Daily Wine News: Restaurant Wine Shops

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-22-2020

In PUNCH, Megan Krigbaum looks at the growing number of restaurants around the country that have closed during quarantine only to reopen as de facto wine shops. “For the consumer, this new brand of retail means that wines that were once only available via a restaurant wine list—whether cellared and with age or just highly allocated—are now up for grabs, and takeaway, and reduced prices.”

“By all accounts, the 2019 [Bordeaux] harvest went well… But the en primeur campaign, when these young wines are sold as futures, has been rudely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.” In Wine Spectator, James Molesworth ponders Bordeaux’s fracture futures campaign.

Alder Yarrow offers an updated profile of the wines of Jamie Kutch. “He has become more focused than ever on the combination of site and vintage, as he tunes both in his winemaking and his farming regimens to allow the characteristics of each to play a larger role in the character of his wines.”

Liv-ex has published a report detailing how companies should best adapt their practices to sell wine in a post-Covid-19 world. The Drinks Business has the details.

In the New York Times, Eric Asimov highlights 10 great Italian whites under $25.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan remembers Jerry Stiller and the Blue Nun ads he once appeared in.

And in Wine Enthusiast, I put together a beginner’s guide to hybrid grapes.

Daily Wine News: Napa Update

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-21-2020

(Source: Visit Napa Valley)

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray reports on the scene in Napa as restaurants open and tasting rooms stay closed. “In Napa County, restaurants got the green light Tuesday night to open for patrons dining inside. But wineries and tasting rooms are still not open to visitors. It’s a fast-changing situation and might be different by next week (or even tomorrow). But right now, the discrepancy is bewildering to winery owners.”

On his Do Bianchi blog, Jeremy Parzen explores the meaning of Prosecco in his life. “It’s incredible to think it now but 20 years ago, Americans hardly knew what Prosecco was. Super Tuscans were trending, Brunello was on the horizon. But no one, including me, could imagine the sales powerhouse and economic engine that Prosecco would become in this country and throughout the world.”

On WineBusiness.com, Wine Enthusiast’s Susan Kostrzewa reflects on content strategy, audience engagement, and industry trends during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the blog for First Vine, Tom Natan on what making wine deliveries during a pandemic has been like.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Sydney Love looks at the movie Uncorked, which follows Elijah Bruener as he prepares for the Master Sommelier exam.

In Vinous, Eric Guido offers a guide to the 2019 Italian rosatos.

In Condé Nast Traveler, Rick Jordan explores Malta and its natural wine bars.

Daily Wine News: New, Natural

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-20-2020

In Wine Enthusiast, Jamie Goode ponders France’s new official natural wine certification. “Is certification needed? And do those that make natural wine actually want it?”

In Wine Spectator, Gillian Sciaretta talks to Scala Dei’s Ricard Rofes about achieving his dream job, rediscovering Garnacha, and learning to let the vineyards express themselves.

Elsewhere in Wine Spectator, Aaron Romano reports on the scene as Oregon wineries reopen to the public with new safety measures in place.

Bordeaux vintner Denis Durantou, owner of Château L’Église Clinet in Pomerol, has died at age 62 after a long illness, reports Suzane Mustacich.

Neal Martin remembers Denis Durantou in Vinous. “Pomerol will never quite be the same again.”

Business Insider highlights 15 virtual wine tastings hosted by wineries, experts, and winemakers.

In Wine-Searcher, W. Blake Gray explores Italy’s Terre di Pisa DOC.

In Grape Collective, Christopher Barnes talks with Jacques de Klerk about the evolution of winemaking in South Africa and the benefits of crafting site-specific wines.

Daily Wine News: Premium Cans

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-19-2020

(Flickr: Gnawme)

“For years, canned wine was seen as a cheap alternative offering convenience in an attractive package, but recently, it appears that the same perception evolution that occurred in the screw-cap market is happening with canned wine.” In SevenFifty Daily, Kathleen Willcox explores the evolution of premium canned wine.

