Leslie's Feed
Nov 5, 2012

When it comes to wine, size matters for Charlie Trotter

Nov 5 (Reuters) – Charlie Trotter, whose eponymous
restaurant was synonymous with fine dining in Chicago, is
auctioning off his million-dollar wine cellar which is known for
the size of its bottles as much as for what’s in them.

The 4,000-plus bottle collection, which Christie’s will
auction in New York, has a significant number of so-called large
formats. Some bottles are so large they require cradles and
cranks to decant.

Oct 23, 2012

Wine auction market shrinking, Lafite bubble bursts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The global auction market for fine wines, which saw more than $500 million in sales in 2011, is expected to shrink to about $400 million this year as supplies and credit tighten and bidders back away from Bordeaux, experts said on Tuesday.

“Bordeaux accounts for 50 percent of the (auction) market, Burgundy 35 percent, which means that Italians, Californians, cults make up the rest,” John Kapon, auctioneer for Acker Merrall & Condit, explained.

Oct 9, 2012

New World rises to the challenge of Europe’s poor wine harvest

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) – North American winemakers are
having a near perfect harvest this year in stark contrast to
their European counterparts, who have suffered from bad timing
and worse weather.

In Portugal some vineyards are reporting yields down 40
percent and in parts of Burgundy in France hail storms have
destroyed nearly 80 percent of the harvest.

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

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.”