PBS has a three-part documentary airing next month about Prohibition. It’s directed by Ken Burns and based on the book “Last Call” by Daniel Okrent. Fire up the TiVo to see the battle of the “wets” vs the “drys”: the first episode is entitled “A Nation of Drunkards.” [WITF]
Professor Lena Brattsten has offered a wine appreciation course to Rutgers undergrads for twenty years. And for twenty years, it has had an outlandishly long wait list. Remind me: Why aren’t there more undergraduate wine classes? [Rutgers.edu]
SIPPED: Manhattan harvest
A blogger joins what is perhaps Manhattan’s only grape harvest, 350 pounds from a single labrusca vine on the UES dubbed Chateau Latif. [Treehugger]
SIPPED: a Riesling rap
“My Riesling’s so tasty/I drink it so hasty/because it plays well with sausages in their casings.” [youtube]
A touching piece that balances the pleasure of learning about wine with the horror of 9/11. [esquire]
The Muscadet region, known for quantity over quality, now boasts three sites officially recognized as superior, as crus, including Clisson. So glad the authorities are catching up! [larvf.fr]
SNAPPED: fun pics of the 2011 harvest in the Loire (one of which is above). [Wine Terroirs]
HAMMERED: $500k of Lafite
A vertical of 25 solid cases of Lafite from 1981-2005 sold for $539,280 to an “anonymous Chinese phone bidder” at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. Great way to dump those ’91s! [WSJ]
SIPPED: going postal: The budgetary crisis at the US Postal Service puts wine shipping on the table. [NYT]
Mike Steinberger summarizes the recent reactions–and adds his own–to Parker’s recent report on tasting fraudulent wines. [winediarist]
My next NYU wine course runs Oct 12 – Nov 16. Registration and details.
Lafite actually declined eight percent since April. [Liv-Ex]
SIPPED: getting pissy
Gerard Depardieu, vineyard owner, makes air travel fun for everyone. [NYPost]
An iPhone app tells you if you’re buzzed. But you don’t breathe into; rather, it’s a sobriety test of data entry. Would Gerard have passed the test?
Wine in Thailand: It’s not just for old, rich folks anymore, apparently. [BK]
SPIT and left for dead: bad web design
A Slate columnist examines the incredible suckiness of restaurant websites. Winery web developers, take a look!
SIPPED: keepin’ it klassy
Forget screwcap or cork: a company has just been authorized to put Bordeaux in a can. That should solve their marketing problems to young people since it will now be easier to shotgun!
SIPPED: robots again
Robots, last seen in our 2006 threat-down, are again meancing the sommelier class with their e-tongues! The new challenge comes from Catalonia but fortunately a somm bats it down at the bottom of the story. The world of dining remains safe for humans! But will the e-tongues threaten critics next, dunking into wine and spitting out points? [CNN]
SPIT: 2010 Bordeaux futures
Simon Staples of BBR in London says that total Bordeaux 2010 futures declined by 50% from the previous year, citing high prices and small releases from the chateaus. Only five percent of sales went to Asia. But auctions are still growing at a 46% clip in the first half. [Bloomberg]
SIPPED: winery stores
A new law in NY will allow wineries to open up to five sales rooms throughout the state. That’s all well and good, but why should wine stores owners still be limited to only one store in the state?
Young Austrian winemakers have posed scantily clad for a calendar to boost…awareness! Of Austrian wine. Which one is Miss Gru Vee again? Appearing later this year: a calendar of old hag winemakers from the mountains. [Decanter]
CRASHED: shipping container
A forklift lifted 462 cases of wine 20 feet in the air! No, this isn’t the Guinness World Record for machinery; instead, the load fell to the ground destroying the Australian shiraz therein. Although the vintner, Sparky Marquis, is crying over spilled wine, he was also insured. [NYT]
RJonwine has a detailed account of this past weekend’s conference of wine bloggers in Charlottesville, VA. He decried the preponderance of “paid-sponsor presentations” on the program. Another blogger who is disenchanted with blogging finds the whole event salvaged by hanging out in the wee hours with fellow wine enthusiasts.
SIPPED: me on the teevee
Well, sort of. Thirteen.org has a new magazine called MetroFocus, which has an article on NY wines. Spot the Dr, Vino quotage, more or less accurate!
SIPPED: informative infographics
A very cool map of world trade in wine from Rabobank. Just wish it were higher res!
In honor or “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” bringing their weekly news quiz to the NYT, we offer a news roundup this week in quiz format.
1) According to a new study released, the Napa Valley will be “unsuitable” for what by the year 2040?
a) Luxury resorts
b) Walnut trees
c) Premium grape growing
2) Surveillance cameras captured a former sommelier attempting theft, casually walking off with a Read more…
SIPPED/NOT SIPPED: Presidential wine
President Obama dined at restaurant Daniel in NYC last night. Wine director Daniel Johnnes (pictured above, right) tweeted that the wine selections would include Sandhi Chardonnay made by his friend sommelier Raj Parr. He tweeted: “Sandhi means alliance. What could be better?” But chef Boulud himself joined the discussion: ” Sorry @danieljohnnes , the #President @barackobama is not drinking tonight.”
SMOKED: something powerful!
In re: Bordeaux 2010 futures: “The wines are actually great value and I hope that the very good results of last year will be confirmed this year.” -Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux & French Foreign Minister [decanter]
SIPPED: bigg eurozzz
Liv-Ex compiles a list estimating the 50 Bordeaux chateaus worth more than 50 million euros.
Sommelier Levi Dalton rounds up “the sommeliers I’ve rapped with.” [SoYouWantToBeASommelier]
ALMOST SIPPED: ABC gum (not gum arabic)
I like unfiltered wine but, really, can’t they get the chewing gum out before selling? [BBC]
You can make lemons into lemonade. But coal slag heaps into wine? It’s happening in Pas-de-Calais in France. [WSJ]
SPIT: vineyard development?
In other vineyard development news, deforesting 2,000 acres for proposed vineyards meets resistance in Sonoma. [AP]
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, celebrated the team’s NBA victory by ordering a $90,000 of Ace of Spades Champagne. No word on the exact size of the “huge” bottle, but I’m sure it was drained faster than you could say Salamanzar. While congratulations are in order for the Mavs’ victory of the Heat, the mere idea of spending $90,000 on a bottle of nonvintage Champagne really does make one wonder if Cuban is trying to make the idea of a billionaires’ tax seem like a worthy idea. Of note: he did leave a $20,000 tip. [MSN]
SIPPED: mo money
More Bordeaux 2010 prices have been released. Tim Atkin discusses one broker who said “enough is enough” when it came to Ruazan-Segla. And Mike Steinberger launches a discussion on why there’s no outrage about high Burgundy prices.
SIPPED: white Burgundy, 2008 edition
The ’08 white burgundies get some love from Eric Asimov. But, shh, don’t tell anybody because then the remaining wines in the market will get hoovered up! [NYT]
SIPPED: lots of Woodbridge
Richard Sands, CEO of Constellation Brands (owner of Robert Mondavi among others) made $8.43 million in FY2011. Robert Sands, his brother and chairman, made $7.79 million. Did they pop any Ace of Spades? [ABC]