Daily Wine News: Is Mead Making a Comeback?

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-16-2020

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike Dunne highlights Ayele Solomon’s Bee D’Vine honey wines. “Many drinkers mistakenly assume that all mead is invariably sweet. They’ve been disappointed with mediocre versions they’ve tasted at Renaissance fairs. But makers of honey wine believe that sales would be much easier if they could just persuade potential buyers to take a sip.”

In New Jersey Monthly, Tara Nurin also looks at how mead is making a comeback.

Moore Brothers Wine Company, which operates in three states, ordered 35,000 bottles, or a year’s supply, to try to get ahead of the possible 100% tariffs.

Trade wars, falling wine sales and global uncertainty. Everything points to the need for wine producers to find more baskets for their eggs, says Robert Joseph in Meininger’s.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray breaks down the findings from the latest Silicon Valley Bank State of the Industry report. “Overall wine sales by volume in the US are actually down, for the first time in 25 years – and that’s only the beginning of the bad news.”

In the Baltimore Sun, Christina Tkacik explores Baltimore’s natural wine scene.

In SevenFifty Daily, Amanda Barnes explores the wines of Uruguay.

Miguel Ángel de Gregorio of Finca Allende talks about the complicated nature of terroir in Rioja with Grape Collective.

Daily Wine News: The State of the Wine Industry in 2020

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-15-2020

The Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry Report 2020 has been released. “Rob [McMillan] suggests that we are in the midst of a consumer reset, which requires every winery to reimagine how they sell and market wine. The early results tell us there are winners and losers today, with about 25 percent of the business struggling while the upper quartile of wineries is delivering record years.”

On JancisRobinson.com, Elaine Chukan Brown explores how petite sirah has evolved in California. (subscription req.)

Chris Crowley sums up how the looming tariffs are terrifying the American wine world for Grub Street. “There’s no timeline on the proposed 100 percent tax that would affect European wines and other goods yet… Monday, January 13, was the deadline for public comments on the proposed tariffs. Since December 12, nearly 25,000 were made to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.”

Changes are afoot in Bourgogne, with a new geographical denomination added to the AOC Bourgogne: Bourgogne Côte d’Or. The Drinks Business looks at what this move means for producers and consumers alike.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan delves into a new certification in France for agricultural products containing zero pesticide residues. “the resulting bragging sticker to be placed on the bottles contains five important words: Within the limits of quantification. This acknowledges that the wines might contain pesticide residues, but that the quantities are so small that current instruments and methods can’t yet detect them. Bravo for the honesty. And good for the certifying organization, called Nouveaux-Champs (or New Fields, in French), for coming up with something that conveys accurate and useful information to consumers so that they can make more informed choices.”

In the New York Times, Charu Suri looks at how hotels are ramping up their wine-tourism experiences.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Château Miraval is teaming up with a top grower Champange producer to make a rosé Champagne, reports Wine Spectator.

Daily Wine News: Final Words

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-14-2020

(Credit: Pixabay)

Jon Bonné pens an op-ed for CNN covering how Trump’s proposed wine tariffs will hurt Americans, not the French. “Even wholesalers that distribute American wines are likely to still face devastating economic impacts, since the same trucks, same drivers, same logistics are used for both domestic and imported wine. Estimates by some wine industry professionals are dire: Tariffs could carve $10 billion out of the US economy, at a potential risk of 78,000 jobs.”

Alder Yarrow does a deep dive into what happened during the wine tariffs hearings last week.

In Wine Spectator, Mitch Frank reports on the two days of public testimony over 100 percent tariffs last week.

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Aaron Romano talks to Randall Grahm about his decision to sell Bonny Doon Vineyard. “He said the 35,000-case winery will continue to represent great value and stylistic diversity, but hopes the investment will help grow the brand and provide Bonny Doon with an opportunity at a long, robust life.”

Americans drank less wine last year for the first time in 25 years, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter talks to Stuart Pigott about why winemakers should not wait to adapt to climate change.

In Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery offers a wine guide to Turku, Finland’s oldest city.

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig does a Q&A with Master Sommelier Emily Wines.

Daily Wine News: Bonny Doon Sold

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-13-2020

Randall Grahm.

Randall Grahm has sold Bonny Doon Vineyard to WarRoom Ventures, the parent company of Lapis Luna Wines. Gram, who founded Bonny Doon in 1981, will remain a partner in the company and continue to oversee winemaking. He talks to Esther Mobley about the acquisition in the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m deeply ambivalent about selling Bonny Doon,” Grahm said. “It’s my opus. But the point is I’m not particularly good at all the aspects of running a winery, mostly the finance aspect of it.”

