Archive for the ‘Wine News’ Category

Drunken Badger & boxed wine part III

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

In what has to be one of the funniest/most bizarre alcohol related news stories I have read in a WHILE, a drunken badger was passed out DRUNK in the middle of a road in Germany.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/107/363537175_7829554b87.jpg?v=0

(who knew badgers were substance abusers?)

Apparently the badger got his paws on a batch of overripe cherries that had begun to ferment, turning its natural sugars into alcohol. I wonder what Mr.  badger thought of  the Cherry wine.  I’ll have to get his tasting note ;)

On an unrelated note, as promised, I revisited the boxed Chardonnay tonight for the 3rd time, 15 days after opening it for the first time.

Folks, it is real simple, oxygen can be a wine’s best friend and worst enemy.  A just opened bottle of wine can benefit from some (controlled) exposure to oxygen.  Decant it, swirl it in your glass…whatever – it helps!

But, PROLONGED exposure to oxygen and your wine will oxidize and become unpleasant & medicinal.

The Andes Peak Chardonnay, 15 days after being opened, and stored in its oxygen free packaging in the refrigerator, is still ALIVE & WELL!

It seems to have lost some of its youthful freshness.  And this was not the most complex/exciting wine to begin with.  But it is STILL drinking very nicely, showing toasty, citrus & melon aromas and flavors.

Part IV to follow next week.

Coming soon, my review of the William Fevre Chablis tasting I enjoyed with my wine tasting group last night.

Beware of drunken badgers & Happy 2 week old boxed wine tasting!

WTG

Shipping wine to New York

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

As a resident of NY it came as a surprise to me when I learned last week that the 2nd US Circuit court of Appeals UPHELD the law (what law?) that prohibits out of state wine retailers from shipping wine into NY.

Please disregard all previous mentions of wine shipments I received through the mail.  They never occurred…

http://www.cowineco.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/ec3d1c5c7da3caa27d5c4f277c75d079/misc/mailbox.jpg

…but seriously; the law states that NY retailers CAN ship to NY residents, but out of state retailers can not.

There is a background to this story and several rulings by others courts that have proceeded this ruling.  Most famous is that of the “Granholm” decision handed down by the Supreme Court whereby it was ruled that laws such as the aforementioned one discriminates against out of state businesses.  The difference being that ruling was with regards to wineries, not wine retailers.

I am sure the last chapter in this saga has yet to be written.  Stay tuned…

Happy shipped to your doorstep (legally of course) wine tasting!

WTG

Wine news; wine counterfeiting & burnt rubber wines

Monday, June 29th, 2009

I try to stay current, but I am not a newspaper guy.  For a time I was, but the piles of newspaper sections I saved to read the next day (and never did), contributed to the “walls are caving in” feeling of a seemingly shrinking (small to begin with Manhattan) apartment and led me to give up paper and opt instead to get my news online.  One such online source is the daily email I get from the NY Times.  I also get several wine related alerts both from the NY Times and from google.

You were forced to suffer through that irrelevant dribble due to the source of the 2 news stories that caught my attention on this day – BOTH from the NY Times.

The first, an article sent to me by buddy Dave, is a piece written by Robin Goldstein.  In the article, “Are Empty Wine Bottles on eBay Being Used for Counterfeiting?“, Goldstein wonders whether (as the title suggests) purchasers of empty bottles are purchasing said bottles to refill them and pass them along to unsuspecting buyers as the real thing.  A rather unsettling thought given the exorbitant asking price for some of these collectible bottles.  Counterfeiting is not a new phenomenon, and I have read about technologies being developed to test the authenticity of wine in the bottles.  Either way, given storage issues, one must seriously consider the source they are buying from – whether buying a $20 bottle or $2,000 bottle.

Of further interest, an item mostly unrelated, but also in the NY Times, is that of the negative biased towards South African wines.  The article by Barry Bearak, “A Whiff of Controversy and South African Wines“, talks a bit about the biases (or stigmas if you will) that have developed as a result of some scathing reviews for South African wines.   Bearak tells of the wine critic who chastised a large group of South African wines for their off putting burnt rubber aromas.

http://www.wineland.co.za/rubber_sketch.jpg

The result is an industry that has taken issue with its image when it seems that only a sample of (well intended but) seemingly improperly trained winemakers allowed certain sulfide compounds to develop in their wines, resulting in these off putting aromas.

