Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Greedy and the Greedier!

I have always been under the impression that wine was a gift from God and that a talented winemaker would take the fruit of the vine and create one of life's greatest pleasures. Good food, good wine and good company. Is there anything better?

At the wedding feast in Cana everyone had a blast and to top it all, the price of the wine was great.
"It was such a wonderful wedding feast! The music, the dancing, the food and wine."
Everyone ate, drank and was merry.
And up untill the 1970's some of the greatest French wines could still be bought at reasonable prices.

Then along came Parker and his 100 point rating system. His proclamation on the 1982 vintage
not only put him in the wine world limelight but also started a significant increase in wine prices. Any one lucky enough to have him review and rate a wine 90+. was on their way to wealth and fame. But even Robert is getting a little uncomfortable with the greed displayed by the Bordeaux elite. There seems to be no sanity in the outrageous prices top chateau are demanding for their 2005 vintage wines. Chateau Petrus has smashed all records. Who in their right mind would pay 1600 EUR or 2012 US dollars for a single bottle of the 2005 Petrus? Now if you are between 30 and 40 years of age, you'll probably live long enough to enjoy it. But if you are 50, 60 and up, chances are you might not be around when it finally finishes aging. Seems a little crazy to pay this much for a wine you won't be around to enjoy. But if you are buying it just so you can make the big bucks..... well I guess greed could be a factor at play. But all good things eventually come to an end. At the lower end of the Bordeaux wine spectrum things aren't going too well. Too much wine, and talk about crazy prices. Good for the consumer? Not really. These extreme price variations will hurt a lot of good people who are just using their God given talents to bring us the fruit of the vine, the fruit of their hard labour.
" Wine: soil, sun, rain, and the hand of man."
Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Global Warming Update.

This is what excessive heat can do to vines and soil. Also in my previous post I forgot to link to the article on global warming for those really into the scene. So here it is this time. I guess the heat is getting to me. Enjoy the summer!

Global Warming Gives Greenland Grape Growers...a golden opportunity to produce medal winning wines!

Glolbal warming is raising hopes for British wine makers to produce world class red wines.
Hotter weather boosts British red wine!
"British red wines could soon be competing with the finest French clarets as global warming leads to perfect growing conditions in southern England". According to UK NEWS English vineyards are benefitting from new higher summertime temperatures. But then a thousand years ago Europe was enjoying warm temperatures and grapes were thriving in British vineyards. (click on the cool wheather grapes picture I took in Alsace to enlarge it and see what soon may become a good grape,Gewurztraminer, for colder climates.) It takes years to develop a new grape varietal. New York State's Cornell University has recently released three new wine grapes ideal for their harsh winter conditions. But it takes decades to produce new suitable varietals. Spanish vintners on the other hand are becoming concerned with the new warming trends and wineries may move into the cooler Pyrenees. Similarly California vintners are showing concern. Since vines can be productive for well over fifty years, new varieties need to be developd for these hotter grape growing regions. Better grapes for New York, better grapes for California, lets see.... perhaps its time to pick up some cheap acreages in Greenland. For those who are deep into the pros and cons of global warming have a look at this (albeit lenghthy and possibly dated) report.