Remember wine in a can from a few weeks ago? Or the headline “”Beringer launches White Zinfandel Moscato”? Here’s something else to make your head spin: Turley…11.2% alcohol…pink wine…Yes, Turley, the icon of high-octane Zinfandel, has released a “white Zinfandel.” Jon Bonné tasted it and called it “refreshing…with surprising depth.” Bar Tartine in San Francisco tweeted that it was “so delicious.”
In other California low-alcohol news, Food and Wine as well as Eater highlight nouvelle vague microproducers making relatively affordable, atypical wines from California. That’s three articles this week, so it is officially a trend to write about the trend. As I mentioned on Wednesday, perhaps the most interesting part of the story is that these acid-hounds are casting aside the selling-wine-by-numbers approach that has served as the sales model for the industry for so long. The Eater story digs into that aspect.
And you may have heard about passing off cheap Burgundy as more expensive wine. But, unrelated to the story of Rudy Kurniawan, authorities have arrested four executives at Labouré-Roi on suspicion of fraud.
SIPPED: matters of taste
Pictures of billionaires in Burgundy are generally disturbing (don’t drive up prices any more!). But in this one, of Jay-Z at Ma Cuisine in Beaune, it is reassuring to see that the superstar has moved beyond his own Champagne Ace of Spades and is delving into Roulot. Fellow wine geek!?! Meursault nice…
SIPPED: profiting from passion
Dr. Ruth has launched a line of low-alcohol wines to “arouse”? Sounds like quite a brand extension…Also, isn’t almost all wine vin d’amour? [NY Post]
LIBERALIZED? A popular wine bill would allow Canadian citizens to carry wine across provincial lines! If it passes the Canadian parliament vote this Wednesday, it would go to the Senate and could be law by the end of the month. Free at last?!? [cbc.ca]
SKEWERED: wine blog awards [HoseMaster of Wine]
BREAKING: In Possible Gaffe, Romney Says Poor People ‘Go Best With White Wine’ [Andy Borowitz]
SIPPED: “Tres Brooklyn.”
Food trucks. Paris. Comment dit-on “hipster”? [NYT]
SPIT: Will the NYC ban on big sugary drinks include banning 750-ml bottles of Moscato?
New wine jobs: assistant beverage director, wine sales, summer internship and more.
SIPPED: Jesus as store manager in the image above?
LARGELY SPIT: Bordeaux 11
After pre-judging the Bordeaux 2011 vintage prior to tasting, Parker dials back the damning commentary writing in his report that it was “much better than I first thought,” likening it to 2008 and 2001. [DrinksBusiness.com]
SIPPED, NOT SMOKED: Mike Steinberger answers the question “what was HE smoking?!?” with the latest piece on the pot wine phenomenon in California. [DailyBeast]
SUSPENDED: Jancis Robinson reports that work on the controversial Mosel high bridge has been suspended. [JancisRobinson.com]
SPIT: wine as TP
Costco’s wine buyer, responsible for one billion dollars in wine sales, tells CNBC that wine is like toilet paper. Talia Baiocchi weeps. [eater]
According to the illustrious Hosemaster of Wine, wine bloggers are barking poodles calling out for attention. So, yay, the editors at Saveur have included this blog as a finalist in the best wine and beer blog category. Woof! Click through to vote and see the complete shortlist (which includes some good ones but doesn’t include Hosey, sadly). [Saveur.com]
SPIT: vintage of the century
The commercially savvy Bordelais scheduled en primeurs during the quasi-holiday week before Easter. Why? Well, some rushed to pre-judge expressing “no interest” in the wines, while others went and tasted with full reports due soon. Rumor has it that some top chateau will cut prices by as much as 50 percent on the first tranche of 2011.
SIPPED: waistlines and increasing demographics
If NFL viewers are going to put down the Lite beer and pick up a wine glass, they might reach for a wine from Three Fat Guys, a new wine from three former Packers who weigh in at a cumulative 1,000 pounds. The linemen say they’re doing it because they like wine, not to make money, and with a paltry 126 cases made, they may actually mean it! [Arizona Republic]
SIPPED: circa 1933
Fortune.com republished a lengthy archive article from 1934 over the weekend. There’s lots to savor: the author suggests American wine can handily undercut French wine on price, urges an Eastward expansion of vineyards in the US, and notes that Champagne wasn’t considered wine by government policy.
