Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wine then, now and in ......the future!

As 2007 draws to a close and we are near 2008, I thought that I would do my final entry for this year with an "out with the old and in with the new"approach. In my September 26 post, I asked the question "I wonder what it would have been like to buy a good bottle of wine 300 years ago?" Peter May, the founder of The Pinotage Club left an interesting comment. I followed up on that with Simon Berry of the Berry Bros.&Rud Limited, the oldest wine shop in the world fame. I left his reply as a comment on the same post. So have a look at that post and the comments since it is relevant to this current blog entry.
If glass bottles were rare 300 years ago, will wine bottles made of glass become rare again?
The "green" theme and carbon "foot prints" has vintners considering the plastic bottle alternative but at least one Bordeaux wine producer may be heading that way because of a shortage of glass bottles. Castel is considering PET bottles.
The French Wine & Spirits company, Boisset, is in the forefront of alternative packaging. Following up on the success of the French Rabbit in a tetra pack, their recently released Yellow Jersey series in Ontario, will soon be a familiar wine in PET bottles in North America. Check out the "Boisset shakes things up with alternative packaging" at Boisset America's site.
So is it time to start collecting corks before they disappear? Soon you may be able to sell your cork collection on eBay. I have had a head start. Did not know what to do with them all, so I covered one wall in my wine cellar with some of them. No snobbery there, the best mingle with

the every day types. Along with that are you saving your wine labels? Will they become a collectors item? I have some wonderful labels from a few memorable wines but if you want to see some funky, fun labels head over to Peter May's unusual collection of wine labels.
So what may we expect in 2008? A continued surge in interest in all things wine. Consumption of wine, whether for health reasons or for the pure pleasure of enjoying it, will increase. And marketing will be at the forefront. Now that the EU has come to some sort of watered down agreement, expect to see a major push in attempts to regain sales dominance in world markets for European wines. Speaking of marketing and world dominance, watch Constellation Brands to become involved in the EU wine scene. Having sensed US consumers thirsting for better quality wines and their acquisition of Fortune Brands, I am sure the renewed interest in French, Italian and Spanish wines will see them looking at European wineries for future expansions.
Watch also for continued research into the healthful benefits of wine consumption and its antioxidant effects. Sadly, the antioxidant band wagon will lead to unscrupulous exploitation as well. But the fruit of the vine and its grape-seed extracts will bring us many joyful benefits in 2008. I love my red wine and I love a good steak and soon I might be enjoying a well preserved steak with that special "bottle", be it in real glass or otherwise.
So here is my wish for all of you. May Peace and Joy, Happiness and Health be yours during this Christmas season and throughout the New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wine is fine for Beef....but Dairy Cows prefer music!

What music do you play with your favorite wine? Clark Smith, founder of Vinovation, apparently has the answer. In an interview with Smith and reported in a recent article by Blake Gray in the San Francisco Chronicle it is suggested that perhaps Metallica goes better with a Napa Cab than Mozart. But what if I do not like Metallica Mr. Smith? Is this really such a startling revelation? Everybody responds to the sound of music and a little bit of background music while enjoying your wine is bound to make the experience more pleasurable. Even dairy cows know that Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony turns them on and makes for a better environment to produce more milk.
In a reversal of the classic question "Where's the beef?" some beef herds prefer to utter "Where's the wine?". Forget the music just give me my litre a day, please!
Back in 1869, Johan Strauss already knew that wine and music go together when he composed his famous Wine, Women and Song. And of course he also understood that in the company of a lovely lady it tastes even better.
Nick, over at Vintage Direct suggests that perhaps our wine drinking experience may be enhanced by viewing great works of art and even makes some wine recommendations.

All this music and wine and art had me thinking about what wine should we be drinking when we read a book. During a recent visit with renowned
local chef/author Bill Jones I brought up the subject while discussing his
Salmon- The Cook Book. The book is edited by Bill and has everything you need to know about smoking, curing,baking,
barbecuing,steaming,poaching, etc. salmon. Over 120 recipes, including 10 of Bill's best.
In my mind I had settled for a Pinot Noir to enjoy while perusing his book and when I asked Bill what wine he would drink while reading "Salmon",well
Pinot Noir of course. So if music and wine go together and wine's pleasures can be enhanced by viewing art, why not match a good wine with your reading preferences? If you are into reading a thrilling mystery, perhaps you should consider a dark and brooding
Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Astrology books? A Champagne might be your choice. After all who exclaimed "Brothers, brothers, come quickly for I am seeing stars!"? Why Dom Pérignon of course. Ah, you are into romantic novels. Why not consider
Rosé? To me the sound of music comes when I hear the delightful pouring of wine into my glass. Roger Corder brings it all together for us... wine, a good book and your diet. Any suggestions what wine you might drink with your reading preference?