Daily Wine News: Trousseau’s Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-07-2021

Trousseau.

In SevenFifty Daily, Sophia McDonald considers Trousseau’s past in Europe, and the grape’s future in American vineyards. “The grape’s plantings have been increasing of late—yet far from its native territory. American winemakers throughout Oregon and California are cultivating both Trousseau Noir and Trousseau Gris to craft a range of intriguing still, sparkling, fortified, and skin-contact wines.”

Although no precise figures are as yet available, the wave of conversions to organic in the vineyards of Bordeaux is undoubtedly growing, says Vitisphere.

While Perrier-Jouët’s brand ambassador, Jonny Simms, says going organic would be “nirvana,” he believes practicing organic viticulture in Champagne is “almost impossible.”

On JancisRobinson.com, James Mayor looks at how Rob Symington, a fifth-generation digital native, is shaking up one of the best-known port shippers in its 140th year.

In Wine Enthusiast, Zoe Baillargeon explores how convicts and immigrants paved the way for Australia’s wine industry.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, J’Nai Gaither reports on phylloxera’s impact in Napa Valley.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks back 10 years after the publication of his first book about the business of wine, Wine Wars: the Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists.

Daily Wine News: Wine Glass Tariffs?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-06-2021

Are wine tariffs going to be replaced by wine glass tariffs? Alder Yarrow takes a look. “This time, thankfully, wine isn’t on the list of items to be taxed, but wine glasses are. Specifically, every expensive ($5 wholesale cost or more) wine glass made in Austria. That means Riedel, Zalto, MarkThomas, Gabriel-Glas, Sophienwald, and more would all get 25% more expensive if the proposed trade action goes into effect.”

“When the massive container ship Ever Given managed to wedge itself sideways in the Suez Canal on March 23, blocking traffic for nearly a week, it provided a fitting symbol for the state of global shipping in the past year.” In Wine Spectator, Collin Drezien reports on how shipping delays are affecting imported wines.

In VinePair, Tamara Gane explores the sustainability goals of Napa Green. “Between the two certifications, Napa Green works with individual wineries and vineyards to develop customized plans for sustainability all the way from soil to bottle. The program is not one size fits all. Instead, it takes into account participants’ current practices in order to set ambitious yet tangible goals for improvement.”

“Jackson Family Wines, the ninth largest wine company in the US, filed a lawsuit last month accusing Gallo, the world’s largest wine company, of infringing on Jackson Family’s copyright for La Crema with a new Gallo wine called Cask & Cream,” reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

“There are many things amiss in the nation’s wine scene.” In Wine Enthusiast, Sean P. Sullivan proposes six fixes to American wine.

In Eater, Noelle Allen on why it’s an exciting time to be a wine drinker in Philly.

In the Robb Report, Sara L. Schneider looks at the Bordeaux 2020 vintage.

Daily Wine News: Revisiting the Classics

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-05-2021

“[Millennials are] poised to overtake fine-wine buying by 2027, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2019 State of the Wine Industry Report. Instead of preparing for that moment, though, lots of wine brands are wringing their hands about the demise of great wine, or pandering to young drinkers with lifestyle marketing. However, affordable, classic wines could be the antidote.” In Wine Enthusiast, Caroline Hatchett looks at how value-driven millennials could someday embrace the classic wines they’ve largely abandoned.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on an issue brewing between Staglin Family Vineyard, which wants to be able to host more visitors for wine tastings, and neighboring residents. “It’s another version of a story that’s appeared over and over again in Napa Valley, where the wine industry has increasingly found itself in conflict with the valley’s residents over land-use and tourism issues.”

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on recent allegations of sexual harassment by Zafa Wines’ Krista Scruggs, and other legal issues the Vermont winery has recently faced.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov offers notes on the most recent Wine School, Grenache Three Ways, and announces what’s up next: wines under $10.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre explores the missions of two new wine clubs that aim to highlight underrepresented voices in the wine world.

With sour flavors trending in beer in cocktails, Emily Cappiello looks at what’s next for wine in VinePair.

In Decanter, Jane Anson checks in on the Bordeaux 2008 first growths. (subscription req.)

Wine Reviews: California New Releases

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 04-03-2021

Spring has sprung here on the East Coast, with blossoms a’ bloomin’ and new California releases arriving. This week I have a large and diverse group of wines from across the Golden State.

