Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cost of Global Warming in Wine Country!

Global warming and greenhouse emissions
could become hugely expensive for California wineries if California lawmakers pass "The Global Warming Solutions Act"
The California Association of Winegrape Growers, the Wine Institute and the Family Winemakers of California have all expressed
their concerns about Assembly Bill 32
Meanwhile Michael Black of Backsberg Estate Cellars in South Africa is not waiting around for any legislation to be enacted in his neck of the woods (vineyards). Following a carefully planned "greening program" he is one step ahead in the battle against CO2. Smart marketing!

(sun spots are visible in this photo from NASA's
Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. Photo Credit: Tom Tschida)
But are Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse emissions really the culprit in this Global warming trend? A recently shown documentary on British TV, claims NOT! It even goes so far as calling it "The Global Warming Swindle" This film is just over an hour long but well worth watching. I would sure like some feedback after you have watched it. Think I'll just watch it again with a glass of sundrenched Rhone Valley wine.
(When I open my blog with Internet Explorer, an annoying rectangular outline shows up. This does not happen with Firefox. Any of you smart bloggers out there know what the problem might be? Sure would appreciate your help. THANKS)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Grape Glut ....or just too many poor quality grapes?

An over supply of grapes continues to plague Australia as well as South Africa. But are these high quality grapes or just too many of the bulk wine grape varieties?

Some interesting comments were posted to this Decanter news release. Similarly Australia is facing the same problem. According to eMediaWire the "plant anything anywhere" approach is to a large extent to blame. As reported by South African Wine News the answer may lie in educating consumers to try higher quality, higher priced wines. Related to this is the report that Yellow Tails wine sales are expected to drop in their biggest market, the US. Are consumers just getting tired of this brand or are their palates becoming more educated? Regardless, the days of cheap wines flooding the market may be coming to an end. This may be a very good thing. There still will be plenty of wine out there but quality will determine their sales success.

An appreciative thanks to all my faithful fans!

It is high time that I send out this note of sincere appreciation to all those who have voted for my blog and kept me in the top ten of Eric's Local Wine Events Top Blogs. I asked Eric to withdraw my blog from the listed food and wine blogs. So you can now sit back and enjoy an extra glass of wine rather than taking that time to vote. I felt that it had become too much of a competition rather than an actual measure of a blog's worth (mine included) It has been fun! Please continue to visit my blog and perhaps even subscribe, so that you will be automatically notified when I do another post. Thanks very much again and click on the certificate to get your enlarged version.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pop a Cork....Snap a Cap!!

It has been an embarrassing couple of weeks without any posts. My computer was crushed like a grape or rather my hard drive crashed. I had to open a lot of bottles of wine to cope and they included wines with screw-cap closures. My journey to accepting screw-caps began about 4 years ago while attending a lecture at a Society of Wine Educators conference in California. The sound of a cork popped out of a bottle has always appealed to me. Over the years I have learned to listen to and enjoy different styles of music, so I reasoned why not let the snappy crack of screw-cap be added to my list of pleasant sounds. So lets get with the times folks and accept the fact that screw-caps are here to stay and for good reasons.
After all, how many of us when served a glass of wine, can really tell whether it was poured from a cork stoppered bottle or one closed with a screw-cap?
(GlobalCap closure picture courtesy of Guala Closures North America)
A recent survey by AC Nielson as reported in Wine Business Monthly, found that there was a significant
increase in acceptance and usage of screw-cap closures in North America. Britain's leading wine merchant, Berry Brothers have just switched to Stelvin closures for its house French reds and white.
But perhaps more telling and certainly a bold move, was the recent announcement by Maison Jean-Claude Boisset to launch their 2005 vintage Chambertin Grand Cru and their Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes with the screw-cap closure. Boisset will be using the Stelvin Lux+, the latest generation of screw-caps, which ensures a slight oxygenation of the wine through their high-performance seals. Another argument lost by traditionalists who claim only cork will allow this micro-oxygenation. This is a bold and innovative move in the Cote d'Or, as it will be the first time a grand cru wine will be closed with a screwcap.
"This pioneering spirit has always been a strong family trait," explains Jean-Charles Boisset. "We respect tradition, but at the same time, we try to encourage people to consider a new approach if the means are there to improve upon a wine's quality." Boisset has been a front runner in Burgundy for some time. The launch of their French Rabbit (scroll down to my June 5th, 2006 entry) was another example of their leadership on the Burgundian scene. I'm convinced. Screw-caps are in. It will be interesting to see what Maison Boisset will come up with next.