SIPPED: wine’s Fort Knox
A former bomb bunker near Bath, England, now serves as a million square of underground wine storage with $1.5 billion of wine in it. Bloomberg cameras go inside in the above video. There are 157 steps on the way out, which would be a long way for thieves to try to haul out wine in an attempted heist. [Bloomberg]
WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE
A cheese cave in Franche Comté, the region known for the delicious, cave-aged comté, has been the victim of a heist! (They must not have had 157 steps to get out.) Thieves ran off with four tons, or about 100 rounds of the hard cheese, valued at $45,000. [l’Express]
SIPPED: a yuan for wine
Even if the Chinese economy is slowing, Chinese investment in French wine properties is not. A report out from the first six months of the year shows that Chinese investors in France favored tourism and agriculture, with wine foremost in the latter category (or, really, straddling the two). Bordeaux remains a preferred region. [idealwine]
How Pappy Van Winkle Became King of the Whiskeys – [Grubstreet]
“…odor receptors are not solely confined to the nose, but found throughout body.” Wine by immersion? [nytimes]
Brewers discover yeasts that augment that fruity aromas. [popsci.com]
Conclusion: castles are cheap 😉 “Six castles that cost less than NYC apartments” [architectboy]
“The IMW is little more than an elitist club, accessible by invitation only, designed to keep the riff-raff and rabble out.”
Such is one nugget in a trenchant opinion column on the Institute of Masters of Wine that appears on Harpers.co.uk. Be sure to check out the comments.
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What to do when demand for restaurant reservations exceeds the supply? Some restaurants, such as the innovative Alinea and sister restaurant Next, adjust the menu prices higher to coincide with peak demand times (check out this Big Data blog from Nick Kakonas of Alinea). For others, there reservation scalpers have emerged, much to the disdain of restaurateurs. A third way of creating a secondary market for reservations has emerged where diners pay surcharges for peak dining times and start-ups share share those demand charges with restaurants.
One SF restaurant owner says he rebuffs all such approaches as “borderline offensive.” [SF Gate]
I am intrigued by these sites but, while they may work for certain people, if one restaurant were full, I’d simply try another. What do you think about the value of these apps/sites?
Archeologists have found a wine cup that is attributed to the Greek statesman, Pericles.
Amazed at they detail of they cup, they were, however, dismayed that the earthen cup was not varietal-specific.
Phil Mickelson has really made the most of having the “Claret Jug” since winning the British Open last year. How much? He told the Scotsman about his Bacchanal:
“I’ve loved having the Jug with me for the last 12 months,” he confirms. “The people who know and love the game get a big kick out of it. They really appreciate what it means to hold such a famous trophy. And drink out of it. I only let them drink the good stuff of course. There’s been nothing in there that is sub-par. But the best was a 1990 bottle of Romanée Conti wine. It wasn’t on my dime thankfully. It costs about $40,000.”
SIPPED & SPIT: In other wine news, Massachusetts consumers will soon be able to order wine from wineries more freely. Congratulations–now make the same legislation apply to wine shops. [gazette.net]
SIPPED: Barolo has received designation as a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The recognition includes several nearby communes, including Barbaresco. [Decanter]
SPIT: Treasury Wine Estates, the Australian wine producer with falling net income, is on the block. But one suitor has been spurned: KKR. The American private equity firm bid A$4.70 a share but word leaked and the shares are now at $5.05. [Bloomberg]
BYTES: IBM’s Watson supercomputer, tired of competing in Jeopardy!, now has its own BBQ sauce. Wait until Watson tries making wine! [NPR]
Andrew Jefford has a long piece on the wine industry in the Crimea and how current events will impact it. Net: some growers are pleased to be rid of corruption and fees they experienced in Ukraine and welcome being part of the “richer and more diverse” Russian market. [Decanter.com]
“Excessive temperatures in Napa Valley make it a challenge for the wines to belong on a world class level.” Christian Moueix, owner of Dominus and a parter of Chateau Pétrus, comments about drip irrigation and more, summarized on jancisrobinson.com.
“[Rudolf Steiner] had no competence in agriculture – he was an archivist for the Goethe family.” So says the esteemed Frédéric Mugnier in a wide-ranging Q&A over on wine-searcher.com].
PSA: “The things you write on Twitter are public…This is not a bug in Twitter; it is a feature.” [Gawker]
Hungary kicks butts, dropping 3 and 4 Puttonyos Tokaji. [Decanter]
The James Beard Foundation announced the full list of nominees today including Ray Isle! Congratulations to all the nominees! [JBF] Here’s Ray’s story, “The Battle for America’s Oldest Vines,” at F&W.
SIPPED: Jancis Robinson argues in favor of the “classics” over wines from obscure grapes just for the sense of obscurity. Twitter fight ensues.
SPIT: the legislative efforts to mandate warehousing wine in NY for 24 hours prior to end delivery have regained some momentum, unfortunately. The NY Post argues it would add $2 to a bottle of wine. Some distributors and producers have bonded together so create a web site where NY consumers can send their legislators a note of protest. #stopthecorktax
Going, going, gone: GoVino, the “#1 best seller” in wine glasses on Amazon, has been sold. Pat Stotesbery, owner of Ladera Vineyards in Napa, has bought the developer and designer of polymer (aka “plastic”) extremely practical glasses for an undisclosed sum. He told North Bay Business Journal that the possibilities for the glasses are “endless” and he will take them to the “next level.”
SPIT: bile. Robert Parker’s most recent comments get a public airing. Drink every time you hear “extremists” or “elitists”!
SIPPING UNABATED: John Boehner says he wouldn’t give up wine (and smokes) in order to become presidents. The wine color? Red, natch.
SIPPED, not chugged. Cambridge spends $5 million a year on wine. Should we infer that they do barrel stands there instead of the more plebeian keg stands? [Telegraph]
CROWNED: NYU Stern and Yale Law will represent the US at the Bordeaux Cup in June. [winespectator]