Daily Wine News: 1-Liter Grüners

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-28-2023

Zachary Sussman explores the new generation of 1-liter bottles of Austrian Grüner Veltliners in PUNCH. “Unlike other oversized formats—notably, the magnum, which producers often use to enhance the aging potential of serious, cellar-worthy wines—the point of the crisp, clean grüner liter is implicit in its conveniently crown-capped packaging. The first wave arrived on U.S. shores in the 1990s and early 2000s…Today, the classic 1-liter bottle of grüner remains a stalwart of the contemporary retail landscape. What’s changed, meanwhile, is the wider world of wine.”

In Wine Business, Pam Strayer looks at how the wine industry is preparing for California’s new bottle recycling bill. “Starting January 1, 2024, wineries will be required to begin reporting to CalRecycle the wine bottles, cans and bag in box items they produce on a monthly basis. Two months later, they will be required to pay monthly fees based on their container production.  Then, by July 1, 2025, all wine containers must display mandated labeling packaging showing a California Redemption Value (CRV) code.”

Burgundy wine prices have fallen so far in 2023, with some grand cru names down more than 20%, suggests Liv-ex data.

Wall Street Journal wine columnist Lettie Teague followed the most recent dietary guidelines for women, who are advised to drink one glass of wine or less per day, and reports back on her experience.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Napa resident and wine reporter Jess Lander offers her go-to winery recommendations for the region.

Eric Asimov shares his recommendations for places to drink wine in Madrid in the New York Times.

Marisa Finetti explores Chiaretto di Bardolino, “a true terroir-driven Italian rosé,” in Wine Enthusiast.

In Shondaland, Chelsea Greenwood highlights celebrity wine brands.

Daily Wine News: Beauty of the Unknown

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-27-2023

In Club Oenologique, Nina Caplan argues that wine should be more about conversation and enjoyment than correct answers or superior tastes. “Making wine is science. Drinking it is not. The amount of time a given wine has spent in a barrel is an unalterable fact, my ability to detect that oak is a skill, but my judgement on whether that oak is well integrated and how good the result tastes is entirely subjective. Confusing facts with opinions is not, unfortunately, restricted to the wine world, but a social activity such as wine tasting that revolves around a very complicated technical process may be especially ripe for misunderstanding. This, surely, is why a liquid that is both a chemical and a metaphysical source of happiness ends up causing so many arguments.”

Patrick J. Comiskey delves into the muddled heritage surrounding Cabernet Pfeffer in Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Despite falling sales and challenges from other regions, Champagne plans to make the 2023 vintage even bigger, reports Caroline Henry in Wine-Searcher.

In the Buyer, Janet Harrison shares highlights from a recent trip to Brazilian wine country.

Danielle Callegari explores Sangiovese from Lake County, California in Wine Enthusiast.

Chilled red wine is the drink of the summer, says Kate Dingwall in InsideHook.

Fittingly, VinePair offers a visual guide to the chillable, light-bodied reds of Spain.

Daily Wine News: Zalto Mania

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-26-2023

(Photo credit: Zalto)

In Club Oenologique, Victoria Daskal looks at how Zalto became the wine lover’s glass of choice. “The Zalto brand arrived 20 years ago, ushering in a lighter, thinner, straighter, sleeker glass design. And, despite feeling terrifyingly fragile, the glass was dishwasher safe. What was most remarkable about Zalto was its bold claim to have a single glass for all wines: the Universal…It’s clear when searching for a new wine glass, whether for business or personal pleasure, that there are more options to suit settings, palates, and budgets than ever. Zalto has undoubtedly played its part in that…”

In Decanter, Charles Curtis delves into the thorny subject of sustainability in the context of Champagne and its producers.

In Wine-Searcher, David Allen pays tribute to Sauternes’ Marquis Alexandre de Lur Saluces, who died earlier this week at the age of 89. “Alexandre de Lur Saluces took over the running of his family’s famous estate, Château d’Yquem, from his uncle Bernard de Lur Saluces in 1968. Alexandre went on to manage Bordeaux’s sole Premier Cru Supérieur for a period of 36 years. Throughout this period Alexandre determinedly maintained the estate’s position as the pre-eminent wine of its appellation and arguably of all Bordeaux.”

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Susannah Smith explores the next generation of wines from Western Macedonia.

Ava Dossier explores Colorado’s Grand Valley AVA in Wine Enthusiast.

In Vinous, Angus Hughson offers his thoughts on the 2023 Penfolds Collection.

Ken Gargett also has notes on “exciting releases” from Australia’s Penfolds in the World of Fine Wine.