Alfonso Cevola looks at the top 10 destinations for Italian wine exports. “Of the 20 top destinations for Italian wine exports, 2019, China wasn’t even in the top 10. China might conjure up exotic and romantic visions, but from a business perspective, it hasn’t proven to be a top place to invest time and energy in growing your brand. Yes, it had been seen as a country with good growth potential with 1.2 billion inhabitants, but that was prior to COVID-19. And then everything changed.”

“Now, while wineries struggle to keep consumers engaged in the digital sphere and prepare for the slow progression of reopening brick-and-mortar establishments, California is also in the midst of one of its most important annual stretches: fire prevention season.” In Wine Enthusiast, Stacy Briscoe reports on how California wineries are preparing for a challenging season ahead.

Predictions about the post-pandemic environment are many and varied. In Meininger’s, Robert Joseph asks whether there will be a widespread return to the small and artisanal.

Alder Yarrow on what Wine Country tasting rooms will be like for the foreseeable future.

On his blog, Jamie Goode delves into the origins of biodynamic farming.

Daily Wine News: Planning to Reopen

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-18-2020

“On May 23, Jordan Winery in Healdsburg may become the first winery in California to reopen to visitors post-shutdown,” reports Esther Mobley in the San Francisco Chronicle. “But here’s the catch: It won’t be able to serve those visitors any wine.”

In the Oregonian, Michael Alberty reports on how Oregon wineries are preparing to reopen to the public after the shutdown. “Winery tasting rooms that open their doors to the public will need to adhere to the same social distancing guidelines as restaurants. These will include determining maximum occupancy to maintain physical distancing requirements, spacing tables at least six feet apart, and limiting parties to 10 people or fewer. Visitors will be encouraged to wear masks.”

A continued slump in Champagne sales has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic. Caroline Henry looks at the numbers in Wine-Searcher.

It’s time to take another look at California Chardonnays, says Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone highlights regions within Napa Valley and some of its ongoing virtual tastings.

On JancisRobinson.com, Alder Yarrow considers the improbable link between hard seltzer and wine.

In the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre on what a wine’s appearance can tell you about what’s inside the glass.

Daily Wine News: Seeking Solutions

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-15-2020

As wineries face disruptions in sales and cash flow, growers seek creative solutions to help their customers and themselves. Eric Asimov reports on this year’s unique turmoil in the New York Times.

What can 60 years of New York Times restaurant reviews tell us about wine’s journey in America? Leslie Pariseau takes a look in PUNCH.

In Wine Enthusiast, Roger Morris explores the importance of wind in vineyards.

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Nicole Schnitzler reports on how wine bars have found new ways to do business during Covid-19 shutdowns.

“The most disquieting thing about lockdown is not that it won’t end – it will, and probably sooner than is safe for us – but what we winos will find on the other side. Will people want to go to restaurants, assuming they have the cash? Will they feel comfortable attending tastings, with folk spitting in close proximity, sharing plates of water biscuits and handling the same samples? Will they be relaxed about long-haul travel, breathing the identical air with other passengers?” Tim Atkin ponders wine in the time of Covid-19.

In Wine & Spirits Magazine, Pascaline Lepeltier explores the new “Vin Méthode Nature” designation. “This is a key evolution for a growing segment of the wine industry. The use of the word naturel (natural) has been forbidden by current European legislation and has led to prosecution (the only exception being the grandfathered Vin Doux Naturel, a designation for sweet wines).”

In Vinous, Josh Raynolds takes a first look at the 2019 wines from the Northern Rhône.

Daily Wine News: “Millenniums” and Napa

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-14-2020

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone responds to the NYTimes profile of Andy Beckstoffer, wherein he expresses his confusion as to why “millenniums” aren’t flocking to Napa wines like their parents once did. “After all, 75% of millennials surveyed in 2019 said they would spend more money on wine if they had it, according to Business Insider. Perhaps the problem is less about taste and more about access.”

Elsewhere in Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery reports on how winegrowers are turning to adaptive farming and support groups in the face of global crises.

Jamie Goode on why wine struggles to speak to “normal people”—and what can be done to better communication with consumers. “What we do in the wine business is unusual: we talk about our perceptions. A lot of wine education revolves around learning a coded lexicon to describe the sensory experience of wine… Normal people find writing about the flavour of wine absurd. They find talking about the taste of wine alienating. They don’t want to read a wine book (some, who have decided they are actually quite interested might, though); they don’t want to visit a wine website; they don’t want to be educated.”

