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about the authenticity of some lots at auction in Hong Kong including a 1971 Methuselah of DRC La Tache, which was withdrawn from the sale.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
SIPPED: varsity tasting
The Oxford-Cambridge rivalry has played out over wine glasses for over 60 years: this year’s tasting included a Vega Sicilia 1953. En garde, you “coconut,” “tobacco leaf,” with “horse manure character!” Oh wait, those were the tasting notes… [NYT]
SLUSH, you huskies! A wine from South Dakota will greet Iditarod competitors at the finishing line. #winesworthmushingfor [ArgusLeader.com] Oh, a previous story reported that the course had to be rerouted in part, thanks to climate change.
BLING: Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfold’s and other wines, is targeting Asia, where profit margins are double other regions. Part of the fatter margins come from trophy bottles such Penfold’s 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon closed with an ampoule sold for $168,000. [Bloomberg]
SPRAYED? Would you sparkle wine with a Sodastream? The NYT investigates a variety of “hacks” for the popular carbonator; do let us know your experiences. Tom Mansell tweeted to me “I’ve done cider. I don’t recommend it. Anything but water fizzes like crazy. (heterogeneous nucleation)” Doh!
SPIT: The NRA has a wine club?! Ack. I’m sure all the wines will be high caliber…
SPIT: Rudy Kurniawan‘s attempt to have the DOJ’s evidence against his alleged wine counterfeiting was disallowed by the judge. Now the defendant must prepare to stand trial or change his not guilty plea.
SPIT: Orange wines, the skin-fermented wines once hot among hipsters, get crushed by sommelier Richard Betts who argues succinctly, “Tecate > orange wines.” Other sommeliers pile on.
SIPPED: Arnot-Roberts, specifically, Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Robert, get deserved recognition as the California’s winemakers of the year by the SF Chronicle.
GLUGGED: Guy Fieri, whose Times Square restaurant was the subject of a negative review in the NYT, is buying a small vineyard in Sonoma. Will the wine be called Donkey Sauce?
ADVISED: The Hosemaster reports from the fictitious Lodi Professional Wine Writers’ Symposium where one panel advises: “You catch more flies with honey than with Authentic Wine.”
CAUGHT: police have arrested a former employee for the recent destruction of six vintages of Soldera Brunello. A motive appears to be that he was not provided a “mini apartment” at the estate. [Corriere della Sera]
DECEIVED: Palate Press exposes a pattern of Natalie Maclean’s taking other writers’ tasting notes and placing them behind her paywall. Furor erupts both from writers and in the comments, where allegations of winery pay-to-play emerge. [PalatePress.com]
EULOGIZED: Hosemaster laments the death of wine writing. “Yes, Wine Writer had been horribly sick before he passed, a pathetic shadow of what he once had been, reduced to a kind of Laubotomized babbling, a sad and tired victim of Parkerson’s Disease, covered in nasty Suckling wounds, his Hugh Johnson Feiring nothing but blanks. ” [Hosemaster]
SPIT: on Facebook, commenters are wondering how many points to give James Suckling’s purple couch.
SIPPED and SPIT: The Drops of God
The latest installment of The Drops of God, the wine-drenched graphic novel from Japan, is now in English. I review it and learn that this volume will likely be the last in English. [wine-searcher.com]
SIPPED: sense of place. “We’ve concluded that Tuscan-style homes would make the finest fit here.” Apropos the Khao Yai wine region in Thailand, where homes in a development range from $650,000 to more than $3.3 million. [WSJ]
Sticker shock: Some London buyers won’t buy wine at auction that bears a US back label.[smcp.com]
SIPPED SLOWLY: recovery. After the surge, Pasanella wine shop combats the quiet. [NYT]
SIPPED: the “noble experiment” Learn how the 18th amendment got passed, understand its links to the federal income tax and see a hatchet carried by anti-alcohol crusaders. Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, curates an exhibit on Prohibition with all of these items. The show runs through April 28 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. [WSJ]
PASSED: popcorn. A long thread involving a horizontal pear tasting and more discussion of wine tasting notes. [wineberserkers]
LOST: inventory. But not hope.
The winemaker at Red Hook Winery told nonabrooklyn that the ambitious project on Pier 41 has to “assume a total loss” of all wine on the premises in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. They hope to continue but admit that their future hinges on insurance policies paying out. Best of luck to Christopher Nicolson, Robert Foley and Abe Schoener.
SIPPED and SPIT: shipping fees
The Press Democrat has a lengthy story on Amazon wine. In it, they report that the shipping fees will be $9.99 for six bottles and $19.96 for 12. Seems below the market price so make that a SIP for consumers and a SPIT for the wineries, who will likely be doing the fulfillment. [pressdemocrat]
The evergreen wine topic of calories in wine gets a graphic look and comparison to beer over at WineFolly. But, sadly, the graphics choose to make wine look less cal-o-rific, even when a standard wine serving could likely have more calories than a standard beer (a lager). Basic rule: more alcohol = more calories.
GLUGGED: A Nebuchadnezzar of Trockenbeerenauslese? Eegad! [Reuters]