Daily Wine News: Cork Taint Declining?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-25-2023

Sean P. Sullivan has noticed a recent decline in cork taint in the wines he tastes, and looks into the reasons why that might be.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray offers an in-depth summary of the fall of Sherry-Lehmann. “…the biggest problem is this: in May, the New York Times reported that four former employees said they believe Sherry-Lehmann was selling rare bottles owned by customers and stored in Wine Caves to other customers. That is reminiscent of the downfall of the Berkeley wine shop Premier Cru. In 2016, Premier Cru owner John Fox pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. Fox admitted that he ran a Ponzi scheme out of his store, selling wines he didn’t actually have.”

In the Drinks Business, L.M. Archer explores traditional sparkling wines from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Marchesi Frescobaldi to acquire Oregon’s Domaine Roy & fils in US expansion.

Longtime Livermore Valley vintner Mitchell Katz died from injuries sustained in a collision with another vehicle.

In SevenFifty Daily, I talked to buyers and sales reps about how to get the most out of the sales rep relationship.

In Vinous, Joaquín Hidalgo explores the new wave of white wines from Argentina. “Some pockets of Sauvignon Blanc are presenting remarkable intensity. The leap in the native Torrontés quality has been impressive, now offering a floral alternative to output from Alsace.”

Jeff Porter looks into Lambrusco’s reemergence in Wine Enthusiast.

Daily Wine News: Climate in Chablis

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-24-2023

Chablis. (Source: bourgogne-wines.com)

“Chablis has long been known for the tense character of its wines that come from being a place where that single variety has historically struggled to barely get ripe. Just like their peers outside the wine world, the young vignerons of Chablis are acutely aware of climate change and are taking steps to adapt.” In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray looks at how a younger generation of winemakers is shaping the future of Chablis.

Merriam Vineyards has waited two decades for Merlot to make a comeback. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander says the California winery’s commitment to the grape is finally paying off.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre ponders the magic of Mediterranean wines.

Grape Collective catches up with Varuzhan Mouradian of Van Ardi Winery about the renaissance of Armenian wine.

Meininger’s explores the growth and diversity of the Texas wine industry.

In VinePair, Hannah Staab delves into the unique bottles from Piedmont. “You might notice these bottles’ slightly angular shape or the word “ALBEISA” embossed across the neck. Well, there is a long history behind these glass vessels that can be traced back to the 18th century.”

In Wine Enthusiast, John Capone explores the many faces of Tocai Friulano.

Daily Wine News: Pruning Approaches

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-21-2023

Vines before winter pruning.

In Wine Enthusiast, Sara Ventiera reports on how approaches to pruning vines have evolved. “Starting in the 1960s and 1970s, when tractors were widely adopted by the industry, wine growers began to focus on fitting vines into tighter, easier-to-manage rows through pruning. To keep these natural climbers contained in their designated spaces, vineyard workers often make large return cuts. But 15 years later—when vines should be reaching their peak—grape yields often start to drop and, eventually, the vines are ripped out and replaced. Then the whole process begins anew. Today, a growing number of viticulturists are moving away from return cuts and trying a new method of pruning that aims to ensure vines remain vital for decades to come.”

Burgundy producers are cautiously optimistic after torrential rain and damaging hail struck the region earlier this month, reports Vicki Denig in Wine-Searcher.

In SevenFifty Daily, Kelly Magyarics offers tips on how to navigate the world of wine allocations.

In the New Wine Review, Kristy Canterbury offers “the everything guide to wine auctions.”

In National Geographic, Julia Buckley explores Uruguay’s growing wine tourism industry.

In Club Oenologique, Annie B. Shapero puts together a drink lover’s guide to Orvieto.

WIRED Magazine reviews the Coravin.

Daily Wine News: A Color Crisis

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-20-2023

“Color may sound like a superficial concern, but the molecules that determine it are intimately tied to many aspects of a wine, including its texture — whether it feels astringent or soft in the mouth — and its potential for aging. Wine color compounds are also extremely vulnerable to heat, especially at harvest time. Essentially, explained Steve Price, a phenolic consultant with St. Helena’s ETS Laboratories, “the hotter it is, the less color you’ll end up with.” This relationship between heat and wine color now has Napa Valley’s winemakers worried, as climate change threatens to push peak temperatures ever higher during their most crucial months of the year, August and September.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley talks to winemakers about why their grapes are losing their famously purplish hue.

Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits was raided by FBI as part of an investigation, reports Bloomberg.

In SevenFifty Daily, Angela Brussel looks at how importer Storica Wines has worked to draw attention to this ancient terroir and raise awareness of Armenian wine amongst U.S. consumers.

The U.S. Sixth Court of Appeals may have paved the way for Ohioans to buy and receive wine more easily; could it have a wider effect for the country? Collin Dreizen takes a look in Wine Spectator.

You can and should be aging rosé, says Emily Saladino in Food & Wine.

Sean P. Sullivan looks at the rise of alternative closures on Washington wines.

In Wine Enthusiast, Jim Gordon charts the rise of wine as a cocktail ingredient.

