Monday, June 18, 2007

100 Point Wine = 100 % plus increase in price!

Two of the most distinguished "Grand Ladies of Wine" have spoken out on the future and pricing of Bordeaux wines. Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, at a lavish dinner at her Chateau Mouton Rothschild spoke of her concerns about the Bordeaux wine trade and suggesting wine was not for investing but rather for drinking.
Meanwhile Jancis Robinson in a podcast conversation with Berry Bros and Rudd's Bordeaux sales director Simon Staples, openly states "I hope 2006 will not be a success. I hope it will really show the Bordelais the shortcomings of the system" Listen to the podcast.
Could these excessive prices be blamed on the Emperor? You can find an interesting observation on pricing and who is to blame over on Slate . However the status seeking nouveaux riche in China, Russia and other Asian countries are driving prices into the stratosphere as well.
According to Timothy Tong ( that name has kind of got a ring to it, doesn't it? ) imports to Asian countries will increase dramatically. Imported wines make up only 5.6 % of Chinese wine consumption. Currently there are over 500 wineries in operation in China. The top 10 Chinese producers make around 10-12 million litres of wine annually. Expect plantings to increase as the Chinese become a wine consuming society. I recently had the opportunity to taste the the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon from China's Great Wall vineyards. Certainly not great but quality will improve dramatically over the next decade. Then watch for a flood of their wines to hit the export market. A survey carried out for Vinexpo 2007 by the London-based International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR) predicts global wine sales will increase 45 percent by 2010 and production by 41 percent with subsequent price increases. Europe's wine lake may be drained but is there a new one in the making behind the Great Wall of China?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hurray for...Rosé!

Just a quick follow up on my previous post. It seems that Rosés
are getting more popular. According to the the Nielsen Company's annual state of the industry as reported in Wines&Vines, they are up 23.9%. And these are real
Rosés, not your blush kind of pink drink.
Also they are coming from all over the map, not just home grown varieties. Happy summer time sipping everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rosé wine by any other name.... just not the same.

You might say I have come full circle. In college the "in" wine to drink was pink and was none other than Mateus. A light and sweet Portuguese rosé in that cute little dark green bocksbeutel.
From the archives of Wines&Vines comes this interesting article on rosés. Then 1973 saw the "invention" of White Zinfandel at Sutter Home.Today they sell more than 4 million bottles annually. Beringer Vineyards produces one of the most popular white Zinfandels on the market and today White Zinfandel accounts for 10% of all wine sold by volume, making it the third most popular varietal in the US. Had not touched much of anything pink or blush for years till visiting France during the 2005 vintage. Even ordinary "house rosés" are very quaffable and very enjoyable, especially on a hot day.
Couldn't resist going to The Great Canadian Pub on the left bank in Paris though, for a quick Canadian brewsky.
More than half of the wines produced in Provence are rosés. Some of the very best rosés in the world come from the Southern Rhône Valley. The appellation of Tavel produces rosés only.
Rosés are becoming more popular with North American wine drinkers and there is a trend to produce a drier style of rosé. British Columbia produces some outstanding rosés and now that
they are done in a drier style I am beginning to quite enjoy them. The two bottles on the left in the picture are a couple of the best examples.
St.Hubertus and Quails'Gate. ( click to enlarge )
So a Rosé by another name may not be the same but a Riedel glass by another name is the same. Riedel has just released a Vinum Rosé glass. They claim of course that a lot of tasting and testing went into the production of this glass. But other than a "pink" stem it is the same glass as the one that used to be called their Chianti glass. This then, again after much tasting and testing became the Zinfandel glass and then the Riesling Grand Cru. Talk about a misnomer. Grand Cru Riesling? And now its also the Rosé glass. Look at the pretty box with the pink ribbon. That's the Rosé glass. Look at the glass on the right. That is the Zinfandel glass. Some smart marketing going on? White Zinfandel popular, rosés more popular. Hmmm! Give Riedel credit though. Riedel will donate 15% of the proceeds from the sale of this glass to support "Living Beyond Breast Cancer". Living Beyond Breast Cancer, founded in 1991, is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. A very worthy cause indeed. I have my order in for a few sets of these. Besides liking the funky pink stem, this glass (Zinfandel, Chianti, Riesling) is one of my favorite all around good wine glasses. I often take one to various wine tastings around town.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A New Wine Star ......on the Yellow Brick Road!

"Il est arrivé" Another first for Boisset, La Famille des Grands Vins. Two years ago Boisset teamed up with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and became the first French winery to launch a vintage-dated wine in a cardboard Tetra Pak called the French Rabbit. It has since expanded to other provinces and countries, including the United States, Ireland and recently in France, where it goes by the English name. According to Mr. Boisset "The French love it" Now Ontario has again been chosen to launch what is sure to become another winner, the Yellow Jersey. David Bantey of Boisset Canada confirms that plans are well in hand to launch the product in British Columbia and then into the US and other markets. Boisset, known for quality wines and with this unique packaging is sure to have another successful product in their line-up. Alder, over at Vinography, with a recent post on another yellow product, should be happy with this one. My bike is ready and waiting to travel down the yellow brick road.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Terroir in a Tank!

A lot of research went into this project and the results are in. Shipping wine in bulk is the answer! According to this report "Results of a Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) report revealed bulk wine imports to the UK offer the greatest potential reduction of CO2 emissions." Imagine that!! Who would have thought. Bring a bunch of think tankers (WRAP) together and come up with this brilliant idea.
I am all for energy conservation but it appears to be creating a whole new industry. You have to wonder whether a "profit" motive is not involved. Shipping wine in bulk will lead to significant cost reductions . Will those savings be passed on to the consumer? I think not!
And how about those new "voluntary" labeling proposals? Voluntary is the key word here. It won't be long before some British parliamentarian will introduce legislation to make it mandatory. Another nightmare and great cost for vintners and in the end for consumers. Think and drink locally while the drinking is good. As Roger Dial proclaims "somewhereness" is good.
Bulk tanker wines with "anywhereness" wines not good.