Category Archives: In the news

Expect More From Croatian Wine

Croatia is hot. Lots of beautiful coastline. A great vacation destination. A burgeoning foodie spot. A long history of making wine.

Croatia is so hot my brother, who once said he’d be happy to stay in New Jersey for the rest of his life, married a Croatian woman and has visited her family’s home three (or more) times. That’s how hot Croatia is. It’s so hot, it’s been burning for three years.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a good article from Bloomberg:

Now, with about 33,000 hectares under vines — still more than double the amount of New Zealand — Croatia is looking to fight its way into a saturated global market when it enters the European Union in 2013. Currently, Croatia exports only 5 percent of its 60 million liters annual production, which helps explain why Croatians are third overall in wine consumption.

Go plavac mali.

If all goes well, I should be visiting this year.

[Image from the great Croatian wine blog Croatian Wines]



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New Napa AVA

As reported in the Napa Valley Register, the the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved a 16th AVA in Napa Valley, Coombsville.

One reason for the effort to designate Coombsville as a separate appellation is that its soils, geography and climate differ distinctly from nearby regions, according to a news release from the group. It noted that the Coombsville soils are dominated by the volcanic rhyolitic tuff — sedimentary rock and lava flows — of the Vaca Range on the eastern side of the Napa Valley.

Sounds good.

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Coteaux du Tricastin Changes Its Name

You’re in France and growing grapes in the Rhone Valley, but you want your region to be special, to have its own name. So you apply to the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, known as the INAO.

From Jancis: the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, is the organization in charge of administering, regulating, granting, and protecting the French appellations contrôlées, not just for about 470 different wines and spirits, but for more than 40 different cheeses and a range of other foods including meat, poultry, and olive oil. … INAO was founded in 1935 and, since for much of the 20th century France’s leading role in the world of wine was undisputed, it provided a role model for the administration of more embryonic controlled appellation schemes in other countries. … Continue reading

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New York State is Making $ Allowing Import of Wine

image via steve garfield

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported on a meeting where Dennis Rosen, the chairman of the state liquor authority, covered the impacts of a 2005 law that increased the ability of in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship in and out of New York. Guess what?

The liquor authority has collected $431,375 in permit fees from wineries in the 15 states [with reciprocal shipping agreements]. Wineries that shipped directly reported $54 million in sales to New York consumers between March 2009 and February 2010, which yielded about $4.5 million in sales taxes.

Interstate shipping was a major fight back in the early 2000s. Then in 2005 Granholm v. Heald went in front of the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of laws in Michigan and New York that the court found to discriminate between in-state and out-of-state wineries because it violated the commerce clause. Continue reading

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Quarts de Chaume to become Loire Valley’s first Grand Cru

This is interesting. Unlike the Italians, the French are very protective of designating their vineyards. The Italians, however, don’t have anything quite like Grand Cru.
From Jancis:
grand cru
means literally ‘great growth’ in French. In Burgundy’s Côte d’Or a grand cru is one of 34 particularly favored vineyards, a decided notch above premier cru. In Alsace, grand cru is a recent, elevated appellation accorded several dozen specific vineyards. In Bordeaux, the words grand cru usually apply to a specific property or château and depend on the region in which it is located.

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I Kinda Want One

Ah, wine temperature. Is it ever right? And at some point in the evening, do you even care? I don’t really. I’ve tasted so many whites at room temperature, which is a good way to do it because flaws are easily hidden behind a chill.

And it’s true, wines that are too warm do show too much alcohol, but that might be because there’s too much alcohol to begin with.

Giving me wine gifts is an easy call, but of the ones I have, I only really use those jackets you put in the freezer that will chill a bottle of white in enough time for dinner. Those are also great for picnics to keep the sparkling wine cold.

This product seems to be that in reverse, which might make sense because glass is an insulator and working from the center of the bottle to the outside might be more efficient. But the jackets seem to cover more surface area. It seems this might be more of a keep-it-cold rather than a chill-it down-product, but it sure looks cool. And has a cool name, the corkcicle.

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Some State Senator Wants to Know

Thomas F. O’Mara, a New York State Senator from mid-western New York, has posted a poll on his website. He’s asking, presumably, his voters to tell him whether they’d like to have wine on supermarket shelves.

This has been an ongoing point of contention and law in New York. Currently only single-proprietor shops are allowed to sell wine and liquor. Beer is sold in beverage shops, supermarkets and convenience stores. Not surprisingly, current liquor stores are adamantly against this. Supermarkets would love it, the state would love it for what it sees as more licensing fees and tax revenues.

Give Mr. O’Mara your opinion. Wine shops and supermarkets co-exist right next store in New Jersey, why not here?

UPDATE: the poll has been taken down. The senator’s views on the topic remain.


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