Hand-Picked Grapes ‘Compulsory’ for Burgundy Wine
The makers of the most expensive Burgundy wines have changed the rule book to make grape-picking by hand compulsory in bid to defend the region’s age-old traditions.
The domains, who say machines damage taste and are bad for vines, want other top Burgundy wine makers to follow suit, in view of a total ban in the region by 2014.
For the past fortnight, thousands of seasonal workers have been toiling under the autumn sun to pluck precious pinot noir grapes destined for Burgundy’s top quality red wines, its grands crus, using methods little changed since Cistercian monks cultivated the land 1,000 years ago.
Of course; picking grapes by hand fulfills the romantic image most people have of a vineyard, but is it practical for all wineries? Some think that harvesting by mechanical-means can have a negative effect on the vineyard by compacting the soil, and polluting it with chemicals etc. Tradition is one thing, but I would like to see whether anyone can spot a difference between the two methods in a blind tasting. I very much doubt it.
Marijuana Wine: The ‘Open Secret’ Of Wine Country
Pot brownies are so yesterday — who cares about accidentally getting co-workers high or police eating confiscated pot brownies? What about the next big pot-and-food trend: marijuana wine.
Adjusted for volume, “special” wines can range from under a pound of marijuana per 59-gallon barrel to over 4 pounds per barrel. The result is a spectrum ranging from a gentle, almost absinthe-like effect to something verging on oenological anesthetic.
Good wine deserves to be paired with good food, so perhaps a dish using homemade cannabis flour is the perfect match. Want something a little more exotic? Try bhang ki thandai, mad’joun or mie aceh, dishes from India, Morocco and Indonesia that all incorporate weed.
Holy hell!!! Who knew!?!? Best kept secret of the wine industry is right!!! Where can you find this stuff!?!? It would sell like….well….wine that’s been infused with marijuana…!
Lunch with wine at London French Laundry: $1,250
$1,250: that’s how much a lunch for two can set you back at the French Laundry‘s new location in England, if you include wine. Chef Thomas Keller has re-created his Yountville restaurant inside London’s famed Harrods department store, complete with ingredients and tableware imported from the States. About 15 members of the Bay Area team also are working at the new location, which opened on Saturday October 1st.
I’m not trying to show-off, but this makes my record restaurant tab of $600 pale in comparison. Of course; I was sat on the rooftop of the Danieli Hotel in Venice, over looking the canals at the time. Needless to say, I pretty-much had to sell a kidney to pay the credit card bill off after that trip!
$1,250 to eat lunch in a posh department store in Olde London-town, or half that amount for possibly the best meal in my life, over-looking the Venice canals? Hmmmm….choices-choices…
Winery’s Shipment Stranded on Reef
The cruel irony of having $800,000 of sauvignon blanc stuck on the Astrolabe reef has not been lost on the Marlborough winery that shares the same name.
Blenheim wine company Astrolabe has a shipment of 4000 cases on the 236-metre Rena, the container ship grounded on the reef off Tauranga since Wednesday.
An astrolabe was an ancient navigational instrument and the name of the ship sailed by French explorer Dumont D’Urville. Astrolabe Wines general manager Jason Yank said he could see the funny side of his wine being stranded on a reef with the same name, "if there is a funny side".
The ship had 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil in its tanks, and has created a narrow slick stretching five kilometres. Environment Minister Nick Smith said the oil spill "has the potential to be New Zealand’s most significant maritime pollution disaster in decades".
Motorhead Joins the Ranks of Rock-Act Vintners
"Killed by Death." "Ace of Spades." Bottle of Shiraz? Legendary English metal band Motörhead has produced some enduring singles over the years—the band has sold an estimated 15 million albums in the United States over a 40-year career. Now, they’re hoping to add some cases of wine to that tally. Following in the footsteps of fellow arena rock acts such as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones and AC/DC, the band has released a Shiraz, which they recommend pairing with lamb chops. Currently, the wine, made by Australia’s Broken Back Winery, is only available in Germany and the United Kingdom, but interested parties can purchase official Motörhead Shiraz t-shirts, glasses and carafes from an online store.
Just what we need! Another gimmicky wine brand! Subtle, delicate and restrained I’m guessing this wine is not! I’ll pass, thanks though.