Daily Wine News: The Good & The Bad

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-13-2020

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray surveys the good news and bad news about how the coronavirus is impacting the wine industry.

VinePair is offering live updates of how the coronavirus is impacting the drinks industry.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley looks at how the coronavirus is taking a hit on the Napa Valley winery corporate retreat business.

The Bordeaux en primeur tasting week has been postponed amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

“Champagne house Maison Louis Roederer has purchased Diamond Creek, one of Napa’s Valley’s legendary boutique Cabernet Sauvignon pioneers,” reports James Molesworth in Wine Spectator. “It’s the second recent high-profile California acquisition for Roederer, which purchased Sonoma Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc star Merry Edwards in May 2019. The deal includes the 80-acre property, winery and brand.”

In Vinous, Joaquín Hidalgo looks at the transformation the Chilean wine industry is undergoing. “The entire country is debating the prospect of a new constitution, which would represent an inflection point between one era and another. These changing times affect the wine industry as much as any other, since, like all cultural products, wine is a reflection of its political, social and economic context.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone highlights some of the side projects Napa winemakers have.

Simon Field explores the growing category of German rosé in the Buyer.

Daily Wine News: Finding Flaws

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-12-2020

In PUNCH, Leslie Pariseau explores what the tableside dance between guest and sommelier when a wine is first being poured reveals about wine today. “This 20-second transaction, ripe with subtleties and minor confusions, has always been fraught. But over the last decade, it’s been further complicated by a paradigm shift not only toward the relaxing of wine service, but by stretching the definition of “flaw,” and to whom these perceived flaws register.

How much do you need to know about wine in order to enjoy it? Robert Joseph explores the answer in Meininger’s.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, shares notes on wine and the coronavirus and the potential economic risks to the industry.

“Here is what you can do to help the wine industry fight through the looming recession: Keep buying wine,” says W. Blake Gray on his blog. “This is true for most industries. But wine is more vulnerable than most.”

Mark Johanson explores Uruguay as a wine destination for CNN Travel.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence talks to Ornellaia’s estate director Axel Heinz about what Italy’s current lockdown means for the estate’s wines.

Emma Balter considers the state of rosé in 2020 in VinePair.

Daily Wine News: California Bubbles

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-11-2020


After decades of emulating French tradition, California has forged a new, improvisational approach to the category. It’s now home to some of the most innovative sparkling wines anywhere, says Zachary Sussman in PUNCH. “It’s the unregulated sense of possibility and improvisation that is perhaps the defining feature of California’s new perspective on sparkling wine.”

“Spitting is critical to wine tasting, yet it’s something we don’t teach consumers. It’s also disgusting. How do we reconcile these things in the age of coronavirus? “ asks Felicity Carter in Meininger’s.

Tara Q. Thomas reports on Roussillon’s Rancio Sec in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

In Food & Wine, Mike Pomranz looks at what Italy’s coronavirus lockdown means for the country’s wine and cheese producers.

In Wine Enthusiast, Anna Archibald explores St. Louis’s wine scene.

Alentejo’s unique amphora wines received their own DO in 2010, but they’re still unknown by most wine lovers. Simon Woolf meets the producers of this historic style in Decanter. (subscription req.)

Beth Demmon considers what’s next for American cider in SevenFifty Daily.

Mark Stock explores what makes Muscadet the ultimate oyster wine in the Manual.

Daily Wine News: Bleak Outlook

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-10-2020

In the New York Times, Jamie Tarabay and Michelle Elias report on how the Australian wildfires and the effects of smoke taint are impacting the country’s wine industry. “Nationwide, the industry is expecting losses in sales of about $110 million, or 170 million Australian dollars… The irony, winemakers note, is that had the grapes been harvested and stored in a warehouse that burned down in the fires, they would have been insured for that and compensated.”

“As climate change increases the threat of wildfires in wine regions around the world, smoke taint has moved its way up the ladder of major concerns,” reports Lynn Alley in Wine Spectator. “Researchers at Canada’s University of British Columbia in Kelowna, where fires have been problematic in recent years, believe they have a potential solution in a product used in cherry farming.”

Do judges of different ages, sexes and nationalities score wines the same way, or is consistent judging an impossibility? One competition organizer has some preliminary evidence. Felicity Carter looks into the issue in Meininger’s.

