Wine News: November 2009 Archives

Wine Spectator: Top 10 Wines of 2009

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Earlier this week Wine Spectator announced their top 10 wine picks for 2009. Watch the video and hear senior editors introduce each wine and explain what makes puts a particular wine on the top 10 list!

wineSpecVideo.jpg

Deals on Champagne & Sparklers

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champagne2.jpgAccording to Paul Gregutt in a recent article for the Seattle Times, prices for Champagne and sparkling wine have decreased. In fact, worldwide demand has fallen by at least 10% which can only mean one thing for you and me - it's time to buy and stock up! And for those gearing up for the holidays, it couldn't be more perfect timing.

The articles suggests a few tips in what to buy:

(1) Be adventurous. Try something new instead of sticking to the brand you always buy.

(2) Buy a vintage Champagne rather than a brut

(3) Look on the bottle to see if the grapes are grand cru. Apparently grand cru vineyards are considered to be the best and well worth if it, even if a few more extra dollars..

(4) Splurge without breaking the bank. Purchase a half bottle

Paul also recommends asking the wine seller what is on sale. One deal out there right now is from Duval-Leroy where they have half bottles of brut at $18 and a full bottle of Cuvee Paris at $35.

Other articles on picking out sparklers for the holiday season:
Bubble, Bubble Everywhere



Hoax or No - Twitter to Make Wine??

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fledglingwine.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

It's true, management for social networking phenomenon Twitter.com recently announced a partnership the company has struck with San Francisco-based Crushpad, the urban winery, to make its own brand of wine: Fledgling. Proceeds for the so-called social media wine - which has its own handle, natch: @fledgling - will go to Room to Read, a charity that supports international literacy projects. And with some 49,124 followers as of press time, it sounds like Twitter's Fledgling Wine is off to a buzz-worthy start.

Wine Country in Hong Kong?

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Sounds odd, but according to a recent CNN report,  Hong Kong is now home to a boutique winery by the name of 8th Estate Winery. It produces about 100,000 bottles every years and is currently selling 4 reds, 4 whites and 3 different types of dessert wines. As you can imagine, there is no space to actually grow grapes in Hong Kong considering it one of the largest populations in the world. As a result, the grapes are sourced from all over the world with 2007 vintage made with grapes from Washington and the 2008 vintage from regions of Italy. To ensure freshness, the grapes go through a flash freeze process before being shipped.

Of course the real question in all of this is - Is the wine any good?  CNN conducted a test with unsuspecting guests at a hotel bar who were served 8th Estate wine. Below are just a few of the comments:

"It's good, drinkable . . . it could be from some part of France." (Swiss man who lives in Hong Kong after tasting the Chardonnay)

"Very dry, very nice. No after taste. Is it from California?" (Miami, Florida man also in Hong Kong  after tasting the Merlot)

Guess it goes to show you, you can make wine anywhere!

CLICK HERE to read the full article


Parker Pandemonium

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parker.jpegBy Courtney Cochran

It's not easy being Robert Parker.

If the recent rash of criticism of the wine ratings czar is any indication, the lawyer-turned-world's-most-recognized-wine-critic isn't sleeping easy nights. Things first turned tough for Parker this spring when respected wine blogger Tyler Colman (AKA Dr. Vino) as well as The Wall Street Journal penned exposes on ethical missteps by members of Parker's tasting staff. And things have only continued to heat up since, with Colman penning follow-on pieces examining the veracity of Parker's so-called perfect tasting recall and discrepancies in the quality of wines rated in his publication, the Wine Advocate, and on the market.
By Courtney Cochran

Another ringer hit the wine industry recently when geologists gathering for the annual Geological Society of America conference in Portland declared there's little evidence the minerals we find in vineyards can be tasted in wines.  Perhaps most shockingly, the geologists said that "the concentration of minerals in wine is below the threshold of human taste and smell."  This all throws a major monkey wrench in the common belief held by critics and tasters-in-the-know (or so they thought) that mineral flavors can be tasted and smelled in many of the wines we quaff.  

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