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The US wine industry report.

The US wine industry report.


Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry Report forecasts 4-8% sales growth in wine for 2013. The report identifies trends and addresses current issues facing the U.S. wine industry, offering data and observations that help that wineries can use to develop their business strategies.

Silicon Valley Bank’s wine report is based on its in-house expertise as one of the largest bankers to the West Coast wine industry for nearly 20 years, a proprietary database of more than a decade of winery financials, ongoing research, and an annual survey of 450 West Coast wineries.


Read on…


Click to download a PDF of the report:


Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic



As we approach Valentine’s Day, thoughts turn to wine and chocolate. Well, ok maybe we think of other things as well, but we do think about giving chocolates. Wouldn’t it be great to give chocolates and experience it with a wonderful wine?

Chocolate and wine, oh, so devine!

Chocolate and wine, oh, so devine!

Wine chocolate pairing is not easy. The general rule with all pairings is the wine should be sweeter than the food, and this applies to chocolate as well. Otherwise the taste will be sour and the finish will be unpleasant. We usually think of Champagne or a Red. But so does everyone else and it seems outdated. Plus the bubbles get in your nose and the red can really ruin the whole experience since there are more bad matches then good ones.

You can’t go wrong with a dessert wine or port with fruity flavors high with residule sugars. If you don’t like sweet wines, Cabernets are a great alternative because a lot of them have a hint of cocoa, along with blackberries and spices. Make sure you don’t grab an oakey Cabernet though as you will be disappointed. The oak doesn’t work well with the sweetness of the chocolate and makes a bad match.

Read on …

Also read:

The Quest for Wine’s Origins (by

Posted: December 13, 2012 by Johan Botha in Uncategorized

Through DNA profiling and archaeology, researchers have found what they believe is the cradle of wine grapegrowing


What was the first wine appellation? According to new research from leading scientists, mankind’s long history of cultivating grapes for wine began in southeast Anatolia, located in modern-day Turkey. Their research has also shown that our favorite wine grapes are more closely related to each other than previously thought.

When Dr. José Vouillamoz, a Swiss botanist and grape geneticist, embarked nearly a decade ago on research with biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern, he set out to find, genetically speaking, where wild and cultivated Vitis vinifera vines showed the closest relationship. Researchers have long believed that wherever wild grapevines show the most diversity and share the most similarities with cultivated vinifera, the European species of vines most top wine grape varieties belong to, that would be where early man first started growing vines specifically for wine.

Southeast Anatolia has been on the list of likely birthplaces of viticulture, along with nearby areas in Transcaucasia—Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Southeast Anatolia is part of the Fertile Crescent, where Stone Age farmers are believed to have first domesticated wild grains. Those crops provided a steady food supply, and allowed our nomadic ancestors to settle down, giving rise to villages, society and civilization.

After collecting hundreds of grape variety samples, Vouillamoz compared minute portions of DNA called microsatellites—repeating sequences that are helpful for comparing genomes. He was able to use them to create DNA profiles of the grape varieties. The densest concentration of similarities between wild and cultivated Vitis vinifera appeared in southeast Anatolia.
Read on …

Also Read:

DNA sleuth hunts wine roots in Anatolia (by Suzanne Mustacich)




New research finds that those who suffer from headaches would pay for less sulfites in their wine.

Sulfur dioxide use in winemaking has been coming under the spotlight as a minimal-intervention movement agitates for less reliance on the compound. Sulfur has taken flak for causing health problems, although the scientific community is divided on the issue.

That prompted a Colorado State University study of consumer perceptions of sulfites and whether drinkers would pay more for a bottle labeled “low in sulfur.”

The findings, published by the American Association of Wine Economists, are that consumers would be willing to pay a little extra — about 64 cents — for wines that contain low levels of sulfites. In comparison, the premium placed on organic wine is $1.22 — nearly double — which suggests public awareness of the addition of sulfur is embryonic.

The researchers offer an alternative explanation. Consumers, in their view, are aware that “organic production protocol prohibits, among other things, the use of added sulfites.” In other words, if drinkers pay the extra for organic wine, low sulfites will be included in the package.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) — in the form of potassium metabisulfite — is added to most wines and many other food products for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The term “sulfites” on wine labels refers mainly to sulfur dioxide, but also includes sulfurous acid and other sulfites.