While both this aroma issue and the resulting stigma are serious problems it leads me, and Israeli wine advocate, to wince in empathetic  pain.  Israeli wines have suffered the Manishewitz stigma for FAR TOO LONG. (Incidentally, Manishewitz is & always has been made in NY state – not that there is anything wrong with NY state wines.)  Countless articles about Israeli wines have begun with the line “this is not your (insert previous generation reference)’s Manishewitz – Israeli wines have improved by leaps and bounds…   BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  Prejudice, bias, stigma, generalization – whatever you want to call it, it SUCKS.  How about starting an article about Israeli wines by saying that “although unbeknown to most, Israel has been producing world class wines for nearly 30 years now”?

I don’t want to belabor the point.  But I do hope that people begin/continue to give wines from ALL OVER THE WORLD a chance just as they give cuisine from all over the world a chance.  Sure you might end up with something less than what you hoped, but at least you gave it a fair chance and were not influenced by archaic or minority samples that tainted the reputation of the whole.

Happy bias-free wine tasting!

WTG

Wine News…

Monday, June 1st, 2009

French wine is up…or is it down?

http://dwhitsett.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/right-way-wrong-way1.jpg

It seems that consumption of wine in France has dropped by almost 10%.  While exports of French wine decreased by almost 10% in volume and almost 15% in value.

On the positive side, retail sales of imported ROSE wine was up OVER 40%!  A good sign for France as French rosé makes up over 25% of all rosé.

http://www.french-regional-wines.co.uk/khxc/media/gbu0/cat/rose-wine.gif

Back to some more somber news, New Vine Logistics, a CA based company that helps its customers ship wine direct to consumer, has closed its doors. While no official reason was given for the sudden closure, there is speculation that it has to do with expectations the company had and hiring the company did in anticipation of its deal to handle all shipping matters of wine for Amazon.com.

http://winetastingguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/shippingwinebox.jpg

I have previously discussed the news (rumors) that Amazon was getting into the online wine sales market.  However, amazon has yet to launch its online wine venture, and many are now wondering how the demise of New Vine Logistics will effect Amazons plans.

Of much more immediate concern is how all those who depend upon New Vine for their shipping needs will be able to deal with this unexpected blow.  I wish all those involved, especially the small family run wineries/operations the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

Happy rosé shipped to your door wine tasting!

WTG

New Look & …PLASTIC wine bottles??

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

So the look of the site has once again been updated.  I hope you all like it.  The bottle background was actually designed for me by a talented designer based in Israel.  I use it for my business cards.  I use it on my Twitter page.  And I finally figured it was time to update things here.  What do you think?

Onto wine news, I read the other day that Australian wine producer Wolf Blass has begun to bottle (a portion of?) his wines in plastic bottles rather than glass bottles.

http://photos.hhoffman.co.uk/img/v3/p441696047-2.jpg

Looks ok…

Apparently the intent is to be more “green”, as the plastic (PET – polyethylene tetraphthalate) bottles are 90% lighter, and transporting them will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I like to think of myself as somewhat progressive, and I am all for screwcaps in place of corks.  At least on wines that are not intended for long term cellaring.

And I am also all about reducing greenhouse gas emmissions, saving the environment, all the good stuff.  But PLASTIC WINE BOTTLES????

I suppose I should ponder the concept for a while before I pass judgement.  I just thought the issue was worth bringing up.

Any thoughts?

Happy plastic bottle wine tasting!

WTG

Does the price of wine matter?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Apparently it does.  But more for one gender than for the other.  Can you guess which one?

As a long time single guy I often heard people speak of what women & men ask when being told about a potential suitor.  The man might ask “what does she look like?”, while the woman might ask “what does he do?”.

