What might just be the best-selling wine glass this holiday season? Why, the RedNek wine glass, a Mason jar on top of a candlestick holder as a base. Launched this year, sales have hit $5 million already. Good thing it comes with the lid, making it the travel mug of wine glasses. [CNN]
SPIT: Vinturi aerator
A panel of sommeliers blind tastes wines that have been put through the Vinturi aerator. They admit that it transforms the wine but give three out of four the thumbs down. [bonappetit.com]
The NYT tasting panel has some good picks for all your blanc de blancs needs.
SIPPED: malbec, DrBigJ & Stone Temple Pilots?
A new wine shop in Prospect Heights suggests music pairings on their shelf talkers (too bad they also borrow heavily from at least one DrBigJ tasting note without attribution and slap on point scores, instead of pursuing the point-free path). [Village Voice]
SIPPED: carry on
A traveler at Charles De Gaulle airport dropped $60,000 on six bottles of wine. Come on, didn’t he know that there are better values in town? [Metro.co.uk]
Robert Parker has launched an “investigation” into only what transpired in Murcia. And the Institute of Masters of Wine has initiated an investigation into whether Pancho Campo MW has violated their code of conduct. [DrinksBusiness.com]
SPIT: stinky reporting
A microbial enologist laments the lack of rigor in Decanter and Wine Spectator’s recent reporting of sequencing the genome of Brettanomyces, a cause of feral, animale aromas often considered a flaw. She says that while sequencing is an accomplishment and helpful, but “by no means guarantees a solution to winery brett problems.” [wineoscope]
Speaking of sequencing, David Schildknecht hit the airwaves to say that Parker told him almost a year ago that Miller was retiring at the end of 2011. [Jim's Loire]
GAWKERIZED: Recent personnel changes at Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate make Gawker, in typically colorful style.
SIPPED and SPIT: saber rattling
Jim Budd posts more revelations about Pancho Campo and Jay Miller, including emails involving a $31,000 tasting for the wines of Madrid that the regional body could not afford. On his web site, Robert Parker threatens to sue over the recent revelations. Jim Budd pushes back against such a prospect.
A blogger views the events transpiring in Spain through the lens of Aristotelean tragedy. But how does it end? [koskeloonwine]
SIPPED and SPIT: Yao Ming wine
Yao Ming, former NBA player and current wine enthusiast living in Shanghai, has released a Napa cabernet that will sell for $289 a bottle in China (including duties and sales tax). Blake Gray points out that the wine is not from a specific vineyard; Cameron Hughes elaborates in the comments that he bought similar wine for $5 – $25 a gallon on the bulk market. (There are about five wine bottles to the gallon.) A higher-priced wine, Yao Family Reserve, is expected soon. [WSJ, Gray Report]
Over on Chowhound, a commenter wonders if it is okay to bring wine, specifically Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades,” to MASA where the corkage fee is $90. Over on Facebook, Lyle Fass quips that the bling bottle merits that “They should charge your ass double!!” It’s an interesting idea to have restaurants vary corkage fees depending on whether they like a diner’s wine–how much for Chateauneuf du Pape at Masa? Or Yao Ming cab?
SIPPED: Bordeaux brands
How big is your brand extension? Cheval Blanc, one of the wines in the LVMH stable, will include a Paris luxury hotel of the same name. [Decanter.com]
Über-somm David Lynch will open a wine restaurant in SF where all sub-$100 wines will be available as 375ml for half price. Kind of makes you want to try two different halves, no? [SFGate]
Beaujolais from 2009 and 2010 get thumbs up in a thoughtful LA Times article. “Beaujolais is a party,” says a natural winemaker who still seeks to capture the fun of the wine.
SIPPED: wine jobs
Senior account executive (PR), California Direct Sales Manager for an import portfolio, assistant cellarmaster internship at BALTHAZAR, executive assistant to the CEO at Acker Merrall, and more!
SPIT: carbon footprint
A cardboard wine bottle, similar in material to a milk carton, may soon be found in British supermarkets. Its maker claims it has only a tenth the carbon footprint of a glass bottle. [Daily Mail]
Proava.org reported last month that Jay Miller would lead a “master class” of Valencia wines in the region this month. An email to Miller last week requesting comment did not garner a reply. It appears that his visit to neighboring Murcia has been canceled or postponed.
SIPPED: Burgundy in Hong Kong
Interest in Bordeaux softens while “Burgundy’s on fire and sizzling.” [Bloomberg]
SIPPED: summer fun
A fun slide show (from July): A Wine Tour of Collio, by Vespa [NYT]
A 92-year-old woman in Britain was not allowed to buy a bottle of whiskey since she didn’t have ID, only a pacemaker certificate. [Daily Mail]
SIPPED: restaurant advice
Start at the back of a wine list? Levi Dalton offers some excellent and provocative suggestions on how to navigate a wine list based on his covering for my class last week when I was snowed under (literally). [SoYouWantToBeASommelier]
WANTED: 1870 Lafite
A restauranteur friend of the Pentagon chief will uncork an 1870 Lafite Rothschild for him on New Year’s Eve as a result of the successful Bin Laden missin. [CNN]
SIPPED: Malbec for Porsches
Isn’t that the trade that Adam Smith wrote about? It’s happening now in Argentina. [Bloomberg]
The California Alcohol and Beverage Control has issued new regulations on “third-party” marketing and advertising of wine. It was previously a gray area but the reform clarifies and liberalizes. One commentator in this Wines & Vines story suggests that even Amazon, the retail giant that previously called off a foray into the wine biz, might be attracted back to the space now.
And from the annals of wine shop emails, guess which region is under discussion here? “…his intimate knowledge of each butt’s character was incredibly impressive…”
SPIT: carbon footprint
Forget the mode of transport or the weight of the glass bottles; my co-author neglected this in our calculation of wine’s carbon footprint: grape drying by helicopter in Napa! [NPR]
SIPPED: watching grapes grow
Viticulture & Enology is one of the sexiest majors at Cornell. Well, with the helicopter blow driers, why not? (Oh and what type of positioning is happening in their vineyard?!) [CornellSun.com]
SIPPED: wine in food
Short ribs feature at Men’s Health — with a delicious braising wine (and drinking) from Dr. Vino. But will it give you six-pack abs?
SIPPED: more wines at better prices?
The Pennsylvania governor released a report on privatizing the state’s liquor stores. [businessweek]
SIPPED: snappy advice
GQ.com has a fun list of 25 wine tips that may run counter to expectations (cool photos too). If you like your tips in book form, I mentioned many of these items in Dr. Vino’s guide, A Year of Wine.
SIPPED: Yeoman wine
James Conaway, who wrote Napa a couple of decades ago, now turns his eyes and palate to Virginia and its wines on the pages of Garden & Gun (really, who doesn’t get their wine news there?).
So what if Anjou producer Olivier Cousin wrote “Anjou Olivier Cousin” on his box? Well, the authorities that preserve origins already have a monopoly on those initials so
his wrist has been slapped the spanking paddle has been broken out with large fines threatened. [levindesamis]
SIPPED: Bacchanal and bananas
The Montmartre Harvest Festival is underway in Paris, celebrating the one remaining vineyard there, complete with kids’ programming, a parade for Bacchus and a tribute to France’s overseas holdings (not sure of the wine angle there…).
SPIT: brown bags
Wine picnics in Paris: what NYC could emulate if it weren’t for open container laws…enjoy a last gasp of summer this weekend! [Enjoy the photo above and more at WineTerroirs]