Monbazillac winemakers can no long add sugar to their wines in poor vintages. Don Kavanagh considers what that means for the future of the wines in Wine-Searcher.

In Food & Wine, Bridget Hallinan takes a look at “Uncorked,” a new wine drama available to stream on Netflix starting March 27.

In the Sonoma Index-Tribune, Cheryl Sarfaty reports on how coronavirus trip cancellations are impacting Wine Country hospitality businesses.

Wine Enthusiast editors offer a global guide to some of the best bottles of Chardonnay.

Daily Wine News: A New Age for Argentine Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-09-2020

Malbec grapes.

Jancis Robinson explores Argentina’s wine revolution. “Just back from my first trip in five years to Argentina, the world’s fifth-biggest wine producer, I am convinced that Argentine wine producers are very, very good at many things and very, very bad at one aspect of wine production.”

According to CNN, 1,000 liters of ready-to-be-bottled red wine leaked into the water pipes of the northern Italian town of Castelvetro after a malfunction at a local winery, causing red wine to flow from faucets.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig profiles Jurassien vigneron Marc Soyard, the only person who makes wine in the Coteaux de Dijon appellation.

Beca Grimm delves into the science of weed-infused wine in Wine Enthusiast.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre takes a look at the new lab-created “molecular” wines. “Still, count me as an intrigued skeptic. We may need this technology in a post-apocalyptic world, when agriculture is difficult if not impossible, and I can see it being useful in space travel. But in a time when we are turning away from processed foods with added “natural colors” and “caramel color,” the natural cred for this product escapes me.”

In Decanter, Elin McCoy reflects on the cultural values that lurk behind a wine’s label. “No wine exists in a vacuum. Each one is a microcosm of society: people, communities, agriculture, ideas, politics. Things we take for granted – wine’s future, its connection to a particular place, its diversity, availability and more – seem to be under threat in 2020. If we want wine to survive and make the world a better place, we need to ask hard questions and put our money where our values lie.”

Antonio Galloni offers his thoughts on the 2017 Bordeaux vintage in Vinous.

Daily Wine News: California’s Oversupply

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-06-2020

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy looks at what California’s oversupply of grapes means for the price of wine. “The problem began with a planting boom in 2016, when California growers put in thousands of new acres of vines, mostly cabernet, pinot, and chardonnay, anticipating demand that didn’t show up. It takes several years to get from planting to bottle. But then came a record-size crop in 2018 just as wine sales growth was flattening. Tanks were full of unsold wine even as the 2019 harvest began… With demand so low, grape prices plummeted 20% to 40% in 2019, according to McMillan, which will also bring down prices of bottled wine.”

There will be no ProWein in 2020 due to the coronavirus, reports Felicity Carter in Meininger’s. The next ProWein will take place in 2021.

Do wine critics matter anymore? Jeff Siegel considers where a traditional wine critic fits into the modern wine world.

On JancisRobinson.com, Matthew Hayes reports on how climate change is affecting Burgundy.

In Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto explores how Rocca delle Macìe worked itself into the club of Tuscan elites.

In VinePair, Emma Balter breaks down the difference between each sustainable wine certification.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague conducts a tasting of reds, whites, and bubbly to see which wine pairs best with cheese.

Daily Wine News: The Next Generation

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-05-2020

How can wine attract a new generation of viticulturists, winemakers and data specialists? Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, shares his thoughts with Felicity Carter in Meininger’s.

According to Don Kavanagh in Wine-Searcher, reports are emerging from Bordeaux that this year’s En Primeur tastings and events could be cancelled due to the coronavirus.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan explores Washington State’s white wine revolution.

In Vox, Nisha Chittal explains why wine still remains so complicated for most consumers.

In the World of Fine Wine, Ella Lister ponders her lost potential fortunes before presenting a rundown of the auction market in 2019.

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher talk with Santa Barbara winemaker Matt Dees in Grape Collective.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, considers what wine can learn from the world of coffee in a review of Coffee and Wine by Morten Scholer.