Daily Wine News: Port’s Past & Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-19-2023

The Douro Valley. (Source: Wikipedia)

On Terroir Review, Meg Maker explores Port’s past, present, and unforeseen future. “Port is not one thing, it’s many. There’s ruby, tawny, vintage, late-botted vintage, single-quinta vintage, colheita, crusted, pink, and white. I may have missed some. The dizzying mix of styles offers something for everyone, yet Port’s market position is not guaranteed except at the highest end. Portugal’s population is aging and shrinking, and the Port industry relies on exports for its lifeblood. The last few years have seen an uptick in some key markets, for example the U.K., while others like US, China, and Japan, were flat or fell. Many producers have ramped up production of dry table wines, both white and red, to keep land in vine, their partner growers viable, and to offer yet more options.”

California vineyard owners say a cool, wet spring has turned back the clock on vine ripening, meaning the 2023 harvest could be delayed for several weeks putting the crop at risk of fall rains and wildfires.

Australian producers have been left with their smallest vintage in a generation after battling persistent rainfall, unusually cool conditions and flooding throughout 2023, reports Martin Green in Decanter.

In SevenFifty Daily, Janice Williams talks to retailers about how they’re maintaining a worthwhile collection of affordable bottles in the age of inflation.

In the Buyer, Robert Mason says Crete wines deserve all the attention they’ve been getting lately.

A team of scientists found that nutrients in wine and foods could help prevent the onset of frailty in adults over the age of 55, reports Olivia Nolan in Wine Spectator.

In Wine Enthusiast, Nils Bernstein offers some tips for pairing wine with garlic.

Daily Wine News: Classism in Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-18-2023

Barbera cluster.

Jeremy Parzen urges you to stop calling Barbera the “wine of the people” on his Do Bianchi blog. “Let’s put it this way, if Barbera were in fact the “wine of the people,” are other wines reserved, intended, or conceived exclusively for nobility and the managerial classes? If that were the case, shouldn’t the classist-minded among us call it the “wine of the proletariat”?Joking aside, haven’t we outgrown this caste-driven view of the wine world?”

“Across the world, I’ve watched technology and the ease of sharing knowledge change the face of wine. I’ve heard many times from producers throughout regions of both Italy and the United States that today, it’s easy to make a good wine, just difficult to make a great one. When considering this and the rise in the quality we have all witnessed around the globe, I must question: Why does Southern Italy still lag?” In Vinous, Eric Guido offers his thoughts on the wines of Southern Italy.

In the Drinks Business, Ron Emler explores the phenomenon of “greenhushing” in the beverage industry. “This is a practice in which companies keep their environmental goals under wraps for fear of a public backlash as corporate America becomes more deeply embroiled in a war over climate change.”

Vino Farms, one of the largest vineyard management firms in Sonoma County, will pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit over worker pay and breaks. Jeremy Hay has the details in the Press Democrat.

In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth looks at how Larkmead Vineyards winemaker Avery Heelan is building on her predecessors’ solid Napa Cabernet foundation.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Jess Lander reports on Honig Winery’s decision to stop using foil capsules on its wine, and its cheeky marketing campaign about “going topless.”

In Imbibe, Katrina Yentch explores summer wines tailor-made for the outdoors.

Daily Wine News: A Fresh Look at French Wine

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 07-17-2023

The New French Wine by Jon Bonné.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov profiles Jon Bonné and his new book, The New French Wine: Redefining the World’s Greatest Wine Culture. “It’s not a reference book, but something better: an opinionated, thought-provoking work that uses wine as a vehicle for cultural history. The best way to understand French wine, in Mr. Bonné’s view, is not by examining the nuts and bolts of wine production or by encyclopedically assessing producers. It’s by understanding the historical, cultural and economic forces driving decision-making, not just in wine but the country. He comes at this from the proverbial view at 30,000 feet and with his boots on the ground.”

In Wine-Searcher, Barnaby Eales reports on recents calls to allow water additions to wine in Europe. “It is known in France as un secret de Polichinelle – an open secret. Producers in Southern Europe know water addition to must goes on, but few want to admit to using what remains a taboo practice. Unlike in the US, where watering musts to facilitate fermentation is permitted, the procedure remains prohibited in the European Union, other than for dissolving food additives and processing aids including bentonite…But now in the climate crisis, calls are growing in southern France for the legalization of watering to reduce alcohol levels and prevent stuck primary fermentations.”

Justin Keay explores “the delights” of Valle d’Aosta wine in the Buyer.

In Club Oenologique, Henry Jeffreys examines the ways in which Armagnac is finding itself in the public eye once again.

In Decanter, Jessie Dupuy highlights the cool wines of California’s Santa Rita Hills.

Jancis Robinson shares her recommendations for summer wines.

In Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher explore Washington wine, Riesling, and the impact of other fires and climate events on the winegrowing state.