In Terroir Review, Meg Maker explores Vermont cider—in a video about Vermont’s cider terroir, and a Q&A with Fable Farm’s Jon Piana.

In Wine-Searcher, Margaret Rand ponders the pros and cons of chalk in the vineyard.

In Forbes, Jill Barth looks at how social distancing has made Sonoma a quieter, wildlife-friendly place.

In Vinous, Eric Guido explores the wine gems of Campania.

Daily Wine News: Distilling Wine in France

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-13-2020

“France approved support for French winemakers on Monday to distill wine surplus into alcohol following a slump in demand because of restaurant and bar closures and lower exports due to extra U.S. tariffs,” reports Reuters. “The government cleared a 140 million euro ($151 million) crisis mechanism for distillation.”

In Meininger’s, Felicity Carter considers the impact of the pandemic on German wine producers.

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley on the new San Francisco label, Dewey’s Wines, that wants “to conjure up the opposite of a pretentious winery.”

On JancisRobinson.com, Richard Hemming explores the wines of Vietnam. “Despite the adversities, it is apparently possible to make good wine in Vietnam, but is that fact alone justification enough to do so?”

In VinePair, Evan Rail highlights a range of hopped wines.

A new study from Tufts University found that diets rich in berries and red wine could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, reports Wine Spectator.

In Decanter, Amanda Barnes profiles Argentina’s Luján de Cuyo. “It’s a region where tradition is preserved and protected, even as tastes evolve and new styles emerge.” (subscription req.)

Daily Wine News: Grapelord of Napa

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-12-2020

(Beckstoffer Vineyards)

“For the privilege of squeezing Beckstoffer grapes, winemakers behind labels like Stag’s Leap, Schrader and Realm pay up to $25,000 per ton — more than five times the Napa average. All of which is to say: If the $71 billion California wine industry topples, then Mr. Beckstoffer, who values his empire at $500 million, may have the farthest to fall.” In the New York Times, Ben Ryder Howe profiles Andy Beckstoffer—the “Grapelord of Napa”—and his confusion and disdain for millennials.

The days of consumer wine tastings are over for the time being. What can the wine trade do instead to get consumers to sample something new? Robert Joseph shares his thoughts in Meininger’s.

In Wine-Searcher, James Lawrence delves into why multi-vintage still wines aren’t embraced, yet are celebrated in Champagne.

In Bon Appétit, Marissa A. Ross on the single wine she wants to be drinking after recovering from shingles.

Betsy Andrews reports on how cash-strapped restaurants can turn their wine cellars into profit in SevenFifty Daily.

In Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone talks to Gloria Ferrer’s Mayacamas Olds about her journey to wine and interest in sustainability.

Daily Wine News: How to Move Ahead

Posted by | Posted in Wine News | Posted on 05-11-2020

Recycling night, in a pandemic. (Flickr: Steven Depolo)

Will the coronavirus destroy the smallest wineries? In the San Francisco Chronicle, Esther Mobley reports on how the Puentes family is struggling to hold on to Honrama Cellars after building it from the ground up.

In Wine Enthusiast, Kerin O’Keefe reports that Italian wineries are anxiously awaiting a return to normalcy after the country was hit hard by the coronavirus.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest ever change for online retail, with millions flocking to virtual shopping to get through the crisis,” says Don Kavanagh in Wine-Searcher. “The big question, though, is whether that change will be permanent.”

On WineBusiness.com, Peter Mitham ponders what recovery from Covid-19 will look like for the wine industry.

In Vinous, Stephen Tanzer talks to 35 producers about the challenges they’re facing as a result of the pandemic.

The French are drinking less Champagne, causing sales to fall. In Meininger’s, Richard Woodard looks at the consequences.

The Wachau is Austria’s newest DAC winegrowing region.

Jameson Fink highlights the distinctiveness of Godello in VinePair.

In the Dallas News, Alfonso Cevola explores a recent project from Texas Hill Country William Chris Vineyards’ and Austin master sommelier Craig Collins, a red wine blend whose profits will aid Texas restaurant industry workers in need.