NYC wine service, foreign owners, Holy wine, tyramine – sipped and spit

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SPIT: Wine tasting menus!
John and Dottie, WSJ wine columnists known for their sunny outlook, go negative on NYC wine pairing menus. Le Bernardin takes it the hardest. To the tape: “”Very little went right. The sommelier didn’t hear a word we said…Each white wine was served in the same kind of glass…not one of the seven wines we were served was poured from a full bottle…Most important to us, the pairings themselves were uninspired….We felt very much like we had been treated as hayseed tourists who ordered the tasting and wine-pairing menus only because we didn’t know how to pronounce the names of any of the dishes or wines.” Price: $280–for the wine only. And a parting shot on the phenom: “when we order the tasting menu, the restaurant puts us on its schedule, which is generally too rushed.” [WSJ]

SIPPED: Amazon swirls and sniffs

Move over Manuka honey: Amazon may soon sell wine along with its growing non-perishable grocery line according to the Financial Times today. This would be a welcome entrant into the brier patch of online wine retail. The more retailers, the merrier the wine consumer! The story has a mention of fellow wine blogger Tom Wark. [FT.com]

SIPPED: foreign owners in Bordeaux
Properties producing mid-range wines on the periphery of Bordeaux have been squeezed in recent years. But they may find relief from foreign buyers as evidenced by Haiyan Cheng, 28-year-old daughter of “vastly wealthy Chinese businessman,” Zuochang Cheng. She bought a property–a first for a Chinese buyer in the region–for $3 million and plans to renovate it and expand the vineyards. [NYT]

SPIT: Merlot (again), this time for headaches?
Merlot can’t get no lovin’. Malolactic fermentation may improve the taste of red wines but it also fills them with tyramines and histamines, which cause allergic reactions in many people. “Merlots seem to be particularly high,” UC Berkeley Professor of Chemistry Richard Mathies said although his research is inconclusive. [Red orbit]

SIPPED: Amen to that!
Taking Communion may soon help Chilean farmers get a fair price for grapes. The clergy and parishioners at Manchester Cathedral evaluate the wine today for potential introduction as possibly the world’s first “Fairtrade” Communion wine. Seventy percent of the churches in the Diocese serve Fairtrade tea and coffee. [BBC]

SIPPED: Drink for causes, part II

“For each bottle of wine you purchase as futures from his Lookout Ridge Winery, [Sonoma vintner Gordon Holmes (and former Wall Street publisher)] donates a wheelchair in your name to one of the world’s 100 million needy people desperate for mobility.” Andy Erikson of Screaming Eagle fame is one of the winemakers. (find this wine) [Bloomberg]

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5 Responses to “NYC wine service, foreign owners, Holy wine, tyramine – sipped and spit”


  1. I’m more inclined to call the Amazon story a SPIT, as they’re partnering with Wine.com, whose actions last year almost qualifies as anti-trust, given that they were picking on retailers who could compete with them. There seems to be more professional politics involved than a true desire to follow the law.

    Now that I’ve likely started an argument, I’ll slink back into the shadows to continue lurking.


  2. Kat, That might just be SPIT-worthy. But the FT story, on which the SIPPED was based, did not indicate that wine.com would be a partner, instead writing “Amazon is looking to recruit a senior wine buyer, whom it says will be responsible for “the acquisition of a massive new product selection” for its site.” We’ll have to see how this develops whether it’s through organic growth, partnership or acquisition.

    one commenter noted the relationship here.


  3. One thing that Amazon’s entry into online wine sales is its wonderful online comment engine.

    I, for one, would much rather read short reviews of a product from 20 people who already own it than from one “expert.” I had hoped that CellarTracker would fill this populist product criticism niche for wine but it has still fallen a bit short there so far.


  4. [...] Holy wine In Manchester they may go for Fairtrade wine, but Craig Heffley and Seth Gross of Wine Authorities, a wine retailer in Durham, NC, have another [...]


  5. [...] Colman, author of the blog drvino.com, suggests in the article that wine drinkers may want to try opening a bag of dried apricots which [...]


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