Snooth - Articles Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:59:13 -0400 Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:59:13 -0400 Snooth Rabobank: Japan Joins The Big Boys in Global Wine Market James Duren <p>China isn&#39;t the only country in Asia making headlines in the vino world.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to a story this past Wednesday by Business Wire, a study by Rabobank&#39;s Food &amp; Agribusiness Research department has revealed that Japan is now an important wine market.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Rabobank&#39;s &hellip;. research team says that the Japanese wine market has &#39;come of age,&#39; with wine drinkers increasingly open to new consumption occasions, wine styles and innovations,&rdquo; the Business Wire report said. &ldquo;Japan ranks as one of the world&#39;s most valuable wine import markets.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The news is good for Japan, according to the articles, because it hearkens back to 16 years ago when the wine import market hit its peak on the island nation. Since then, the story said, import numbers declined.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;In more recent years, the hype surrounding the China wine market boom has coincided with significant, yet much-less publicized, renewed interest in wine across the Sea of Japan,&rdquo; analyst Marc Soccio told Business Wire. &ldquo;This has opened the way for New World producers, most notably Chile, to gain a foothold in the Japanese market, with the added advantage of a Free Trade Agreement.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The article noted that Japan is still facing a &ldquo;challenging economic environment,&rdquo; but that the country&#39;s wine industry is attracting exporters.&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is a wine market that is growing most strongly at premium price points which makes it very interesting to global wine producers,&rdquo; the article said. &ldquo;With competition expected to continue to heat up, more New World countries, and less familiar Old World powers such as Spain, are set to follow Chile&#39;s lead in this market.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Rabobank report also included research about the United States&#39; wine market. The numbers revealed that most of the country&#39;s growth has come through the value wine market.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The U.S. Wine market continued to expand in 2014, though volume growth was well below rates seen in previous years,&rdquo; the Business Wire article said. &ldquo;Value growth accelerated at a faster pace, with growth coming entirely in the above-USD-9 per bottle range.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The Rabobank study also noted that grape production in California fell by 10 percent to 3.9 million tonnes, but that, like the rest of the country, grapes used for value wines were plentiful.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;San Joaquin Valley &ndash; which produces for lower-prices segments &ndash; appears to have excess supply due to shifting consumer preference and large harvests of previous years,&rdquo; the report said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Odyssey</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6336 Investing in Bordeaux 2014 Christy Canterbury MW <p><div><br /> <em>The opportunity to invest in wine before it enters the bottle is a special one, especially when it comes to Bordeaux. En Primeur is a long and storied tradition of the Old World. It also has been adopted in New World regions such as California and Australia. Tasting young barrel samples two years prior to a vintage&rsquo;s release is a palate-twisting exercise that employs both skill and intuition. Master of Wine Christy Canterbury is taking us to the frontlines of Bordeaux En Primeur 2014. Will these wines be worth your time? Find out now. &ndash; Snooth Editorial</em></div><br /> <br /> The best line at last month&rsquo;s en primeur campaign was, &ldquo;Two thousand fourteen is the best of the recent, non-exceptional vintages.&rdquo; Bordeaux&rsquo;s cr&egrave;me de la cr&egrave;me remain the world&rsquo;s finest spin-masters. Still, this statement rings true. Bordeaux pulled through well in 2014, especially in reds where Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc dominate. The wines far exceed 2013 and are the best since 2010. The best reds offer freshness and refreshment as well as good mid- to long-term potential.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The key was the lengthy Indian Summer. Indeed, Thomas Duroux of Ch&acirc;teau Palmer said that he was swimming at the beach with his daughter on October 27th! However, the sunshine and warm weather took their time to come around, which is why earlier ripening Merlot fared slightly less well. For this reason, many Right Bank producers incorporated a higher than typical percentage of Cabernet Franc. Additionally, the late-ripening Petit Verdot performed very well, proving that maturity really did come through in the end.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The year started with a rainy winter that allowed water retaining soils to stock up for the growing season. Yet, it turned out there would hardly be a need as the monthly rainfall exceeded the 30-year average in every month except September, October and December.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The spring rains caused weakened fruit set in Merlot in certain spots, which proved helpful as the summer turned dreary and it seemed the fruit would never ripen. Vines needed lower fruit loads were they to get anything respectable in shape for harvest, and many estates - even some that have moved away from systematic green harvesting - dropped fruit.