Posts Tagged ‘Rules’

 

Beverage makers selling wine, beer and spirits using the freewheeling world of social media are being gently reined in by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

In new guidelines, the federal government declared that sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are essentially new forms of advertising. As a result, companies selling adult beverages on those sites are subject to advertising rules, according to regulators.

“Social media just exploded in the last few years, and it seems like every week there’s a new way to get your message out there,” said Sara Mann, attorney with Hinman & Carmichael, a San Francisco law firm specializing in the beverage industry. “I think wineries and other suppliers have been confused and a little unsure about what they can and can’t do.”

 

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C’mon, join the club…but which club should you join, is a wine club even a fit for you, and do they really offer better deals on wine?

 

If you are adventurous about your wine consumption then you should consider joining a wine club. The wine club can in fact be an excellent choice for an individual who wants to experiment with various styles of wine but has little to no time for browsing in their local wine shop. It’s my humble opinion that getting to know your local wine retailer and shopping regularly is the best way to learn about new wines. But if the alternative in your busy life is just grabbing the closest bottle at the grocery store (the horror), well then, you need to join a club.

Most wineries have wine clubs, but you’re only exposed to one winery’s offerings in this format. It’s a big field of players, and so confusing that I just called Jessyca Frederick, developer of the popular WineClubReviews website to ask her opinion on the matter. She advises consumers to spend some time reading the fine print. “The key,” she notes, “is choosing the right club for what you want.” Her website sifts through all the noise and delineates between clubs that provide super value and clubs that provide first-rate access to collectibles. “The types of clubs have changed. Now services are more personalized.” she says. Indeed, many wine clubs offer palate profiles to tease out your preferred wine styles.

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How to behave at a wine fest.

How to behave at a wine fest.

 

A bit of advice from Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Washington:

– Don’t tether your wine glass to your neck
– Don’t pinch your fingers and say, “Just a little.” Dump it if you don’t want to finish it, but I’m going to pour as much as I damn well please
– Don’t violently lift your glass mid-pour and say, “That’s enough.” Same deal as above.
– Don’t say, “Give me the biggest thing you have.” This isn’t NASCAR.
– Let “smooth” take the day off from your vocabulary… the whole day
– Don’t shove. I mean… really
– Don’t say you hate Merlot. We all saw Sideways. Guess what: Miles didn’t want to drink Merlot because it reminded him of his ex-wife. That bottle he drank in the end—his most precious bottle—had a ton of Merlot in it. 
– Don’t tell every winemaker about the winery that was down the street while you lived in Lodi
– Don’t ask how the wine scored… ever. 
– Do wear a “Wine’er, Dine’er, 69’er T-shirt
– If you are going to wear one of the those little food trays that has a cutout for your glass, you better be damn sure you are cool enough to wear it. Note: no one is that cool
– Over-buff late thirties guy: Don’t try to impress your date by contradicting me. You’re going to fail. Yeah, try me
– Don’t lick your glass… pig
– Don’t talk about your sulfite allergy. There is a good chance you have no idea what you’re talking about
– Don’t dump into the water pitcher. And always look before you drink out of it
– Practice spitting at home; it will come in handy
– Don’t talk about the legs after you swirl the glass. Here’s a tip: the legs don’t matter.
– Don’t take your heels off and puke in the lobby
– Don’t ask what the most expensive wine on the table is
– Keep the rim of your glass food free
– If you proclaim that you don’t like white or rose, we will make fun of you when you walk away
– NO Perfume! And go light on the lipstick, honey

SwartlandRev_Poster2012FA

 

 

A bunch of South African wine rebels are becoming increasingly law-abiding.
By Rebecca Gibb | Posted Monday, 31-Dec-2012
On a hot spring day in the isolated village of Riebeek Kasteel, a group of bearded men sport Che Guevara-inspired T-shirts and workers’ caps declaring that they are part of “The Swartland Revolution.”

