No events
June 2020
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Blog Calendar - Wine

« June 2020 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          

Australian Wine Blogs

05 June 2020

Australian Wine Blogs
  • 5 tips for wine tasting
    05 June 2020

    A few weeks ago I signed up to do my WSET2. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but decided this year would be the year! One of the good things about social distancing is that courses that you would normally need to take time off to do are going online, making them more accessible for everyone! So I’ve been whittling away at this course and learning so much! When I was thinking about what to write about this week, I thought it would be nice to share some of the takeaways I’ve found really useful so far in a tips for wine tasting article.

    WSET2 is a course that anyone can take to learn more about wine. It isn’t cheap, but it helps you understand how to taste wine and learn about the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown, and the styles of wine they produce. I just love drinking wine and don’t really believe in getting too serious about enjoying it, but I’m hoping that doing this certification will help me write better articles for you all – so we can all benefit!

    I’ve already done an article on how to taste wine before, which gives you a general guide to the wine tasting process. But I wanted to share a few more nuggets of information I’ve learnt to help you with your wine tasting! So here are my top 5 tips for wine tasting.

    Tip for wine tasting #1: You can taste the alcohol level

    Via Giphy

    This may seem a little silly, but hear me out. The alcohol level is something that you can use to understand a wine more. Now, it is on the label, so you can totally cheat! But if you want to learn how to pick it up in a wine, you totally can. Alcohol level will appear on the palate and give you an indication of how alcoholic the wine is pretty quickly. This might seem like something you’ll find in all wines, but after you try this with a few wines, you’ll see that they do vary!

    So how do you taste the alcohol level in a wine? Simply take a sip of the wine and swirl it around your mouth. After a little, if the wine is a high alcohol wine you’ll start to get a burning sensation in your palate and sometimes in your nose! Once you notice this it can be a bit overwhelming and sometimes envelop the flavours of the wine, making it hard to pick them. Sometimes this means the wine is out of balance. But it will give you an indication of how alcoholic the wine is – the more burn you get, the more alcohol.

    Something like a Zinfandel or Shiraz is going to have this sensation on the palate, both being high alcohol wines. But a White Zinfandel will have none of this sensation (the one we tried was 8.5% alcohol).

    Tip for wine tasting #2: Alcohol is usually related to body

    Via Giphy

    This tip for wine tasting flows on from the other. My partner really struggles with the concept of wine body, and so I thought this was a good one to share. The body can be light, medium or full in a wine. They described this as the difference between water or milk in your mouth. Not the creaminess, but the heaviness of the feeling of the liquid. Confused? Well, there’s a neat little trick to pick up on the body.

    The body is pretty much linked to alcohol content. So if you get a real burn in the palate from the alcohol, it’s pretty likely that the wine is a full-bodied wine. Think about a Shiraz that is quite alcoholic and full of bold flavours. This is usually a full-bodied wine. On the other hand, something like a Sauvignon Blanc won’t have as much alcohol content so is a light-bodied wine. This doesn’t always apply – for example, Pinot Noir is usually light-bodied but can have higher alcohol content. But this simple trick can give you a bit of an indication of the wine body.

    Tip for wine tasting #3: Length is in the flavour

    Via Giphy

    One thing that really stumped me was picking the length of a wine. This is how long the wine sticks around in your mouth. You’d think this would be an easy thing to pick. But wines have a little trick up their sleeve that can stump you. You see, there are other things that stick around on the palate that might make you think the wine has length, but it doesn’t. These are mainly sugar, acid, tannin and alcohol. All these elements come together to make your taste buds do a little dance that you might mistake for length. But a wine’s length is actually in the flavour and how long these flavours sit on your tongue.

    So what wines have a length? Well, if you can pick the flavours out in a glass of wine, and can taste them for a long time afterwards, this wine has length. If they drop off right away, it has a short length. If those raspberry type flavours are sitting in your mouth for a long time, you’ll be pretty safe to say the wine has length. Just try to split the actual flavours out from the acid, tannin, sugar and alcohol. I found it really helped me to take two sips: one for the flavour, and one for these other components. Separating them out makes it easier to pick them!

    Tip for wine tasting #4: Red and black fruit for red wines, tropical and stone for white wine

    Via Giphy

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I find picking flavours in wines really hard. I will smell a wine and love the aromas, but putting a name on them is another story! This course is helping me to start identifying these better, and I learnt a tip which might help!

    There are plenty of types of fruits in wines, but they can be split into 4 categories: red fruit, black fruit, tropical fruit and stone fruit. Now it can be hard to narrow down fruits within these groups, particularly when you’re thinking across all of them. But there’s a way to narrow it down that will help you pick the fruits more easily. In general, when tasting a glass of red wine, flavours will come from red and black fruit. When tasting white wine, flavours generally come from tropical and stone fruit. Once you’ve got that down pat, you can pick one of the two as you smell. Then within that, start to narrow it down even further. Is it strawberry or raspberry? Nectarine or Apricot. This is really hard to do, but something fun to practice!

    Tip for wine tasting #5: Acid can be found on the side of your tongue

    Via Giphy

    The final tip is about picking acid. Acid can be low, medium or high in a bottle of wine, and there’s a pretty easy way to pick it because it will do some fun things to your taste buds! Acid is essential for making a wine balanced and giving it a good lift, so having it in a wine is a good thing as long as it is balanced out with other things.

    So how do you pick acid in wine? Swirl the wine around your mouth. The more acid it has, the more sensation you’ll get on the sides of your tongue. The wine will make you salivate automatically if it is high in acid. If it is low, you won’t get this sensation, or it will be very subtle. This is why high acid wines are great with food because they get your palate ready!

    In summary: tips for wine tasting

    I hope these 5 tips for wine tasting help you when you are tasting wine. It’s most certainly not something you need to do to enjoy wine! If you just want to sip on your wine in peace, I salute you! Go enjoy your glass or two without thinking too much about it. But if you want to learn about the wine your drinking and why you like it or don’t, tasting can really help. It might also help you understand some of the descriptors you’ll see on wine or at wine tastings.

    What’s your favourite wine tasting tip? I’d love to hear more!

    The post 5 tips for wine tasting appeared first on The Cheeky Vino wine blog.

  • Jules Taylor Chardonnay 2019
    05 June 2020
    Grilled stonefruit, creamynut and nougat on the aroma; toast adds to that proposition on the palate. 

    A lingering toast and depth on the palate is driven by a vein of citrus acidity, a wine of lingering intensity, a wine you'll not find wanting. 92 

    Tasted on: Monday 30th March
    Source: Sample
    Price: $30
    Alcohol: 13.5%
    Closure: Screwcap
    Website: https://www.julestaylor.com/

    Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac
  • Main Divide Pinot Noir 2015
    05 June 2020

    Having spent a few days in New Zealand's Waipara district a few months ago, my love for Pinot from this region was rekindled. This second tier label release from Pegasus Bay is a beauty!

    Waipara is a New Zealand region that doesn't get the kudos it deserves. Of late, I have been keenly looking for Waipara wines on the retail shelves here in Australia. The offerings are skinny admittedly, but today, I stumbled across this fabulous wine.

    An alluring depth and density get your attention from the outset. Dark chocolate, some meatiness, puffs of earth and dried herbs reach out for an embrace and have me hooked. Dark cherry and plum fruits tick along without fuss yet command respect and attention. I love the depth and I love the width on offer - how good! Drying and powdery like tannins casually brush themselves through the mouth and flag the need for another sip or three. Oh, what the heck... Gimme another glass! Big love!

    Drink to eight years.

    94/100

    Region: Waipara, NZ
    RRP: $35
    Source: Retail

    Winery Website

    Subscribe to Qwine here

    Follow me: Twitter Qwine  Instagram QwineReviews 



  • Ridgemill Estate Pinot Noir 2018
    04 June 2020
    A chance to re-appraise this, some six months on from first review. It was included as part of a tasting pack procured for an online tasting, and boy has it grown - this feels - and tastes - a very different wine to that tasted back in November 2019.

    Opening with a melange of delicious, black, bramble fruit. There's a subtle savoury hint, married to the inherent fruit.

    The palate shows succulent and juicy fruit presence, over a fine tannin profile that delivers exquisite length to the wine. That missing x-factor I'd previously mentioned has certainly appeared. 93 

    Tasted on: Wednesday 8th April 
    Source: Tasting
    Price: $30
    Alcohol: 14%
    Closure: Screwcap
    Website: https://ridgemillestate.com/

    Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac
  • Tenuta di Fessina Etna Rosso 'Erse'
    04 June 2020

    The 2015 Fessina Etna Rosso 'Erse'is grown on volcanic soil on the northern slopes of Mt. Etna. It is a blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel.

    The colour of the wine is an attractive bright ruby. It suggests a very pure wine, which is born out on the vibrant palate. Red cherry and raspberry fruit is augmented by minerality, smoke and salinity leading to an attractive, finely textured mouthfeel. The wine is medium-bodied, with medium acidity and fine, but firm tannins. The finish is medium at best. The flavour profile is the strength of this wine, more so than its structure. I liked this wine a lot.

    Score: 92/+++ 

  • Terre à Terre Crayères Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    04 June 2020
    Seemingly finding the house pattern for the wine, initial fermentation in stainless steel before time in large format French demi-muids (640 litre fermentation vessels!).

    Something like a buttery, caramelised sensation of patisserie, over underlying essence of Quince and almond paste. It's certainly rich, creamy, inviting - nothing like the commercial style Sauvignon that sully thisgreat white's hopes. 

    Creamy palate, yet with a cut and thrust of spiny grapefruit acidity down the length of the palate. Finishes long, gloriously textural, you just know this has the meat and the bones to develop over the mid term. 94 

    Tasted on: Monday 20th April 
    Source: Sample
    Price: $40
    Alcohol: 13.1%
    Closure: Screwcap
    Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/

    Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac
  • Heartland Spice Trader Shiraz 2015
    04 June 2020

    A quality five year old Shiraz for $17. How do they do it for the money?

    Solid mid week drinking right here. The back label says 'powerful black fruit' and you can't argue with that. These Hearthland wines are always hefty and generous. It's earthy with dark chocolate and exotic spices. The depth matches it's broad reach and the hum of those spices ride long adding some pleasant warmth to the mouth on close. Tick!

    Drink to five years. 

    89/100

    Region: Langhorne Creek
    RRP: $17
    Source: Sample

    Winery Website

    Subscribe to Qwine here

    Follow me: Twitter Qwine  Instagram QwineReviews 



  • Heartland Spice Trader Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    04 June 2020

    Like its Shiraz sibling, this is a rock solid wine for $17.

    Strong scents of capsicum on opening but these settle with time in the glass. Cut green herbs, black olives and dried sage fly the flag for the savoury characters present. A gentle of rub of mint saunters through as well. Blackcurrants and black berries take a back as drying tannins swoop and take control leaving the mouth puckering. Slow cooked meals and a glass of this on a chilly night will do the trick.

    Drink to five years. 

    88/100

    Region: Langhorne Creek
    RRP: $17
    Source: Sample

    Winery Website

    Subscribe to Qwine here

    Follow me: Twitter Qwine  Instagram QwineReviews 



  • Feudo Arancio Nero d'Avola 2018
    03 June 2020
    In 2000 Gruppo Mezzacorona recognised the untapped potential of Sicily and invested in replanting and rebuilding two estates along the ventilated Southern coast of the island. A significant producer from the island.

    I gave this a good decant prior. On pouring it's deep, dark, sullen - with woody spice adding to that. Somewhat like dipping into Grandpa's rolling baccy pouch whilst sitting in front of a log fire that crackles away.

    Touches of fennel add an aromatic lift; the palate is plush and nigh sensuous with a chewy tannin profile that you feel compelled to roll around the palate. It certainly carries a relaxing vibe to it; languid, unhurried. 91 

    Tasted on: Monday 18th May
    Source: Sample
    Price: $20
    Alcohol: 13%
    Closure: Screwcap
    Website: www.feudoarancio.it/en-gb
    Sample Courtesy of: www.singlevineyards.com

    Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac
  • La Violetta Patio Pet Nat 2020
    03 June 2020
    Riesling and Moscato form a union here for this Pet Nat from the hands of AJ Hoadley in WA's Great Southern.

    Offering Quince, bready hints - apricot Danish style, - with a subtle muskyness to boot. Aromas transform into flavour across the palate. A lively petillence carrying the wine further, leaving in its wake a flavour akin to something florally from Nana's wardrobe circa 1982 (yeah I'm that old). 

    It's fresh, fragrant, and dangerously Smashable. A BIG yes from me. 91 

    Tasted on: Thursday 28th May
    Source: Retail
    Price: $30
    Alcohol: TBC
    Closure: Crown Seal 
    Website: http://laviolettawines.com.au/

    Follow me: http://twitter.com/TheVinsomniac

Wine Investment Blogs

05 June 2020

Wine Investment Blogs
  • Pandemic Mode 2020 Harvest: Southern Hemisphere Wine Lessons
    04 June 2020

    One way that wine differs from beer is that whereas beer can be produced pretty much continuously throughout the year, there is only one opportunity to make wine. A crisis that comes at harvest time is therefore especially disruptive and unwelcome. And that”s exactly what happened to wine producers in the Southern Hemisphere this year.

    The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) recently organized an important webinar on the experience of Southern Hemisphere wine producers harvesting their 2020 vintage just as the coronavirus pandemic threat became clear and lock down policies initiated. View a recording of the webinar by clicking on the image above.

    Presenters (see list below) from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina each highlighted the particular problems that they faced and how they managed these challenges. The stories are very different with many lessons to learn and puzzles to ponder.

    After the five presentations (at about 1:11 on the video) moderator António Graça asks each presenter to summarize the most important lessons in the form of a tweet.  The discussion that follows focuses on practical problems and the search for solutions. The analysis of successes and failures is worth your attention.

    One of the clear lessons cited by several speakers is that communications must be clear, transparent, and omni-directional. Everyone needs to be on the same page. One of the failures cited by two speakers was the inability to convince government regulators of the importance of the wine sector in the national economy and therefore the need for more favorable treatment and accommodating protocols. In part it’s that “we only get one chance” thing — at some point harvest delayed is harvest wasted.

    The webinar is required viewing for winery businesses and organizations everywhere — in the Northern Hemisphere because we should learn from our colleagues south of the equator and for Southern Hemisphere producers because this may not be the last time such a crisis is experienced.