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Summer was tropical at the outset. However, temperatures dropped in July, and August registered some of the coolest temperatures Bordeaux has seen in a long while. The heat at the beginning of the growing season required careful vineyard work &ndash; debudding, hedging, leaf plucking - to keep the vines from becoming overly focused on producing leaves, secondary shoots and tendrils rather than ripe berries.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Berries swelled during August&rsquo;s veraison (grape color change), but September and October brought on rapid concentration with higher than average temperatures, plentiful sunshine and near drought-like conditions in gravelly vineyards. Duroux said that in one month, clusters lost 15% of their weight. The Right Bank received even more rain; being Merlot-dominant and hence earlier ripening, this made their work even tougher. Soils with better drainage &ndash; namely the plateau of Pomerol and the limestone sections of St. &Eacute;milion &ndash; fared best.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>What are the wines like?</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> The reds show great fruit and acid freshness with rather sweet tannins and reasonable alcohols. Granted, the samples tasted last month were far from &ldquo;finished&rdquo; as they won&rsquo;t be released onto the market for another two years. Nonetheless, they almost seemed ready to drink today.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> White and sweet wines also fared well. Both have good acidic lift and finessed aromatics. The sweet wines are particularly exciting as they are not as heavy in residual sugar and alcohol as they usually are in fine years.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>What to do?</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> Nothing, unless you&rsquo;re a Sauternes lover. Yields there were miniscule, so the best will sell out quickly. As for reds and whites, plenty will be available and there&rsquo;s no reason to fork over your cash two years in advance.</div><br /> </p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6334 The Economist: Wine Investing More La-fickle Than Lafite James Duren <p>Popular economics magazine The Economist threw its two cents in the ever-expanding piggy bank that is the world&#39;s opinions about the merits (or lack thereof) involved in wine investing.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the article, wine investing isn&#39;t as simple as it seems.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The piece began with wine critic Robert Parker&#39;s description of a 1982 Lafite Rothschild, a sure-fire member of the wine hall of fame were it to exist.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;It has an &#39;extraordinary nose of caramelised herbs, smoke, cedar, pen ink, black currants and earth. The gorgeous aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, plum, rich, fleshy wine with low acidity,&rdquo; the article began.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The tantalizing description of the famous French quaffer was followed by the heart of the article, a brief analysis of the investment value of the iconic wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;A virtue he did not mention,&rdquo; the article said in reference to Parker&#39;s description, &ldquo;was its quality as an investment.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the story, a case of the wine was worth about $450 in 1982. Its value has now risen to more than $40,000.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Few equities have done so well,&rdquo; the article said. &ldquo;in the hope of replicating such heady returns, investors have been pouring money into fine wine, now thought to be a $5 billion-$10 billion market.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Among the elite, the article said, wine investing has become all the rage.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Demand has soared thanks to the growing ranks of the mega-rich, for whom a collection of fine wine can be the ultimate status symbol,&rdquo; the article said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> Part of this surge of popularity is attributed to brokers &ldquo;flogging wine&rdquo; as a great investment.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> However, The Economist noted, the oft-enticing growth rates about which some brokers brag aren&#39;t entirely accurate.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Prices surged in 2008-2011, thanks largely to the seemingly unquenchable thirst of rich Chinese buyers,&rdquo; the story said. &ldquo;But it has since been slaked, both by China&#39;s slowing economy and a by a fierce anti-corruption campaign, which has discouraged conspicuous consumption.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Since those measures went active, &ldquo;prices have stagnated,&rdquo; the article said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Further complicating the market is the proliferation of scams and the fees paid to brokers and auctioneers for wines purchased through bidding or private sale.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;And whereas stock-picking can be reduced to algorithms, wine-picking is much more subjective and influence by a small number of critics such as Mr. Parker,&rdquo; the story said. &ldquo;Nasty hangovers, alas, are common.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Fast Forward Event Productions</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6337 Historic Santa Rosa Winery Buildings To Say Goodbye After Years of Decline James Duren <p>Santa Rosa&#39;s Fountain Grove Winery is worse for the wear.