Napa and Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc offers a lot of spring and summer enjoyment, and there are some exciting options from Grieve and Chalk Hill. Chardonnays from Newton, Sonoma-Cutrer, Fort Ross and Frank Family deliver diversity.

On the red side of things, there are some rocking Napa Cabernets in this report from Shafer and Sullivan. And a lot of Pinot Noirs appear, with a bit of something for everyone.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: “What Should I Drink?”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-02-2021

“The question, “So, what should I drink?” seems straightforward but, like everything in wine, it contains endless variables. There aren’t categorically perfect bottles guaranteed to suit everyone all the time. Your personal tastes, budget and intentions for how, where and when you plan to drink determine what wines are best for you.” In Wine Enthusiast, Emily Saladino talks to sommelier and retailers about how they recommend wines.

Restaurant dining returns to San Francisco, but the Chronicle’s Esther Mobley has one plea: “Please, please do not BYOB. Unlike many states, California makes it very easy for people to bring their own wine to restaurants… It’s a generous thing for restaurants to allow, since many of them generate a significant portion of their income through alcohol, and letting customers bring their own wine means they may miss out on some lucrative sales. Corkage fees help compensate for some of those lost sales, but they rarely make up the difference entirely. (A possible exception to that would be the French Laundry, where corkage is $150 per bottle.)”

In New Jersey Monthly, I look at how the natural wine movement is influencing New Jersey winemakers and the wines they make.

In Food & Wine, Ray Isle highlights 61 bottles, regions, and winemakers you need to know now.

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague explores the beautiful 2020 vintage for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. (subscription req.)

Cameron Douglas also offers notes on the great 2020 vintage for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in Decanter. (subscription req.)

On JancisRobinson.com, avid fan Jonathan Reeve analyses the champagne choices in the Bond-related work of Ian Fleming and Cubby Broccoli and his successors.

Daily Wine News: Still Life

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 04-01-2021

A wave of new releases from some of Champagne’s most famous houses—and growers—is shifting attention away from the region’s fizz and on to its still wines. In Club Oenologique, Essi Avellan MW explores the world of Coteaux Champenois

“South Africa is the world’s eighth-largest producer of wine, behind Chile, but ahead of Germany. Almost half of its production was exported in 2019, but exports also ground to a halt last summer, with a five-week ban.” Elna Schutz reports on how South Africa’s pandemic-related bans on alcohol sales have affected the country’s wine industry for BBC News.

In Food & Wine, Jaime Brown explores the native Italian rosas represented by the new Rosautoctono Italian Wine Institute.

Alder Yarrow tells the story behind Nomen, a new wine brand aimed to tackle two issues: women’s empowerment and sustainability.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, looks back on Armenia’s deep wine roots and ahead to its future.

In VinePair, Evan Rail looks at how drinks producers are defining “craft” around the world.

Antonio Galloni offers his notes on the Bordeaux 2018 vintage in Vinous.

In Wine Enthusiast, Nicholas DeRenzo offers advice on how to pair wine with plant-based proteins.

Daily Wine News: Burgundy’s Future

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-31-2021

The vineyards of Burgundy.

What is the future for Burgundy wines in the U.S.? Christy Canterbury looks ahead in SevenFifty Daily. “While Burgundy remarkably held its own in terms of global exports—volumes up 0.8 percent and revenue down only 0.8 percent over 2019—the drop off in the American market reveals that the 18 months of U.S.-imposed tariffs on French wines (referred to as “la taxe Trump” in France) were more damaging to sales than the pandemic.”

Has Chianti Classico finally outgrown its French influence? James Lawrence looks at the DOCG’s evolution in Wine-Searcher. “Tuscany is full of delicious bottles which exploit the international renown of French grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon. Why, then, do we need Chianti Classicos with dollops of Merlot and Cabernet? Are they inherently better wines? Do they truly enhance the final product? I’d argue not: I’ve never tasted a blended style that was superior to a 100 percent Sangiovese hallmark.”

In the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion section, wine collector Rob Arnott wants restaurants to do away with wine corkage fees. “If wine collectors are desirable customers, because of their overall spending and because they introduce friends to the restaurant, why not have rules that welcome them, while discouraging the corkage-to-save-money crowd? Perhaps set corkage at the median price on the wine list. Perhaps set a minimum bill per person, if customers bring wines of their own.” (subscription req.)

“If there’s one stylistic trend that has marked the past seven or eight years, it’s a turn away from high-alcohol, super-ripe wines—red or white—toward lighter, more savory styles.” In Food & Wine, Ray Isle highlights elegant wines from cooler-climate regions.