    SPEAKERS

    • Tony Battaglene, Australia /  Chief Executive of Australian Grape and Wine Incorporated
      Jeffrey Clarke, New Zealand / General Manager Advocacy & General Counsel of New Zealand Winegrowers
    • Yvette Van Der Merwe, South Africa / Executive Manager, South Africa Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS)
    • Aurelio Montes, Chile / President, Wines of Chile
    • Daniel Rada, Argentina / Director, Argentine Wine Observatory / Professor of International Economics, National University of Cuyo, Argentina

    MODERATOR

    • António Graça, Head of Research and Development at Sogrape Vinhos SA, Secretary of Sustainable Development and Climate Change experts group – OIV
  • Wine Book Review: Laura Catena’s Gold in the Vineyards
    03 June 2020

    Laura Catena, Gold in the Vineyards: Illustrated Stories of the World’s Most Celebrated Vineyards (Catapulta Editores). Illustrated by Fernando Adorneti (Caveman).

    Nicholas Catena had to make a choice. His chosen career as an economics professor? Or the family wine business, Bodega Catena Zapata, which was threatened, along with the rest of Argentina’s wine sector, by shifting and unstable economic currents?

    Prof. Catena met Robert Mondavi during a spell as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and then made his choice. He gave up the academic life and went back to Argentina inspired by Mondavi’s determination to make New World wines as good as the best the Old World could offer.

    I suppose that Prof. Catena’s daughter Laura must have faced a career choice, too, at some point. Pursue a career as a medical doctor in the United States, where she studied at Harvard and Stanford and raised a family? Or return to Argentina to advance her family’s vision of wine excellence and help guide the business through more turbulent times? Tough choice. Impossible to do both. But both is what she does. Amazing.

    She is an author, too, and a good one.  Sue and I enjoyed her 2010 book Vino Argentino and took it with us on our first trip to Mendoza. We learned a lot about the development of the Argentina wine industry from this book and it helped us meet people, too, when Sue would ask winemakers to autograph the sections of the book where they appeared. Big smiles! There are even a few recipes — Dr. Catena’s chimichurri  often features (along with Mendoza Malbec) on steak night.

    Dr. Catena’s new book, Gold in the Vineyards, is very different from Vino Argentino. At first glance you wonder if it is for adults or children? The answer (typical, I suppose, for Laura Catena) is probably both. The reason this question comes up is that the book is lavishly illustrated with colorful drawings and cartoons that make it look a bit like a children’s book. And Dr. Catena tells us that she was actually inspired by the illustrated books she loved as a child.

    I think this book might be a good way to introduce young people to the world of wine, but adults are the main audience and they will find plenty to enjoy (and learn) here. Each of the 12 chapters tells the story of a famous wine producer, starting with Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Tuscany’s Antinori and ending with Catena Zapata, with stops along the way that include California (Harlan Estate) and Australia (Henschke’s Hill of Grace) along with other global icons.

    Each chapter tells a story in words and pictures and includes interesting infographics, too.  What do the chapters have in common? What is the moral of the story (books, especially children’s books, need to convey a message)?

    Looking back through the chapters I find three threads that run through the text. The first is the power of place. Dr. Catena is a terroirist, as you will know especially from her discussion of Catena Zapata’s Adrianna Vineyard. The second thread is the power of family, because the wineries that appear here all drew strength from their family bonds.

    The final thread is the power of women in wine — Dr. Catena dedicates the book to the women in her family from her great-grandmother Nicasia to her daughter Nicola. Although women do not feature prominently in the first chapter on Lafite, they are inescapable throughout the remainder of the book. Women have often struggled to gain authority and recognition in the wine industry, so this empowering message is welcome and important.

    Gold in the Vineyards entertains, informs, encourages and inspires. Highly recommended for young and old alike.

  • Wine Goes Up the Down Staircase (Coronavirus Recession Edition)
    03 June 2020

    Wine consumers today seem to be going “up the down staircase” (to evoke the clever title of Bel Kafuman’s best-selling 1964 book). They are buying more expensive wine at lower prices. That sounds crazy! Read on for analysis and a look back to what happened in 2009.

    The COVID-19 Wine Boom

    Recent consumer trend data from Nielsen and Wines & Vines Analytics present a complicated picture of off-premise wine consumer behavior for March and April 2020. Wine sales at supermarkets and other retail outlets have boomed, as you know. The initial pantry stocking frenzy was followed by a growth plateau, but high growth rates have returned in recent weeks.

    The dollar value of off-premise wine sales in the Nielsen-measured channels has risen at a 30% rate since the COVID-19 crisis began compared to the same period last year. Wine sales in the week ending March 21 surged to 66% more than the previous, year which is amazing.

    The rise in off-premise sales is partially offset by the collapse of the on-premise (bars,  restaurants) channel. Net sales are up, but not by as much as you might imagine. Nielsen estimates that off-premise sales need to rise by roughly 22% (by volume) to offset the falling on-premise sales. Wine volumes are up 27.7% since March 7, so that’s a 5% net volume gain.

    Less is More? Or is More Less?

    Since sales volume is up 27% and sales value has risen 30%, it is clear that unit sale price has increased and this is true because of the distribution of purchases in different price points.. While sales have increased in all price categories, the fastest growth is for wines $11 and higher. Interestingly, the highest percent growth rate is in the $20 to $24.99 price category.

    Some speculate that this rise is driven in part by consumers who are substituting retail wines for the ones they would otherwise have purchased at a restaurant. A $25 wine purchased at retail and consumed at home (perhaps with a home-delivery restaurant meal) might seem like a bargain compared to a similar wine with a higher mark-up on a restaurant wine list. Bottom line: consumers are moving up the wine wall, but paying less at the same time.

    Online wine purchases are booming, too, but the reported pattern is different according to shipment numbers for April 2020 from Nielsen’s partnership with Wines Vines Analytics in collaboration with Sovos ShipCompliant. Sales volume increased by 45% compared to the previous  year. But sales value rose by only 15%, which means that average unit price has fallen. 

    Indeed, the average bottle price in this sales channel fell from $42 to $33. Some of this might be due to changes in the commodity composition on online purchases, but readers of this column probably guess that discounting also plays a part. Here at Wine Economist world headquarters our email inbox is filled with sales offers that start with free shipping and continue with increasing levels of discounts.

    Napa Discounts 

    Significantly, according to the Nielsen data, Napa Valley wines, which are the Big Dog in the DtC market, had the largest average price reduction. Our friend Allan found a Napa winery in obvious financial difficulty that offered full cases of their California- and Napa-appellation wines for the price of one or two bottles.  Some of the deals like this are shared with club members, but some are kept quiet indeed to avoid reputation erosion.

    So it is up the down staircase. DtC buyers are snapping up expensive wines at discount prices. Many thanks to Nielsen’s Danny Brager, Senior Vine President Beverage Alcohol Practice, for sharing data and insights.

    Up and Down in 2009

    Consumers also looked for ways to go up the down staircase during the global financial crisis a few years ago. Here are two Wine Economist columns from 2009, when internet sales were less of a factor, that examine how wine consumers were shifting their buying strategies during the global financial crisis: Wine, Recessaion, and the Aldi Effect and Extreme Value Wine Goes Mainstream.

    Significantly the bargain-seeking changes we saw then didn’t really disappear when the economy improved. Wine buyers continued to search out bargains, at both low and high price points even as “premiumization” swept through the market. Hey, that’s up the down staircase again!

    Wine , Recession and the Aldi Effect

    January 13, 2009

    Aldi stores are about to expand in the United States, drawn here by the recession according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal ( â€œAldi Looks to US for Growth” ).  I wonder how this will affect the wine market?

    A Tough Nut to Crack

    Aldi is a German “hard discount” store chain.  A “hard discounter” sells a limited selection of house-brand goods at very low prices in small, bare-bones outlets.

    Hard discounters are a niche, albeit a growing one, in the U.S.  Wal-Mart is a successful discounter, of course, but not a hard discounter because it still features many mainstream branded products, its prices are higher and its stores a bit more plush.  Aldi and other hard discount stores drove Wal-Mart out of Germany, according to the WSJ article, but the U.S. market has been a tough nut for the hard discounters to crack. American consumers are primed to buy brand-named products and they like lots of choice, marketing experts say, and so tend to resist the house brands that hard discounters feature, which has limited their penetration here.

    Germans are more willing to sacrifice brand names for low prices, apparently.  Aldi and other hard discounters are dominant powers in German retailing. The WSJ reports that 90% of German households shop at Aldi stores and 40% of all grocery purchases are made in hard discount outlets.

    Divide and Conquer

    Interestingly, there are actually two Aldi store chains in Germany.  Aldi is short for Albrecht DIscount. The Albrecht brothers  who founded the company after World War II fell out over the issue of tobacco sales in their stores.  They divided the German market between them (Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd) and then, eventually, split up the world market too.  Here are links to Aldi USA and Aldi International websites if you want to learn more about this retailer’s local presence and international reach.

    Wine is an important product in Aldi’s German stores, as you can see from the wine selections featured on their website.  I believe that Aldi is the largest single retailer of wine in Germany.

    Since Germans are rich and Germany makes great wines, you would think that Aldi must sell mainly fine wines, but you would be wrong.  Aldi’s median  German wine sale is red not white, imported from a low cost producer, sold  under a house-brand name, packaged in a box or TetraPak and priced at around one euro per liter.

    You could say that it is Two Buck Chuck (TBC) wine, but in fact TBC is more expensive.  TBC is to Aldi wine as Wal-mart is to Aldi itself. (Note: Wal-Mart now has its own brand of two dollar wine, which makes this comparison even more appropriate. It is called Oak Leaf Vineyards and is made for Wal-Mart by The Wine Group.)

    The Aldi Effect

    Aldi figures that the recession is its moment to press more vigorously for U.S. market share.  Data indicate that consumers are much more cautious now, so perhaps they won’t be so picky about brand names and will, like their German cousins, be willing to trade down for a lower price. The Financial Times reports that Aldi sales in Great Britain are up 25 percent! Aldi plans to speed up store openings in the U.S. and to expand into New York City. New York!  If you can make it there … well, you know.

    The good news here is that Aldi’s U.S. push may also help drive wine deeper into the U.S. consumer mainstream.  You can say all you like about the quality of Two Buck Chuck but it sure did help expand the wine culture in the U.S. and some (but not all) my TBC-drinking friends have moved upmarket for at least some of their purchases. The wine may not be to everyone’s taste, but its market impact has not been all bad.

    Will Aldi Succeed?

    Will Aldi’s drive be successful?  There is reason to think it will be. They seem committed to tailoring their hard discount operations to local market conditions, which is important because markets have terroir as much as wine.

    But there is a more important reason.  Both German Aldi chains are present in the U.S. now, although you are probably not aware of them.  Aldi Süd operates on under the Aldi name, of course, with the same logo as in Germany.  The owners of Aldi Nord invested years ago in a different chain, based in California and intentionally tailored for thrifty but upwardly mobile U.S. consumers. It’s an upscale Aldi Nord and it has been very successful here.

    Perhaps you’ve heard of them.  They have limited selection, smaller stores, lots of house brands, and low prices.  They even sell a lot of wine.  The name?

    Oh, yes.  Trader Joe’s!

    Extreme Value Wine Goes Mainstream

    November 1, 2009

    Our friend Jerry doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would go digging around in the closeout bin or shopping for wine at Aldi â€” too classy for that — but there he was at Joyce and Barry’s house on Friday showing off his latest finds: cheap wine from a Grocery Outlet store.

    The wine wasn’t so much good or bad as simply intriguing — is it really possible for a sophisticated wine enthusiast like Jerry to be satisfied shopping for wine at an “extreme value” store? Only one way to find out, so we got in the car the next day and headed for the strip mall.

    Searching for Extreme Values

    Headquartered in low-rent Berkeley, California, Grocery Outlet bargain market is America’s largest extreme value grocery chain with more than 130 independently owned stores in six western states. It has been in business since 1946. Prices are low, low, low.

    Grocery Outlet stores here in the Pacific Northwest are supermarket sized spaces filled with off brand and closeout products along with a wide enough selection of fresh goods to allow families to do all their grocery shopping in one place. They are nice if not especially fancy stores. I can see why budget-minded families shop there.

    Mystery Wine

    The wine corner at the nearest store was large and well-stocked. Most of the brands were mysteries (one was even named “Mystery” as in “Mystery Creek” or something like that), although a few third and fourth tier products from recognized mass-market makers were available. Mainly, I think, these were leftover wines closed out by distributors to raise cash or make room for incoming shipments along with no-name brands “dumped” under a bogus label.

    The wines came from all over — California, naturally, Australia, France, Italy, Chile. There was even a $3.99 “Champagne” from Argentina. Honest — it said “Champagne.”

    Prices were suitably low — most of the wines sold for $2.99 to $5.99. It isn’t hard to make money selling extreme value wine when you can buy up surplus bulk wine for just pennies a liter and package it up for quick sale.  Extreme value retailers are the perfect distribution channel for wines like these.

    As you can see from my receipt, I walked out with three bottles of wine for a total of $13.97 plus tax. “By shopping with us you saved $28.00.”  That would mean an average of 67% off the retail price.

    Unexplained Tales from Down Under

    I wasn’t really surprised at what I saw as I surveyed the wine wall. Then, slowly, a different kind of wine mystery began to unfold.

    Sue must have sharp eyes because she picked out the first surprise. Sam’s Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 for $3.99.  That’s awfully cheap for a New Zealand wine here in the U.S. I’ve read about heavily discounted NZ wines in Great Britain but not here in the U.S. — until now.

    New Zealand is a high cost wine producer that has succeeded in charging a premium price for its wine. Indeed, NZ earns the highest average export price of any country in the world despite surging production that threatens to create unmarketable surpluses. Everyone worries that one day the export limit will be hit and prices will start to tumble from $12-$20 down to, well, $3.99. Is that what this Sam’s Creek wine really means? The end of NZ wine’s premium price?

    Frighteningly, Sam’s Creek isn’t a no-name closeout wine. The label says that it is made and bottled by Babich, one of the famous names in New Zealand wine, and the internet tells me that Waitrose sells it for about $10  in Britain. I wonder if the unsold British inventory has somehow made its way here?

    Prestige Wine at Extreme Value Prices

    Two more bottles raised more questions about New Zealand wines. I paid a whopping $5.99 for a 2008 Isabel Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  I almost overlooked it, but the label caught my eye. Isabel Estate is one of the most famous Marlborough quality producers, exceedingly well-known in Great Britain where this wine sells for about Â£10, but not so widely distributed here in the U.S., I think.

    How did it get here and who among the Grocery Outlet clientele would recognize its quality sitting there surrounded by cheap and cheerful closeouts?