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The facility&#39;s perpetual poor state led the City of Santa Rosa to order this week that Medtronic, the company who owns the buildings and the surrounding property, to apply for a demolition permit to destroy the decrepit estate, according to a report yesterday from The Press Democrat reporter Kevin McCallum.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The ruins of a historic Santa Rosa winery are slated for demolition this summer after the city&#39;s chief building official deemed the partially collapsed, graffiti-covered structures a safety hazard,&rdquo; McCallum wrote.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Medtronic will have 120 days from the day they receive their permit to destroy the buildings, the story said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Mark Setterland, the City of Santa Rosa&#39;s chief building official, told McCallum the decision was the right course of action.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;I just seems like the appropriate thing to do in the interests of public safety,&rdquo; he said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photos which accompanied the article reveal a series of stone buildings which long ago gave up their spirit to the mischievous follies of ne&#39;er-do-wells and spray-paint fiends.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Old blocks of stone were piled in heaps, stewing in sunlight pouring through porous walls. Few patches of structure were left unchristened by wild tangles of spray-painted letters.</div><br /> <br /> The surly mix of fallen stone and graffiti was, if anything, a testament to the more than six decades the building has languished. The last time the buildings made wine, McCallum wrote, America was fighting the Second World War.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The original winery was founded in 1882 on 2,000 acres of north Santa Rosa by Thomas Lake Harris, the leader of the influential Utopian community Brotherhood of the New Life,&rdquo; the article said. &ldquo;The winery ceased operations in the early 1940s after the death of the community&#39;s second leader, Kanaye Nagasawa, and has sat neglected ever since.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Medtronic&#39;s facilities boss Erik Kunz said they&#39;ve tried to keep the building safe from vandals and vagrants, but to no avail.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Kunz accompanies McCallum on a visit to the property.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Medtronic Installed a fence around the core group of buildings to keep vagrants, teenagers and the curious out,&rdquo; McCallum wrote. &ldquo;But on a visit to the site Wednesday, it was clear those measures had fallen short.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;As Kunz was unlocking the gate to give a tour, a group of young men walked up a nearby pathway, ducked through a large hole in the fence and entered the winery building.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong></strong></a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6338 Kurniawan Caper May Go Back to Courthouse James Duren <p>The lawyers of the wine world&#39;s most famous fraudster are twisting their litigious corkscrew once again, this time filing to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals an appeal of a Dec. 2013 decision which sent Rudy Kurniawan to jail for 10 years.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Several industry news sources reported the appeal yesterday, including one source whose article about the proceedings included a photo of the fake labels seized by federal agents that Kurniawan made out of his Los Angeles home.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Lawyers for Rudy Kurniawan &ndash; the man sentenced to 10 years in prison for wine fraud in 2014 after being found guilty a year earlier &ndash; have launched an appeal against his conviction that could prompt a retrial,&rdquo; The Drinks Business reporter Neal Baker wrote yesterday.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Baker&#39;s article, the appeal says authorities illegally obtained evidence used against Kurniawan in court.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;They say that the evidence &ndash; which included fake Bordeaux labels and bottling equipment &ndash; should not have been presented to the court,&rdquo; Baker wrote. &ldquo;If successful in their appeal, it could trigger a retrial or possibly early release.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Quoting another industry source, Baker said federal agents obtained the evidence as a result of an unwarranted house search, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a fictional missing pet.</div><br /> <br /> According to a Decanter story published yesterday, the FBI sent an agent to Kurniawan&#39;s home to verify he lived there. The agent &ldquo;pretended to be a neighbour who had lost a pet.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Multiple sources noted that, the followed day, agents arrived at Kurniawan&#39;s home to arrest him. Part of the process of the arrest, the government argued, included sweeping the house to verify no other threats existed.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;During this sweep they were presented with an obvious fake wine operation, complete with Bordeaux labels and bottling equipment,&rdquo; Baker wrote. &ldquo;However, they did not have a warrant to search the property until later that day.