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    Wine news August 26, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/26/2016

    BBC reports on weather issues in France impacting the wine production. "French wine production is likely to be 10% lower this year than in 2015 because of frosty weather in spring and a heatwave now, officials say."

    Food and Wine asks are you using an ice bucket all wrong? "Fill an ice bucket with ice, then halfway up with water, and then drop in the bottle."

    Dan Berger in the Napa Valley Register on the homogenization of wine. "By government regulation, a Pinot Noir must contain at least 75 percent of that grape. But at low prices, you can only use such mediocre grapes that the resulting wine can’t possibly smell like the grape variety. And few do."

    Eric Asimov in the New York Times visits with Frank Cornelissen in Mt. Etna, Sicily. "I’m better in cold vintages,” said Mr. Cornelissen, who has lived and worked in the area since arriving from Belgium in 2000. “I just can’t get hot vintages right. It’s hard for me to pick before complete ripeness, and 2006 was just heavy.”

    Jon Bonné in Punch asks what is the quintessential summer red wine? " I’m not even talking about the Jura, trendy as it is, so much as grignolino and ruchè from Piedmont, frappato from Sicily and schiava from the far north; the current pop frenzy for gamay in all its forms; the refreshing reds of the Loire; and, of course, reds from the southerly wine parts of Germany."

    Decanter reports that France has revived a controversial rule allowing winemakers to buy in grapes to cover extensive losses from severe frost and hailstorms in some areas.

    read more »

  • Column

    Do California Chardonnays Age Well?

    by Dorothy J. Gaiter on 8/24/2016

    "Over the past few months, we’ve experienced the subjectivity and variability of wine in bold relief over the question: Do California Chardonnays age well?" Dorothy Gaiter read more »

  • Wine Education

    A Refresher: Eric Asimov's New York Times Wine School

    by Peter Zusman on 8/24/2016

    If you are a wine enthusiast to any degree, and just so happen to also be a reader of the New York Times, then chances are you're probably more than familiar with Eric Asimov’s wonderful monthly column, “Wine School,”... read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 24, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/24/2016

    Adweek on how how wine marketers are targeting millennials.  "The customer that we built a cult following with had been drinking the typical wines with labels with cursive on them, 'Chateau du something,' and people are bored with it. They want to try new stuff," he said."

    Architectural Digest visits Oregon wine country. " This under-the-radar region is giving Napa a run for its money, producing sophisticated Pinot Noirs, which thrive in the cool, dry climate."

    Eater on a new hour long drama on the USA Network about wine fraud. "According to Vulture, Cho will play Clay Park, “a con artist who dupes the wealthy into paying millions for fake wine” and eventually attracts the attention of the FBI."

    Forbes on the post-Olympic impact of Brazil's wine industry. "Producers like Vinicola Geisse expect that demand to also increase internationally as well. “I would expect that over the coming months we see in the U.S. the continued showcasing of the country’s rich and surprising treasures,” said Bulmash."

    Decanterreports on the potential for a Champagne shortage. "Jean Marie Barillère, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne, said that he does not expect any shortage of Champagne ‘for the next five or six years’. But he added that prices will still rise."

    The Drinks Business on the 10 pitfalls of collecting fine wine.

    read more »

  • Winemaker Interviews

    Michigan Native Michael Schmelzer Has Shaken Up Chianti Classico

    by Monty Waldin on 8/23/2016

    "We can't imagine every Pinot Noir leaving Burgundy and just being called Burgundy, but that's what we're doing here in Chianti Classico." Michael Schmelzer of Monte Bernardi in conversation with Monty Waldin read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 23, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/23/2016

    Conde Nast on Italian wine regions you should visit. "Sure, Friuli's known among wine connoisseurs; but Carso, tucked away in the region’s southeastern reaches near Slovenia, remains largely undiscovered."

    The New York Times on Kevin Zraly teaching his last class at Windows on the World. "He’s been at it for 40 years with his Windows on the World Wine School, so-called because his classes started at that legendary restaurant."