But sulfur dioxide is also a natural by-product of fermentation, so it is unlikely an SO2-free wine could ever be produced. Most yeast strains yield 10–20 milligrams per liter of SO2 during fermentation, although some, such as FX10 and M69, produce significantly more than others. Without sulfur, wine is prone to oxidation and spoilage.

Consumers have been asking questions about SO2 since wine labels started to carry a “contains sulfites” message. Sulfite mentions, after all, share label space with warnings that women should not drink during pregnancy, and against drinking and driving.

Although a small number of drinkers suffer ill effects from sulfites,… read on

The ability to be a gifted “nose” is not a preordained gift.




One goes on your neck and the other goes down your neck. They both have histories dating back to ancient times and their aromatics come from natural products. But do perfume producers and winemakers have much in common?

Both need to have a good nose for identifying individual flavors and creating a balanced product, but the two camps see themselves as worlds apart.

Perfume producers work on “stable” material, while winemakers have to rely on nature and the weather to grow the perfect grapes. “Everything is determined by natural phenomena, climatic conditions, which perfumers are not, or rarely, subjected to,” says Frédéric Brichet, a wine producer in Vienna who has a doctorate in enology.
Read on …



George Osborne delivered a solemn assessment of the state of the UK economy this week in his Autumn Statement.


Although he could arguably be said to have glossed over some of the details, the Chancellor made no bones about it – we’re not in good shape. However, there weren’t really any surprises to speak of in the content of his speech.

The market expected cuts to growth and that is what we got. Likewise news of rising debt and an increased period of austerity did not come as a surprise to sterling markets, with both the pound and the yield on UK debt remaining largely ambivalent to the Chancellor’s speech.

The fact is that the poor growth – Q3 aside – that the UK has been saddled with throughout the year made the Chancellor’s task easier in some ways. He attempted to pull some ‘rabbits out of the hat’ in the form of… read on


Accolade Wines announced the relocation of its North American offices to Napa, California. “From an international perspective, Napa is the global icon as the home of America’s wine industry. It offers a greater radius of recruitment prospects for all levels of positions and provides easy access for national and international travel,” said managing director Tim Matz.

Under Matz’s leadership, the company has assumed sales, marketing and distribution responsibilities for all corporately held brands in the United States, including top Australian brands Hardys and Banrock Station, while simultaneously launching new portfolio offerings, including Geyser Peak “Uncensored” and Stone’s ready-to-serve cocktails. Matz will be joined in Napa by Reid Stinnett, VP of marketing, Todd Devincenzi, VP of sales, and Brent Hansston, VP of finance, among several other team members.

The marketing and sales team will be located in Napa,… read on



“Women prefer white wine. Men only drink red. Women like sweet wine. Men purchase less wine.”


The Female versus the Male Wine drinker.

The Female versus the Male Wine drinker.


These are just a few of the common myths that arise around wine and gender, but are they really true? One statistic on which we can rely is that the make-up of US wine consumers is approximately 55% female and 45% male, according to Nielson, but there has been an increase of men adopting wine in the past decade.


So what is really happening around the topic of wine and gender in the US? In order to answer this question, a research study was developed to explore differences in wine drinking occasion and motivation between men and women. The study included in-depth interviews with 30 men and women who drink wine as well as an online survey with 305 wine consumers (155 men and 150 women) residing in California. The results show strong similarities between men and women in many categories, but also some surprising differences.

Similarities Between Male and Female Wine Consumers

In terms of preferred wine varietals, the study shows that cabernet sauvignon and merlot are the top favorites of both men and women; however, women also identify white zinfandel as a strong preference. The favored white for both genders is chardonnay (see Table 1). These data are consistent with previous research showing that American men and women both prefer red wine slightly more than white.


Table 1: Preferred Wine Varietals of California Men and Women.

Table 1: Preferred Wine Varietals of California Men and Women.


In terms of occasions to drink wine, the survey analyzed responses of men and women in 22 different wine drinking occasions. Of these, both genders reported they drink wine at similar frequency in 16 of these occasions. The top four highest scoring occasions on which men and women agreed are:


Read on …


Healthy reasons to drink wine.

Healthy reasons to drink wine.

American actor Will Rogers (1879 – 1935) once jokingly commented on the ill effects of drinking wine by saying; “Wine had such ill effects on Noah’s health that it was all he could do to live 950 years. Show me a total abstainer that ever lived that long.”

Is there any truth behind his ironic statement?