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Another source noted that the actual devices used for the counterfeiting operation were in a locked room which agents unlocked with a key they seized from Kurniawan during the arrest.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> During the original trial, Kurniawan&#39;s lawyers argued that, because of this alleged unlawful search &ldquo;evidence seen by officers should not have been used in the trial as they were discovered in a manner that breached his constitutional rights under the fourth amendment.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Brian Turner</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6335 New Zealand, Australia Regions Hopeful About 2015 Wines James Duren <p>Reports from the double-barreled southern duo of sun-guzzlers are positive, for now.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Both New Zealand and Australia&#39;s news outlets are posting stories about winemakers who say this years harvest could lead to some great wines.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Radio New Zealand spoke with two winemakers about the country&#39;s early harvest: Gibbston Valley&#39;s Christopher Keys and Sherwood Estate&#39;s Petter Evans.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Keys said his estate faced an early harvest, a welcomed relief after snows descended on the area earlier this week.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The positive side of this is we started picking mid-March and there was a flurry of activity just before Easter and the early part of April, so I&#39;m really pleased it was an early season,&rdquo; he told Radio New Zealand. &ldquo;Because if this snowfall had happened a couple of weeks ahead of when it has, it would have been a different story.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Keys was able to bring in 70 percent of his pinot, he said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Evans said he and his team at Sherwood are at about the same point.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Harvesting is probably tree quarters finished. Now we&#39;re through most of the varieties, the sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot,&rdquo; he said. We don&#39;t expect to be harvesting much longer. We&#39;ll probably finish by earlier next week.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fortune has been on his side this year, he said.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;This year we&#39;ve been very lucky. The fruit&#39;s been very ripe, it&#39;s had lovely flavours,&rdquo; he said.</div><br /> <br /> Across the water in Australia, winemakers are saying the 2015 harvest has the chance to be a memorable &ndash; not an unusual claim around harvest time in the world&#39;s wine regions, but making headlines this year nonetheless.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> King Valley winemaker Christian Dal Zotto told the Wangaratta Chronicle his colleagues are optimistic about this year&#39;s fruit.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;It&#39;s the best we&#39;ve had for a while, the winemakers are very excited about the quality of the fruit and the potential to make some memorable wine,&rdquo; Dal Zotto said. &ldquo;The scope of the quality is what makes this harvest stand out.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The winemaker said the region&#39;s luck has played out evenly across whites and red.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The white grapes look spectacular and the reds are equally as exciting,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dal Zotto said he hopes this year&#39;s reds can match the regions white-wine acclaim.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;We are renowned for producing some great whites in the valley but this vintage will be producing some equally memorable reds,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&#39;s likely to be a very consistent vintage which is what everyone is after.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>F Delventhal</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6331 Wheels Up, Bottoms Up: United Says Long-Haul Flights Will Feature Free Wine, Beer James Duren <p>That trans-Atlantic flight you&#39;ve been dreading will be much easier to deal with now that airline giant United has announced beginning June 1 it will offer free wine and beer on all flights between the United States and Europe, Asia, Argentina , Brazil and Chile.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;United Airlines passengers will no longer have to reach for their wallets if they ask for wine or beer on long-haul international flights,&rdquo; USA Today&#39;s Ben Mutzabaugh reported yesterday. &ldquo;Not even in economy.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sandra Pineau-Boddison, United&#39;s senior vice president of customers, said the move will add legitimacy to United&#39;s standing as a global airline.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The changes to come on June 1 will deliver an elevated onbaord experience on many of our intercontinental flights and will offer travelers the high level of service they expect from a global airline,&rdquo; she said.</div><br /> <div><br /> Mutzabaugh spoke with industry expert Henry Harteveldt about the move to free booze.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;Their alliance partners &ndash; as well as competitors &ndash; offer an open bard,&rdquo; Harteveldt said. &ldquo;It&#39;s a small thing, but United doesn&#39;t want to lose a sale just because they&#39;re charging people for drinks in economy and other airlines are not.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Mutzabaugh noted other carriers who already offer free booze.