San Francisco may have a wine thief, reports Esther Mobley, and they’re into fancy Italian wine bottles.

In Club Oenologique, David Kermode looks at the unstoppable rise of rosé.

In Wine Enthusiast, Amy Beth Wright does a deep dive into the Texas High Plains region.

Daily Wine News: Banish the Aerators

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-30-2021

“Wine aerators are a scourge on the face of the wine industry and a complete and utter waste of money,” says Alder Yarrow. “There is no single product (OK, maybe the Clef du Vin or the OMNE wand ) that is more useless, overpriced, and just plain irrelevant in the wine industry than any one of the hundreds of different wine aeration devices that have been “invented” to help wine lovers enjoy their wines more.”

In Club Oenologique, Adam Lechmere looks at worldwide efforts to ensure a more diverse wine industry. “These diversity scholarships are a drop in the ocean (how on earth can a couple of million quid change anything?), but they are a start… It’s going to take more than an auction or two to dismantle a system that has endured for generations. But revolutions are often started by people who see things in quite simple terms.”

In Wine Enthusiast, sommelier Terence Lane on how working a harvest gave him a new appreciation for wine and hospitality.

“Is wine really wine if it doesn’t possess the potential to alter our perspective via the alcohol…if the inherent risk in drinking wine (or any alcohol) does not exist?” Tom Wark considers non-alcoholic wine.

How good is canned wine? Ellie Douglas samples many of them for Decanter.

The Bordeaux 2020 vintage is ripe for investors, reports W. Blake Gray in Wine-Searcher.

For subscribers, Jancis Robinson offers notes on Coteaux Champenois and poses the question: Can Champagne make good still wine?

Daily Wine News: Women in Tokaj

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-29-2021

In the Buyer, Caroline Gilby looks into why women play an increasingly prominent role in the Tokaj region, where there is a much higher percentage of women winemakers than in other parts of Hungary, and not only winemakers, but also women owners of wineries.

“China is slapping massive duties on wine from Australia for the next five years, a move that threatens to deprive the country’s winemakers of their top export market and escalate a trade dispute. The duties, which range from 116% to 218%, were announced Friday,” reports Julia Horowitz for CNN.

“The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery issued four licenses on Thursday to ZAFA Wines. The licenses allow the Burlington-based wine business, which the state had previously shut down, to manufacture, sell and distribute wine,” reports Sally Pollak in Seven Days. “Zafa Wines, founded and owned by winemaker Krista Scruggs, was ordered last November by the Department of Liquor Control to cease operations because, according to the department, it was operating without proper licenses in place.”

What happens when flying winemakers are grounded? Kelly Magyarics takes a look at how their jobs were impacted by the pandemic in Wine Enthusiast.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Rebecca Toy offers a guide to Chardonel.

In Food & Wine, Sarah Yenbamroong offers advice for pairing wine with Thai food.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at Penfolds’ new wine, which blends California and Australian grapes together.

Daily Wine News: Italy, On Its Own

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 03-26-2021

Bottles of Barolo. (Wikimedia)

In Club Oenologique, Sarah Heller argues that Italian wine is done a disservice when its appreciation is based on Bordeaux or Burgundian reference points. “As long as Barolo or Etna remain ‘the Burgundy of Italy’, they will never be the pinnacle of anywhere. I would prefer that Italian producers proactively export their own wine values or else forever remain an eccentric country cousin to France.”

In Vinous, Rebecca Gibb explores the many expressions of Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. “It’s clear that the current generation of winemakers nearing retirement age have witnessed a major shift in both the region’s climate and global taste preferences since taking over from their parents in the 1980s.”

In the Buyer, Ines Salpico explains why we need transparency on wine labels.

In Wine-Searcher, Natalie Sellers examines the threat of climate change to wine regions. “Old wine regions that have been successfully established for hundreds of years, thanks to a once stable climate, are now facing adaptations like never before.”

On Tim Atkin’s site, Anne Burchett ponders flawed scoring systems and what is—and isn’t—wrong with wine criticism.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision that will make it less prohibitive and less expensive for wine distributors to ship bottles directly to restaurants and bottle shops. Dayna Evans has the details in Eater Philly.

In Wine Enthusiast. Virginia Boone reconsiders the once-maligned 2011 Napa vintage.

In Decanter, Matt Walls on why Syrah is the most adaptable grape in the world. (subscription req.)