    The third wine makes the puzzle more complicated. It is a 2004 Te Awa Merlot from the Gimblett Gravels of Hawkes Bay. Te Awa Farm is another famous NZ producer and, while this wine — a estate product from a distinguished producer in a famous region — may be slightly past its prime and therefore a typical closeout risk, it is still very surprising to see it sold at a place like Grocery Outlet for $3.99 rather than the $16-$20 retail price.

    These three New Zealand wines may be random surplus wines found in the sort of place where random wines go to be sold. Or they may be indicators of important changes in the world of wine. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    Wine markets are all about supply and demand. It is pretty clear that a supply of interesting wines has appeared along with the rock-bottom remainders at extreme value stores like Grocery Outlet, pushed along, no doubt, by the slump in fine wine sales.

    What about demand? And what does Grocery Outlet tell us about the wine market more generally?

  • Cos D’Estournel 2019 & Pagodes de Cos 2019
    03 June 2020

    Led last week by Pontet Canet and then Palmer yesterday leading Estates have released at 30% discount to last year’s release price, captivating the market and creating brilliant upside potential for buyers who have managed to secure an allocation. This morning sees the release of another giant, the Chateau which is arguably on the hottest run of form of any, Cos d’Estournel. St. Estephe is rumoured to be among the great villages of 2019, which often benefits in year’s born in the crucible heat and sunlight, the Cabernet Sauvignon vines basking in the sunshine and ripening to perfection. It also benefits from immediacy to the Gironde and from greater proximity to the Atlantic, creating two fronts of protection against cold and frost early on in the season and heat towards the end. As such, it comes as no surprise Cos d’Estournel 2019 is an erudite, regal wine, inducing ethereal flavours, splendid balance and notable torque; a towering accolade from a Chateau that if for a small stream separating it from Pauillac would have been a First Growth.

    James Suckling and Lisa Perrotti-Brown have already released there scores. James Suckling awards it the same as 2018 with 98-99 points, calling the 2019‘A very powerful and structured Cos. It’s full and layered, but not overpowering in terms of fruit. It’s more about the abundant, very fine tannins. It’s a classic wine with historical grip and power. Real Bordeaux. Sophisticated and provocative.’ Lisa Perrotti-Brown gives it a score of 97-99+ saying â€˜With the 2019 vintage, Dominique Arangoïts and his team managed to beautifully capture the heart and soul of Cos d’Estournel and of the 2019 vintage. I promise you, in 20, 30, 40+ years’ time, it is this incredible story that unfolds in the glass that will steal the hearts of true lovers of the vine, not a three-digit score’. It is clearly a great Cos d’Estournel in the making, however the most important news is that it has been released at a 22% discount to last year’s release price and 13% discount to the average price of any vintage scored 98 points or above from James Suckling. The price today is £1,368 per case of 12, or £684 per case of six.

    Cos d’Estournel WA JS Release Price POP
    2019 97-99+ 98-99 £1,368 £1,368 73
    2018 97-100 98-99 £1,775 £1,775 96
    2017 98+ 98 £1,308 £1,295 70
    2016 100 100 £1,400 £1,590 80
    2015 95 98 £1,272 £1,330 89
    2014 94 98 £825 £970 69
    2013 91 94 £815 £960 87
    2012 93+ 95 £990 £1,050 78
    2011 91 95 £1,140 £980 89
    2010 99 98 £2,145 £1,740 92
    2009 100 100 £2,225 £2,200 110
    2008 92+ 94 £750 £1,000 80
    2007 90 90 £640 £990 99
    2006 91 96 £720 £1,050 95
    2005 97 99 £1,120 £1,550 91

    Cos d’Estournel was named eponymously after Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel who inherited the Estate in 1810. He found particular success in India where his wine sold at prices far above his rivals and he became known as “the Maharaja of Saint Estephe”. To celebrate this success, he built the pagoda style property which today is still one of the most recognisable sites in Bordeaux from which their second wine Pagodes derives its name. Cos d’Estournel is an impressive wine, intense in youth with a masculine structure and concentrated fruit; it develops slowly but beautifully to release a unique perfume of incense not found in other Bordeaux wines.

    Also released this morning is the superb second wine of Cos d’Estournel, which is one of the second wines of the vintage, a perennial claim of the wine. It has been awarded 94-95 points from James Suckling who says â€˜This is really minerally and salty with spices, such as cloves. Full-bodied, yet tight and beautiful. Chewy, yet focused and bright. Very integrated. Hard not to drink.’ It has to be considered as one of the best value wines of the world at this price point, how do they do it? The reason for this high score is twofold; firstly, Les Pagodes de Cos comes from very similar vines as the first wine and is made with the same savoir-faire. Secondly, it derives from one of the best vintages ever. The latter point is worth further thought: In poorer vintages selection can be more severe, with more grapes going into the Second Wine and less into the first. However, in truly great vintages, most of the vines in the best parcels produce very healthy fruit, as such the Second Wines are made from first wine quality grapes. Les Pagodes de Cos is made from the same vines and exacting standards that are used to make the Grand Vin. However, Pagodes uses a smaller percentage of the Estate’s older vines and spends less time in oak with a lower percentage of new oak. One of the reasons for this is that the Pagodes is designed to be approached younger.

    Some argue that Second wines should be considered as wines in their own right, they are, after all, some of the best wines in the world. However, they remain one of the best bargains in the fine wine market, priced today at £186 per case of six and at a discount of 7% to last year’s release, this is one for any collector.

  • Palmer 2019, 12×75, £1,998, 98 Pts & Alter Ego 2019, 12×75, £540, 94 Pts & Cantemerle 2019, 12×75, £210
    02 June 2020

    Following the remarkable release of Potent Canet 2019, which with a discount of 30% to last year’s release and a score of 98-100 points ignited interest in the vintage, the colossus Chateau Palmer has followed suite. This further points to the possibility that this could be one of the most exciting En Primeur campaigns for investment and collecting for the last two decades, with the potential to offer returns akin to the 2014 campaign, when the market misjudged the vintage and people were still Bordeaux bashing. Though there seems to be nodoubt that the 2019 vintage is one every bit as good as 2018, with shades of the 2016. Further to this, the economic conditions currently mean similarities must be drawn to the 2008 vintage when market conditions led producers to release with a large discount, only to see prices rise over 50% within two years for the leading Grand Crus.

    Chateau Palmer have released this morning at £1,998 per case of 12, or £999 per case of six, a 30% discount to last year’s release price. Discounts to market above 5% on release from the top Bordeaux Chateaux are few and far between and when they do come around their rarity ensures they do not drag down the average market price for other vintages, but are swiftly dragged up to meet its peers at the equilibrium price. This short-term upside is seldom left on the table for early investors, so these releases are snapped up by those in the know.

    Jane Anson has already awarded the wine 98 points bestowing it with â€™The Palmer signature of energy and precision is here in spades, and altogether the wine is both measured and elegant, with textbook floral Margaux character, while being extremely juicy, creamy and enjoyable, with a mouthwatering salinity on the finish – up there with the very best vintages of this estate.’ In our recent market report, we adopted a model based on the assumption that the 2019 vintage would score similarly to the 2018 vintage (although Pontet Canet bettered their 2018 counterpart, 98-100 and 97-99 respectively). This would suggest a score of 97-99 for the Palmer 2019, which would likely shift upward towards the median market price of similar scoring vintages. This can be seen in the table below:

    Palmer WA JS Release Price POP
    2019 n/a n/a £1,998 £1,998 n/a
    2018 97-99 94-95 £2,892 £2,892 161
    2017 97+ 98 £2,350 £2,350 134
    2016 98+ 98 £2,840 £2,650 143
    2015 98 100 £2,160 £2,550 142
    2014 94 95 £1,500 £1,880 134
    2013 87-88 93 £1,650 £1,820 243
    2012 96 97 £1,725 £1,850 116
    2011 96 88 £1,700 £1,930 121
    2010 96+ 98 £2,400 £2,575 156
    2009 98 98 £2,395 £2,510 139
    2008 94 93 £990 £1,850 132
    2007 92 n/a £1,100 £1,900 158
    2006 94 n/a £1,150 £1,880 134
    2005 97 94 £1,370 £2,525 149

    The average current market price from the table demonstrates the potential upside a discounted wine of 2018’s pedigree would possess, numerically a 19.42% average appreciation, or a 33.89% appreciation just between the projected release price and the current market price of the 2018. Those able to buy on release and hold for 20 months until physical will benefit most from this opportunity.

    Of course despite its classification as a Third Growth, Palmer regularly surpasses the price and the Parker points of all Second Growths and is considered by critics to be amongst the best produced wines anywhere in Bordeaux, second only to Château Margaux itself in the village of Margaux. Palmer is renowned for its beauty, perfume and concentration, its relatively high proportion of Merlot grapes in the blend makes it Médoc’s most similar wine to those of Pomerol. The wine has a velvety smoothness with a high concentration of berry fruits and a floral nose of spring flowers. We can expect the Chateau to stay true to form and achieve a score akin to the other modern-day greats.

  • Wine Book Review: Laura Catena’s Gold in the Vineyards
    02 June 2020

    Laura Catena, Gold in the Vineyards: Illustrated Stories of the World’s Most Celebrated Vineyards (Catapulta Editores). Illustrated by Fernando Adorneti (Caveman).

    Nicholas Catena had to make a choice. His chosen career as an economics professor? Or the family wine business, Bodega Catena Zapata, which was threatened, along with the rest of Argentina’s wine sector, by shifting and unstable economic currents?

    Prof. Catena met Robert Mondavi during a spell as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and then made his choice. He gave up the academic life and went back to Argentina inspired by Mondavi’s determination to make New World wines as good as the best the Old World could offer.

    I suppose that Prof. Catena’s daughter Laura must have faced a career choice, too, at some point. Pursue a career as a medical doctor in the United States, where she studied at Harvard and Stanford and raised a family? Or return to Argentina to advance her family’s vision of wine excellence and help guide the business through more turbulent times? Tough choice. Impossible to do both. But both is what she does. Amazing.

    She is an author, too, and a good one.  Sue and I enjoyed her 2010 book Vino Argentino and took it with us on our first trip to Mendoza. We learned a lot about the development of the Argentina wine industry from this book and it helped us meet people, too, when Sue would ask winemakers to autograph the sections of the book where they appeared. Big smiles! There are even a few recipes — Dr. Catena’s chimichurri  often features (along with Mendoza Malbec) on steak night.

    Dr. Catena’s new book, Gold in the Vineyards, is very different from Vino Argentino. At first glance you wonder if it is for adults or children? The answer (typical, I suppose, for Laura Catena) is probably both. The reason this question comes up is that the book is lavishly illustrated with colorful drawings and cartoons that make it look a bit like a children’s book. And Dr. Catena tells us that she was actually inspired by the illustrated books she loved as a child.

    I think this book might be a good way to introduce young people to the world of wine, but adults are the main audience and they will find plenty to enjoy (and learn) here. Each of the 12 chapters tells the story of a famous wine producer, starting with Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Tuscany’s Antinori and ending with Catena Zapata, with stops along the way that include California (Harlan Estate) and Australia (Henschke’s Hill of Grace) along with other global icons.

    Each chapter tells a story in words and pictures and includes interesting infographics, too.  What do the chapters have in common? What is the moral of the story (books, especially children’s books, need to convey a message)?

    Looking back through the chapters I find three threads that run through the text. The first is the power of place. Dr. Catena is a terroirist, as you will know especially from her discussion of Catena Zapata’s Adrianna Vineyard. The second thread is the power of family, because the wineries that appear here all drew strength from their family bonds.

    The final thread is the power of women in wine — Dr. Catena dedicates the book to the women in her family from her great-grandmother Nicasia to her daughter Nicola. Although women do not feature prominently in the first chapter on Lafite, they are inescapable throughout the remainder of the book. Women have often struggled to gain authority and recognition in the wine industry, so this empowering message is welcome and important.

    Gold in the Vineyards entertains, informs, encourages and inspires. Highly recommended for young and old alike.

  • Pontet Canet 2019 En Primeur – £366, 6×75 or £732, 12×75
    30 May 2020

    This morning Pontet Canet have led the charge of en primeur as they did in 2013, releasing prior to any major critic tasting their wines. Why? they trust their terroir, oscillating as it does with Lafite and Mouton Rothschild who have both just been scored 99-100 points from James Suckling. Rumours have been flying around this week that critics have reported they love Pontet Canet and a perfect score has been spoken about. However, unlike 2013, 2019 is a stellar vintage and Pontet Canet have made a brilliant move, releasing at a price we never expected to see again from a Chateau, their 2013 Euro release price, which equates to £732 per case of 12 or £366 per case of six today. That is £61 a bottle, a 29% discount to last year’s price of £1,038, a concession to market we heard murmured on the grapevine, but passed off as fiction, ‘they’d never leave that much money on the table’ we said! They have and it is a must buy for wine lovers and collectors. For investors it could be one of the best investments coming out of Bordeaux for a decade. Our friends in Bordeaux have all reported the wine is every bit the wine as 2018, 2016 and I have mentioned the rumours over tales of 2009 and 2010 perfection. Any Pontet Canet lover be alert, you will be buying 2016 and 2018 quality or higher at 2013 prices!

    As the table below demonstrates a Wine Advocate or Neal Martin score of 96-97 or above will render the wine hugely under-priced, offering an instant 20% upside, a score of 97-99 providing a possible 40% upside and a perfect score could see 100% return by the time it is physical in bottle. Pontet Canet sold out last year above £1,000, bravo to the Chateau they have listened to the market and at £61 a bottle Pontet Canet is always going to over perform in any vintage. In closing Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate publicly said ‘Truly this is a milestone vintage for Pontet Canet.’, this I a wine to buy on rumour before it sells out.

    Pontet Canet WA JS Release Price POP
    2019 n/a n/a £732 £732 n/a
    2018 97-99 97-98 £1,038 £1,040 58
    2017 96 96 £1,010 £1,010 59
    2016 98 97 £1,370 £1,190 66
    2015 96+ 98 £795 £770 48
    2014 94 98 £648 £620 44
    2013 90-92 93 £675 £580 53
    2012 93 92 £690 £575 44
    2011 93 95 £710 £550 42
    2010 100 100 £1,180 £1,465 73
    2009 100 98 £885 £1,470 74
    2008 96 93 £540 £670 42
    2007 91 95 £415 £575 52
    2006 94 93 £395 £650 46
    2005 97 n/a £480 £940 55

    Chateau Pontet Canet was put together by Jean-François Pontet, a powerful political figure in the 1720s and 1730s. The property passed to Pierre-Bernard de Pontet and the reputation of the wines flourished until his death in 1836. This moment marked a decline in the standard and price of the wine, which in turn, led to Pontet Canet being rated a Fifth Growth rather than a higher classification.