</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;American and Delta already offer complimentary wine and beer in the economy cabins of their comparable long-haul routes,&rdquo; he wrote. &ldquo;So do many foreign carriers that fly to the USA, including Germany&#39;s Lufthansa, Japan&#39;s All Nippon Airways and Etihad Airways of the Unit3ed Arab Emirates.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the USA Today article, this isn&#39;t the first time United has offered free drinks.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;United used to offer complimentary wine (and) beer in coach through the 1990s, but the carrier says it began to charge for those beverages on some long-haul flights by the early 2000s,&rdquo; Mutzabaugh wrote. &ldquo;In 2014, United began charging for beer wine and sake on its trans-Pacific flights, essentially ending the option for free alcohol in the economy cabin until the new policy begins on June 1.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the in-flight beverage menu information available on United&#39;s website, the carriers wine list includes &ldquo;house red and white wines&rdquo; in 187 ml bottles. The company&#39;s premium wine list, which is not part of the free beverage offerings, includes a California pinot noir and a California sauvignon blanc.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The carrier&#39;s beer offerings, according to its website, includes Budweiser, Miller Lite, Goose IPA and Heineken.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Aero Icarus</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6333 Peering Into the Future: 2018 Predictions for World's Wine Consumption, Preferences James Duren <p>What will the world wine landscape look like in 2018? Apparently much different than what it looks like now, according to a recent report by French &nbsp;news agency AFP.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The agency presented the facts in a series of infographics which measured four different factors, three of which predicted future trends: still and sparkling wine consumers, wine consumption by continent, wine consumption by type and 2013&#39;s top exporters of still and sparkling wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to AFP&#39;s wine consumption graphic, the United States will keep its top spot in 2018. The graph predicts the United State&#39;s wine consumption will increase 11.3 percent from just more than 200 million cases in 2014to more than 350 million cases in 2018.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> After the U.S., things will become interesting. Both France and Italy will see their overall consumption drop between 2014 and 2018.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> France will maintain it&#39;s second spot by 2018, though the country&#39;s overall wine consumption will drop a predicted 2.8 percent.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Italy will be the first giant to fall by 2018, the report said. The country&#39;s wine consumption will drop 5.1 percent, resulting in the Italians giving up the third-place slot to the Germans, whose 1.1 percent increase in consumption will push the country&#39;s total numbers above those of Italy.</div><br /> <br /> China will maintain it&#39;s standing as the fifth most prolific wine consumer. Though banal in terms of movement up the consumption ladder, the report predicted the Chinese&#39;s wine consumption will jump a whopping 24.8 percent, which is more of a jump than the U.S., Germany Britain, Argentina, Russia and Australia combined (24.4 percent).<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The five through 10 spots will not change in relation to the 2014 numbers, AFP said. Britain will finish sixth, followed by Argentina, Russia, Spain and Australia. The Brits&#39; consumption will increase by 5.5 percent, while Spaniards are predicted to drink 4.2 percent less wine than they did in 2014.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In terms of wine consumption by continent, Europe will lead the way though the wine-drinking superpower&#39;s overall numbers will drop from 63 percent to 61 percent. The Americas&#39; habits will increase slightly from 23 percent to 24 percent, as will the overall numbers for Asia-Pacific (11 percent to 12 percent. Wine drinking in the Middle East and Africa will remain steady at 3 percent, the report predicted.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> As for wine types, the reported predicted ros&eacute; will see the biggest jump in popularity. The pale prince will rise 4.5 percent, followed by red &nbsp;(3.6 percent) and white (3.1 percent).</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>Jing</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6332 Brits Create Sparks In Sparkler Showdown James Duren <p>&ldquo;For the first time ever, Britain&#39;s wine drinkers are spending more on prosecco than they are on Champagne,&rdquo; &nbsp;City AM reporter Lynsey Barber said. &ldquo;Historically seen as a second best to champagne, the rise and rise of the Italian sparkling wine industry has seen it overtake its French counterpart.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Barber quoted overall sales figures from the Kantar study, which show Britons spent more than $250 million on Italian sparklers while spending more than $210 million on Champagne.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Per-bottle sales numbers for prosecco were fantastic as well, further clarifying England&#39;s obsession with the Italian wine.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Barber, &ldquo;sales of prosecco doubled last year to 28 million bottles.