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Wine news November 7, 2016

NPR reports on the wine and bar culture in Damascus. "The bearded young men conversing in the corner casually split a large bottle of vodka, while bartenders sipped Lebanese red wine in short-stemmed glasses."

Andrew Jefford in Decanter on Sake. "All of this is very good news for sake producers, since in Japan, the drink is far from fashionable, and has been tanking ever since 1975; it now has just 6.8% of Japan’s alcoholic beverage market, having lost around two-thirds of its market share since the 1975 peak. Japanese fashionistas prefer wine."

Jancis Robinson on a group of English independent retailers know as The Bunch. "he gap between what's available on supermarket shelves and from Bunch members may have widened over time, but the sort of traditional merchant that is typical of The Bunch is arguably no longer viewed as cutting edge. For a start, only one of the members, Alistair Marshall of Adnams, sports a beard, and that a decidedly non-hipster one."

Decanter on the preferred wines of the presidents. "One of Nixon’s favourite wines was the First Growth Château Margaux."

The Washington Post on wine club memberships. "A wine club can solve the gift-giving problem by leaving the choice to someone else. Some newspapers and other publications sponsor wine clubs (as The Post did for years before discontinuing it in June). "

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