Veuve Clicquot tablets sparkle on the internets

veuve clicquot tablets
How would it sound if you could carry tablets of Veuve Clicquot in your handbag and drop then in water to make a glass of the famous bubbly? To those who drive popular brand to sales of over a half a million cases a year in the US, that sounds like their kind of “plop, plop, fizz, fizz.”

Photos of Veuve Clicquot tablets have surfaced on the internets today and some have latched on to the story as real. But it is actually a hoax, put out by a “Russian communication agency.” So there you have it. Apparently the muckety mucks at LVMH are none-too-happy about this. But given the legs the story has had, maybe it’s an idea they should explore commercially? Well, maybe some producer in another region will…

Find Veuve Cliquot (bottled) at retail Read more…

Quick takes: Questioning the IMW; rebuffing Resy

wine bottles

“The IMW is little more than an elitist club, accessible by invitation only, designed to keep the riff-raff and rabble out.”

Such is one nugget in a trenchant opinion column on the Institute of Masters of Wine that appears on Harpers.co.uk. Be sure to check out the comments.

* * * *

What to do when demand for restaurant reservations exceeds the supply? Some restaurants, such as the innovative Alinea and sister restaurant Next, adjust the menu prices higher to coincide with peak demand times (check out this Big Data blog from Nick Kakonas of Alinea). For others, there reservation scalpers have emerged, much to the disdain of restaurateurs. A third way of creating a secondary market for reservations has emerged where diners pay surcharges for peak dining times and start-ups share share those demand charges with restaurants.

One SF restaurant owner says he rebuffs all such approaches as “borderline offensive.” [SF Gate]

I am intrigued by these sites but, while they may work for certain people, if one restaurant were full, I’d simply try another. What do you think about the value of these apps/sites?

Archeologists dismayed that ancient wine cup was not varietal-specific

pericles

Archeologists have found a wine cup that is attributed to the Greek statesman, Pericles.

Amazed at they detail of they cup, they were, however, dismayed that the earthen cup was not varietal-specific.

Full story

California law allows undergrads to sip and spit–for credit

wine tasting winery Being an undergrad and drinking may appear to go hand in hand. But now they can legally go together in California. Well, sipping and spitting, that is.

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a the so-called “sip and spit” bill last week. As of next year, California students enrolled in beer or winemaking classes will legally be able to sample beer and wine in a class. They do have to be at least 18, but that’s a three-year jump on the legal minimum age for drinking. California has many places to study winemaking, including UC Davis is one of America’s leading faculties in viticulture and enology. The Golden State also produces 89% of American wine and is home to many leading craft breweries, including stalwarts like Sierra Nevada as well as Stone, Russian River Brewing, and Lagunitas, among many others.

While the law may seem silly–no swallowing, young’uns!–it is a terrific advance for American wine. Many colleges and universities across America are offering wine appreciation classes as wine consumption has risen for 20 consecutive years. Hopefully, this new law will inspire other states to consider similar legislation and remove a legal obstacle to the next generation of hipster wine and beer makers. If there’s something that really sets (young) American wine consumers apart, it is their curiosity and relatively high level of knowledge. This new law will only help the trend.

Phil Mickelson drinks $40k DRC – sipped & spit

phil mickelson claret jug Phil Mickelson has really made the most of having the “Claret Jug” since winning the British Open last year. How much? He told the Scotsman about his Bacchanal:

“I’ve loved having the Jug with me for the last 12 months,” he confirms. “The people who know and love the game get a big kick out of it. They really appreciate what it means to hold such a famous trophy. And drink out of it. I only let them drink the good stuff of course. There’s been nothing in there that is sub-par. But the best was a 1990 bottle of Romanée Conti wine. It wasn’t on my dime thankfully. It costs about $40,000.”

SIPPED & SPIT: In other wine news, Massachusetts consumers will soon be able to order wine from wineries more freely. Congratulations–now make the same legislation apply to wine shops. [gazette.net]

SIPPED: Barolo has received designation as a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The recognition includes several nearby communes, including Barbaresco. [Decanter]

SPIT: Treasury Wine Estates, the Australian wine producer with falling net income, is on the block. But one suitor has been spurned: KKR. The American private equity firm bid A$4.70 a share but word leaked and the shares are now at $5.05. [Bloomberg]

BYTES: IBM’s Watson supercomputer, tired of competing in Jeopardy!, now has its own BBQ sauce. Wait until Watson tries making wine! [NPR]

G.D. Vajra in Barolo – “clean traditionalist”

giuseppe vajra Giuseppe Vaira was caught in a fight when he was in elementary school. It wasn’t the sort of meet-you-at-the-bike-racks kind of thing. No, it encapsulated what might happen only to the son of a winemaker, or even the son of a Barolo winemaker. He was classmates with two other kids who were also from wine families. One said proudly that he was the son of a modernist winemaker while the other said proudly that she was the daughter of a traditionalist. No doubt, both the kids harrumphed, crossed their arms, and turned their backs to each other.

Giuseppe was flummoxed. Which camp did his family winery fall into? Read more…

New York City has the world’s best wine lists: WFW

WFW Infographics World sm

New York City has the most top wine lists in the world according to a new ranking from the World of Fine Wine. London is second, San Francisco third, and Chicago fourth according to the British publication, which rolled out the annual awards for best wine lists for the first time this year.

Instead of taking the measure of a wine list’s length, the panel of experts looked at quality. Here’s how Neil Beckett, the magazine’s editor put it in a press release, “As we were judging, we had in mind the wise words of our fellow judge Francis Percival about the difference between ‘a great wine list and a mere list with great wines on it’.” More about the wine list judging methods can be found on the WFW site. It is not immediately clear if the restaurants had to pay a fee in the nomination process. And it’s not clear if value/markups played a role in the deliberations.

In all, 224 restaurants achieved the top grade, a three-star rating. The list of New York’s 36 restaurants follows after the jump. Read more…

Burgundy gets hammered (by hail) — again

hail burgundy
A violent hailstorm sprayed large hailstones over some Burgundy vineyards leaving many incipient grapes destroyed. Anne Parent of Domaine Parent in Pommard, described the violent storm as a “like a machine-gun attack” of the vines, even though it lasted only three minutes.

While the damage has yet to be tallied across the region, some initial assessments are putting the loss at 40 – 90 percent of the crop with Volnay, Pommard, Meursault, and Beaune getting hit the hardest. “It’s a catastrophe,” said Jean-Louis Moissenet, the president of the Pommard winemakers’ association was quoted in The Telegraph as saying. “We were heading for a good year, but now that has fallen through.” Last year, the region was also hit by a devastating hailstorm.

The effects were localized. Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Morey St Denis tweeted: “At this point, impacted berries that should dry out and fall off. Canopy seems mostly OK in CdN [Cotes de Nuits].”

Some growers have tried to use “hail cannons” (a rudimentary one pictured below; others here), which fire silver iodide into the atmosphere in an attempt to turn the hailstones into rain. The effectiveness of these machines is debated.

In other parts of the world, growers put hail nets in place to protect fruit, including grapes and other fruit trees. Even though they are less pleasing to the eye than simply rows of vines, AOC rules sometimes disallow nets. Further, some skeptics of nets say that they reduce the amount of light the plant receives. But should they be allowed?

The hailstorm is very sad news that will undoubtedly make some growers re-think pinning their financial hopes on the roulette of Mother Nature. And it will likely reduce the crop from some of my favorite appellations, which will compound the problem of rising Burgundy prices. Read more…


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