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nearly 30 million bottles of quaffed Roman wine is an impressive number, she said, considering total per-bottle sales of Champagne and cava combined were at just more than 17 million bottles.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Prosecco&#39;s rise to prominence on the palate&#39;s of the British public is a phenomenal one, Barber said. In 2009, Brits bought just 2.3 million bottles of the stuff. The 2014 sales numbers show that prosecco per-bottle sales have lept nearly 1500 percent over the past half-decade.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Barber postulated that prosecco&#39;s popularity is due to its sweeter taste and, in comparison to Champagne, it&#39;s affordable price tag.</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;The popularity of prosecco over Champagne has been put down to its sweeter taste and its cheaper price &ndash; and the nation became the biggest importer of the sparkling wine last year,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to Barber, the average price of a bottle of prosecco is about $10, while the average bottle of Champagne fetches $32.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The popularity of the Italian sparkler has risen to such heights that pub owners are offering their patrons prosecco-by-tap. &nbsp;Barber said the tap tactics are &ldquo;good for drinkers looking to save the pennies but has drawn ire from the Italians, who say the practice is illegal.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to a January City AM story, because the European Union gave prosecco the same rights as Champagne &ndash; protected status, must be served from a bottle &ndash; the Italians voiced their dissatisfaction over tap-served pro&#39;co.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;The government will act immediately, in conjunction with the EU, against the United Kingdom and the incorrect serving of Prosecco in British pubs,&rdquo; Italian politician Michele Anzaldi said. &ldquo;It&#39;s one thing to drink Prosecco, a protected brand, but quite another to drink pseudo-wine pumped with carbon dioxide, as seems to be served in some British pubs.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=""><strong>[Duncan]</strong></a>, <a href=""><strong>Flickr Creative Commons</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6330 NY Wineries Raise A Glass To Community College Viti/Wine Dept. James Duren <p>It takes a viticulturist to know a viticulturist.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With this in mind, the 35 members of New York&#39;s Seneca Lake Wine Trail donated a total of $35,000 to the Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) Viticulture and Wine Center. The generous donation from one group of vine lovers to another is an expression of the wineries&#39; support of wine education in the region.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;&#39;Our 35 member wineries are wholly committed to our region and welcome the opportunity to help support this vital, new educational facility to the betterment of the Finger Lakes region and our growing industry,&#39;&rdquo; Seneca Lake Wine Trail Executive Director Paul Thomas said in a story by the Victor Post.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the story, the donation went to the FLCC Foundation and will be used to help pay off &nbsp;the department&#39;s recently completed 9,000-square-foot FLCC Vine and Wine Center. The sum will also &nbsp;be channeled to an endowment.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;What is so notable about this donation is the breadth of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail&#39;s support,&rdquo; FLCC President Barbara Risser said. &ldquo;Thirty-five individual wineries made decisions to support the college.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Using heavy marketing-speak, Seneca Lake Wine Trail President Jeffrey Dill said the organization sees FLCC&#39;s viticulture and wine program as an outworking of the surging popularity of the wine industry in the Finger Lakes region.</div><br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Finger Lakes winery industry continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, &nbsp;and with every new tasting room built, or vineyard planted, many new highly skilled, living wage jobs are created,&rdquo; Dill said. &ldquo;The graduates of this program will be crucial to helping make sure that we have a &nbsp;reliable source of local employees now and into the future.&rdquo;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> According to the Victor story, the new wine center features &ldquo;a teaching winery, enology laboratory, aging rooms, wine storage, a crush pad, a classroom and office space.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> FLCC&#39;s program is &ldquo;the only one of its kind in the northeastern U.S.,&rdquo; the article said, and said the program is a two-year degree.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Like Dill, Thomas emphasized partnership between local wineries and FLCC&#39;s viticulture and wine department.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &ldquo;We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Finger Lakes Community College,&rdquo; Thomas said, &ldquo;helping assure that the regional wine industry will have a steady stream of capably trained employees, while simultaneously giving students the opportunity to become meaningfully involved in the industry.&rdquo;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Photo Credit: <a href=";oe=559D3C3D"><strong>Finger Lakes Community College Facebook Page</strong></a></div><br /> </p> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0400 article6324