    The property was purchased in 1865 by Herman Cruse and promptly installed the 23 year old Charles Skawinski, son of the owner of Chateau Giscours, to manage the property. Cruse invested heavily in the property including building a new chai, a new cuvier and constructing one of the few large underground cellars in the Medoc. The standard of the wines increased dramatically, often fetching as much as Third Growths wines or even occasionally Second Growths.

    After the death of Cruse’s widow, the Cruse firm in Bordeaux ran the Chateau until a crisis forced its sale in 1975. Guy Tesseron purchased the Estate and it is now owned by his two sons, Alfred and Gérard, meaning that only three families have owned the property during its illustrious history.

    Pontet Canet under the influence of Alfred has embraced organic winemaking techniques and was the first Château to earn the official Agence Bio (AB) organic certificate. These techniques coupled with the challenging gravel soil perfect for growing the grapes has made this into a wine that exceeds its Fifth Growth status and is unquestionably one of the leading Super Seconds.

  • Bordeaux 2019’s En Primeur campaign launches with Chateau Pontet-Canet
    28 May 2020

    The Bordeaux 2019 vintage En Primeurs campaign has started without the usual foreplay in April when all the Chateaux normally open their doors for the world’s top wine critics, merchants and press to sample the latest vintage.

    Covid-19 threw the 2019 vintage campaign off-track and forced a new approach to a vintage launch. Tastings have been virtual so far and the start of the campaign delayed but finally, here we are, launched today with Pauillac’s Chateau Pontet Canet the first out of the blocks.

    Every year there is a debate about the pricing strategy adopted for the campaign and given the reducing share in a broadening fine wine market there has been a growing pressure to see some softening in release prices to engage the trade.

    Pontet-Canet, famous for its bio-dynamic practices and consistently excellent quality, often seeing the Pauilliac Fifth Growth similarly scored by the critics on a par with the First Growths, has opened the campaign on a great note. The Chateau’s release price is 29.5% lower than its 2018 vintage and the lowest price level for Pontet-Canet since the 2008 vintage, released during the intense volatility of the last financial crisis. If this is an early indicator of this year’s pricing strategy, 2019 could be exactly what the region needs to put the wind back in its sails.

    We will keep you posted throughout the 2019 campaign and contact our team for more information on 0203 384 2262

    The post Bordeaux 2019’s En Primeur campaign launches with Chateau Pontet-Canet appeared first on Vin-X.

  • Chateau Latour 2012 – first release in 8 years an excellent First Growth investment wine
    27 May 2020

    The release of Chateau Latour 2012 direct from the esteemed First Growth’s cellar is a historic moment – the first opportunity for anyone to acquire Latour 2012, and the first new release in 8 years. To top this the Chateau has priced its 2012 vintage fairly offering growth potential for investors. Top tip – get it now while you can!

    PRICE: Latour 2012 was released in the UK this morning at £4,200 (12x75cl), a 20% €uro / 12.5% Sterling discount on the 2011 vintage released eight years ago (£4,800 per 12×75). Sterling has weakened against the Euro since the release of Latour 2011 in May 2012 so the 20% discount on the euro release only translates to a 12.5% discount in sterling terms.

    Furthermore, prices for Latour have historically shown 83% correlation to Wine Advocate scores. According to Liv-ex’s ‘Fair Value’ methodology, which measures the relationship between critic scores and Market Price using regression analysis, Latour 2012 (96+ WA) should naturally be predicted to be priced at around £5,000 (12x75cl) based on this norm. The current price of Â£4,200 is a great opportunity to secure one of the highest scoring wines from this blue-chip producer, which also has the highest level of control over primary supply of their wine of all of the great Bordeaux First Growths. So, these opportunities are rare.

    KEY POINTS – Chateau Latour 2012
    • Blue-chip First Growth investment wine
    • 2012 – the first release since the 2011 vintage issued in 2012
    • Limited allocation release at a lower than expected price
    • Currently rare opportunity to acquire Latour new releases
    • High critics’ score of 96+ with room to grow at ten-year tastings in 2022
    • Top candidate for ‘wine of the vintage’

    The Chateau also released its second wine, Forts Latour 2014, for the first time today, priced at £1,680 (12 x 75cl), similar to the 2013 vintage price. Another excellent wine for Latour enthusiasts and those keen to sample Latour without the Grand Vin price tag!

    Chateau Latour took the strategic decision to withdraw from the Bordeaux en primeurs process in 2012, instead choosing to issue new wines at the time they enter their drinking window. By doing this Latour has retained control over supply and pricing to a far greater degree. The First Growth being one of a very few producers with the resources to be able to take such a bold step. For collectors and investors 2012 offers blue-blood provenance with supply direct from the Chateau Cellars certainly adding appeal and one would argue potential future value.

    Latour 2012 – the Critics’ View:
    CRITIC: SCORE COMMENT / date
    Lisa Perotti-Brown, MW – Wine Advocate 96+ / 100 “This is a more restrained, relatively elegant vintage of Latour that may not have that ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ power of the greatest vintages but nonetheless struts its superior terroir and behind-the-scenes savoir faire with impressive panache.” â€“ April 2020
    Neal Martin,  Vinous.com 96 / 100 “It has always been a candidate for wine of the vintage… just have a bit of patience”  – April 2020

    In terms of vintage quality, 2012 was generally seen as a ‘Mid-Vintage’, not quite having the cachet of the Prime 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 vintages, but still delivered individual excellent quality wines. Neal Martin, introduced by Robert Parker as his successor in terms of rating Bordeaux, tipped Latour as probably the ‘wine of the vintage’.

    Originally planned for March 18th this year, the Latour 2012 release was delayed due to Covid-19, along with the deferral of the 2019 Bordeaux en primeurs campaign which is planned to now launch next week.

    We are delighted to be able to offer you the opportunity to add Chateau Latour 2012 to your collection, or it is a great wine to kick-start your fine wine investment portfolio – call us now for more information on 0203 384 2262.

    The post Chateau Latour 2012 – first release in 8 years an excellent First Growth investment wine appeared first on Vin-X.

  • Latour 2012
    27 May 2020

    This morning is a landmark moment, almost a decade in the waiting. It marks the first unreleased vintage from Chateau Latour, since the Chateau removed themselves from the en primeur system in favour of ageing their wine themselves and thereon releasing them to market when they considered that they have entered their drinking window. The appeal is obvious, allowing consumers to buy wine with perfect provenance, direct from the Chateau cellar. Indeed, the removal from en primeur has seen the chateaus physical vintages make steady gains, having increased 23% across the last 15 vintages since 2015. The return to the market of this grand first growth will be a joy to collectors, hotly anticipated by the global market and promises to be a new dawn. It is a First Growth, released in its drinking window, with a quantum of supply which allows the market to take a proper bite. The prevailing question has been if the Chateau can shake hands with commercial sense and release with a discount to market, thereon making it a hallowed allocation: this they have done.

    The release is Latour 2012, which chronologically fits as Chateau Latour broke the mould in 2012, with the 2011 vintage marking their last en primeur release. It is one of the wines of the vintage, awarded 96 points by Neal Martin who says ‘It has always been a candidate for wine of the vintage… just have a bit of patience.’ It has been awarded 96+ from Lisa Perotti-Brown from The Wine Advocate who describes it as having ‘notions of preserved Morello cherries, baked blackcurrants and blackberry compote, giving way to nuances of pencil shavings, unsmoked cigars, Chinese five spice and sandalwood plus ever so subtle hints of cardamom and eucalyptus…finishing with a veritable firework display of lingering spices and minerals.’ The price today on release of £2,100, or £4,200 the right move by the chateau offering a 30% discount to the average vintage trading price since 2005 and a 6% discount to the lower scoring 2011. It affords collectors the chance to own a superb vintage, without carry costs and with some upside left on the table. Their new releases will become perennial, so securing an allocation for the years to come is also advisable. As can be seen from the table below, the 2012 has the lowest Price Over Points score of any vintage since 2005, a clear indicator of the value offered today.

    Latour WA Release Price (12x75cl Case) POP
    2012 96.5 £4,200 £4,200 255
    2011 93-95 £4,800 £4,450 318
    2010 100 £11,000 £10,500 525
    2009 100 £11,000 £9,600 480
    2008 95 £1,590 £4,500 288
    2007 92 £2,495 £4,450 371
    2006 95 £3,250 £4,400 293
    2005 98.5 £4,500 £6,450 349

    Chateau Latour has arguably the best terroir in Pauillac, its famous tower visible as you drive north into Pauillac from the village of St Julien. Latour is surrounded by top Second Growths, with Leoville Las Cases to the south and Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron to the west; all powerful wines with high percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon. Latour tends to be the biggest of the first growth wines, with an intense colour, powerful flavours and aromas, firm tannins and intense vitality. Latour is the epitome of left bank Bordeaux and Forts Latour its brilliant second wine, one that goes from strength to strength. Today also sees the release of Forts Latour 2014, another new release. The 2014 vintage has been one of the best performing in terms of returns, underrated from barrel by most, yet confirmed from bottle as very fine and the ignition for the banner years that followed.

    Recurrently the best scoring second wine and one of the darlings of both Asia and the old world, Forts Latour 2014 is a strong buy at £840 per case of six or £1,680 per 12. It has been awarded 93 points from Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni from Vinous Media and this is matched by Lisa Perrotti Brown. Such scores make it the finest vintage since 2010 and 2009, trumping all other back to 2006, while offering an 8% discount to the average trading price. Indeed, again with the exception of the 2010, which has a score more akin to the grand cru wine, the 2014 has the lowest POP score, reinforcing the value proposition on release.

    Fortsde Latour WA Release Price (12x75cl Case) POP
    2014 93 £1,680 £1,680 129
    2013 87.5 £1,650 £1,740 232
    2012 92 £1,800 £1,750 146
    2011 91 £1,200 £1,675 152
    2010 97 £2,298 £1,900 112
    2009 95 £1,500 £2,150 143
    2008 91 £540 £1,820 165
    2007 89 £565 £1,750 194
    2006 92 £500 £1,695 141

    Latour 2012 and Forts Latour 2014 are strong buys indicated by their POP scores and discount to market. Collectors and investors should stock up.

    Latour 2012

    96+ Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

    The 2012 Latour is a blend of 90.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.6% Merlot and 0.2% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep garnet colored, the nose slowly, measuredly emerges with notions of preserved Morello cherries, baked blackcurrants and blackberry compote, giving way to nuances of pencil shavings, unsmoked cigars, Chinese five spice and sandalwood plus ever so subtle hints of cardamom and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black and red fruit preserves with a firm, grainy-textured frame and fantastic freshness, finishing with a veritable firework display of lingering spices and minerals. This is a more restrained, relatively elegant vintage of Latour that may not have that “iron fist in a velvet glove” power of the greatest vintages but nonetheless struts its superior terroir and behind-the-scenes savoir faire with impressive panache. It is drinking nicely now with suitably rounded-off, approachable tannins, and the tertiary characters are just beginning to bring some more cerebral elements into the compote of temptingly primary black fruits. But, if you’re looking to drink it in full, flamboyant swing, give it another 5-10 years in bottle and drink it over the next 20-25 years+.

    94 Points, James Suckling
    Very perfumed with hints of minerals, currants, wet earth and stones. Full-bodied, muscular and chewy. Polished tannins, tight acidity and a savory finish. Very reserved. Muscular. Better in 2019.

    Forts Latour 2014

    93 Points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

    The 2014 Les Forts de Latour is a blend of 71.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28.6% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it needs a little coaxing to reveal expanding scents of blackcurrant pastilles, baked plums and boysenberries with suggestions of wood smoke, fragrant earth, cast-iron pan and charcuterie plus a faint waft of black truffles. Medium-bodied, the earthy/savory palate has loads of lively black fruit with a refreshing line and firm, grainy tannins, finishing on a lingering ferrous note.

    94 Points, James Suckling
    Glorious aromatics with currants, flowers, stones and light mushrooms. Medium to full body and fine tannins that are long and polished. Super linear, structured and long. Drink in 2019.

    To buy these wines please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone +44 (0)20 3957 5582. Offer subject to availability.

Wine Blogs

05 June 2020

Wine Blogs
  • The Best Whiskey Gifts For Father’s Day
    05 June 2020

    On Dad’s day (and every day), Dad deserves the best. If Dad loves whiskey, here’s everything he needs, minus the whiskey itself, to have the perfect Father’s Day.

    The Hero/Rebel Double Rocks Glasses



    If Dad is a whiskey-drinking history buff, this set of glasses will be just the thing. Made in partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, each glass represents a founding father. Hero = George Washington, Philosopher = Benjamin Franklin, Diplomat = John Adam, Rebel = Thomas Jefferson. Each glass was made and sand-etched in the United States and, in true American fashion, is dishwasher safe. Each glass holds 14 oz—the perfect size for a negroni or old fashioned.

    See The Glasses Now!

    Geometric Drinks Rocks



    Dad, as a seasoned whiskey drinker, likely already knows that you’ve got to be careful with your ice ratio. Too much and it can over dilute your drink, turning a great single-malt into something watery and spineless. But, a bit of water is scientifically proven to improve a lovely dram.

    Let Dad control his own dilution with this set of Geometric Drinks Rocks, hewn from marble and soapstone. Each is finished by hand and fits easily into a standard rocks or Old Fashioned glass. With these, you chill down your whiskey and then add as little or as much water as it takes to make your perfect sipping ratio. When these aren’t making Dad’s drink look modern and elegant, they’ll do the same for his bar.

    See The Rocks Now!

    Glacier Whiskey Glass



    Another eye-catching way to keep Dad’s whiskey cool: this Glacier Whiskey Glass. Dad can throw it in the freezer to activate the built-in cooling gel, then pull it out whenever he needs a cold glass of whiskey. Holding six ounces, this clear double-walled glass keeps things chilly while looking suave.

    See The Glass Now!

    The Four Horsemen T-Shirt



    Can your dad brave a Four Horsemen shot? It traditionally contains Tennessee Whiskey, Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey, is named for the four horsemen of the apocalypse and has always contained the four most famous spirits that begin with the letter J. This shirt makes it look like Dad can (hangover not included).

    See The Shirt Now!

