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]
On his bulletin board, Robert Parker calls a “courageous visionary” who will say “enough is enough” and drop Bordeaux prices 20% for the 2010 vintage from the previous year. He later shrugged off any personal responsibility in the rise.
Chateau Pontent-Canet released their price for 2010 (about $140 a bottle at US stores) and it was up 39% over 2009 and 113% over 2005. Jancis Robinson tweeted: “Dio mio – crazeee. Those horses can’t be that expensive to feed?”
SWITCHED: How to get a $3,000 bottle of Petrus for just $3? Why, swap the price tags! #duh [decanter.com]
SIPPED: judging wine by its label
Grub Street has a lengthy breakdown on how mileage picking wine based on label designs will get you. My take: not much.
SPIT: glug glug
Minimum prices for box wine the land of plenty? A 300% tax increase in box wine Down Under might cut down on women glowing and men plundering (or, at least, chundering). #menatwork [smh.com.au]
Wegmans pulls the plug on wine kiosks in Pennsylvania citing problems and consumer complaints. Is the sun already setting on this PLCB experiment? [Forbes]
Diddy’s Bad Boy staff will receive etiquette training including how to hold a wine glass. As slatewine put it, “Pass the Courvoisier, correctly.” And maybe not to spill the Cristal on the floor? Sheesh! [nypost]
Francis Ford Coppola says that he wants to make more elegant wines by reducing alcohol and oak and increasing freshness in his newly revitalized Inglenook wine. While tasting is believing, it is notable to hear a Napa vintner articulating such a position. [decanter]
Also: Groupon files to raise $750 million in an IPO.
And… Jon Stewart riffs on a Coppola character by chewing out Donald Trump about New York pizza.
SIPPED: An invitation to piracy?
A load of 10,000 bottles of Bordeaux 2009 make their way to London via olde tyme sailboat. While the carbon footprint is near zero, someone needs to man the deck to keep an eye out for Bordeaux pirates. Avast me hearties! [dailymail]
SIPPED: fanning the flames?
“When the Chinese are willing to buy your entire year’s production, it is difficult to resist,” says Xavier de Eizaguirre of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. [Telegraph] Reports from other producers are not quite as bold for 2010.
SIPPED: US bling
A bottle of ’45 DRC RC sold for $124k at auction to…an American buyer! Perhaps the Chinese still remain focused on Bordeaux.
SIPPED: tiny profits
Wine.com, which has had troubles over the past decade or more, is making money: about $45 mln in FY2010 revenue, though only $800k profits, or about two percent. FY2011 revenue climbed 26% to $56 million. [bizjournals]
HOW TO maintain the stigma of box wine: prohibit “quality wine” from going in it, as is happening in British Columbia. [Wines & Vines]
Bursting melons! In China, thanks to overdoses of the “growth chemical” forchlorfenuron. US authorities allow it on kiwis and grapes, apparently. [AP]
SIPPED: running the numbers
With all the discussion about alcohol levels in wine, I’m pleased that the results of an extensive story I did for Wine & Spirits magazine is now online. (See our summary discussion.) In the story, we analyzed 84 randomly selected wines for alcohol levels and had some surprising findings.
SIPPED: Stiff upper lip
Foreign diplomats can brace themselves for a general downgrading of wine at British official functions. The Foreign Office has decided to dump the claret in the 39,500-bottle cellar and fund future wine purchases from it. The cellar is valued at about £800,000 ($1.3 million). But the most important question: will James Bond’s budget also be slashed from Angelus? [Guardian]
SIPPED: expense accounts
Sign o’ the times: the British may be selling but the Chinese are buying. Even if they’re not supposed to. Case(s) in point: officials at the state oil company, SINOPEC, splashed out $245,000 for bottle of Lafite and old Moutai. [WSJ]
SIPPED: judgment day?
Apparently the world is ending on May 21! Champagne and caviar tonight?
Drill, baby, drill! “Dentist Serves Beer and Wine to Anxious Patients” [NBC]