In Decanter, Jane Anson tastes new releases from Château Latour and meets the wine team behind billionaire François Pinault’s Artemis Group. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Wine Writing

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-04-2020

Wine critics often tend towards pomposity, but shouldn’t they be trying to entertain as well as instruct their readers? In Wine-Searcher, Oliver Styles explores how wine critics fail to entertain—and how that impacts the world of wine.

In the Buyer, Paul Caputo considers what it takes to be a wine writer in the age of Instagram. “The trouble with wine writing is that it’s not easy to do it well.

“Vinitaly, one of the largest international trade fairs for wine, has been postponed to mid-June as Italy battles to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus,” reports Reuters.

With so many trade fairs being canceled due to the coronavirus, Robert Joseph asks if now is a good time to re-think the way the wine trade does business in Meininger’s.

In the New York Times, Christopher F. Schuetze reports on how this winter’s warm weather has impacted Germany’s ice wine production.

In Grub Street, Hannah Howard looks at the ways wine tariffs continue to confuse customers and hurt the wine industry.

Riedel has sought to further demystify the art of using the right wine glass by labelling those in its new ‘Winewings’ range with one of six different grape varieties, reports Decanter.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider highlights 13 standout wines from the Premiere Napa Valley auction.

Daily Wine News: Coronavirus’s Impact

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-03-2020

Wine Spectator’s Suzanne Mustacich, Julie Harans, and Cassia Schifter report on how the coronavirus will impact the restaurant and wine industries.

Wine & Spirits Magazine has an updated list of trade shows postponed due to the coronavirus.

Alfonso Cevola looks at how the coronavirus is impacting the Italian wine industry, and discusses whether Vinitaly, planned to run April 19-22, should go on.

In VinePair, Betsy Andrews reports on how South Africa’s Old Vine Project (OVP) is breathing life into the country’s forgotten chenin blanc vines.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe breaks down the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the 2015 Brunello vintage. “With few exceptions, vintages are almost never even across the board in Montalcino. Variations between altitudes, soils and microclimates, as well as producer experience and styles, make such sweeping acclaim almost impossible to apply to Brunello. But in all my years of tasting Brunello, never have I seen a vintage with such an erratic performance like 2015.”

Kristen Bieler explores Argentina’s high-elevation Uco Valley in SevenFifty Daily.

On Bon Appétit’s Healthyish, Lizzie Noonan talks to Dana Frank, owner of beloved Portland natural wine spot Bar Normal and founder of The Wild Bunch wine far.

In Decanter, Elin McCoy offers an in-depth history of Napa Valley’s Silver Oak. (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: No German Ice Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-02-2020

Ice wine grapes. (Wikimedia)

“A warm winter means that, for apparently the first time in the history of German winemaking, the country’s fabled vineyards will produce no ice wine,” reports David McHugh for the Associated Press.

In the New York Times, Vindu Goel explores Nashik, a region in western India that is the center of India’s budding wine industry. “Like India’s wines themselves, the tourist experience in the country’s winemaking capital is a work in progress. No one would mistake Nashik for California’s Napa Valley, with its Michelin-starred restaurants and pricey mud baths. Nor is it anything like Italy’s Tuscany, where medieval towns, farmhouse inns and family wineries are scattered across the region. Yet Nashik’s lack of a tourist-industrial complex is part of its charm.”

After a retrospective tasting of 2010 Bordeaux, Jancis Robinson ponders the problems with the region’s wine-buying tradition. “It’s true that red bordeaux is rarely charming in youth when it’s generally a little chewy thanks to its habitual charge of tannins. It needs a bit of time in bottle to soften and be truly appealing, but its special quality is that the best examples can continue to improve in bottle for decades. This is impressive, but inconvenient in an era when most people have to pay for wine storage rather than having their own cellars.”

In Wine Enthusiast, Jill Barth explores how winemakers are utilizing regenerative agriculture to farm more responsibly.

James Lawrence looks into the relentless rise of restaurant wine margins in Wine-Searcher.

As the 25% tariff on French and other European wines bites the US market, South African wines are shining. In Meininger’s, Jeff Siegel asks if the trend can last.

Just because you can age wine in bourbon barrels doesn’t mean you should, says Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post.

According to William Horobin in Bloomberg, the latest data from France’s national statistics agency Insee shows people there are consuming less and less of wine as younger generations prefer beer.