    Glencairn Whisky Tasting Glasses



    If Dad delights in sensory analysis, consulting his whiskey flavor wheel and agonizing over whether the color is pale gold or yellow gold, get him this set of Glencairn Whisky Tasting Glasses, designed by Scotch pros to enhance the drinking experience of any single-malt imbiber.
    This lead-free, dishwasher safe set starts out with a solid base—tall enough so Dad’s not warming up his drink with the heat of his hands but stout enough that it’s a proper dram. The tapered mouth keeps sipping simple—not something you find in a typical nosing glass—while keeping the bouquet prominent. The wide bowl keeps the color the star of the visual show. Dad’s nightly Scotch has never looked or tasted better.

    See The Glasses Now!

    Etched Globe Whisky Decanter and Glasses



    You could get Dad a globe for his office (classy), but here’s one better—an Etched Globe Whisky Decanter and matching Etched Globe Whiskey Glasses (classy AND practical). What looks like a spinning globe is actually a spinning, removable spirits decanter, complete with a protective cork stopper. The unique design of the etched glass, crafted from lead-free borosilicate glass, is eye-catching and a great way for Dad to see the world in the comfort of his own home.

    See The Set Now!

    The article The Best Whiskey Gifts For Father’s Day appeared first on VinePair.

  • Innovative Partnerships Are Helping Wine, Food, and Hospitality Firms Stay Afloat
    05 June 2020

    The Covid-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on the wine, food, and hospitality industries and as most businesses remain closed until further notice, these industries are finding creative ways to work together in an effort to generate revenue and stay afloat. Wine brands are partnering up with restaurants, retailers, purveyors, and hotels to offer consumers unique experiences and deals they can enjoy at home and in the future.

    “I think that it is so important for us all to come together during this time to support each other,” said Katy Wilson, owner and winemaker of LaRue Wines in Sonoma, Calif. “Wineries, restaurants, and the whole hospitality industry are all connected. I want to do everything I can to help because I know that every little bit matters.”

    Looking Local

    Many wineries are looking no further than their backyards to find partners within their local communities. Round Pond Estate in Rutherford, Calif., for example, worked with the Bodega Bay Oyster Company to create a BBQ Oyster Kit for Memorial Day Weekend, which included wine pairings and a virtual cooking class. In partnership with local farms and purveyors in the Seattle area, Matthews Winery in Woodinville, Wash., has been curating weekly Family Meal boxes for its customers. Each box comes with a bottle of wine and ingredients for an at-home dinner. Bryan Otis, proprietor of Matthews, said that they’re averaging 120 to 160 meals a week.

    The MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa in Sonoma partnered up with 10 local boutique wine brands for a Sip Now, Stay Later promotion. For every case purchased through one of the wineries, MacArthur will provide a complimentary night stay (on a two-night minimum booking). Three Sticks Winery reported selling more than 20 cases since the promotion launched the second week of May. “It’s a win-win for all sides,” said MacArthur Place general manager Ruben Cambero, who added that he expects the promotion to drive several hundred thousands of dollars overall. “This incremental revenue — roughly $350 to $800 per case — helps to offset the lack of tasting-room revenue during the wineries’ closures. For MacArthur Place, this partnership spurs future hotel bookings to balance an otherwise lean reservation book.”

    On May 12, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced reopening guidelines under which wineries would only be allowed to serve wine in Stage 2 if they offer sit-down meals, though this is subject to approval in each individual county. As of now, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and El Dorado wineries are allowed to welcome guests if they serve these sit-down meals outdoors. Those that don’t have an in-house culinary team are seeking assistance from local restaurants or catering companies, like Three Fat Guys Wines in Sonoma, which has hired the local Picazo Food Truck. Sbragia Family Vineyards in Geyserville, Calif., has partnered with Sonoma’s famed restaurant, The Girl & The Fig, to provide a selection of lunches for two on its expansive outdoor terrace. “John Toulze [executive chef and managing partner of The Girl & The Fig] has been speculating that wineries, especially those with expansive outdoor spaces, would be the new restaurant space, that folks would be more interested in eating outdoors than indoors, and they have the ability to socially distance tables,” said Steven Cousins, CEO of Sbragia. “We were planning on launching The Girl & The Fig at Sbragia by next weekend, but little did we know that we would be required to provide a meal as part of wine tasting per the orders coming from the county health department.”

    Reinventing an Old Concept

    While events and experiences cannot be held in-person, wine brands are finding ways to recreate their offerings for the home. For years, DeLille Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., has offered DeLille Date Nights, consisting of a wine dinner at its tasting room. It has since pivoted to a takeout menu with its catering partner but, seeking a way to reach its fans in the city, it also teamed up with Metropolitan Grill in Seattle. The Metropolitan sold more than 140 takeout dinners (which included a bottle of DeLille wine) over the first weekend and it was so successful, it recently did a second promotion.

    Another popular tactic is going virtual. Gran Moraine in Yamhill, Ore., got creative with a national account partner to host a three-course virtual wine dinner on National Chardonnay Day. The promotion was offered at 10 restaurant locations and approximately 50 households tuned in to a live Zoom discussion about the food and wine. Malibu Beach Inn in Malibu, Calif., offered a four-course Virtual Winemaker’s Brunch in partnership with Champagne Henriot, broadcasting live from Burgundy.

    Supporting a Good Cause

    The most rewarding partnerships are those that drive revenue, but also support a charitable cause. Noah Dorrance of Reeve Wines in Healdsburg, Calif., recently kicked off a grassroots effort called Drink Cali 4 Good that encourages wineries to partner with restaurants for one-day, online promotions, and then pledge a portion of wine sales to their respective employee relief funds. Dorrance tagged several other vintners on Instagram to join in, including Wilson of LaRue Wines. Wilson teamed up with New York City’s Anton’s, a new cafe and wine bar that opened its doors a mere six months ago and had just picked up LaRue Wines for its list. Thirty percent of proceeds were donated to Anton’s employee relief fund and Wilson added some extra incentive to the promotion by offering 1-cent shipping and entering any order of three bottles or more into a raffle to win a magnum of Pinot Noir. A total of eight cases of wine were sold, resulting in a $2,000 donation to assist Anton’s employees.

    In a similar vein, Press Restaurant in St. Helena, Calif., created a Wine Thru as part of its takeout program, which offers 5-ounce samples of new releases from local winery partners. Priced at $5 per sample, proceeds go toward Press’s Employee Fund for furloughed employees (the restaurant is selling between 40 and 125 samples a week). Press is also buying full bottles to sell through the Wine Thru; a total of 330 have been sold six weeks into the promotion. “The Wine Thru has allowed us to support both the sales efforts of wineries in a small way, but, most importantly, guests can taste new-release wines in a way that isn’t being done anywhere else right now,” said Samantha Rudd, owner of Press.

    Aperture Cellars in Healdsburg was nearing its grand opening when the pandemic hit and so winemaker Jesse Katz decided to turn the food and wine pairing experiences he was busy curating with local chefs into at-home offerings, including chefs’ recipes and cooking classes. Proceeds from these experiences are donated to a variety of local charities and Aperture has been able to distribute over $30,000 in donations thus far. “We are lucky to be in the era of the conscious consumer,” said Katz. “People want to put their money toward a product or experience that they can feel good about.”

    The article Innovative Partnerships Are Helping Wine, Food, and Hospitality Firms Stay Afloat appeared first on VinePair.

  • 12 Things You Should Know About Miller High Life
    05 June 2020

    Everyone thinks they know all they need to about Miller High Life. Largely because it’s a (delightfully) two-dimensional lager in a clear bottle with a low ABV and even less personality.

    But the stuff is also squarely American — built almost entirely on marketing, cooly defiant of rich stiffs (but, er, also quietly owned by the fifth wealthiest brewery conglomerate and 64th and 71st richest families in the U.S. and Canada, respectively), and sustained over the years by our collective penchant for syrupy nostalgia and low-budget Champagne dreams. Add a lunar lady mascot, a surprisingly high-profile beverage industry fan base, and the world’s most timeless ad campaign (pun intended, because it’s always Miller Time — except at court, or church, or maybe the DMV.)

    Turns out, there’s plenty more to know about the Champagne of beers. Here’s a dozen to get you started.

    It’s much older than you think.

    Miller High Life made its debut on New Year’s Eve in 1903, getting into full marketing swing in 1904, which is a really long time ago. That’s the year Dr. Seuss was born. It’s the year inventor Lizzie Maguire patented “The Landlord’s Game,” later renamed Monopoly and used to teach children the value of using real estate deals to alienate family. Yes, Miller High Life might seem like it erupted out of someone’s above-ground pool in the 1970s, but it’s as old-timey as it gets. (Fun fact: 1904 is also the year KY Jelly debuted, as a surgical lubricant, ahem.)

    It’s also much older than Miller Lite.

    The Miller beer world is pretty confusing. No, there is no plain “Miller Beer” (there was once, briefly). And there is Miller Lite, but it’s a descendant of Miller High Life. High Life, as discussed, made its saucy debut on New Year’s Eve 1903. Miller Lite launched in 1994, nearly a century later.

    Your instincts are correct. There’s absolutely no reason it should be compared to Champagne.

    Champagne is a regional French sparkling wine made by putting a select proportion of grapes through specialized double-fermentation. Miller High Life, we believe, comes from a naturally occurring spring in the basement of Kid Rock’s mansion. (Kidding — for more on production, see below.) But yeah, there’s zero reason Miller High Life should ever have compared itself to Champagne.

    OK, the bottle is similar to Champagne bottles. Sort of.

    There’s one claim to similarity with Champagne: the bottle. High Life debuted at a time when bottled beer was a rarity, and Miller declared the brand “The Champagne of Bottled Beer” (i.e., the best of what little was out there). That’s either clever marketing or a Hail Mary in the form of outrageous product hubris — and it worked like a charm. So much so that Miller High Life has maintained the slogan (dropping the “bottled” part in 1969) for more than 100 years, and even leaned into the slogan further with a Champagne-sized bottle in 2017.

    The mascot looks like a saucy extra from ‘Moulin Rouge.’

    Miller High Life’s mascot is the “Girl in the Moon,” which is exactly what it sounds like: a woman in old-timey finery toasting the stars (or life, or whatever it is she’s hallucinating due to the lack of oxygen in outer space and/or her corset). Thankfully, she’s evolved over the years — you can see her change across labels on the neck of the bottle — but we like this version where she looks like she just had a really good shift at the Moulin Rouge, and is ready for a couple brewskies and some quiet time with the man on the moon.

    The clear bottle is a liability.

    Beer gets “skunked” when UV rays from the sun, or your personal tanning bed, penetrate the glass and mess with the molecules inside. Brown glass is the best at protecting your beer from the sun (after aluminum cans, that is). Green glass doesn’t do such a great job, either (sorry, internationally famous green-bottled beer from the Netherlands, we still think you’re pretty).

    Putting beer in a clear glass bottle is basically likely sending little Ron Weasley to Ibiza without SPF in July. Protect your beer, even if it is Miller High Life, by never storing it in direct sunlight.

    You’d need about three times Miller High Life’s ABV to get a bubbly-level buzz.

    Granted, alcohol doesn’t really work that way (and don’t try to experiment with the math; it’s a hangover waiting to happen). But the so-called “Champagne of Beers” clocks in at 4.6 percent ABV. Champagne is about 13 percent ABV on average, maybe a tad less. Either way, you’d need something like three times as many servings of Miller High Life as you would flutes of Champagne to achieve a similar buzz, and we’re guessing by then you’d be less inclined to do this.

    It has PBR-style street cred.

    Yes, “street cred” is like “Fight Club”; you don’t talk about it, because when you do talk about it, it probably means you don’t have it. But Miller High Life does afford you a bit of street cred. It’s hipster Gatorade in certain circles, owing in part to a popularity spurt in 2017 in the wake of a rebranding that emphasized nostalgia with an old 1970s slogan (see below). In fact, after that campaign, the beer had its best quarter since 2009.

    All clocks should be set to “Miller Time.”

    OK, so we just learned what Greenwich Mean Time is — but does it even matter? Because back in the 1970s, Miller High Life came up with the infamous “Miller Time” ad campaign complete with a jazzy jingle, “If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer.” (The jingle was written by famed, late adman Bill Backer, who also wrote the world’s most famous, cheesiest-but-goddamit-aim-high commercial).

    Miller decided to revive the campaign in 2016, and it worked. After seeing this incredible, sunlight-drenched ad full of easygoing 1980s-era bliss, the only time we’re trying to keep — possibly the only thing we’ll ever be punctual for again — is Miller Time.

    Miller High Life does indeed contain hops. (Good ones, too.)

    Miller High Life is what’s known as an “adjunct lager,” a.k.a. a Big American Macro Beer that’s made more for mass drinkability and wide profit margins than artisanal street cred. But even if its IBU score is 7 (that’s an International Bittering Units score, e.g., 90-Minute Dogfish Head IPA is 90), Miller High Life does contain hops. Galena hops, the “most widely used commercial bittering hop in the United States,” are used in this beer for good reason: It’s clean and a hint citrusy, with an edgy bitterness (as opposed to a murkier bitterness from some funkier hops, like going for a walk in the woods with your friend Caleb who writes sad poetry).

    It has as many calories as a Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino.

    We’re not counting calories when we’re drinking beer, but many are, and when we created this chart, “A Guide to the Calories, Carbs, and ABV in America’s Best-Selling Beers,” many were surprised that something as, er, delicate-tasting as Miller High Life, with its scant 4.6 percent ABV, clocks in at 141 calories. This is exactly one more calorie than a tall Espresso Frappuccino (no whip), about the same as a York Peppermint Patty, and more than 30 calories more than competitors like Bud Light, Coors Light, and its own 96-calorie little sibling, Miller Lite.

    Bartenders f*cking love Miller High Life.

    It’s a myth that “sophisticated” drinkers defy their innate thirst for High Life. Bartenders — like, very good bartenders — love the stuff, as do many, many craft brewers. And they admit it, freely. And they’re not wrong. There’s something about calming your nerves at the end of a long shift, or Netflix binge, or pandemic-induced quarantine, with a faux-fancy everyman’s beer that makes a joke out of its own un-fanciness and goes down easy as, well, Champagne.

    The article 12 Things You Should Know About Miller High Life appeared first on VinePair.

  • 5 Easy Garnishes to Elevate Your At-Home Cocktails
    05 June 2020

    Becoming one’s own bartender doesn’t have to be an elaborate or complicated process. Along with having a few of the necessary tools and ingredients, an easy way to boost cocktail-making confidence and add a creative edge is with garnishes.

    Contemporary garnishes among mixologists and enthusiasts are decorative yet simple additions that can elevate, not over-complicate, drinks and other drinks-related at-home bartending projects. For those just dipping their toes into the home bartending game (we see you, two-ingredient cocktails), garnishes are a low-stakes investment with a quick and easy return.

