Wine News 26 August to 2 September

It’s time for our weekly round-up of the wine stories we found interesting this week.

If you are thinking of starting a wine club, Vinepair has some suggestions for how to get things off on the right foot. There is a lot of useful information here, including a wine tasting note sheet and suggestions for themes you might use to structure a meeting.

According to a recent study, wine grape pomace, a by-product of wine production, can be added to baked goods to improve their nutritional content. Pomace is usually wasted, but instead it could be used to add dietary fibre and polyphenols to brownies, breads, and muffins.

The Frey family, owners of Chateau La Lagune in Bordeaux and Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine in the Rhone, has bought Chateau de Corton André in Burgundy. It’s understood that oenologist Caroline Frey will run these new vineyards in addition to the family’s existing estates.

Jancis Robinson has been running a contest on her website that is well worth checking out. She’s offered a copy of her book Wine Grapes to the person who writes the best piece on his or her favourite independent wine shop. Entries have poured in from around the globe, and whether you want to see if any of the shops are in your area or just remind yourself what it is that a wine seller can offer to turn buying wine from a shopping chore to a real joy, you’ll find the entries informative. While you’re on the site, you may also want to check out recent features on the Napa earthquake and Ruth Spivey, the force behind London’s successful Wine Car Boot Sale.

Austrian wine was in the news this week, both in Fiona Beckett’s article in the Guardian and the Drinks Business offered 8 Austrian winemakers to watch. Shoreditch’s Newcomer Wines figures prominently in both.

Rally cars have crashed and flattened vines in the Mosel, home to some of Germany’s best vineyards. Tensions between winemakers and race organisers are running high, and you can see why.

Bottlenotes tipped us off to a new website,, the brainchild of two physicians hoping to provide the latest information on wine and health while dispelling some of the many misleading stories that circulate.

Archaeologists have found a 4000-year-old wine cellar in Israel. Evidence suggests that the wine was flavoured with honey, juniper, and maybe also mint, myrtle and cinnamon. Get the details on Decanter.

We saw two fascinating and rare views of German vineyards this week, one set of the Rheingau from a helicopter compliments of Dr. Christian G.E. Schiller and the other a set of photographs of the creation of a German vineyard in the 1920s.

And finally, treat yourself to a read of Ron Washam’s witty and irreverent account of what it takes to become a successful sommelier on Tim Atkin’s website. We appreciate the frankness of the advice and the memorable images, such as this one:

Once you’ve spent some time as a sommelier, you’ll learn that no one gives a crap what wine goes with their food, they only want to eat what they want with the wine that they want, and earn your official expert sommelier approval. Gratuities often follow. Remember, when it comes to food, people act like their nine-year-old selves. Bringing them the appropriate white wine will only result in a tantrum, holding of their breath until they turn blue, or anger-urinating. You don’t want a restaurant full of angry, wet, blue people like you’re in a James Cameron movie.

You don’t have to be a sommelier to find the article funny.
That’s it for this week. Let us know if we missed your favourite story!

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