of the Finger Lakes and Long Island.

In Food & Wine, Betsy Andrews highlights Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.

Daily Wine News: Building a More Diverse Wine Industry

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-19-2020

Leaders of the Association of African American Vintners talk with Wine Spectator on how to raise awareness of black-owned wineries and build a more diverse wine industry

In Wine Enthusiast, Chasity Cooper has a list of black-owned wine shops to support from coast to coast.

Richard Betts shares his resignation letter from the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. “Recently the discourse has been about “the pin”, “the credential”, and I believe this has come at the expense of hospitality and inclusive education. If “preserving the integrity” of some elite credential is the main priority, which in turn leads us to treat our candidates in an unfair manner, then I want no part of it.”

Despite making wine for centuries, the modern Romanian industry has only been in existence since the fall of communism. In the Drinks Business, Phoebe French finds out how its strong growth plans are faring under the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague highlights wine books to read this summer. (subscription req.)

LM Archer checks in on how the Joseph Drouhin 2018 vintage is tasting in the Buyer.

For Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patricio Tapia visits Soria in the far eastern end of Ribera del Duero.

Daily Wine News: The Problem With Burgundy

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-18-2020

Vineyard in Burgundy (Source: Wikimedia)

“The problem with Burgundy’s hierarchy is that it is snapshot in time, impervious to the realities of a warming climate and the supremely fussy character of Pinot Noir. It is a winegrowing axiom that the benefits of terroir take many forms, from the slope angle to the positive qualities of underlying soil structure – all (largely) immutable factors. But it is undeniable that climate conquers all; sites that formerly benefited from an ideal aspect and angle to facilitate sun exposure may now cause growers headaches. A growing firmament of grand crus are becoming likely candidates for a swift downgrading, as Pinot Noir simply will not tolerate excessive warmth. It ripens, yes, but the resulting wine is rarely memorable.” Climate change is the latest challenge for Burgundy, says James Lawrence in Wine-Searcher.

In the Walrus, Ellen Himelfarb considers British Columbia’s growing wine industry. “The problem with British Columbia is not its wine—today, just about anyone is capable of producing the good stuff… The challenge is to keep people wanting your stuff.”

Wine Spectator catches up with several sommeliers about what wine service is like in restaurants that have begun to reopen.

A report by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board has found that an estimated 23 million litres of wine remained unsold due to Covid-19 related restaurant closures, but that more people were buying Austrian wine, particularly reds and rosés.

In Wine Enthusiast, I look at the future of rosé wines made from hybrid grapes.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan writes about his first socially distant wine tasting experience, and ponders how useful it is to know a wine’s price when tasting it.

In the Manual, Mark Stock explores the wines from Valpolicella.

Daily Wine News: A Reckoning

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-17-2020

In Wine-Searcher, Kathleen Willcox talks to members of the black wine community about the notoriously unwoke world of wine, and what change looks like.

Alder Yarrow chronicles his experiences at tasting rooms as Wine Country reopens. “One of the things I encountered in both places was the stipulation that I sign a legal waiver before being permitted to taste wine. This, dear friends in the wine industry, is the opposite of hospitality, and a supremely bad idea that should be halted immediately.”

In the Buyer, Peter Ranscombe reports on how Australian winemakers handled 2020’s unprecedented vintage.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Voss pens an ode to Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s signature grape.

What’s next for wine tourism? Felicity Carter looks at the trends in Meininger’s. “While it seems logical to assume that it will bounce back once Covid-19 recedes, there are already troubling signs that the reboot may be a while coming.”

Opus One Winery’s long-standing CEO, David Pearson, has been appointed managing director of The Meadowood Estate in Napa Valley, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto reports from Italy as the country’s restaurants reopen post-lockdown.

Daily Wine News: New Normal, New Roles

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-16-2020

In Wine Enthusiast, Stacy Briscoe looks at how wineries are training hospitality staff members to work the vineyards. “By bringing their front-of-house teams into the field to help with leafing, wire removal and other agricultural pursuits, these wineries impart useful skill sets to those who might have been otherwise unemployed during the shutdowns.”

Wine blogger Shakera T. Jones explains how the drinks industry can move from words to actions when it comes to supporting POC drinks professionals in SevenFifty Daily. “Real allyship requires continued actions—especially after the news cycle moves on.”

In the New York Times, Lauren Sloss reports on how wineries and other food-and-drink businesses are getting creative as travel starts back up.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at how Bay Area vintners’ support of Trump clashes with politics of most wine drinkers.

In Vinous, Neal Martin offers his in-depth look at Bordeaux 2019.

The Guardian looks at how Australia’s wine industry can adapt to climate change. (subscription req.)

How will consumers react to back labels that list wine ingredients? In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter reports on researchers’ findings.

Daily Wine News: California’s Vitality

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-15-2020

“California’s vitality and excitement lies neither at the top nor the bottom of the price range but in the lower middle with a much, much wider range of grape varieties, styles and appellations than there were 10 years ago. They are typically produced by young, dynamic, innovative and independent winemakers. And that, I hope, is where California’s wine future, and power, lies.” Jancis Robinson explores California’s new generation of wine producers.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy reports on how Bordeaux is reinventing its annual tradition of en primeur in the face of the pandemic. “When it comes to selling, Bordeaux was in trouble even before the pandemic… A couple of dozen châteaux have now released their prices, and most are discounting heavily to drum up enthusiasm.”

“As we approach one of the most contentious elections in recent memory, the politics of wine brands is taking on newly heightened importance,” says Tim McKirdy in VinePair. “Now more than ever, it seems, consumers and trade buyers are viewing the actions of companies with increased scrutiny. Some report that they can no longer buy bottles without considering a brand’s politics.”

Concern for the future in the face of climate change means a growing number of Bordeaux château owners are moving away from convention and adopting a raft of measures designed to protect the environment. Elin McCoy takes a timely look at them in Decanter.

Wine tariffs are back on the agenda, reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

Wine Enthusiast launches a 50 best wine retailers list, featuring 10 different categories.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at the boom of virtual wine tours.

Daily Wine News: Burgundy for Now

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 06-12-2020

(Source: Wikimedia)

“This notion that wine can express the culture of the place in which it was produced is at its most powerful in Burgundy. Nowhere else are the characteristics of land and community envisioned with such intricate detail.” In the New York Times, Eric Asimov finds the 2017 village reds from the Côte de Beaune have a lot to offer, even during a time of diseases, strife, economic fear and upheaval.

“Wine notoriously “brings people together,” but why not all people? How can we embrace wine’s celebratory spirit, despite our differences in background? How can we create a more diverse American wine industry?” Nia Gordon ponders ways to make wine a more racially inclusive industry in San Diego Magazine.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley highlights essential wine and drinks stories by writers of color.

For WineBusiness.com, Liz Thach and Natalia Velikova look at the results from a new study that explores motivations and behaviors of U.S. wine consumers before and during Covid-19 lockdown.

Roger Morris explores the big possibilities for small-format bottles in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Buyer, L.M. Archer explores how Pouilly-Fuissé’s 13-year application for Premier Cru status was progressing for a number of climats, a process that has been temporarily closed down because of the virus.

Josh Raynolds dives into the 2019 rosés in Vinous.