Leslie's Feed
Sep 25, 2012

Great European wine grapes, just not many to harvest

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Europe is in the midst of another crisis: not debt, but grapes. Yields are sharply lower, down nearly 40 percent in some of parts of Portugal, which means winemakers will have fewer grapes to blend and, in the end, fewer bottles to offer.

The situation is even worse in parts of Burgundy, where hail storms pummeled vineyards in Pommard, Santenay and Volnay destroying nearly 80 percent of the harvest, according to the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB). When the growers were not fighting cold weather or hail, mildew and fungus threatened.

Jun 15, 2012

Fine wine prices plunge; invest or drink?

June 15 (Reuters) – If the secret to investing is buy low
and sell high, the steep drop in fine wine prices – down between
25 percent and 40 percent from a year ago – could be an
opportunity to diversify a portfolio – or not.

“I think there’s plenty of air left in this bubble. There’s
more of this drop to come,” economist and author Robin Goldstein
said on the sidelines of the American Association of Wine
Economists’ (AAWE) annual conference at Princeton University
last week.

May 29, 2012

Sommeliers take stress, guess work out of selecting wines

NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) – Can’t chose between a Muscadet
and Merlot? Confused by the latest Cabernets or shocked by the
prices?

Leading sommeliers around the globe can help to take the
guess work out of selecting wines and the sting out of prices.
Looking for bargains, comparative shopping, being open minded,
and if in doubt, asking for help, they say are just a few tips
to relieve the stress of selecting wines in restaurants.

May 17, 2012

Greek winemakers see crisis as glass half-full

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Greek winemakers are not pricing their wares in drachmas – yet.

The winemakers, visiting New York as part of an international promotional tour, doubted Athens would leave the euro-zone even after Fitch Ratings Agency downgraded Greece’s sovereign debt on Thursday, calling the country’s exit from the monetary union “probable.”

May 2, 2012

Wine ratings — a numbers game or useful information?

NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) – Looking for a good bottle of
Merlot, Pinot Grigio or Bordeaux? Ratings by experts may help
narrow the choice but do they really make a difference?

Wine experts say the scores and descriptions they give a
vintage will differentiate a good bottle from a mediocre one but
in a recent study consumers who tasted fine Bordeaux rated the
wines lower than the experts.

Apr 17, 2012

Appeal of organic products seeps into wine industry

NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) – The popularity of
farm-to-table restaurants and organic produce is seeping into
the wine industry as more producers adopt green practices.

But their motives for making organic, sustainable and
biodynamic wine may be more personal than business, although the
practices also improve the quality of the wines.

Apr 10, 2012

When it comes to war, beer beats silver and gold

By Leslie Gevirtz

(Reuters) – The Dutch drank their way to victory and independence from Spain in 1648 through the taxes they paid on beer, according to a report in the April issue of the Journal of American Association of Wine Economists.

Economists Koen Deconinck of the University of Leuven and Johann Swinnen of Stanford University wrote that taxes on beer “played a crucial role in financing the revolt … (and) were the single largest revenue source” for the outnumbered and outgunned Dutch, who were facing “the mightiest empire on earth.”

Mar 19, 2012

In the pink with new rosé Port wine

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In a bid to reverse a decade-long slide in sales, some producers of Port wine have gone pink.

They have given the sweet red or amber colored Portuguese fortified wine, which is traditionally sipped as an accompaniment to the cheese course or dessert, a makeover with a lighter rosé version that is 20 percent alcohol.

Mar 16, 2012

Cashing in on 19th century champagne, 11 bottles for sale

By Leslie Gevirtz

(Reuters) – Like smart investors who dispose of their stocks, the government of Aland, a string of islands off the coast of Finland, is selling 11 bottles of antique Champagne from a cache of 145 found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Divers from Aland stumbled across the Champagne and beer while exploring a shipwreck in July 2010. The owner of the vessel and its destination remain unknown, but the sunken craft and its cargo now belong to the government of Aland.

Mar 9, 2012

French vintners slowly make friends with Facebook

March 9 (Reuters) – French wineries, like over-tired
children, are kicking and screaming but slowly making their way
onto social media, a survey released this week found.

The survey of 528 wineries in the United States and France
conducted by ABLE Social Media Marketing found that while 94
percent of U.S. vintners were on Facebook, only 53 percent of
their French counterparts were.