James Suckling’s $8,500 briefcase of stemware

james suckling ferragamo briefcase JAMES SUCKLING’S $8,500 FERRAGAMO BRIEFCASE FOR LALIQUE STEMWARE

Really, need we say more? No, but we should point out there’s no scarf included.

Here are some other wine-y things you could do with $8,500:

* Build a 12′ x 5′ wine cellar in your basement with a cooling unit and double stacked wooden racking for 1,000 bottles and a dozen Zalto crystal wine glasses. (Local labor rates may vary.)

* Buy a ten bottles of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Echézeaux, 2011.

* Buy a Eurocave 5290 + one case of Dom Pérignon 2004 and two cases of Billecart Salmon rosé Champagne.

* Buy 284 bottles of Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey’s 2012 white Burgundy.

* Buy 531 bottles of Domaine de la Pepiere Clos des Briords Muscadet 2012.

Wine pour in super slow mo

iPhone 6 Slow Motion Wine Pour 240fps from Osborne Images on Vimeo.

Having fun with the new iPhone’s 240 frames per second, or, super slow-mo.

Club W raises $9.5 million

wine venture funding 213x300 Club W, a wine club that sells private label wine directly to consumers, has raised $9.5 million in its latest round of funding. The company, led by CEO Xander Oxman, had previously raised $3.1 million in a seed round. The WSJ reports that Bessemer Venture Partners led this round; the previous round was led by Crosscut Ventures. The WSJ did not state the company’s valuation at either round.

Part of the Club W pitch includes calling themselves a “global winery” that cuts out all the tiers of the wine biz, including winery, importer, wholesaler, and retailer to offer wines at about $13 each (three a month for $39). Wines have names such as “So this happened…” and “Alchymist noir red blend.” Their web site does not state how they have cracked the perennial wine shipping nut though if the LA-based company is acting as a bonded winery and a licensed importer, the number of states they could ship to could run into the dozens.

In the recent wine venture capital beat, Club W has now soaked up the most funding. Coravin, which stuck its needle into the biotech community, is second. Vivino, the wine app based in Denmark, is running third. Silicon Valley’s Delectable, which closed a $3 million round in May, is fourth.

Lot 18 raised the most venture capital for a wine business post-recession at $44 million. But the company has had layoffs and abandoned the “flash sale” model. In other private equity news, The Wine Advocate sold an controlling stake for reportedly $15 million in late 2012.

Depardieu drinks 14 bottles of wine a day

gerard depardieu 150x150 French wine consumption has been declining for the past fifty years. But one man seems to be taking it upon himself to single-handedly reverse this trend: Gerard Depardieu.

The Frenchman-turned-ruski told the British site So Film, “I can absorb 12, 13, 14 bottles…per day. But I’m never totally drunk, just a little pissed.”

“All you need is a 10-minute nap and voilà, a slurp of rosé wine and I feel as fresh as a daisy!” He added.

He’s not likely to run out of wine since Depardieu owns Chateau de Tigne in Anjou. He once joked that his mother’s amniotic fluid was wine.

Meet the new critic: the electronic tongue

electronic wine tongue
Winemakers who make wines for critics, meet your new overlord: the electronic tongue!

Although artificial, or electronic, tongues have been developed before, researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark have a breakthrough in their application to wine. Now, proteins from human saliva can be mixed with wine in the artificial tongue that can measure the effect of wine’s astringency, or tannins, on the tongue via a gold-plated nanosensor.

So welcome to the the new era of wine reviewing, where, instead of nonsense wine descriptors, the robo-tongue can just cut straight to the chase and spit out scores!

Full story

Nested wine glass aims to pace you

Screen shot 2014 09 09 at 7.54.38 AM

Drink a glass of water for every glass of wine and you’ll emerge from the evening hangover-free. Such is common wisdom and some French design students have made some new nesting glassware, hand blown in Holland, that help drinkers comply with this maxim.

However, in his book Proof: the Science of Booze, Adam Rogers pours cold water on the idea. He writes that academic research on hangovers has not demonstrated dehydration, or a lower level of electolytes, as the cause of hangover severity.

So I guess it’s a good thing the the designers of the nested wine glass told Dezeen that their main goal is to reduce the over-consumption of alcohol, not prevent hangovers. Apparently having a little water after wine will slow the guzzlers down? Well, even if not, enjoy the cool glasses.

Back to school with my new NYU wine class

wine barrels This fall, all you grown ups can go back to school thanks to my NYU wine class.

Now in its ninth year, the course provides a lively forum to discuss hot-button issues of the wine world, explore key countries and regions, as well as taste at least six wines each session.

It runs for six weekly sessions from October 15 through November 19. It’s always fun to see site readers in the class–hope to meet you there!

Full details and registration.

Wines under $20: Ott (Gruner edition)

ott gruner am berg There’s a hilarious story that runs every August: they’re running out of rosé in The Hamptons! Predictably, it ran again this week. There are tons of great rosés out there (both still AND sparkling, ahem, Hamptons-goers) but the good ones do tend to sell out early in the season. So stock them early for subsequent stashing in sea planes!

Rather than mention other rosés, I’m going to pivot and talk about Ott. Domaine Ott is the pink object of much desire in the Hamptons. But wine enthusiasts would be very will served to take an Austrian turn and try Bernhard Ott’s 2013 Gruner Veltliners. I poured the Am Berg at a private tasting on the Upper East Side the other day and this was the crowd favorite for its verve, minerality and crackle. The best thing too: it was the cheapest 750ml wine at the tasting, ringing up at $19.99, in part thanks hailing from the Wagram rather than the more tony Wachau. (Find Ott Gruner Am Berg at retail)

Oh, and if you want some bubbly, the 2012 Knauss Riesling Sekt Zero also turned heads with stylish packaging (below) as well as purity on the palate. (Find Knauss Sekt Zero at retail)

Actually, I take it all back: who needs these prices to run up? Read more…


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