If your June is like ours thus far, you may be dashing betweens wine events, parties, travels and, er, mechanical bull riding. Still, we’ve saved a bit of time for this week’s wine news!
André Lurton, the only Bordeaux winemaker to test out the use of screwcap closures on classified whites, has decided to stop the trial after resistance from French buyers.
Fans of Alsatian wines, there’s an interview with Alsace’s Anne Trimbach on Bottlenotes.
VinePair celebrates the particular beauties of the Viennese urban vineyard and the Austrian heuriger, where winemakers sell their young wines in an atmosphere like no other.
Before you leave the VinePair site, you might also want to take a look at the infographic pairing wine with America’s most famous types of barbecue. I’m trying to imagine some of these flavours together and can’t quite manage it. I must need to eat lots more barbecue and make a thorough study of the issue!
On the subject of wine matching, Fiona Beckett has posted a guide to pairing food with Vermentino — a particularly useful guide in warmer weather.
A trade war may see Canada place huge taxes on imported wine from the U.S. in a dispute over meat products.
Matt Walls offers up a recipe and wine suggestions for oeufs en cocotte. He includes variations with spinach and smoked salmon, and any of them would make a fantastic brunch, lunch or light summer dinner.
World Gin Day is coming up on Saturday. Will you be celebrating?
Whether you are looking for upcoming events, feel a bit scientific, or want to dig in to some of wine’s controversial topics, this week we have you covered!
If you aren’t near London, English Wine Week is coming up from Saturday 23 May to Sunday 31 May. Events will take place all over the country and you can get information about what’s going on in your area on the English Wine Producers website.
In previous years, International Sherry Week followed hot on the heels of London Wine Week and English Wine Week, but the celebration has been renamed Sherry Wine Week this year and shifted to 2-8 November 2015. You can go to the Sherry Wine Week website and subscribe to the newsletter if you want to keep up with the latest news.
English Sparkling Wine Day will apparently be celebrated on St. George’s Day on 23 May 2015. We believe this may be the first year English sparkling has been celebrated, so if you are so inclined, get out there and try some of the best bubbly the South of England has to offer. A peculiar twist of fate means we’ll actually be at an Australian wine tasting on the day, but we tasted 2010 Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé, 2011 Ridgeview Bloomsbury, and 2009 Nyetimber Brut Classic Cuvée last year during English Wine Week and posted our notes. The 2010 Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé is a particular favourite of ours, so if you’re looking for an English sparkling wine to try, you might start there.
Will Lyons has written an article for the Wall Street Journal on Bordeaux’s Château Lafleur, Pomerol’s tiny, family-owned wine powerhouse.
Researchers at the University of Queensland have discovered the success of Pinot Noir may be down to its ability to incorporate virus DNA into its own genes and evolve.
If you’re looking for a wine adventure in London, the Wine Sleuth recently attended one of the twice monthly tastings held in the 380-year-old wine cellar of the Stafford Hotel in St. James in Central London.
The Academic Wino weighs up the pros and cons of the Ganimede fermentation method and the traditional fermentation method used for red wine.
On Wine Shout you can read about Italy’s Alto Adige DOC and the 2013 Lagrein from Elena Walch Family Estates.
On Wine-Searcher Jason Wilson argues that the intense Summer of Riesling campaign that has dominated Riesling press in the United States for years has actually done more harm than good in promoting Riesling, primarily because sommeliers are still pushing sweet Rieslings.
A cache of the oldest known bottles of Ruinart Champagne have been unearthed in a cellar in Alsace.
There’s a peculiar new infographic from Jacob’s Creek making the rounds to help you match food and wine. Some of these wines aren’t the first we would have suggested, but then some of the foods aren’t either — Sea salt and balsamic vinegar crisps? “Gourmet” Scotch eggs?
One last note, in case you missed it last week: Daniel attended a staff tasting of some of the wines of Famille Hugel in Alsace. Not surprisingly, given that he loves Hugel wines and Alsatian wines in general, he was impressed. You can read the details here.
What’s going on in the world of wine? Here are the stories that caught our attention.
