Thanks to Joe at Sleepy Creek Vineyards for passing along this funny video from their Up the Creek "sipcom" web series.
From the website:
This is a series of shorts about a little winery in the mid-west and its dysfunctional staff. Only watch these if you enjoy innuendo and satirical humor. We love to laugh here at Sleepy Creek...and now you can laugh with and/or at us too! Is it art imitating life or the other way around?
In this infographic, SelfStorage.com identifies 10 of the best wines for $10 or less. They consulted wine experts Christian Galliani and Len Napolitano along with Consumer Reports magazine, MensHealth.com and ReverseWineSnob.com to come up with the list.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States, issued a press release and infographic on the 80th Anniversary of Prohibition Repeal.
Here are some interesting bits with the infographic:
Eighty years after Prohibition Repeal, states across the country have greatly modernized their alcohol markets but some Prohibition legacies linger, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.
Prohibition’s Lingering Legacies
-Dry Counties. Eighty years later, there are still hundreds of dry counties across the United States today that partially or completely restrict alcohol consumption – mostly across the South and West.
-Sunday Sales. Twelve states still ban Sunday spirits sales, including: AL, IN, MN, MS, MT, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, and WV. Notably, Indiana remains the only state in the country which still bans all beer, wine and spirits sales at package stores on Sundays.
-Spirits Sampling Restrictions. Six states still ban all forms of spirits sampling, including: AK, GA, MT, NC, OK, and UT.
-Neo-Prohibitionists. Neo-prohibitionists continue to promote misguided “population-based controls” as a means of restricting alcohol sales. The most popular examples of these population-based controls include tax increases which lead to higher prices; bans on advertising and marketing; and excessive restrictions on market access.
Trend of Modernization
-Since 2002, 16 states have joined the list of states that allow Sunday spirits sales for a total of 38 states, including most recently Connecticut (2012).
-In 2011, Georgia passed local option legislation allowing Sunday alcohol sales. Since then, more than 200 communities have voted in favor of Sunday alcohol sales, including major population centers such as Atlanta (82%-18%), Macon (62%-38%), and Savannah (60%-40%), among others.
-Since 2004, Texans have marched to the polls to rally for alcohol modernization. Of the 665 local wet/dry elections since 2004, nearly 80% have gone “wet.” In November, voters in Arlington, TX overwhelmingly favored alcohol sales 70%-30%.
Click infographic to enlarge
Washington State Wine’s The Recommendeuer iPad app was released in October.
Now, a free iPhone version of the app is available, allowing smartphone users to enjoy an in-depth, interactive regional wine immersion led by actor and comedian Greg Proops.
Proops dons a plaid suit and grabs a wine glass to play The Recommendeuer, a professional recommender and know-it-all expert on the Washington State wine industry. The app features a video series and extensive information on Washington State’s 13 wine-growing appellations, the history of the state’s wine industry, wine and grape profiles, photos, maps and more.
The app is part of a national marketing campaign targeting the wine buyers, sommeliers and journalists who help shape consumer purchasing decisions.
You can check out some of the Recommendeuer video here, via Vimeo.
This just in: The Sommelier Journal has been sold to TPM Custom Publishing, which produces The Tasting Panel magazine. Back in late October, The Sommelier Journal announced it would be suspending operations.
The rebranded SOMM Journal "will be comprised of internationally-renowned wine writers, sommeliers and authorities," with Anthony Dias Blue as Editor-in-Chief, and David Gadd as Managing Editor. Sommelier Journal Founder David Vogels, will act as Consulting Editor.
According to the announcement, the publication "will broaden to include more coverage of artisan spirits, coffee, tea and food trends." Sounds like they know where the money (advertising dollars) is.
The first issue of the refreshed publication will be distributed in Spring of 2014.
Here's a link to the press release.
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance posted the final Paso Wine Man video of the 2013 Varietal of the Month Series, which showcases Petite Sirah for December.
Last week we put the January issue of Wine Business Monthly to bed. Editor Cyril Penn previews the issue in his Month in Review:
Getting Ready for Bottling, Unified, and the New Year
January: Time for making New Year’s resolutions and planning for the year ahead. Personally, I like this time of year because I tend to catch my breath—if only for a moment—to take a pause to get organized and prepared before tackling the work that lies ahead.
With that in mind, check out Bill Pregler’s preparing for bottling day checklist, which just might save you a lot of aggravation; and Curtis Phillips’ article on planning for your next crush. Curtis offers many sensible recommendations; one of them being to do a post mortem now that crush is over—while you are still remembering the details of how things went.
January also means its time to prepare for the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium: This issue includes a preview of what to expect at the show from our exclusive online survey, highlighting the newest products and services. The online version will be continually updated prior to the show and you can use it to create a list of booths to visit—again saving time and hassle. Our columnists additionally offer a sneak peak at what they’ll be looking for during the show.