    Food and Wine on Italy's next wine frontier. "Friuli, on the border of Austria and Slovenia, has become one of Italy's most exciting wine regions thanks to its complex, aromatic whites. Producer Giampaolo Venica and writer Anya von Bremzen go exploring, discovering divine polenta and prosciutto and lots of hearty pastas."

    LA Weekly on 3 Malibu wine experiences. 

    The Mercury News reports that Francis Ford Coppola's winery has released a King Kong wine. "But the next time we watch the 1933 Fay Wray film, we’ll have an entirely new appreciation for the tannins."

    Winefolly explains white rioja. 

    read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 22, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/22/2016

    Bloomberg on a new wave of Malbec producers from Argentina. "The most buzzed-about zone there is Gualtallary, where vines are planted at mile-high elevations and the soil is white rocks and limestone, which imparts a salty minerality to the wines. Another is Altamira, Argentina’s first officially approved appellation, which currently makes some of the region’s top examples."

    Forbes on wine in kegs. "Still, the number of wineries that turned to keg production has doubled since 2011."

    The Washington Post says organic wine tastes better. "Personally, I’ve found eco-certification is not a guarantee of high quality. But wines made from organic grapes or with biodynamic viticulture — or even those labeled “sustainable,” with or without certification — often taste more lively, even compelling, than other wines."

    Andrew Jefford in Decanter on an alternative to natural corks. "What is a Diam cork? Some 95 per cent of it is processed cork; the rest is acrylate and polyurethane."

    Alfonso Cevola asks is the future for Nebbiolo in Piedmont under attack? "A proposed change to the Piemonte DOC will allow the word “Nebbiolo” to appear and be noted on the label."

    read more »

  • Winemaker Interviews

    Italy's Franciacorta Takes On Champagne

    by Rachael Doob on 8/19/2016

    Grape Collectives talks to artisanal Franciacorta winemaker Giovanni Arcari about how he is able to make terroir focused, world class sparkling wine without adding sugar - as is the norm in Champagne. read more »

  • Wine news

    Wine news August 19, 2016

    by Christopher Barnes on 8/19/2016

    USA Today suggests a tour of Germany's wine regions. "Minimal development keeps the countryside bucolic; combined with the classic architecture andfachwerk (timber-framed) homes, the effect transports visitors to another century."

    The Chicago Tribune on how to say wine words correctly. "Sommelier. A person dedicated to wine service is a saw-muhl-YAY — not a suh-MAH-lee-ay."

    Today asks does the color of your wine influence your hangover. "Some people find that drinks with high levels of congeners make them feel worse. And there is some evidence supporting this," said Allsop. Congeners give color and flavor to various alcoholic drinks. Drinks high in congeners tend to be darker (like red wine, brandy or whisky)."

    The LA Times reports that California has eradicated a wine harming moth. “It is no easy feat to eradicate an invasive species, especially one like the European grapevine moth when it gains a foothold in a place as hospitable as California’s prime wine-grape growing region,” said state Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, who credited a coordinated state, federal and private campaign against the pest."

    Decanter reports that the Languedoc has suffered the worst hail in living memory. "He said that a 92-year-old winemaker in the village told him he ‘couldn’t remember a hailstorm as violent as this one’."

    The Drinks Business on irritating  habits of people in the wine trade. "We have all seen them, those who consider spitting an Olympic sport."

    Forbes asks America's top sommeliers what they drink in August. 

    Punch on a guide to bottle design. "With the advent of better manufacturing and branding campaigns for export markets, wine bottle shapes nowadays have more to do with marketing than anything else."

    read more »

  • Feature

    How The Hipster Somms Could Get Away With Murder And How We Can Stop Them

    by Stuart Pigott on 8/18/2016

    "The general hipster obsession with authenticity (think Portlandia) leads the hardcore hipster somms to dismiss fruity aromas in wine as the work of the twin devils of science and industry." Stuart Pigott read more »


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