But it’s about time they ditched the “R” in “Revolution,” as the surrounding wine-growing region now appears to be in a happy phase of evolution.

The revolution took place “around 10 years ago when Charles [Back] started Spice Route,” explains Chris Mullineux of Mullineux Wines. “There were around 10 wineries then; today there are 32.”

In the past decade, the region has made its mark, moving from the mass-produced, high-alcohol wines traditionally made in Swartland to carefully crafted, more elegant examples. In terms of exposure, it helped that the people behind the wines were pretty kooky and the wines were not half bad.

While visitors to the region were spreading the word about this unconventional corner of South Africa, the local growers were making gradual changes. Since 2010, a new status quo has been established through rules and regulations.

The local producers formed the Swartland Independent Producers’ Association and introduced a code of practice for all members. It declared that acidification of wines was a no-no, despite relatively low acidities in this region making this a questionable idea.

“The secret of the Swartland is that this is a warm climate so the acidity is low, but the pH is healthy because of the old vines,” explains Mullineux. “If you were a fanatical winemaker, you would probably be tempted to acidify.”

In addition, their charter also states that there must be no yeast additions, so the ferments are all spontaneous; and there must be no chemical supplements to the fermentation, such as pectolytic enzymes, powdered tannins or water additions. Chemical fining is forbidden. Sulfur, which is a common antioxidant and antimicrobial, is allowed, but producers “are encouraged to make moderate additions” only.

The group has a lot of rules, considering that most of its members are non-conformists. Thankfully, for those of us who don’t subscribe to the bigger-is-better school of wine, most of the rules are a welcome relief when so many New World wines taste more like burnt toast, because of overly enthusiastic oak treatment obliterating the fruit. In Swartland, the wines must not be fermented or matured in more than… read on

 

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(Image courtesy of Michael Crichton)

 
You chill your whites but not your reds, pair your fancy bottles with fancy food, and skip right past the pink champagne. Guess what: You’re doing wine all wrong.

 

We talked to the best sommeliers, vintners, and career winos around to rewrite the book on this fermented-grape-juice thing. And we came up with enough great wine to keep your glass half full till 2012 and beyond

 

  • DON’T WORRY

If you didn’t pick up those subtle hints of “kaffir lime,” “black currant confiture,” and “the sweet stemminess of burning vine clippings”* when you stuck your nose into the glass. Take a look at two different tasting notes for the same bottle of wine—same vineyard, same vintage, two different critics. They almost never taste or smell the same stuff. Which is to say—your guess is as good as theirs. So drink. Decide what you like. And if you detect a hint of quince paste in your Sauvignon Blanc, keep it to yourself.—Stan Parish

* Real Wine Spectator tasting notes!

 

  • YES, WE’VE HEARD ALL ABOUT TERRIOR and some of us are a little sick of it

Sean Thackrey, one of the best winemakers in America (seriously, try his wine), explains why you should get your head out of the soil

The theory of terroir is the agricultural version of the theory of aristocracy: You are as you were born. You are the Duke of Norfolk or you are not the Duke of Norfolk, and that’s that. You buy Château Margaux because it’s Château Margaux, and it’s Château Margaux because the grapes were grown on a particular piece of land. So much money is riding on this idea that it’s imperative, from a financial point of view, to maintain this extremely profitable mystification of real estate. There’s no traditional word for ‘winemaker’ in French, Spanish, or Italian, because over there they’d like you to think that we humans are just humble servants of the soil’s desire to express itself. Of course grapes grown in different places taste different; that’s a banality no one disputes. But so much has to happen to those grapes before they end up in your glass, and someone—the winemaker—has to call those shots. Even if you supplied ten different restaurants with identical produce, you would expect ten totally different results. Do you really think the work of a winemaker is less complex than the work of a chef? Winemaking is like cooking: The chef bats last, for better or worse. And if we’re to take the blame for bad results that we deserve, we should get credit for good ones, too.”
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