By this time, you may have noticed bunches of Riesling grapes are pictured on this month’s cover. You may have detected the little specs on those grapes, a hint that the grapes are Riesling, or you maybe you read the huge callout across the cover that says “Riesling.” At any rate, we’ve got a Varietal Focus report on Riesling this month, with winemakers from Oregon, Washington and New York. These varietal reports are all about discovering terroir and how winemakers achieve, or try to achieve, their stylistic goals. Riesling is one of the grapes that is most expressive of terroir.
Happy New Year, Cyril Penn, editor
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This video is from the Women for WineSense - Women in Wine 2013 event, held in September at Buena Vista in Sonoma. The evening kicked off with a short discussion between Jean-Charles Boisset and his wife, Gina Gallo, before the main panel discussion with Gina, Michaela Rodeno and Claudia Schubert – moderated by Tom Wark.
We just received note that former owner of Peet’s Coffee and Starbucks co-founder, Jerry Baldwin, will present the keynote luncheon address on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the first day of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.
“Jerry Baldwin’s long career as a business leader and visionary in the coffee industry illustrates a valuable lesson, even in mature industries and product categories the opportunities for innovation and value creation are almost limitless,” John Aguirre, CAWG president said in the press release.
If you're going to Unified this year, make sure you check out our Unified Guide in the January issue of Wine Business Monthly. The products listed in the 2014 Unified Guide below have been compiled through WBM’s annual online product survey, submitted only to Unified Wine & Grape Symposium exhibitors. Exhibitors were encouraged to submit information on the products and services they would be presenting at the 2014 show.
Studies show that the average trade show attendee visits 25 booths per day. Therefore, over a two-day period, visitors will probably visit about 50 booths out of the more than 600 exhibitors’ booths at the symposium trade show.
How do you narrow down which 50 booths to visit? WBM has created the Unified Guide—a preview of the products and services that will be showcased at Unified—to help our readers determine which booths they'd like to visit at the show.
The Unified Guide will also be up online very soon....stay tuned!
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An email from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation came across the newsdesk today, and it mentioned some bits about Riesling, which caught my eye.
Riesling is the most popular vinifera winegrape in New York State, accounting for 1,034 acres (23%) of the total vinifera plantings (4,430), with 849 acres (82%) of all Riesling in the Finger Lakes, and 341 of those (33%) in Yates County alone. The average yield is about 3.9 tons, with prices ranging from $1,300 to $1,750 per ton, and averaging $1,479.
Washington State is the largest U.S. Riesling producer, with about 5,370 acres producing 36,700 tons and about 1,500,000 cases. California ranks #2 with 4,452 acres producing 36,925 tons; and Oregon is #4, after New York, with about 700 acres, yields of 2.88 tons per acre, and price per ton at $1,090.
This caught my eye because it ties right in with our January issue, which we just sent to the printer last week. In our upcoming January issue, we published our next Varietal Focus by Lance Cutler, which features Riesling.
For this Varietal Focus we looked at three distinctive regions across the United States. New York state, which had some of the earliest plantings of Riesling in America, features Fred Merwarth from the iconic Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Peter Weis from the equally iconic Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars and Nancy Irelan from Red Tail Ridge Winery. Washington state is the largest producer of Riesling in the United States and gave us Bob Bertheau and Wendy Stuckey of Chateau Ste. Michelle, Gilles Nicault from Long Shadows and Nicolas Quillé from Pacific Rim. After a long drought in popularity, Riesling has seen a resurgence in Oregon and brings Scott Neal from Coeur de Terre Vineyard, Chris Williams from Brooks winery and Nate Klosterman from Argyle Winery.
We also have two other articles on Riesling in the January issue: one covering Riesling plantings (by assistant editor Erin Guenther) and another looking at Riesling wine sales in restaurants (by Liza Zimmerman).
And speaking of Riesling, in our February issue, we are publishing an Industry Roundtable on White Wine Balance (by Lance Cutler). In the roundtable, three winemakers discuss residual sugar and acidity as stylistic components and how consumer preference influence their winemaking decisions. But the discussion ultimately ended up being about Riesling. From the article:
"The first thing we learned after spending an afternoon with these winemakers is that they are passionate Riesling aficionados. Whether it was simply the three particular people we had invited, or something unique to the variety itself, conversation kept veering away from other varieties and settling on Riesling. While there were rare references to other aromatic whites, like Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, when it came to the challenge of balancing residual sugar and acidity the discussion always returned to Riesling."
To read more about Riesling (and much more!), look for the January and Feburary issues of Wine Business Monthly. January will be hitting mailboxes soon, with February following next month.
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