I must admit that I have never (or rarely) heard a woman brag about how much something cost.  But I have seen men, waving around their metaphorical swords, proclaiming their suits, watches, pens, cars and yes, bottles of wine were better because of how expensive they were.  Talk about insecurity…at times it seems the person is so unsure of their purchase, yet if they are able to convince someone else how valuable their material (suit, bottle of wine, etc) is then maybe they will begin to believe it and feel better about it themselves.

OK, I digress.  Surprisingly to me, it is WOMEN who apparently are affected in terms of their enjoyment, by the price tag on a bottle of wine.

http://epicurious.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/17/bottle_with_dollar_on_label.jpg

A study performed by the Stockholm School of Economics and Harvard University and written about by Leslie Gevirtz for Reuters, found that women are more affected by the price of wine than men.

The research found that “disclosing the expensive price of a wine before people tasted it produced considerably higher ratings, although only from women”.

So it seems that all that sword waving being done is wasted between men.  The real targets should be the sought after women.  As apparently, if you tell them it cost a lot they will like it.  But will they like you????…

HAPPY expensive and proud of it WINE TASTING!

WTG

Obama the Wino

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Guess what wine loving readers?  Our new president is a wine lover too!  He told me so himself!  OK, not really, but that is what Reuters is reporting in its article “Wine makers toast a new wine drinker in the White House“.

Apparently his OLD house (not the new white one) has a 1,000 bottle wine cellar.  SWEET!  I’ll drink to that…

http://guestofaguest.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/obama-beer-tour.jpg

OK, so he’s drinking beer.  I could not seem to find that picture of the two of us drinking that delicious Israeli wine ;)

Now let’s hope Obama’s love of wine is one of the many things we can be proud of from our new President.

Happy presidential wine tasting!

WTG

Announcement – NY Wine

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Wine Tasting Guy readers & fellow bloggers-

I’ve been working with Tony Karrer of  Tech Empower for a few months now to create NY WINE.

NY Wine is a content community that tries to collect and organize the best we have from our new york wine/food blogging community. The idea is to be a hub where Tony will pull together content from various members of our world and make it more easily accessible to people who are searching and/or who want to stay up to date, but who don’t use an RSS reader (or want someone to help filter).

As a blog reader in addition to writer I have put together a preliminary list of blogs I hope to include.  If you are a blogger and want to be included or if you are a reader of a blog you think should be included please do not hesitate to drop me a quick note.

I hope the site will officially launch within the next week or two.

Thanks for your continued support & I hope to continue to provide you with compelling wine writings!

WTG

Wine in the news & Eric Asimov reads my blog??

Friday, November 21st, 2008

OK, maybe Asimov is not reading my blog, but we at least seem to be contemplating similar wine related phenomenons.  You may recall a post I wrote a few weeks ago called “Wine, Art & Music” discussing the connections between art (or the arts) and wine.  Well, sure enough Asimov writes about his conversation with a musician and some of the commonalities between wine and music in his latest writeup of “The Pour”.

Neilson put together an interesting piece on how the economic slowdown is affecting alcoholic beverage sales during the current economic slowdown and upcoming holiday season.  My favorite expression when discussing consumers spending on alcoholic beverages was their terming such purchases as an “affordable indulgence”.  Affordable is a relative term folks…  Also included in the article is something I have been hearing and seeing around the industry here in NY – off premise (wine shops/liquor stores) is picking up while on premise (bars/restaurants) is slowing down.

Finally, PRNewswire picked up a piece about wine.com and how they are offering several new (and unusual) delivery options such as “Evening, Saturday, Date-Specific and by Appointment Delivery”.  Definitely a unique approach to draw in customers…one that I think shows a company that understands the meaning of going the extra mile for their customers.  A crazy idea…but one that just might work!

Happy Wine Tasting Weekend!

WTG

Underage drinking – can it be managed responsibly at home?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

I recently blogged about proposals to lower the drinking age in several states (“States Weigh Lower Drinking Age“), many with some caveats.

Last week, Eric Asimov, the New York Times wine writer took things a step further when he wrote an article “Can Sips At Home Prevent Binges?”.

The topic is especially relevant this time of year considering the upcoming Passover Seder and its mandated 4 cups of wine. (more…)