    “You eat with your eyes first, and this holds true with garnishes. They should be beautiful and something you want to enjoy,” says Laura Newman, Brooklyn-to-Birmingham transplant and owner of Queen’s Park in Birmingham, Ala. She adds, “But, [do] have a good argument for why it’s there.”

    So, liven up those pantry staples and get into the garnish game with these approachable garnishes below — and be prepared to show them off.

    Spruce it up with fresh herbs

    Sprucing up at-home cocktails with herbs, such as rosemary or mint, is an easy way to elevate a drink’s aroma and appearance. One option is to take three berries of choice (raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries work well) and pierce them with a rosemary sprig. This makes for an elegant garnish in a Gin Fizz, Gimlet, or summer spritzer. Or, consider adding mint to cocktails such as the The Last Summer Fizz and Cadillac Fizz.

    “Try to use flavor pairings instead of the more typical or obvious things,” recommends Justin Keys, owner at the Barley Tap and Tavern in Steamboat Springs, Colo. “Use an ingredient that would accentuate the flavor [as] if the cocktail were a meal. For example, a Margarita typically has a lime garnish, but there’s already a lot of lime juice in the cocktail, so it doesn’t add much.”

    “What balances that sweet and sour?” […] [C]ilantro can completely change that cocktail.”

    Grab a few Gummy Bears

    Time for a tasty ode to childhood: Grab a toothpick or cocktail skewer and a few gummy bears. Take the toothpick and skewer four to five gummy bears. These can then grace the glass of a whimsical cocktail. Feel free to play with patterns — who doesn’t love a rainbow?

    Looking for a sweet drink? Try a Gummy Bear Martini. More of a sour savant? Try Sour Patch Kids in a Sour Patch Kids Whiskey Sour. There are no rules in your kid-friendly kitchen.

    Salt (or sugar) the rim

    An oft-overlooked technique is adding salt or sugar to the rim of a cocktail glass. The process is simple: Rub water, or lemon or lime juice (depending on the flavor profile of the cocktail) around the rim of the cocktail glass. Turn the glass upside-down and rotate it in a small plate of sugar or salt. Powdered possibilities are at your fingertips: Experiment with cinnamon sugar, bacon salt, or even cocoa (consider using chocolate liqueur to wet the glass for this riff).

    Express your bitter side

    Familiar with latte art? For similar froth, swap milk and espresso for egg white and bitters. Egg-white cocktails such as the Gin Sour, Breakfast Martini Sour, or Storybook Sour are waiting for your barista-esque brushstroke.

    To add enviable flair to an egg-white cocktail, make the drink according to its directions, then wait for the foam to settle. Add a few drops of bitters (orange, lavender, or grapefruit, for example) on top. Then, drag the drops across the foamy top of the cocktail with a toothpick for custom decorative designs.

    Of course, the pros recommend being mindful of the bitters you choose. “Additions need to complement the flavors in a drink,” Newman says. So, look for egg-white cocktail recipes that already incorporate bitters, and go from there.

    Pull out the potato peeler

    Cutting and carving citrus into various shapes is a popular garnish technique, but for those who are nervous around knives, a potato peeler provides the perfect alternate tool. Orange, lemon, and grapefruit are all great fruits to start with, but consider ingredients other than citrus, too.

    Potato (or vegetable) peelers can also produce elegant ribbons of chocolate by running the peeler along the chocolate bar; and the result (with a steady hand) will be tiny little chocolate curls and shavings, perfect for Mudslides or an Espresso Tim Tam Martini.

    Another household option? Scissors. “If you’re nervous around a knife, you can actually use a patterned scissor to put an edge on fruit,” Newman says. “That’s something even my mom can do at home.”

    Play with flavors and have fun

    While most professional bartenders agree garnishes should complement the flavors in a drink, when making drinks at home, it’s all about experimentation. After all, a crispy slice of bacon became a classic staple in the Bloody Mary. For all you know, that lollipop or cinnamon stick (great for warm drinks like a Rum Hot Toddy) might add the perfect charm.

    The article 5 Easy Garnishes to Elevate Your At-Home Cocktails appeared first on VinePair.

  • Campari ha comprato il 49% di Tannico per 23,4 milioni di euro
    05 June 2020

    Il comunicato stampa è di questa mattina e arriva come una scossa nel tutt’altro che sonnolento mondo dell’e-commerce del vino italiano.

    Campari Group annuncia di aver siglato un accordo con tutti gli azionisti per acquisire una partecipazione pari al 49% di Tannico S.p.A.

    Fondata nel 2013, Tannico è il leader di mercato nelle vendite online di vini e premium spirit in Italia, con una quota di mercato superiore al 30%. Con oltre 7 milioni di visitatori unici negli ultimi 12 mesi, la selezione di Tannico vanta 14.000 vini provenienti da oltre 2.500 cantine italiane ed estere. Oltre ai vini, l’offerta comprende spirit di fascia alta. Sfruttando una comunicazione innovativa per il mondo del vino, una tecnologia avanzata applicata alle vendite online e all’innovativo marketing digitale, Tannico ha progressivamente esteso la sua attività al canale B2B, offrendo agli operatori professionali del settore servizi a elevato valore aggiunto sia nell’area della gestione dell’assortimento e del magazzino che in quella delle soluzioni personalizzate di consegna.

    Nel 2019, Tannico ha realizzato vendite nette pari a €20,6 milioni (secondo principi contabili locali). Il CAGR delle vendite nette negli ultimi tre anni (2016-2019) è stato pari al 50% ca., e tale trend è cresciuto in modo significativo nel primo trimestre 2020, anche a causa dell’emergenza Covid-19, raggiungendo un sostanziale break even gestionale. Dal 2017, Tannico ha ampliato la propria presenza a oltre 20 mercati, tra cui Stati Uniti, Germania, Regno Unito e Francia.

    Il corrispettivo complessivo per l’acquisto della partecipazione del 49% risulta pari a €23,4 milioni. Al 31 dicembre 2019 la liquidità netta detenuta da Tannico è pari a €1,6 milioni. Il corrispettivo sarà finanziato attraverso risorse disponibili e sarà pagato in contanti. In base all’accordo di investimento, Campari Group avrà la possibilità di incrementare la partecipazione al 100% a partire dal 2025, in base a determinate condizioni.

    Il perfezionamento della transazione è previsto entro la fine di luglio 2020.

    Si tratta di gran lunga dell’operazione più significativa di questo tipo nel mondo del vino italiano, a dimostrazione di una raggiunta maturità per tutto il settore, che ha conosciuto negli ultimi mesi anche a causa dell’emergenza Covid-19 un’ulteriore spinta propulsiva in termini di diffusione e di fatturato.

  • Il prosecco e la “Musica di merda”
    05 June 2020

    La musica è spesso arte, il vino mai, seppure si registrino presunti ‘tentativi’ firmati da tale Erik Rosdahl, uno svedese eccentrico creatore di pozioni al limite della provocazione. Eppure, dice il nostro Emanuele Giannone, “il vino, come la musica, è un linguaggio che riunisce i caratteri contraddittori d’essere a un tempo intelligibile e intraducibile”. Nel 2007 usciva ‘Let’s talk about love: a journey to the end of taste’, il saggio critico dello scrittore Carl Wilson sulla popstar Céline Dion.

    Quel libro, pubblicato in Italia con il titolo ‘Musica di merda’, è diventato negli anni un riferimento imprescindibile per la critica musicale. L’autore, pur dichiarando apertamente il suo profondo disprezzo per l’opera della cantante canadese, è comunque riuscito nell’arduo compito di analizzarne il fenomeno in modo ragionato e scevro da pregiudizi di sorta, arrivando a mettere in discussione il proprio credo aprioristico e più in generale i dogmi ingessati di una certa critica settoriale.

    Ma arriviamo al vino.

    La recensione di quello stesso libro redatta da Gabriele Benzing sul webzine Ondarock, mi ha fornito lo spunto per la più ardita delle associazioni: quella tra la diva del Titanic e il più popolare (e denigrato) tra i vini della nostra penisola. Mi è bastato sostituire ‘musica’ con ‘vino’, ‘Céline Dion’ con ‘Prosecco’ per ottenere un paragrafo piuttosto stimolante.

    “Che cosa ci ha fatto di male il prosecco? Da dove viene tutto questo odio? E perché l’identità del proprio gusto finisce per esprimersi pressoché inevitabilmente nel disprezzo del gusto degli altri? Perché ciascuno di noi odia alcuni vini, o l’intera produzione di una denominazione, che milioni e milioni di altre persone adorano? Dobbiamo rassegnarci al fatidico de gustibus che tronca con una scrollata di spalle la maggior parte delle discussioni su internet?

    Il gusto ha sempre a che vedere con gli interessi sociali, è un modo per distinguerci dagli altri: disprezzare il prosecco significa affermare di essere diversi da quelli che bevono prosecco. L’inferno è il vino degli altri. E spesso la pensiamo così un po’ tutti quanti. E’ la pancia a dirci che certi tipi di vino sono per certi tipi di persone. Il che fotografa alla perfezione certe pose eno-snob diventate ormai fin troppo familiari: il cliché ‘bevevo quel vino una volta’ – ovvero prima che piacesse a gente come te – è un esempio lampante di distinzione in atto.”

    Ecco l’assist che aspettavo per smarcarmi dagli haters della tipologia e fare scorta senza sensi di colpa, tralasciando per una volta l’Intravino-Bignami. L’azienda Caneva Da Nani si trova nel comune di Guia, nel cuore della DOCG Valdobbiadene, giusto un piede fuori dalla denominazione Cartizze. Avevo acquistato al mercato FIVI (e tracannato con grande soddisfazione) il loro vin col fondo 2018 dalla bollicina fine e cremosa, ma anche un sorprendente metodo classico 24 mesi dosaggio zero 2016 dal curioso profilo aromatico tutto zafferano.

    Poche parole al telefono per determinare la quantità minima necessaria ad abbattere i costi di spedizione e l’ordine è partito. L’annata 2019 del vin col fondo frizzante rifermentato in bottiglia non tradisce le aspettative. Si stappa (corona+bidule) con un bel botto che lascia intendere una pressione superiore ai canonici 2,5 bar. Al naso è dolce e floreale, al palato c’è la polpa croccante di frutta bianca a tenere botta prima che gli agrumi e la crosta di pane prendano il sopravvento.

    Evapora in un amen, col bicchiere della staffa velato dal sedimento in sospensione (a dire il vero minimo) che ci risparmia la sgradevole chiusa amara troppo spesso associata ai rifermentati in bottiglia senza sboccatura. Da cogliere al volo se si intende optare per la spensieratezza; da aspettare in bottiglia se si preferisce un’evoluzione sui lieviti più seriosa e profonda, già evidente nella versione 2018.

    Il Caneva Da Nani sui lieviti è un vino semplice, tipico, di grande piacevolezza e per tutte le tasche che tuttavia soffre di un paradosso: non troverete alcuna menzione ‘prosecco’ né in etichetta né sul retro. Insomma, un prosecco che arriva dal cuore del prosecco, che prosecco non è. Declassato perché il disciplinare della DOCG non consente l’utilizzo del tappo a corona. Houston, abbiamo un problema!

    Ah, non saprei dire se Céline Dion beva prosecco, del resto non conosco nemmeno le sue canzoni…

  • What To Expect From Tasting Champagne, Prosecco & Cava
    05 June 2020

    When enjoying a glass of Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, there are certain aromas and flavours that are common amongst each of them.

    Now, not every Champagne, Prosecco or Cava will taste similar, some will end up completely surprising you with their own unique aromas and flavours.

    Champagne

    France

    The aromas and flavours from a Champagne can all depend on how much time it spends fermenting in oak barrels compared to stainless steel vats.

    The typical aromas and flavours from Champagne can be very similar, so I’m just going to list them together.

    Aromas & Flavours:

    • Toast
    • Burnt Toast
    • Butter
    • Brioche
    • Croissant
    • Yellow Fruits
    • Yellow Stone Fruits
    • Green Fruits
    • Oak
    • Burnt Oak
    • Zesty – Lemon or Lime
    • Floral
    Prosecco

    Italy

    The notes on a glass of Prosecco are widely different from Champagne, because Prosecco is made using the Charmat Method instead of the Classic, Champagne Method, the aromas and flavours are much fruitier than in a glass of Champagne.

    Aromas & Flavours:

    • Green Fruits
    • Apples – Red or Green
    • Pears
    • Tropical Fruits
    • Pineapple
    • Banana
    • Melon
    • Peach
    • Blossom – Yellow or White
    • Floral
    • Zesty – Lemon or Lime
    Cava

    Spain

    The third big name in the Sparkling Wine industry, Cava also has its own unique aromas and flavours to become familiar with.

    Aromas & Flavours:

    • Petroleum
    • Plastic
    • Green Apples
    • Green Fruits
    • Zesty – Lemon or Lime
    • Grapefruit
    • Red Berries
    • Summer Berry Fruits
    • Raspberries
    • Citrus – Lemon or Lime

     

    There you have it, some of the most popular aromas and flavours from Champagne, Prosecco and Cava, there are of course going to be some outliers and aromas/flavours that will have you stumped, but for the most part, you will get some of these aromas and flavours.

    I hope this helps you with discovering the mysteries in your glass. I would recommend that when you start out wine tasting to have a picture of different foods including herbs, spices and floral in front of you to aid you in picking out the aromas/flavours, because it can be very overwhelming and sometimes impossible to pick out the certain aromas and flavours when you are starting off, it’s only when someone points it out or you see a piece of fruit for example that it triggers your memory to what you are experiencing.

  • Scallops & Carrot Purée With a Glass of Medot
    05 June 2020

    Creating a Fine Dining experience at home can be a great way to enjoy a date night with your lockdown partner.

    If you want to create a wholesome fine dining experience then you are going to want to start with a starter, something delicious but not filling to start off your tastebuds.

    Picking a Fine Glass of Bubbly

    After looking in ‘The Finest Champagne & Sparkling Wines with their recommended food pairings’ book by Stefania Ruffo and Christopher Walkey, I found a similar dish, Scallops and Jerusalem Artichoke Purée that was paired with a bottle of Medot Brut Cuvée, so I thought this Slovenian Sparkling Wine would work nicely.

    With vines dating back 40 years, Medot has been producing Slovenian Sparkling since the 1990s.

    Medot Brut Cuvée Tasting Notes

    Aromas –Green and yellow fruits with honey, a hint of oak and a smooth creamy finish.”

    Taste – “Delicate apricot, lightly toasted bread and citrus.”

    This Slovenian Sparkling Wine won a Gold Medal in the Classic & Elegant Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.

