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]
DEATH OF WINE WRITING, continued: The SF Chronicle will end the food & wine section as a stand-alone section. Although there will be no layoffs, the offices will be relocated, the test kitchen closed, and the column inches (presumably) reduced. [NYT]
DEATH OF WINE DRINKING in Europe: Newsweek has a story on declining consumption of wine in Italy. Charts! Quotes!
GULPED: Vox Media acquires Curbed and Eater for about $30 million. [Fortune]
The Cautionary tale of HAIRY VAYNERCHIMP: need we say more?
SIPPED: style. Check out what I have to say on wine style and the rotating gif over at Foodandwine.com.
SPIT: Hello, kitty! Someone in Japan has released a cabernet juice “wine” designed for cats. It get a purrrfect score, but the only trouble is that most cats don’t like the kitty wine. [CNBC]
SIPPED: vineyard views. SPIT: Vineyard maintenance
A property developer is buying large vineyards in Languedoc and turning them into “luxury” residences. Yes, part of the perk is 50 cases of wine. [WSJ]
SAVED: Ray Isle wanders California’s “historic” vineyards that are facing pressure to be uprooted and developed into housing. [F&W]
SIPPED: wine and music
City Winery opened during the depths of the downturn in 2008 in downtown Manhattan, will be opening new locations in Napa and Nashville. Given the demise of Crushpad, one could have assumed custom wine-making facilities were a difficult sell. But pairing an event space with the wine making has helped City Winery find a winning business model.
ZAPPED: a researcher says microwaving wine can improve it. While the piece is short on details, it seems cruel and unusual punishment for pinot noir, already at the forefront of global warming. [MSN]
SUBMERGED: speaking of global warming, Wine Island might be wiped off the map. [geogarage]
SPIT: celebrity wine
Buzzfeed asks sommelier Michael Madrigale to taste and rate celebrity wines in a blind tasting. Hilarity ensues.
SIPPED: hermaphroditic Himalayan elderberries
A funny send-up of tasting note terms from Keith Levenberg.
SPIT: say pleas
Rudy Kurniawan went before a Manhattan judge yesterday; trial is set to start September 9, or thereabouts. [AFP]
True headline: “Your Wine Habit Is Threatening Endangered Pandas” #rolleyes
SIPPED: Sleuthing and spring cleaning
Don Cornwell raised questions about the authenticity of some lots at auction in Hong Kong including a 1971 Methuselah of DRC La Tache, which was withdrawn from the sale. The wines were from the collection of Henry Tang whose bid to become Hong Kong chief executive was derailed by a wine cellar at his Hong Kong home built without proper permits. Christie’s estimated the value of the sale at $3.7 million. In the end, the collection brought in $6 million. Cleared out some space in the basement, fo sho! [wineberserkers; Bloomberg]
SIPPED: somms We all know a gaggle of geese and a murder of crows. But what do you call a group of sommeliers? A flight, a swirl, a six-pack, an assemblage and a drunk came up on Twitter. What’s your thought? Bear in mind this advice: “The noun or phrase, whatever it is, has to be greater than the somm of its parts.”
SIPPED: rites of spring and stars “I know it’s spring when I get the annual press release about Mouton Cadet being official supplier to the Cannes Film Festival…” Jane Anson
SIPPED: grape origins
“I’ve looked into the origins of the Brangelina grape and can say that its history is the Pitts’.” Howard Goldberg