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov pens an obituary for Georges Duboeuf. “While Beaujolais Nouveau made up a big part of Mr. Duboeuf’s business, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, it was far from all of it. With a deep-seated, almost microscopic knowledge of the landscape of Beaujolais farmers and producers, a passion for communicating the singular, joyous nature of Beaujolais and a reputation as a great wine taster, Mr. Duboeuf was able to identify and purchase top-quality grapes and wines. He eventually bought vineyards as well.”

Robert Joseph also looks back at the life of Georges Duboeuf in Meininger’s.

Elsewhere in Meiniger’s, Roger Morris writes in defense of industrial wines: “In short, if there is a winemaking practice that is environmentally harmful, unhealthy for drinkers or just plain deceitful, condemn the practice. But just broadly criticizing “industrial winemaking” is both intellectually lazy – and somewhat priggish.”

Neal Martin offers his thoughts on the 2018 Burgundy vintage in Vinous.

Sherry deserves a place at your table, says Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post.

Jancis Robinson profiles Carlo Ferrini, “one of the most celebrated of the winemaking consultants that have been so vital to the Italian wine scene – possibly the most famous.”

In Philadelphia Magazine, Alex Tewfix highlights the women who are a driving force behind Philly’s wine renaissance.

Wine Reviews: Italy

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 01-11-2020

Since last month’s Italian tasting report, I’ve received some more Italian samples to dig into.

This week, I’m focusing on two producers. Enrico Serafino has been producing wine in the Roero subregion of Piedmont for some 140 years. In addition to the traditional white and red table wines of the region, Serafino also makes some Champagne-method sparkling wines. I found the three wines I tasted deliver a lot of classic Piedmont elements, and a lot of quality for their respective price points.

I also received some Tuscan wines from Badia a Coltibuono. This estate in the Chianti hills has been controlled by the same family for five generations, although the winery used to be an abbey that dates back to the 11th Century. All the wines are estate-grown and organic. Like other wines in this portfolio, Badia a Coltibuono delivers some solid Chianti value, and their entry-level wines are fresh, lively and pleasant.

These wines are all imported exclusively by Dalla Terra Winery Direct, which imports a variety of Italian wines direct from wineries. They were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Wine News: Dryuary

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-10-2020

(Flickr: ajroder)

Esther Mobley offers her opinions on dry January in the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m unmoved by arguments against Dry January that focus on the negative impacts they’d have on the wine industry: It’s not my job to defend any industry, and wineries ought to have to win customers’ business in sober-curious times as well as indulgent eras. In fact, it’s in the booze industry’s long-term interest that its customers become introspective about their health. The reason I’m not doing Dry January, however, is because I consider it a more meaningful achievement to practice responsible drinking year-round.”

Château d’Issan was enjoyed by royalty in the 13th century, shows new evidence, as Decanter’s Jane Anson tastes through the Margaux estate’s more recent vintages, from 2000 to 2018 inclusive. (subscription req.)

Elsewhere in Decanter, Peter Richards delves into how non-alcoholic wine is made.

Wine & Spirits Magazine highlights wine books worth reading this winter.

In Wine Spectator, Julie Harans reports on how American restaurants are bracing for the potentially devastating wine tariffs.

In the Daily Camera, Doug Brown looks at how the proposed tariffs on EU wine could upend the wine industry.

Yahoo Finance also chimes in about the proposed tariffs.

Daily Wine News: Assessing the Damage

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-09-2020

In Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard reports on how the wildfires that have been raging across Australia since September have affected Australian wine grapes.

On JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming ponders the future of wine in Asia. “Despite the unpredictable nature of consumption, the wine trade apparently still has its sights set firmly eastwards – and US tariffs on European imports are doing nothing to discourage this.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague chimes in on all the wine world stands to lose in the face of the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs. (subscription req.)

In Wine-Searcher, Kathleen Willcox explores how some—such as non-EU producers—are considering the possible opportunities amid the wine tariff chaos.

Burgundy had a stellar year on the secondary fine wine market at the expense of Bordeaux, but it was Armand Rousseau that outshone other brands in 2019, according to Liv-ex.

On his blog, Jamie Goode profiles Telmo Rodriguez, who became famous for his travelling winemaking, sourcing top vineyards from around Spain, and then returning to revitalize family winery Remelluri. Now he’s set his sights on rediscovering the great vineyard-focused Rioja of the past with Bodega Lanzaga.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe praises the “balance of poise” found in Barolo’s 2015 vintage.