    Scallops & Carrot Purée

    Ingredients

    • Scallops
    • Carrot
    • Parsley

    How To Make Scallops & Carrot Purée

    1. Fry the Scallops for a couple of minutes on each side.
    2. Boil the Carrot/s and then blend or mash.
    3. Put the blended/mashed Carrot into a round cutter on the plate.
    4. Add a sprig of parsley on top of the carrot.
    5. Serve with the Scallops and enjoy.

    We here at Glass of Bubbly and the team at Mogul Matchmakers hope that you enjoy this starter and hope it inspires you to create a magical evening, filled with fine food and elegant Sparkling Wine.

    Hello @MissLisaPalmer @mogulmatchmaker – Here is my (@OliverWalkey) reply – For me, the best sparkling wine with scallops is: pic.twitter.com/CEoRZfyCGT

    — Glass of Bubbly® (@GlassOfBubbly) May 23, 2020

  • A Sparkling Wine For Every Season
    05 June 2020

    Every season brings a new atmosphere, with one making you want to spend as much time outside soaking in the sun, with an ice lolly in hand, where another will make you want to snuggle up indoors next to an open fire reading a good book with a glass of Sparkling Red Wine in hand, yes, that is a little teaser to what Sparkling Wine I will recommend for Winter.

    In this article, I will not just be choosing a good Sparkling Wine to drink in a certain season, I will tell you why each season is called what it is and when each season starts, as there are two different methods of telling the start and end of the season.

    But first what are the two different methods?

    Astronomer’s Calendar – Astronomer’s judge the start and end of each season by using the position of the earth related to the sun, that’s why their seasons don’t always start on the same day each year.

    Meteorological Calendar – Believe in keeping the same three months in each season to help reflect accurate climatological statistics when comparing year on year, which basically means the scientific study of our climate.

    The Four Seasons

    How do the changes in the seasons happen? The seasons are created by the position of the earth to the sun, the earth tilts on its axis every 6 months, from side to side, when the Southern Hemisphere of the earth tilts away from the sun, winter is created, you have colder temperatures and the possibility of snow, but when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, summer is experienced, with its hot temperatures and sunbathing weather, Spring and Autumn are experienced between the earth’s tilt, on its travels to and from the sun.

    As I am in the UK, these season dates are in the Northern Hemisphere, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, for example, your summer would start on the 1st of December, there is no easy answer to explain when a season starts, but I have tried my best to simplify it, these dates will only be relevant if you live on the top half of the earth, in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Winter

    Astronomer’s Calendar – Winter can start between the 20th and 23rd of December but it will more often than not, start on the 21st of December, Winter will then last until the 19th to the 21st of March.

    Meteorological Calendar – Winter starts on the 1st of December and will end on either the 28th or 29th of February, depending on whether it is a leap year.

    What Months are in Winter? December, January & February + March.

    Where does the word Winter come from? The word Winter comes from the Proto-Germanic* language, they called it, wentruz, which means Winter, but the first time the word winter was used as we know it today, was in the 12th century.

    So what Sparkling Wine can capture Winter in a bottle? Vinarstvo Rebula – Br’stovska Penina Teran

    Vinarstvo Rebula – Br’stovska Penina Teran

    Specialists for sparkling wines located in Brstovica on the Western Karst Region, with roots dating back to 1900 and Sparkling Wine production from 1982. Production of fine full-bodied Sparkling Wines, White Brut Malvasia and Semi Dry Vitovska Garganja and Dry Rosé, as well as Teran Brut.

    Tasting Notes

    Aromas – “Dark berries with a hint of spiciness.”

    Taste – “A sweeter and fizzy sensation of dark red and blackberries.”

    This Slovenian Sparkling Wine won the Trophy in the Winter Warmer Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.

    Spring

     

    Astronomer’s Calendar – Spring can start between the 19th and 21st of March and will normally end on the 21st of June, but can end anywhere between the 20th and 22nd of June.

    Meteorological Calendar – Spring will start to blossom on the 1st of March and come to an end on the 31st of May.

    This is the time where trees will start to grow their leaves, flowers will start to appear and newborn chickens and lambs will come into this world, this is also the season where the temperature will start to rise as the Northern Hemisphere starts tilting towards the sun.

    What Months are in Spring? March, April & May + June.

    Where does the word Spring come from? Spring has gone through a few name changes, it started with Lencten, Lent for short, the word was created in the old English language, this would refer to Spring, but later in the 14th century, it started to become what we know it today, with it being called ‘Springing Time’ they would call it this because of seeing the plants ‘springing’ out from the ground, then in the 15th century they shortened it, to ‘Spring Time’ and then finally in the 16th century it would go through its last name change, to end up as ‘Spring’

    So what Sparkling Wine can capture Spring in a bottle? Bolney Wine Estate – 2017 Cuvée Rosé Brut

    Bolney Wine Estate – 2017 Cuvée Rosé Brut

    Located just 14 miles from the south coast on the edge of the South Downs in Sussex, Bolney Wine Estate is a private, family owned business, it comprises of five unique vineyard sites and their head winemaker, Sam Linter the daughter of the founders, Janet and Rodney.

    When Janet and Rodney originally founded Bolney Wine Estate they called it Bookers Vineyard, they became the sixth commercial vineyard in the UK.

    Tasting Notes

    Aromas – “Soft creamy red berry aromas.”

    Taste – “Crisp red fruit flavours, very refreshing with a zesty finish.”

    This English Sparkling Wine won the Trophy in the Spring Fling Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.

    Summer

    Astronomer’s Calendar – Summer will start either on the 20th or 22nd of June and will end between the 21st to the 23rd of September.

    Meteorological Calendar – Summer starts on June 1st and comes to a close on August 31st.

    What Months are in Summer? June, July & August + September.

    Where does the word Summer come from? Summer comes from the old English word sumor, which meant summer as well, sumor also came from the Proto-Germanic language.

    So what Sparkling Wine can capture Summer in a bottle? Raimes – Vintage Rose

    Raimes currently has 10 beautiful flourishing acres of vines, located in the South Downs National Park in Hampshire, Raimes is a family owned winery with Augusta and Robert being the 5th generation to farm the fields.

    Tasting Notes

    Aromas –“Vibrant summer fruits and red berry aromas.”

    Taste – “It has a beautiful strawberry flavour and it really is like Summer in a glass.”

    This English Sparkling Wine won the Trophy in the Summer Days Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.

    Autumn/Fall

     

    Astronomer’s Calendar – Autumn will start between the 21st and the 23rd of September and end between the 20th and the 23rd of December.

    Meteorological Calendar – Autumn starts on the 1st of September and ends just in time for the month of Christmas on the 30th of November.

    What Months are in Autumn/Fall? September, October & November + December.

    Where does the word Autumn come from? Autumn is mostly used in England and Fall is mostly used in North America, but Fall first originated in England, it would be assumed they called it this because of the leaves falling from the trees but I cannot confirm, Fall first appeared in the late 16th century England, it gathered popularity in the 17th century and then was carried across the Atlantic where it ended up in North America, we then later decided to change it, but due to the American Revolution, the Americans didn’t want to change it with us.

    The exact origin of the word Autumn is unclear, but what is perfectly clear is that the word at one point came from the Latin language of ‘autumnus’ (people are just not 100% sure where they got it from), during the middle ages the French used ‘autompne’ as the word for Autumn, then it made it’s way to England, where we turned it into Autumn.

    So what Sparkling Wine can capture Autumn in a bottle? Lumiere – Kakitsubata

    Lumiere – Kakitsubata

    How better to enter the final season of the year than with a Forget Me Not Sparkling Wine, a Sparkling Wine with a unique taste that makes it stand out and be unforgettable.

    Founded in by Tokugi Furiya in 1885, this Japanese winery is currently being run by Shigeki Kida, their 5th generation of winemakers.

    This Japanese Sparkling Wine won the Trophy in the Forget Me Not Category at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2019.

    Tasting Notes

    Aromas & Taste – “Apple. honey, yellow rose petals and even a touch of banana.”

    So there are the four seasons and four Sparkling Wines that I believe capture these seasons beautifully in the bottle.

    *Proto-Germanic is the reconstructed proto-language of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Wikipedia

    I would like to give thanks to Merriam Webster and Calendarpedia for helping me source out some of this information.

  • Magnums vs Standard Sized Bottles with Ferrari Trento
    05 June 2020

    For me, I’ve only been around for a few months in the world of sparkling wine, the biggest appeal to a Magnum was, of course, its size, the attraction was that it was different, it was bigger and I saw it as holding more excitement, more mystery and possibly a better overall tasting experience thanks to these factors.

    I wanted to explore the world of magnums so we put a call out to our award winning wineries and we were delighted that Ferrari Trento kindly sent us a selection to taste.

    Having researched in greater depth the reports and stories of magnums I can clearly see that for many wine experts it holds a strong preference when it comes to aromas and flavours from especially traditional method and vintage labels.

    There are 14 sparkling wine bottle sizes from the smallest at 187ml (Piccolo) to the largest being 30l (Melchizedek). Check out our free infographic here on Champagne bottle sizes.

    It was interesting to learn that a magnum and a standard bottle both have the same neck size and both contain the same air content, this means that a magnum matures slower and for longer, which results in a more elegant and complex tasting experience.

    A standard bottle will generally give you around 7 servings and a magnum is simply double that to 14 servings, this of course depends very much on the size of glass and how generous you are when pouring!

    What I wanted to find out is if a great tasting wine in a standard bottle really tastes any better or different in a magnum. It is the same wine is it not? The same grapes? Same winemaker?

     

    Standard Bottles vs Magnums

    Maximum Brut Blanc de Blancs N.V. – Standard Bottle Size – Tasting notes: “Brioche, Yellow floral, whole green apple, apricot on the nose. A touch dry initially then soft citrus and peach with a touch of sea breeze.”

    Maximum Brut Blanc de Blancs N.V. – Magnum Bottle Size – Tasting notes: “Great green and golden fruit aromas. Fruity on the nose with a touch of dry honey, toast, brioche, yellow floral. Flavours are so very engaging. A delicate balance of soft dry citrus, green fruits, hints of burnt toast, blossom and minerals. Out of the three magnum tastings (Perlé 2014, Trento Brut and this one) it was my preferred both in tasting qualities and comparing it to the standard size. Cheers Ferrari Trento!”

    Trento Brut N.V. – Standard Bottle Size – Tasting notes: “Green apples, soft citrus, touch of floral in flavours, a great livening sparkling wine from the famous Trentodoc winery, Ferrari.”

    Trento Brut N.V. – Magnum Bottle Size – Tasting notes: “Once again, the magnum is so much more explosive on aromas. Citrus, pastry, yeast, yellow fruits and a touch of white rose petals. Flavours are alive and very much invigorating. It’s like taking a dive into a cool swimming pool on a hot summers day. Fruity and pastry, floral and zesty.”

    Perlé U.V. Vintage 2014 – Standard Bottle Size – Tasting notes: “There is always a fine quality with Ferrari, it’s a pulse that runs through all their labels. The 2014 Perlé is a lively and fresh vintage, very young at heart. Burnt toast, green fruits, citrus on the nose. A refreshing burst of flavours hit you. Rounded citrus, hints of toast / oak, green apple skin, nuttiness and more to excite wine lovers of the fizzy kind.”

    Perlé U.V. Vintage 2014 – Magnum Bottle Size – Tasting notes: “Much more punchy aromas, nose blowing initially! Certainly more of its smokey / toasty characters in the magnum aromas. Bubbles appear much more active also. Flavours are intense, they are much more bold in character with citrus, smokey toast, bruised green apples, orchard fruits, spices too. Magnum looks the part and it acts it also!“

wine podcast

05 June 2020

wine podcast
  • Ep. 322 Jumbo Shrimp Guide | North Italy
    04 June 2020
    Italian Wine Podcast Episode 322: It's Thursday so that must mean Narrator Joy Livingston is back with another installment of the Jumbo Shrimp Guide to Italian Wine. Joy takes us on a cruise through eight regions of Northern Italy. Listen in to glean tasting notes on Barbera, Dolcetto, and Fumin. Supported by: The Jumbo Shrimp Guide to Italian Wine from Positive Press. Paperback available from positivepress.net, Kindle version on Amazon.
  • Ep 328: The Wines of Lebanon
    04 June 2020

    With a history that stretches back perhaps 9,000 years to 7,000 B.C., Lebanon contains some of the original winemaking areas. In spite of political turmoil, violence, and opposition to wine (and all alcohol) and winemaking, this country has always found a way to keep production alive. Its unlikely location and small size may seem, at first glance, to be an impossibility for quality wine but the geography and the fortitude of the people here have created a unique and enduring wine culture.

    In the show we discuss the long history of Lebanon in wine -- from the Phoenicians, to the Greeks and Romans, monks, and then to the French, who had such a huge influence in their 30 year tie to this region between World War I and World War II.

    Below are some notes on the climate, the spellings of the regions, and the producers we mention:

    • Lebanon is only about 150 miles long and 60 wide but it is extremely varied in terms of altitude and topography -- with beaches, hills, and high, snow-capped mountains all contained within.
      • It is at 33.5˚N latitude, about the same as Margaret River in Australia, and within the traditional grape growing band of 30˚-50˚ latitude (north or south)
      • There are four main geographic regions: the coastal plain, the Mount Lebanon range (altitudes of nearly 10,000 feet), the Bekaa Valley, and the Anti-Lebanon Range
      • Most wine producers are in the western Bekaa but some are experimenting with new terroir in Batroun and  areas in the Eastern Bekaa
    • The key to good wine in Lebanon is altitude: The Bekaa Valley has altitude of around 1,000m/3,820ft. This is a plateau but there is a moderating influence of Mount Lebanon and the area has snowmelt and rain runoff from the mountain to provide ample water for grapes
    • The soils are colluvial (runoff from mountains) so they are divers and contain limestone, clay/loam, stones, gravel and some red terra rossa soil similar to Coonawarra in South Australia
    • Climate is Mediterranean, with long, dry and often very hot summers. The mountains and valley get very cold at night and the diurnal temperature swings are so dramatic that grapes can maintain acidity if grown in the right places 
    • The Wines:

      • Only about 2,000 ha/4,942 acres are cultivated and yields are extremely low

      • The main reds are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault (the grape with the longest heritage), Carignan, Grenache, with Merlot, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo and Pinot Noir

      • The main whites are: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, Muscat, Clairette, and Riesling along with indigenous grapes Merwah and Obaideh

      • The wines have always been known for excellent fragrance, spice, and a sweet aroma (but not flavor)
      • French influence is everywhere in these wines-- some of the top wine producers from France consult for wineries in Lebanon and help craft the wines of the top producers

     

    Top Producers are:

    Above: Ixsir

    Most of these wines are around USD$20! They are worth a try! 