In English wine news, wine estates in Sussex are bidding to create a Sussex appellation. English wine producer Chapel Down is opposed, however. Read up on the debate.
Also in Sussex news, another £10k wine has been stolen in a nighttime raid.
Fires are threatening vineyards in South Africa, both directly from burning and from smoke taint.
An ancient Greek wine jug has been found at the burial site of a Celtic prince in the Champagne region. Take a look at how well preserved it is!
Over on Decanter, Jane Anson profiles Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac, two Right Bank appellations you should take a second look at.
And finally, a tasting panel opened a 150-year-old bottle of wine salvaged from an American Civil War shipwreck. Want to know what happened next? Read on.
So far we have avoided stating the obvious to our American readers, but we might as well give in: Cold enough out there for you? Here’s hoping the weather improves where you are very soon, and if it can’t, we hope the cupboards are stocked and you are sitting somewhere warm with a hot drink.
Here’s this week’s news!
Martin Bouygues, owner of Château Montrose, was reported dead over the weekend, but you will be glad to hear he’s actually feeling quite well.
Over on Wine Folly you’ll find an article on the 7 primary styles of Spanish wine. It’s definitely worth a look if you want to get to grips with Spanish wines.
Here’s a headline worthy of a double-take: “Brigitte Bardot Saves Alcoholic Bears.” We’ll just let you read that one for yourselves.
In today’s wine crimes, a man went into the Kellermeister Winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley and opened the taps on four tanks, resulting in the loss of 25,000 litres of wine. Meanwhile, it seems English wine has arrived: Burglars stole 5,000 bottles of wine worth £80,000 from a warehouse at Bolney Wine Estate in southern England. Not the mark of success a wine producer wants, of course.
Tim Atkin picks 10 top wines from 2010 Brunello di Montalcino, along with a good, informative discussion of recent vintages and some of the things that set Brunello apart.
A crowdfunding campaign in support of Champagne Jayne is gathering force on GoFundMe, despite Jayne herself being gagged by Melbourne Federal Court and unable to rally support herself. As you may remember, wine writer and educator Rachel Jayne Powell, known professionally as Champagne Jayne, incurred the wrath of the Champagne bureau CIVC apparently for discussing sparkling wines other than Champagne via her Twitter and Facebook accounts while using the trademarked name “Champagne” in her professional name.
And finally, if the weather where you are is getting you down, why not do a bit of armchair travel? Wine-Searcher offers up a wine-lover’s guide to Paris, while Decanter provides a travel guide for Valpolicella.
We are gutted to hear of the demise of SkyMall (or its bankruptcy, which probably heralds its end). Ten times more interesting than the in-flight magazine waiting in the back of the seat in front of you on an airplane, the SkyMall catalogue entertained me through many a trans-Atlantic flight. I hope I haven’t read my last copy. Dr. Vino blogged about his favourite mad wine-related items from SkyMall.
Remember all that expensive wine stolen from French Laundry in California? Most of it has been found across country in Greensboro, North Carolina. There must be a road movie in that somewhere.
Decanter posted a slideshow of the results of its Cahors tasting panel. Malbec fans should take a look.
Gearing up for Superbowl Sunday? You might find VinePair’s tool for pairing Superbowl foods with wine useful. And for the rest of the world, the pairings would work just as well for your football or Six Nations nibbles in upcoming weekends.
Need help understanding Bordeaux labels? Wine Enthusiast has you covered.
Over on Wine-Searcher, Tim Atkin has written a quick-and-dirty guide to DRC — no, not the Democratic Republic of Congo, but Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
Chilean producer Ignacio Recabarren says when he says Carmenère is “more than jam in the sandwich,” (i.e. more than something to add fruitiness to a blend), and we definitely agree that Chilean Carmenère deserve a second look — and glass.
And finally, are we the last ones to discover this Silly Tasting Notes Generator? Want a sample? “A firm,full textured but equally oily Dessert wine. Detecable american oak, freakishly evil raisin and bashful cardboard. Drink now through 2020.” We have got to find a way to use “freakishly evil raisin” and “bashful cardboard” in tasting notes. Via Dr. Vino.
