Wine News 30 September to 7 October

Halloween costumes and jarred mincemeat cheek by jowl in the shops — it must be October in England! I suppose it’s just as well there isn’t much the shops sell particularly for Bonfire Night. Except maybe those extra large marshmallows Mrs. Winetuned likes, of course. Mmmm . . . marshmallows. Before I am lost in a slightly charred, sugary reverie, let’s get to the week’s wine news!

I saw some amazing headlines yesterday. A grape has been found that may be the solution to climate change. Or, if you read the article, a grape has been found that may address some of the problems climate change is causing for grapes. Polar bears will have to look elsewhere for a solution to their shrinking habitat. In any case, meet Pedebernade no. 5.

The Alsatian wine-producer Etienne Hugel has complained publicly that French supermarket E. Leclerc is selling his wine, despite all distributors of Hugel’s wines being specifically told not to sell the wines through supermarkets. Hugel’s objection is both to supermarkets using one or two high-profile wines to lure customers in to browse their generally lower quality wines and to a distributor going against Hugel’s express wishes and selling the wine on to Leclerc anyway.

A plan is afoot to make wine in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Surprised? The ex-missionary and non-drinker says the Fruit of the Vine vineyard (known locally as Château Hebrides) should have bottles ready for drinking early next year.

Fans of German wine, head over to Wine-Searcher for an interview with Germany’s own Dr. Loosen.

Don’t be put off by the Ming-the-Merciless-style cartoon bug used with this piece. Apparently, the threat from an Asian fruit fly is already quite real in Bordeaux.

This story about the German city of Essen paying homeless alcoholics in beer for tidying up run-down areas . . . well. The program is based on similar initiatives in the Netherlands, so perhaps there’s something to it.

It’s time again for an article on whether or not English wines can compete on the international stage, this time from the Wall Street Journal. At some point, surely people will realise the answer is yes and get on with the business of buying and drinking it.

Sobering statistics on Dr. Vino’s blog this week: “We know that a third of Americans abstain from alcohol. Another third don’t drink too much. But the Wonkblog has a striking graphic showing that the top decile really pound the stuff, drinking an astonishing ten drinks per day. That’s about two bottles of wine a day.” Actually, I’m not sure Americans will be that surprised by this. Mrs. Winetuned wasn’t, but there are some interesting conclusions to draw from this in terms of the U.S. wine industry. Read the whole post on Dr. Vino.

And finally, Vinepair featured an infographic showing which grapes are used to make which wines in France. If you don’t know your left bank from your right and are baffled by blends, this will have you sorted.

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