Posts Tagged ‘US’

Breaking old rules, to creative new wines ...

Breaking old rules, to creative new wines …

 

As I mentioned here once before, the fad in California wines for more than a decade now has been the heavy emphasis on what I call MSG wines. 

 

No, that’s not a designation of something to order in your favorite Chinese restaurant; rather, it refers to Rhone-style blends featuring Mourvedre-Syrah-Grenache.   Many of these blends are knockouts, and adjusting the blend allows winemakers to bob and weave depending on the weather and harvest to deliver a very consistent wine. 

 

A number of French winemakers have come to the central coast of California because they can experiment here, whereas in France the wine bureaucracy prevents wine makers from innovating.  While I like many of these efforts, I still prefer old-fashioned straight-up classic varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah.  (I’m having a 100% Syrah tonight with my grilled pork roast.)

 

Read on …

Robert Parker.

Robert Parker.

US wine critic Robert Parker has slammed the idea that wines have been made specifically to suit his palate, defending his tastes as “complicated and varied.”

According to AFP, during a rare interview with French magazine Terre de Vins published this week, Parker refused to accept the idea of the “Parkerisation” of wines and the emergence of a richer, riper style made to please the critic’s palate.

“My taste is more complicated and varied to be defined in such a black and white way.

“I love a number of styles of wine: the finesse and elegance of Pape-Clément to the rich unctuousness of Pétrus and Trotanoy,” Parker told the magazine.

While rejecting the concept of “Parkerisation,” Parker believes people will still be referencing the term in 30 year’s time: “There’s nothing I can do about it,” he said.

The Maryland-based critic did however concede that his wife acknowledges the existence of the Parker style.
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Truffles coming to a vineyard near you!

Truffles coming to a vineyard near you!

 

The truffle trend is coming to a vineyard near you.
Thanks to new technology—which allows young oak and chestnut tree roots to be inoculated with black truffle spores—several U.S. wine producers are planting the tasty tuber melanosporum alongside their Pinot and Cab.

Growing secondary crops on a vineyard promotes biodiversity and is key to the long-term health of the land, says Robert Sinskey, of Sinskey Vineyards, which is home to Napa Valley’s first truffle orchard. And given the fact truffles are in such high demand—selling for as much as $1,200 a pound—planting an orchard made perfect sense.

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Sunday night saw the 47th Superbowl take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers by 34-31 in a thrilling climax to the American Football season.

The commercials that are televised during the match have almost become as famous as the game itself and Sunday night’s match saw a new batch of adverts released.

As the official beer partner AB InBev is the only company to advertise beer during the Superbowl, but Budweiser, Beck’s and Bud Light all featured and here’s a look at some of the adverts that were aired this year.

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My whole wine world is shaken.

What does Syrah taste like? Are floral aromas pretty? Is a “typical Bordeaux” supposed to taste like medicine and ashes? I don’t know anymore.

I’ve been to a Brettanomyces tasting at UC Davis. I described it on Twitter as spending a day in a room full of laboratory-created stink cells. I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth for hours.

But the psychological impact … well, I may be scarred for life. As I said at the tasting, “It’s like learning that Darth Vader is my father.”

The seminar was ground-breaking for UC Davis, which previously always called Brettanomyces in wine a “spoilage organism.” This was the first time the university acknowledged that brett is an important part of some wines’ terroir. UC Davis tested 83 strains of Brett and 17 — more than 20% — were regarded as giving more positive impact than negative.

Brettanomyces under the microscope.

Brettanomyces under the microscope.

That’s a big deal. Wineries are always looking for some way to boost the deliciousness of their wine. Here is the world’s foremost university on teaching clean winemaking, suddenly saying that Brett — previously derided as the bad yeast that makes your wine smell like rotting corpses — might actually add the scent of roses.

And that’s why I’m wondering whether roses in my wine — something I used to treasure in Gewürztraminer and Riesling, and to enjoy hints of in Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo — are actually the smell of, well, spoilage.
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Guns and now fine wine.

Guns and now fine wine.

Wine enthusiasts can now indulge their passion and back the right to bear arms at the same time by joining the National Rifle Association of America’s Wine Club.
‘Now you can support the 2nd Amendment with every wine you buy’ runs the strapline on the homepage of the club, nrawineclub.com, which also offers new members a ‘nine-piece custom NRA engraved wine box’ when they join.
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Kids and Booze!

Kids and Booze!

 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans this summer to recommend ways that the alcoholic beverage industry can better protect underage viewers from seeing its advertisements online.

Distillers, brewers and wineries pour millions of dollars into brand promotion on Twitter, Facebook and other social media, and industry critics contend they are not doing enough to prevent young consumers from receiving these messages.

 “We’re doing a deep dive on how they’re using the Internet and social media,” said Janet Evans, a lawyer with the FTC, which is conducting a year-long study due to be released by early summer. “We’re focusing on underage exposure.”

She would not elaborate on any potential recommendations that might come out of the study, which began in April 2012.
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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.

 

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Click to download a PDF of the report:

 

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

 

 

 

Bulk wine imports more than doubled in the United States this year because of competitive pricing and changing consumer attitudes, according to a new survey from Silicon Valley Bank.
Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry survey – published yesterday – noted that bulk wine imports to the US ‘soared’ in 2012 as compared to the previous year, ‘from 13.7m cases, to 31.5m cases, and totalling over 40m cases in the past 12 months.’

According to the survey, the increase is due to higher domestic demand, better access to foreign bulk and favourable exchange rates.

In spite of a high-quality and high-volume California harvest in 2012, survey authors predict a continued increase in bulk imports this year, especially if the dollar strengthens.

Chile, Argentina and Australia were responsible for 75% of all bulk imports to the US in 2012.

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New device allows the user to directly inhale alcohol – increasing the effects on the body
Experts have warned that the Vaportini – which is available to buy online – could be used by impressionable and inexperienced teenagers
Parents have been warned of the dangers of a simple new device freely available online which heats alcohol and allows it to be inhaled – reportedly giving the user an instant but intense high.


Released in December, the $35 Vaportini acts in a manner similar to a traditional vaporizer, heating and releasing intoxicating vapors which are breathed through a straw after being heated by a candle to 140 Fahreneheit.
Bypassing the digestive system, the Vaportini causes alcohol to be ingested directly to the bloodstream through the lungs, potentially causing dangerous levels of intoxication – especially if abused.
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