It’s the Tuesday before Halloween, and although we could probably fill the wine news with an array of articles and infographics on matching Halloween candy with wine, we’re bucking the trend. Here’s the rest of the week’s wine news, from fungi to fun with wine and television. Enjoy!
An airborne fungus called Esca has infected 13% of France’s vines this year, and is at this point incurable, given that the only known treatment is carcinogenic.
In Bordeaux, Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet, the second wine of Château Pontet-Canet, has been denied use of the AOC Pauillac label for its 2012 vintage by the official tasting panel.
Interesting reading in the New York Times about how “Scandal” and “The Good Wife” shows a lot about both the characters and what Americans think about wine. If you are one of those people paying close attention to the wine-drinking in “Scandal,” you might also enjoy Grapefriend’s regular blog posts on the subject.
This map of visitor-friendly English wineries is pretty brilliant.
The Telegraph picks three top Sylvaners, including one from Léon Beyer, one of our favourite producers.
And finally, there’s a good article on the Grape Collective about a Napa Valley tech entrepreneur revolutionizing customer service and use of social media among wine producers. Check out this piece on Paul Mabray and VinTank.
We had a chance to taste a few very interesting wines this week, so stay tuned for some information and tasting notes, but meanwhile, check out this week’s wine news.
If you are looking for a good place to drink wine, there’s a slideshow in Decanter that gives you ten top wine bars in London, and also a handful of other great wine bars outside the capital, including Edinburgh, Bristol, and Brighton
With Halloween approaching, you may find yourself with leftover Halloween candy. This infographic on Vivino.com matches favourite U.S. candies with wines. Most of these sweets are available in the U.K. as well, or you could just use this as a starting point for pairing up Flakes, Crunchies, and Aeros.
From how to say it to what it tastes like, Wine-Searcher covers the basics on Grüner Veltliner. Even if you know your Grüner Veltliner, you may learn a thing or two. Did you know its a descendant of Traminer and St. Georgener, which now exists as a single vine near Eisenstadt in Austria?
There are some beautiful nineteenth-century illustrations of famous Bordeaux chateaux on Vinepair. I keep finding myself going back to look at them again.
Ludivine Griveau has been named the new winemaker of Hospices de Beaune, the first woman to be appointed to the role. Read more at Decanter.
Cahors is the original home of Malbec, now the powerhouse of Argentinian wine. Check out what winemakers in Cahors are doing with French Malbec these days, as well as other useful information about wines of the region.
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.
Busy, busy, busy here at Winetuned HQ, but we never miss the week’s wine news, do we? Of course not! Here’s what caught our attention this week.
Yes, what you may have heard is true: 220,000 bottles falsely labelled as Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino have been confiscated by Italian authorities. Apparently none of the wine had yet been sold to consumers, but needless to say, the winemakers are appalled.
Vinepair grapples with Grappa, providing a little history, tips for identifying a bad Grappa, and recommendation of a quality Grappa producer.
You may realise that the kind of barrel a winemaker chooses has an effect on the taste of the final product, but you may not know exactly how many ways the barrel shapes the wine, and how many variations there are in the ways the cooper can make a barrel. Margaret Rand’s article on cooperage in Decanter is useful for any wine-lover.
There’s a wine mentoring opportunity in South Africa for women in the wine industry. Jancis Robinson reports that women with at least the WSET diploma can apply to work at a South African winery in all facets of work during the winery’s 2015 harvest from late January 2015.
On Wine Folly, you can read up on the Meseta Central in Spain, and as always, the overview and infographics are top-notch.
Ian D’Agata’s article on Paulliac in Decanter is good if you want an overview of the region, but he also provides his suggestions for a mixed case illustrating Paulliac’s appeal that will interest people who already know the ropes. Please note: few of us would be able to afford said mixed case.
For a personal account of the 2014 harvest in Bordeaux, there’s no better source than Gavin Quinney of Château Bauduc. The Bauduc Blog now has lots of photos of this year’s activity and Gavin’s report of the ongoing work.
There’s also an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post on the prospects for this year’s harvest at Leventhorpe Vineyard in Yorkshire in an interview with winemaker George Bowden.
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, winedoctors.com, 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.