     

    _____________________________

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:

    Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

    To sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

    And get your copy Wine For Normal People Book today! 

     

    Wine Access 

    Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

    Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range). Check out their awesome wine club, which is the REAL DEAL!  Wine Access is fantastic and satisfaction is guaranteed! Give them a try -- you won't regret it!  

  • Ep. 321 Monty Waldin on Biodynamic Wine | Introduction
    04 June 2020
    Italian Wine Podcast Episode 321: Host Monty Waldin introduces us to his book, Biodynamic Wine. Monty's book is the authoritative text on biodynamic wines. Here, he reads excerpts and expands on concepts that are key to understanding the differences between biodynamic grape production and conventional agriculture. Expect more Biodynamic Wine conversation with Monty Waldin each Wednesday. For a limited time Monty's publisher, Infinite Ideas, is offering a 15% discount. Check Italian Wine Podcast social media channels for details. UK shop: https://loom.ly/yy9GBPg US shop: https://loom.ly/wHgaTAQ
  • Episode 40: What is the Future of Work and Are You Ready?
    03 June 2020

    The only constant in life is change. And pandemic or not, life and work is changing at light speed.  In this episode Paula and Kirby talk about the effect technology is having on our daily life and the effects of this disruption on our work, social, and emotional states.  Things are changing and it will be necessary for us to develop a way to adapt with it.

  • Ep 327: Wine Ingredient Labeling Pushes Forward in the EU -- with Barnaby Eales
    03 June 2020

    I know this topic may seem wonky, but consider a world where you could look at a wine label and see if there was extra, unwanted sweetness or if the wine was packed with chemicals (actual picture of big hulking winery on the right, below).

                    

                                                        

    Barnaby Eales, international wine journalist takes us through the European Union's ultimatum to producers, the machinations they are going through, and the likely outcomes of transparency in wine. From the impact on top conventional producers (it should be great -- they can finally stand up to "natural wine" producers and say their products aren't loaded with chemicals) to the producers that may have to cop to a list of additives a mile long (industrial wine, I'm looking at you!), we go over the ramifications of this initiative, the complications behind it, and the benefits transparency brings to us all. 

    Barnaby's article is here: The EU Moves on Wine Ingredient Labeling

    Above: Barnaby Eales, Journalist

    ______________________________________________

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:

    Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

    And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

    Get your copy Wine For Normal People Book today! 

     

    Wine Access 

    Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

    I’m so excited to introduce Wine Access to you. Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range).

    • They offer top quality wines by selecting diverse, interesting, quality bottles you may not have access to at local shops.
    • Wine Access provides extensive tasting notes, stories about the wine and a really cool bottle hanger with pairings, flavor profile, and serving temps.
    • Wines are warehoused in perfect conditions and shipped in temperature safe packs. Satisfaction is guaranteed! 

    Check it out today! www.wineaccess.com/normal 

  • Ep 326: The Best Spanish Wines You've Never Heard of -- Jumilla and Yecla
    03 June 2020

    Tucked into a small corner of southeast Spain is one of the greatest sources for delicious, multi-layered, and decadent reds you’ll find. In the province of Murcia, at latitude 39˚N lay two regions of Monastrell (Mourvèdre) production that have quietly churned out wine for more than 3,000 years: Jumilla (joo-ME-yah) and Yecla (YAY-clah).

    Today, these regions are magnificent but receive so little press that we can get exquisite bottles that have the fullness, richness and depth for less than US$20.

    In the podcast, we take you through the wine history of the region --from the early days with the Phoenicians to the Romans and then the Moors, and then a few strange brushes with the phylloxera root louse that at first propelled the region’s wines, then decimated the land and ultimately saved this area from a fate of nasty bulk production to make it a quiet haven of powerful reds.

    We discuss the conditions in Murcia, discuss Bullas, a small Denominacíon de Origen and then we move to the big guns of this area: Jumilla and Yecla.

     

    Jumilla 

    Jumilla is the best area quality in Murcia and also makes the most wine. Vineyards are spread across a wide valleys and plateaus surrounded by mountains. A few geological and climate facts:

    • The high elevation of the vineyards -- between 1,300 -2,600 ft (400 -800 m) make it possible for grapes to cool at night and maintain acidity.
    • The soils here are dark and have a high limestone content. They’re permeable but have good moisture retaining properties, allowing the vines during the harsh summer droughts.
    • This is a very difficult place to grow things – it’s a harsh, dry, continental climate that is tempered a bit by Mediterranean breezes but is brutal in its dry heat.

    Jumilla is one of Spain’s oldest DOs – its historical legacy as a high-quality wine producer is well known in its native land. It now makes whites, reds, and rosés, although the reds are the flagship for the region.

    • Red grapes include: Monastrell, Tempranillo (called Cencibel here), Garnacha Tinta, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The French varietals were added to the Monastrell to create more dimension in the finished wine (read: international appeal). This has been critically acclaimed, however some of it muddies the character of the grape.
    • White grapes include: Aíren, Macabeo, Pedro Ximenez, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Mosacatel de Grano Menudo
    • Although not mentioned in the podcast, the Jumilla DO has several areas it draws from: Jumilla, Montealegre, Fuenteálamo, Tobarra, Hellín, Ontur, and Albatana. 40% of the wine is from Jumilla proper.

    Monastrell represents 85% of the vines planted and 80% of any blend must be this grape. The character of the wine is superb:  it tastes like dark fruit, earth, and minerals with a brambly, gamy character. With age, these flavors mellow to be more like dark soil, coffee and spice.

     

    Although it isn’t prevalent, Jumilla makes rosé from 80% Monastrell too -- in the best versions it’s similar to the rosé of Bandol, in Provence, France with some acidity and tannin and, from a careful producer, the opportunity to potentially have a longer life than 1 year.

     

    Modern technology, good farming and a consistent climate mean there isn’t a lot of vintage variation here although the region does have aging classifications similar to Rioja:

    • Vino joven ("young wine") or Sin crianza: little, if any, wood aging.
    • Crianza:
      • Reds: aged for 1 year total -- at least 6 months in oak, 6 months in the bottle.
      • Whites and rosés: at least 1 year with at least 4 months in oak.
    • Reserva:
      • Reds: aged for at least 2 years -- at least 12 months in oak, 12 months in the bottle.
      • Whites and rosés: aged at least 18 months with at least 6 months in oak.
    • Gran Reserva: Made only above average vintages.
      • Reds: 4 years aging, 12 months of which in oak and a minimum of 36 months in the bottle.
      • Whites and rosés: aged for at least 4 years with at least 6 months in oak

     

    Yecla

    Towards the end of the show, we discuss the smallest and northernmost wine zone in Murcia, Yecla. This area is landlocked by other DOs: Jumilla DO to the southwest, Almansa DO to the north, and Alicante DO to the east. It’s 50 miles (80km) inland and represents a transition from more coastal Mediterranean influences to hotter, arid continental conditions.

     

    Yecla is similar to Jumilla in that its altitude allows the grapes to maintain acidity at night, creating balance in the wines.

    • White grapes: Airen, Macabeo, Merseguera, Malvasia, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay. These wines are usually blended. A small amount of sparkling wine is also made here.
    • Red grapes: similar to those of Jumilla, but the blends must have a least 85% Monastrell. The area has transitioned from making a light, very fruity red to making more serious reds with spice mineral and red fruit notes, after seeing the success Jumilla has enjoyed.

    If you haven’t tried these wines yet, get on it. They will become your new go-to and a total revelation for your palate (and wallet!).

     

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:

    Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

    And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

    Get your copy Wine For Normal People Book today! 

     

    Wine Access 

    Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

    I’m so excited to introduce Wine Access to you. Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range).

    • They offer top quality wines by selecting diverse, interesting, quality bottles you may not have access to at local shops.
    • Wine Access provides extensive tasting notes, stories about the wine and a really cool bottle hanger with pairings, flavor profile, and serving temps.
    • Wines are warehoused in perfect conditions and shipped in temperature safe packs. Satisfaction is guaranteed! 

    Check it out today! www.wineaccess.com/normal 

  • 103 - Weird Wines of the World (Texas, India, Uruguay)
    03 June 2020

    The Wine Warriors start off 2020 by exploring beyond their normal wine worlds, Texas, India, and Uruguay all prove to be surprising the gang with each new bottle.

    Wines Reviewed on the show:

    Bell Springs Winery - Red Blend (Texas)

    2013 - Soul Tree - Cabernet Sauvignon (India)

    2016 - Cerro Chapeu Reserva - Tannat (Uruguay) 

    Visit www.trywinc.com/winewars for free shipping and $20 off of your first order from WINC. Use the promo code WineWars at checkout.

    Visit www.audibletrial.com/winewars for a free audiobook and 30-day free trial of Audible. 

    Shop on amazon and help support the show.

    Visit us on all the social medias!

    Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Vivino

  • Ep 325: The Greats -- Alsace Riesling
    03 June 2020

    Alsace Riesling is, without a doubt, one of the greatest white wines of the world. With its rich body, effusive flavor that ranges from flowers to fruit to nuts and spice, and acidity to keep it in balance, this liquid gold has been famed for centuries. It was the wine that got me into wine, my "aha" wine but even without that, I would still love the wine.

     

    Alsace has a rich history (it's been the ball in a ping pong match between Germany and France for centuries), and a complex geology and climate.

    Alsace is a land of paradoxes. It labels wines by grape and bottles in tall German-style but its wines are distinctively French in their elegant, silky, voluptuous style. It is one of the most northerly growing regions in the world at (47˚ - 49˚  north latitude) and yet the summers are hot, dry, and sunny due to its location in the rainshadow of the Vosges Mountains. It is a small area, yet it contains 13 soil types, and more microclimates than can be counted. 

     

    There is wonderful wine to be had from Riesling -- from the basic wines of the plains to crémant (sparkling) to unctuous sweet wines (Vendanges Tardives and Selection de Grains Nobles) but the Greats of Alsace are the top wines of the Grands Crus.

    These 51 sites are not all exceptional, but those that are make wines of unparalleled aroma, flavor, and texture that still have the pointed acidity you'd expect from Alsace. When you get a great Alsace Grand Cru Riesling, it is a memorable experience that you never forget. Here are a few details that may have been hard to catch from the show:

     

    Geology and Climate deets:

    • We discuss the graben (not the mythical creature we posit it could be and for which we provide side effects): a trough formed by two parallel faults that rubbed and broke many geological eras ago.
    • We mention the various soil types -- volcanic, gneiss, granite, schist, limestone, marl, sand, loess, loam alone and together

     

    We discuss the classifications of Alsace:

    • Alsace AOC 
    • Alsace Communes:
      • Bergheim
      • Blienschwiller
      • Coteaux du Haut Koenigsbourg
      • Cotes de Rouffach
      • Cotes de Barr
      • Klevner de Heiligenstein
      • Ottrott
      • Rodern
      • Scherwiller
      • Hippolyte
      • Vallee Noble
      • Val St. -Gregoire
      • Wolxheim
    • Alsace Lieu-Dit: A plot or vineyard with special character – have to meet strict requirements

    Alsace Grand Cru examples discussed:  

    • Schlossberg – 1st Grand cru, 1975
    • Hengst
    • Brand
    • Rangen  (challenging vineyard, ages well)
    • Schoenenbourg  (where Voltaire one owned vines)

     

    Producers mentioned:

    • Reliably DRY producers: Trimbach (Clos Sainte Hune Cuvée Frédéric Émile), Ostertag and Kreydenweiss
    • Others: Zind-Humbrecht, Josmeyer, Hugel, Domaine Weinbach, Beyer

    __________________________________________________________

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:

    Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople

    And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes! 

     

    Get your copy Wine For Normal People Book today! 

     

    Wine Access 

    Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

    I’m so excited to introduce Wine Access to you. Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range).

    • They offer top quality wines by selecting diverse, interesting, quality bottles you may not have access to at local shops.
    • Wine Access provides extensive tasting notes, stories about the wine and a really cool bottle hanger with pairings, flavor profile, and serving temps.
    • Wines are warehoused in perfect conditions and shipped in temperature safe packs. Satisfaction is guaranteed! 

    Check it out today! www.wineaccess.com/normal 

  • Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 8 - H is for Hunter Valley
    03 June 2020

    Welcome to Winephabet Street Season 2 Episode 8 - H is for Hunter Valley. Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work our way through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions one letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us.

    The month of May we traveled down under to Australia’s Hunter Valley. Did you know that the Hunter Valley is the Birthplace of Australian wine? It is also the oldest Australian wine region, home to 150 wineries, gourmet restaurants,, spas, and concerts in the vineyard. It is a two hour drive North of Sydney.

     

    Hope Estate

    This months wine selection was from Hope Estate, located in Pokolbin. They are more than a winery, with a brewery on site and a large concert venue. They hosted entertainers Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones.

    Hope Estate is owned by Michael Hope and his family. He began the winery as a retirement hobby that grew into a national brand. He wants to continue to grow and build on his brand.

     

    2017 Hope Estate Basalt Block Shiraz, Hunter Valley - A lovely Shiraz! I was pleasantly surprised by this Shiraz, as I was expecting something fruit forward and it was not. It wasn’t a bold in your face wine. It was very enjoyable! The aromas escaping the glass were a mix of red and black fruit, plum, cherry, black spice and vanilla. The palate was biting into a freshly picked ripe plum, with licorice spice on the finish.

     

     

    Watch the webinar or listen to the podcast

     

    For more episodes of Winephabet Street visit http://winephabetstreet.com/

  • 102 - The Rise of Skywalker Review
    03 June 2020

    After 42 years and 9 movies the Skywalker saga has finally come to an end. Is it an end that can live up to all of the hype and expectations of Star Wars fans around the globe?

    The wine warriors wrap up 2019 with a review of the film and some discussion around the new Disney+ show, The Mandalorian.

    Let us know what you thought of The Rise of Skywalker and have a wonderful holiday season! 

    Visit www.trywinc.com/winewars for free shipping and $20 off of your first order from WINC. Use the promo code WineWars at checkout.

    Visit www.audibletrial.com/winewars for a free audiobook and 30-day free trial of Audible. 

    Shop on amazon and help support the show.

    Visit us on all the social medias!

    Twitter - Facebook - Instagram - Vivino

Author Information
admin
PLG_AUTHORINFOBOX_FRONTEND_AUTHOR: admin
Latest buzzmyid.com Articles

Share with friendsMOD_ITPSOCIALBUTTONS_PRINT_THIS_PAGE