Daily Wine News: Reactions to Issues

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-08-2020

“Many things are smaller in France: cars, portion sizes during brunch, the workweek. But nothing raises the ire of anglophone wine writers like small wine glasses – the simple ones, of modest volume, which are iconic to the French bistro.” In Meininger’s, Aaron Ayscough defends the French wine glass.

Christy Frank breaks down the issues and details related to the proposed tariffs, and how to get your comments to the government.

Alder Yarrow also encourages you to speak up. “Whether you’re a consumer concerned for the health of the wine, food, and hospitality industry, or a business owner who will be affected, you should take the five or ten minutes required to thoughtfully compose a personal message in opposition of these tariffs.”

France’s first dry January campaign is underway, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter, despite reported opposition from president Macron and criticism of its ‘puritan Anglo-Saxon’ roots by several leading figures in French society.

On GuildSomm, Bryce Wiatrak explores the past and future of indigenous grapes. “…we are privileged to live in a time with unprecedented admission to the world’s diversity of wine. Restaurant lists are more daring, wine regions more dedicated to commercializing their autochthonous varieties, and science more capable than ever of identifying grapes thought lost to history.”

Simon J Woolf explains why he’s doing #MyJanuary instead of #DryJanuary.

Mike Veseth, the wine economist, also chimes in about the Dry January phenomenon.

Daily Wine News: “A Pervasive Feeling of Fragility”

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-07-2020

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov reports on the Trump administration’s threat to impose 100 percent tariffs on all wines imported from the EU. “Make no mistake, a tariff of that size, or any number close to that, would be catastrophic for Americans in the beverage and hospitality industry. A 100 percent tariff would double the price of wines in shops and restaurants, with disastrous ripple effects… Nobody knows exactly what the outcome will be, or when it will be decided. The administration has a pattern of issuing dire threats and not always following up. Even so, the prospect has conjured up a pervasive feeling of fragility.”

In Wine Spectator, Gillian Sciaretta remembers Georges Duboeuf. “A masterful marketer, Duboeuf in the 1980s elevated the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau wines, which occurs on the third Thursday of November, from a local event to a worldwide celebration. His other Beaujolais wines, many with vibrant floral labels designed by Duboeuf himself, introduced many Americans, Japanese and others to the region and its Gamay wines.”

Jancis Robinson highlights ways to help those affected by the Australian bushfires.

“Father of Ampelography” Dr. Pierre Galet died last week in France, reports WineBusiness.com.

Lauren Mowery explores the new generation of fruit wines—made from wild blueberries, apples, cherries and more—in Wine Enthusiast.

In Decanter, Alex Maltman delves into the scientific progress made in understanding the perception of minerality in wine.

On SevenFifty Daily, Paul Grieco shares his tips for running a wine bar.

Daily Wine News: Beaujolais’ Georges Duboeuf Has Died

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 01-06-2020

Franck and Georges Duboeuf. (Photo credit: Quintessential Wines)

“Georges Duboeuf, one of the great wine merchants of the 20th Century, has died at the age of 86,” reports BBC. “He was best known for turning the release a little-known French product – an ordinary red wine called Beaujolais Nouveau – into a global phenomenon.”

Jenny Lefcourt, president and co-founder of Jenny & Francois Selections, pens an op-ed in the New York Times. “No one I know would argue that the Trump administration is wrong to protect American industries by pushing back when it sees unfair practices by other countries. But tariffs make no sense — if we insist on charging European winemakers more to sell their products in the United States, they will easily find another buyer. The only ones hurt will be American businesses and consumers.”

Alfonso Cevola offers some solution-based thoughts on the proposed 100% wine tariffs. “This should be a time when all the invested parties, large and small, must find a strategy to work together. Which will be tough, because the polarity between the large and the small (and medium-sized) companies are seldom in harmony. Remember they all are in competition. This time though, they really all need to get in the same boat and row together. But I don’t see that happening.”

In Wine Spectator, Augustus Weed reports on the Australian wildfires, involving more than 60 vineyards and wineries that have been impacted.

In Bloomberg, Elin McCoy forecasts eight ways wine will change in 2020.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre looks at how big-brand consolidation, declining demand and political pressures from international trade are challenging independent family grape growers.

In Wine-Searcher, Caroline Henry ponders France’s future with hybrid grapes.