20 Stories

Winery Slammed for Hawking 9/11 Wine

Seriously, nobody is happy about it

(Newser) - One from the Bad Taste Hall of Fame: A Long Island winery is getting slammed for its decision to release two new wines ... in honor of 9/11. Almost every detail about the wine, as reported by the LA Times , is cringeworthy. The price? $19.11 a bottle. What to expect... More »

Cheap—and Good— Wine Websites

Wineries, buyers both benefit from direct sales

(Newser) - With wine sales plateauing, wineries are embracing direct, discounted sales in what amounts to a win-win situation for sellers and buyers. The Los Angeles Times singles out the top discount websites:
  • sells one wine at a time until it’s gone. The site usually offers two or three
... More »

Mais Non! French Ditch the Champagne Cork

Don't fret: new metal cork will still create pop and fizz

(Newser) - Fed up with imperfect corks tainting its high-end Champagne, one French winemaker is tossing tradition aside in favor of a—gasp!—aluminum cork. BBC reports. Before you faint in horror, Duval-Leroy stresses that this is no screw-top cap: the new plug will make the same pop and spray a... More »

Winemakers Hope Obamas Help Rekindle Sales

Domestic producers expect Obamas will continue to drive sales

(Newser) - President Barack Obama’s affinity for wine is the toast of American winemakers, hopeful that after eight years of teetotalling rule, the new first family will boost domestic sales, Reuters reports. Obama reportedly has a 1,000-bottle cellar in his new $1.65 million Chicago home, drawing raves from oenophiles.... More »

Budget Bubbles for New Year's

Quality rivals mean champagne prices shouldn't take the bubbles out of festive drinking

(Newser) - Champagne may feel like a vestige of a world without a credit crisis, but there's no need to go without bubbly on New Year's Eve. Slate offers some moderately priced options:
  • Cava is Spain's answer to champagne, made by the same method. A thrifty seeker of festive spirits can pick
... More »

Meet Vintners of Sideways Fame

Hitching Post II owner makes famed wines with ex-fisherman colleague

(Newser) - If you’ve seen the movie Sideways, you likely remember the Hitching Post II: the Santa Barbara County restaurant where Paul Giamatti nervously meets his future love. But even the most dedicated oenophile may not know that Hitching Post owner Frank Ostini and colleague Gray Hartley have been making wine... More »

In Vino, Cash: Amazon to Sell Wine

Firms has partnered with nonprofit association of vintners

(Newser) - Online shopping got a little more intoxicating today as Amazon announced it will start selling wine in the US starting in October, Reuters reports. The retailer —looking for a chunk of the $30 billion-plus US wine market —has partnered with Napa Valley Vintners, which will supply vino from... More »

Philosophical Vintner Rethinks Wine

The bizarre techniques behind the Scholium Project

(Newser) - Abe Schoener is reinvigorating California wines with a decidely unorthodox, almost experimental, approach, writes Jon Bonne in the San Francisco Chronicle. Schoener, who lacks formal training, eschews the traditional do's and don’ts of the craft with his Scholium Project winery. His wines "are bizarre, ingenious and polarizing—quite... More »

French Winemakers Turn to Terror

Wine growers battling cheap imports launch commando attacks

(Newser) - Tough times have turned some wine-growers in southwestern France to "wine terrorism," Time reports. Guerrilla grape-growers have bombed supermarkets and government buildings, hijacked trucks carrying foreign wine, and drained tanks. The growers want the French government to protect them from the cheap imports they say are threatening their... More »

Prosecco Targets Champagne Crown

Italian bubbly makers hope to edge out pricey champagne

(Newser) - Sales of Italy's answer to champagne have been bubbling up for years, Reuters writes, but prosecco producers plan to boost output to 250 million bottles next year, with an eye on someday overtaking champagne as the world's favorite sparkling wine. The bubbly is cheaper to make than its French rival,... More »

France Eases Wine Laws to Cork Competition

Old rules to go as France tries to catch up with New World wines

(Newser) - France is ditching some long-cherished wine rules to compete with upstart New World wines, the London Times reports. The country, which sees itself as the center of the wine world, has been steadily losing market share to wines from places like Australia and California. A new class of French wine... More »

French Wine Goes Pop

Wineries try 'New World'-style screw caps, snazzy labels to revive sales

(Newser) - A screw-top Bordeaux? The once-laughable notion is bubbling up in France these days as wine makers try to reverse decades of sour sales, the AP reports. Even snazzy labels and boxed-wine-with-a-straw are fair game, after French wineries exported a record $15 billion last year with "New World"-style packaging. More »

Germany's Dry Rieslings Go Down Sweetly

Quality has flourished over the past decade, Times wine critic says

(Newser) - The dry rieslings Eric Asimov sampled a decade ago in Germany were “tart and shrill,” he writes in the New York Times. So "how did they get so good" since? Lower-quality wines aren’t shipped to America, hypothesizes one wine importer, who nevertheless concedes that the country's... More »

Oregon's Having a Grape Year

Good weather, high pinot demand have growers toasting bumper crop, again

(Newser) - Thanks to good weather and rising demand, Oregon crushed a record number of grapes in 2007—good news for its 370 wineries. And despite selling 1.7 million cases worth $208 million last year, the state hasn't quenched thirst for its wine, the AP reports. "Fussy superstar" pinot noir... More »

Pairing Leaves Writer Red-Faced

Times oenophile comes out of shell, tries vin rouge with his oysters — and lives!

(Newser) - Oysters and red wine? "Why not?" asks Eric Asimov in the New York Times. Wine pairing as a science can drain a meal of its pleasure, while instincts and taste-testing add adventure. After Parisian waiters twice recommended red with a foodie blogger's oysters, Asimov traded the usual suspects (muscadet,... More »

A Vintage Year for Wine Exports

California vintners take advantage of a weak dollar to expand overseas market

(Newser) - The dollar’s decline is a boon for California winemakers, who’ve turned the greenback’s challenges into opportunities, expanding exports of everything from top vintages to bulk table wines, reports the Los Angeles Times. California wine exports, 95% of the wine the US sends overseas, jumped 9% to nearly... More »

Winemakers Battle Climate Threat

Vineyard owners, scientists gather to share new strategies

(Newser) - For vineyards, global warming isn’t a distant, theoretical problem—it’s hurting their products now. That’s why winemakers and scientists are gathering in Barcelona this week to hash out ideas for combating changing temperatures and harsher sunlight, NPR reports. Recent studies have shown that grapes are ripening faster... More »

Wineries Tell Drunken Tasters to Put a Cork in It

They're cracking down on out-of-control limo and bus tourists

(Newser) - American wineries are getting fed up with loud, obnoxious, inebriated tasting groups brought in by buses and stretch limos, the Los Angeles Times reports. Worried about bachelorette parties upsetting the vibe of thoughtful sipping, wineries from California to New York have taken to posting "no limos" signs and even... More »

Sour Grapes Over Napa Bubbly

Lawsuit divides members of top wine-making family

(Newser) - A feud between members of the family that produces one of the top sparkling wines in the US is making California's Napa Valley the setting for a real-life soap opera, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Hedge-fund manager John Davies is battling for his stake in Schramsberg Vineyards, charging that his... More »

More Bubbly? French Farmers Are in Uproar

Champagne country expansion will enrich some, snub others

(Newser) - Champagne drinkers may soon taste the fruits of of a French government initiative to welcome new farmers into the exclusive club of those allowed to call their sparkling white wines Champagne, with a capital C. As demand skyrockets, a list has been drawn up of 40 communities that might be... More »

20 Stories