Thursday, December 31, 2009

Celebrating and Toasting with a C....Sparkling Wine!

Will that be a Champagne, a Cava or a Crémant you will be drinking to celebrate the new Year? All of them made of course in the traditional method. Crémants are produced by adding a smaller dosage for the second fermentation, resulting in less carbon dioxide and thus a lower bottle pressure.This lighter effervescence creates a creamy texture to the wine and hence the term Crémant which means "creamy". Crémants have 2-3 atmospheres of pressure instead of 5-6 in wines from Champagne. My friend Philippe Durst, the Export Manager at Dopff Au Moulin in Alsace sent me this picture of a Crémant having some fun with a waitress.
But no matter what sparkler you will be celebrating with ( and I will be celebrating with a bubbly made here on Vancouver Island called
Célébration Brut from Starling Lane Winery.) it turns out that it is actually good for your heart.
My friend Nick Stephens over at Bordeaux-Undiscovered did a great post on that. And of course we all know that we should continue to drink our favourite beverage in 2010 because it is good for our health. Decanter has done a nice summation of the beneficial effects of wine. But only look at the green column. The researchers in the red column will be drinking and celebrating with a cup of decafinated tea.
Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy 2010!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

How Much Will you pay for your Wine.....?

Yes ,the Asian market is hot. According to Sotheby's auction house fifty-seven percent of all wine sold by value went to Asian buyers this year. Asian bidding has boosted prices at both Sotheby's and Christie's International for first growths such as Lafite, Latour, Petrus and Mouton Rothschild. Both houses anticipate selling wines worth $5.7 million this week as buyers attend the last international sales of 2009 and thus propping up the prices once again for the greedy first and second growth Bordeaux producers. ( Don't be afraid to click on the feet in the picture.) But tell that to the 5000 plus workers at Threshers and Wine Rack shops who are loosing their jobs just before Christmas. Or tell that to the many Bordelais vintners whose vineyards have been grubbed up for lack of sales of their grapes. Similarly those pumped up prices will not impress the Australian wineries who are bulldozing their vineyards because there are 100 million cases of unsold wine sitting in their cellars. In the meantime Napa is also feeling the pressure of a slump in sales of their high end pricey wines. But predictions by the International Organization of Vine and Wine are for global wine sales to increase by 4 percent to 246.3 million hectoliters for 2009. But this is fueled by the demand in the US for cheap wine during the economic crisis. Meanwhile back in Hong Kong a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothshild is selling for anywhere between HK$37,000 and HK$48,000. No wonder they are a prime target for thieves. Robbers removed $877,000 worth of Lafite from a warehouse in Hong Kong.
And is this another Billionaire's Vinegar in the making? According to Renaud Gaillard, deputy director of the French export trade body, Federation des Exportateurs de Vins et Spiriteux de France (FEVS) China is "the principal counterfeiter" of fine wines and spirits. Counterfeiters have targeted 5 to 6 of the top Bordeaux wine estates.
So, how much are you prepared to pay for your wines next year? Personally I will be quite happy to stay away from those pricey Bordeaux.