SIPPED: Cheval Blanc ’47
Well, not by me, sadly! But Sotheby’s is offering the wine (in 750 and magnum!) among others offered directly from the Chateau cellars. How big will the authenticity premium be on the bottles?
SPIT: lite beer
A Bloomberg article suggests the increased interest in wine is, in part, spurring America’s thirst for craft beer. And in Canada, wine’s popularity is growing much faster than the flat suds. Over the past decade, beer sales have slipped while red wine has grown 181%. Maybe one day wine will outsell beer. Now that would be something, eh?
SIPPED: more laffs
A propos of nothing wine, put this NYer humor piece (“Vive la France“) in your queue. Here’s a taste: “In France we do not even have a word for fat. If a woman is obese, we simply call her American.”
SPIT: Metrokane’s The Rabbit
Install a machine such as in the above video and you will really one-up your neighbors in the corkscrew department.
What? That LA Times is dropping stars for restaurant reviews? I’m 99+ points on that. [LAT]
SPIT: a man’s cave
Henry Tang, a candidate to be wine-drenched Hong Kong’s next chief executive, may have seen his hopes hoisted on his (illegal) wine cellar. [BBC]
CHOMPED: meat dress? “My favorite way to catch up with friends is to have wine and food nights. We cook together and drink six or seven bottles of red wine.” -Lady Gaga [Drinksbusiness]
PARKENTSTEIN: “I only awarded 19 perfect 100 point wines in THE GREATEST VINTAGE EVER! This is remarkable restraint on my part.” [hosemaster]
TASTEVIN: “A 100-point score for a young wine is just a cry for attention.” -Stephen Tanzer
BREAKING: After thirty vintages, Noel Pinguet has decided to leave Domaine Huet, the world-class producer in Vouvray. La Revue du Vin de France cites differences with the owners about the role of dry white wine in the production. [larvf.fr]
Paul Pontellier of Chateau Margaux has been so frustrated with bottles under cork that have gone bad that the esteemed estate is seeking another closure has begun tests with screwcaps. Maybe he should follow Henschke and say bonjour to Vino-Lok? Also: Ch. Margaux is “very close” to being organic. [Decanter.com]
SIPPED: mmm, brand extensions
A “real” housewife of New York, who was probably thin to start with, is launching a low-alcohol wine called “Skinnygirl.” It builds on the success of her low-calorie ready-to-drink margarita. [Drinks Business] Related, Drew Barrymore is launching a new wine called, Barrymore. And, yes, it includes a pinot grigio! [HauteLiving.com]
Don’t cryo-selection for me, Qaurts-de-Chaume
A new grand cru designation has been approved in the Loire for sweet wines. Yet conflict has shaken the nobly rotten zone as one producer has sued to stop the process at the eleventh hour over “cryo-selection.” [NYTimes.com]
SIPPED: An insight into why White Castle is testing wine: “The burgers cost $2.49, the wine $18.” [WSJ.com]
Was on break much of the week with family…Back in full next week!
SPIT: bottles of DRC
SIPPED: the power of the internet; credit card return policies?
Don Cornwell, a collector and attorney, posted an impressively detailed assessment of lots that went under the hammer at a London auction last night. Spectrum and Vanquish, the auctioneers, did withdraw some lots but continued to sell others despite statements from DRC’s English and American importers urging buyers to beware. I heard about someone who bid on some DRC knowing all the backstory but was attracted by the (relative) low price; if he finds the bottles to be fake, he will dispute the purchase with his credit card company. For background on the consigner, see winediarst. For tweets from the room, see @Pigeage.
An arsonist who burned a warehouse with $250 million of wine in it gets 27 years in prison. [SFgate]
SIPPED: good vine hunting
Columnist Jon Bonne tracks Tegan Passalacqua, an influential and connected vineyard scout, as he scours remote vineyards in Northern California. Spot the one behind Carl’s Jr.! [SFgate]
SIPPED: more celebrity wine
Lionel Messi shoots and pours: announces a new wine from Argentina to benefit his foundation. [drinksbusiness]
SIPPED: charity tasting
This Saturday, a dozen top NYC sommeliers will help pour dozens of wines in a fundraiser. The big question is whether jeans will outnumber windsor knots–stop by to find out! The charity benefits Wheeling Forward, supporting those living with disabilities. [leduwine.com]