Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do Capsules on Wine Bottles Impress You?

I had not really given much thought to wine bottle capsules until I read the feature article in the March issue of Wines&Vines magazine on capsules. "Capsules in Transition" gets down to the nuts and bolts and its importance in the marketing scheme. Wine Business Monthly does a capsule survey every two years. The last one was in 2006, so we are due for one this year. It will be interesting to see the change in trends when the survey is released. As pointed out in the Wines&Vines article the cost factor will have a determining influence.
All the wine press has focussed its attention on the pros and cons of cork versus screw-caps and it seems capsular comments have been few. Screw-caps had long been considered by many wine drinkers as closures for inexpensive or inferior wines. That is certainly not the case today. A press release in February 2007 boldly announced that Boisset would be launching both a Grand Cru and a Premier Crus under screw-cap.

But capsules? I just have not been paying too much attention. OK, a funky label might get my attention when I am shopping for wine. But I have never turned away from a wine because of its capsule or for that matter bought one because the capsule gave a "buy me" message. I have to admit that lead capsules always appealed to me. They seemed somehow to denote and give a certain grandeur to a bottle of wine. So I went and paid a visit to my humble little wine cellar to see just what kind of capsules I have been collecting. Ah, there is one with a lead capsule! It turned out to be a 1976 Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou. Not a great vintage but a good one. It needs to be consumed now! Had I ignored this noble wine because of a secret admiration for lead capsules? Fond dreams and memories of great wines are part of the charm of drinking wine. Changes in capsule styles should never interfere with those special moments in the presence of a gift as great as a good bottle of wine. Sure would like to receive some capsular comments on this topic.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ROSÉ and BEAUJOLAIS.. are here to stay!!

Preferences and fads in wine styles come and go. The movie "Sideways"
created an increased demand for Pinot Noir. That seems to have settled back and now Merlot sales are increasing once again. With consumers becoming ever more knowledgeable about wines, might we see a decrease
in the ever popular "White Zinfandel"? While I like my reds and certain white varietals, there is something undeniably pleasant about a good rosé.

Sales of rosé wines are on the increase.
But what always baffles me is the continuing success of Beaujolais Nouveau. Released on the third Thursday of each November it has been a marketing success. Over 65 million bottles are sold annually, which accounts for more than half of all the wine produced in the Beaujolais.
Say "Beaujolais" and the average wine drinker thinks of it in terms of Nouveau. What a shame.
Because Beaujolais produces some outstanding wines at reasonable prices.
There are five classifications of Beaujolais:
Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais, Beaujolais Superieur, Beaujolais Villages and the 10 Beaujolais Crus. The ten village Crus from north to south are St.Amour,Julie
nas, Moulin-a-Vent, Chenas, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnie, Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly. The Beaujolais Crus are the spritual home of the Gamay Grape. Most Beaujolais should be drunk young but the Crus are much more concentrated and the best can be kept for up to 1o years.They can then resemble a mature Pinot Noir but at a much lower price. Its time for Beaujolais! I know, they do not get Parker points. Not big and bold enough. But there in lies their charm. And if you want to get away from those high alcohol, over-powering wines look no further.