Lightweights, Chile, Maryland, wine on TV — sipped and spit

SPIT: reform in Maryland
Reforming Maryland’s wine law, where it is a felony to ship wine to consumers, is all but dead for this year. Despite having a majority of co-sponsors in both chambers of the state legislature, the bill has been farmed out for further study. Read the autopsy of reform over on As a chaser, check out Tom Wark’s “manifesto for change in the wine industry” over on Fermentation.

SPIT: business as usual
The aftershocks of the earthquake that rocked Chile and its wine industry continue to be felt. “Everybody is struggling to keep up with the harvest. I wouldn’t be surprised if some wineries don’t make it,” an AP story quotes one winemaker as saying. Grape prices have risen, the harvest is at hand, and there is still much infrastructure in need of repair. [Photo: reduced size crop of AP image]

SIPPED: turning tide?
A more sanguine take on the state of Napa’s economy; Nielsen data show wine sales at stores increased 4.6% in February year-over-year with the previously anemic category of wines over $20 showing 12.6 percent growth. Of note: the Super Bowl was on Feb 7 this year as opposed to Feb 1 of last year.

SPIT: business models
Three wine makers from California who were victims of the recession receive profiles in the LAT.

SPIT: extra weight
In the name of a smaller carbon footprint, the Champagne bureau has announced that 90% of Champagne bottles will be lighter weight within two years. They will still be strong enough to withstand the several atomospheres worth of pressure, however. Just easier to break when baptizing boats. [Timesonline]

SPIT: wine on TV; SIPPED: strength of will
Before it even shoots its first program, a proposed wine TV channel may be banned by French authorities on the basis of violating the Loi Evin. Undaunted, the people behind the channel, Edonys, press ahead. [Decanter]

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3 Responses to “Lightweights, Chile, Maryland, wine on TV — sipped and spit”

  1. Wrong about MD… it’s not dead YET! The original bill was never let out of committee. BUT, the state Senate is voting on a winery bill today that has direct shipping as an amendment (

  2. Andy –

    Thanks for the update. Hope springs eternal!

  3. I just found your site and read quite a few of the articles. I am a particular fan of Shiraz and have been for a number of years.

    I am from Maryland where we have to live with the shipping ban. It is annoying but still we manage. The thing about Maryland that has until recently been a bigger issue for me is how bad Maryland wines are. I stopped trying them about 10 years ago because I could not find one worth a salt. That is until last year. Our local public radio station was having a fund drive and was being sponsored by a local winery (Black Ankle) that had just built a new visitors tasting room. It happened to be a short drive from our house in Carroll County and it being a beautiful Saturday afternoon we deceided to make the trip.

    Since you are the writer and have much more experience in this field (no pun intended) than I do, I’ll cut to the chase. Of the 6 wines I tasted I took 4 home. I continue to return for more when ever I’m in the neighborhood. ( and i live in the neighborhood). They grow everything local and can be a bit pricey but the wines are very good.

    If like most people you have written off Maryland winery’s I would suggest taking a second look. If you have suggestions of other Maryland wines I might have overlooked I’d appreciate the knowledge.

    Here is a link.


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