We must not, however, confuse the reasons why people drink wine with the benefits of drinking wine. Alcohol, including wine, is being consumed by people for various reasons. It can be related to social, emotional, religious, physical and/or psychological factors.

Some common reasons why people drink wine, include:
Wine can be drunk as an alternative to say water, to quench one’s thirst.
Wine can be used before a meal to improve one’s appetite.
Drinking wine during a meal can enhance and complement the flavour of food.
Wine can be serve to make social gatherings more memorable, and
Wine can be enjoyed to help people unwind and produce a state of euphoria.

Let’s try and put the drinking of wine in a historical perspective. According to Satoshi Kanazawa; “human consumption of alcohol was unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until about 10,000 years ago. The intentional fermentation of fruits and grain to yield ethanol arose only recently in human history. The production of wine, which requires a large amount of grapes, could not have taken place before the advent of agriculture around 8,000 BC and the consequent agricultural surplus. Archeological evidence dates the production of wine to Mesopotamia at about 6,000 BC.”

Every year, numerous medical reports and headlines are being published about the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation. But is drinking wine really healthy? In short, the answer is yes!

Thanks to both its alcohol content and non-alcoholic plant derivatives, wine has been found to reduce both heart disease and some cancers. It can also slow down neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. As more studies are being undertaken, wine’s list of benefits is getting more surprising by the day. New findings even dictate that wine taken in moderation can help with weight loss, reduce forgetfulness, boost your immunity and help prevent bone loss.

According to health practitioners the world over, the amount of wine you drink must be taken into account. By drinking more than the medical recommendation, the health benefits are lost and the risk to your health my even rise!

Here’s what’s considered safe and effective:
Men:  300 ml or two glasses of red or white wine per day.
Women: 150 ml or one glass of red or white wine per day.
Now that that is settled, let’s look at the Big 5 Reasons the Modern Health Conscience Consumer Should Drink Wine:

Benefit 1 : Longevity 
Maybe Noah’s 950 years is a bit optimistic, but the compound resveratrol, found in red wine, has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies. A recent Finnish study has shown a 34% lower mortality rate than those that partake of both wine and spirits.

Benefit 2 : A healthy heart 
Red wine has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease drastically, thanks to the anti-oxidants, like
procyanidin, it contains. Creina Stockley, Australian Wine Research Institute manager of health and regulatory information, says; “People that drink a moderate amount of wine regularly, particularly with food, have a 30 per cent reduced risk of heart diseases.”

Benefit 3 : Reduce the risk of various cancers 
Clinical pharmacologists have found that the phenolic compounds found in wine work by preventing the initiation, progression and growth of cancer cells in the human body. Studies show that moderate wine consumption reduces Lung Cancer by 13%, Prostate Cancer by 50%, Colon Cancer by 45% and has risk-reducing effects on instances of Breast Cancer.

Benefit 4 : Feed the mind 
Wine can preserve your memory and therefore drinking wine in moderation does not necessarily spell killed brain cells. Researchers, doing studies on memory retention, found that respondents who drank one glass of wine every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine may also reduce your risk of developing certain dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Benefit 5 : Helps with weight control 
Research has found that people drinking wine daily and in moderation have lower body mass than those who drink on occasion only. Moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor. Alcohol may encourage your body to burn extra calories for as long as 90 minutes after you down a glass.

Now that we have a better understanding of all the health benefits of wine, lets further reward our bodies with some wholesome food!

As a perfect accompaniment to a chilled glass of white wine, and to enjoy as a light lunch, I chose this simple, yet deliciously healthy salad from the land of the “bean-eaters”.

Tuscan Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad

Lets raise a glass to good health!

A groom bled to death on his wedding day after a freak accident when he tripped and fell on a beer glass.

Dumb ways to die: Groom dies after falling onto beer glass!

Dumb ways to die: Groom dies after falling onto beer glass!

Fabio Jefferson Maciel, 33, died at his beachfront wedding reception in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hours after marrying fiancee Geise Guimaraes.
About 200 guests were present as the couple tied the knot in a church ceremony before the reception at a club near the beach.
Mr Maciel was playing with a young bridesmaid at about 2am on Monday morning when he tripped and fell.
A beer glass he had put in his trouser pocket broke and pierced his femoral vein – a major artery in the top of the leg – causing… read on

This cute little animated video about “Dumb Ways to Die” was created as a PSA from Melbourne, Australia’s Metro Trains, to help stop train-related deaths: