This Week In Wine – 6/25/11 – Chinese Wine, Perfume Shaped Bottles, and Bordeaux Crying Wolf.




Chinese Wine

China’s wine industry topples Australia

China’s wine production has now surpassed Australia’s wine industry as living standards improve in China.

China’s restaurants were once dominated by beer and the local white spirit, Baijiu. But these days you are increasingly likely to see people drinking wine. More than two decades of exposure to the outside world have changed people’s tastes, and increased living standards have made wine more affordable.
At the beginning of the 1980s China produced around 30,000 bottles of wine a year. By the end of last year, they were producing six million bottles annually.

Dynasty is one of China’s major wine companies and it’s cashing in on this country’s ever increasing appreciation of its product. The company has its own vineyards, an enormous factory complex and is listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Click here for the full story.

My Thoughts:

More power to them I say! I do have to state that I still stand true to my thoughts that China still has a long-way to go in terms of rivaling (quality-wise) any of the major wine producing countries which we know today. I have no doubt that they can rival any country for volume, but as we all know, it’s the quality that counts!
Not that they shouldn’t give it a fair shot though!
I just don’t see China posing any significant threat to the rest of the wine-making world; at least not in my lifetime.


Tampa Bay Food and Wine Festival

Loss of Tampa wine festival holds cask of lessons

The gaping hole in the local food festival world? That’s where the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival used to be.

You might not have noticed when it disappeared from the landscape after a handful of years. There were plenty of other events to take its place. In May alone, when the festival used to take place, it would have competed for attention against the Taste of Pinellas, the Sea Grapes Fine Wine & Food Festival, the International Culinary Academy Awards and Uncork for a Cause, not to mention all the other culinary classes, Tampa Bay Rays games and a Stanley Cup run by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Conceived by Southern Wine & Spirits as a franchise to the wildly popular South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, the Tampa Bay version fell significantly short of that success.
Click here for the full story.

My Thoughts:

Kind of a shame I guess, but then again I didn’t see much advertising for the Tampa Bay Food and Wine Festival. There certainly are a shortage of serious food and wine festivals here in the South-Eastern United States! It would be nice to see more serious attempts at getting it right.




How Bordeaux has cried wolf over vintage too many times

How many times in 10 years can Bordeaux producers create "the vintage of the century", asks Charles Metcalfe.

Only 11 years into the 21st century, and we’ve already had four ‘vintages of the century’ from the Bordeaux sales machine – 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010.

And that’s not counting the 2003, where Robert Parker, guru to the American wine-drinking public, did the work for them. (A position from which he has subsequently somewhat retreated.)

Click here for the full story.

My Thoughts:

Maybe I’ve lived in one part of the U.S. for too long, so my perception of what people are actually buying and drinking is a little skewed. It’s just that I don’t see large volumes of people buying high end, even mid-tier Bordeaux as much as the mass-media suggests.
I personally would have thought that as the Millennials start to dominate the wine drinking market, wine regions of the world which refuse to acknowledge their presence (through marketing and better labeling) will slowly start to see sales decline. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am…


Perfume Wine

New female targeted wine is packaged like perfume

A new wine that targets women through its perfume-like packaging has been singled out by Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics team as its Innovation of the Week.

The PLA team continually conducts a global search to find what it deems to be the most inventive food and drink products.
“While perfume-inspired wine may be an acquired taste, Essentia Vitae goes further than most to connect to female consumers,” said Tom Vierhile, director of PLA.
“Its perfume-like packaging should break through the crowded product assortments that can often confound shoppers.”
Mazzetti d’Altavilla Essentia Vitae, launched in Germany and Italy, comes in three different varieties: No. 4 Ruche – jasmine scent, No. 6 Malvasia – rose scent, and No. 8 Moscato – violet scent.

Click here for the full story.

My Thoughts:

I can visualize a bunch of marketers all gathered around a table, trying to come up with a new and innovative wine package which would appeal to women, without patronizing them in any way.
One marketing guy suggests a perfume bottle as a joke, his boss thinks it’s a great idea, they send a couple of emails to get the product designed, then the whole team goes out for $100 foie gras topped hamburgers…..I’m in the wrong business!

Big wine bottle

Ontario sets maximum bottle weight limit

Canadian province Ontario is leading the move toward lightweight bottling by setting a maximum weight on the wines it approves.

The state-controlled Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has said it will not stock any wines packaged in a bottle weighing more than 420g from 1 January 2013.

In a letter seen by Decanter, Bob Downey, sales and marketing senior vice president for LCBO, says: ‘The maximum glass weight will be 420 grams for wines packaged in 750 ml bottles at or below a retail price of CAN$15.’

Champagne bottles and wines selling at more than CAN$15 will not have to comply with the new regulations but the LCBO admits any suppliers offering lighter weight bottles at premium price points will have an advantage over competitors.

Click here for the full story.

My Thoughts:

A step in the right direction in order to reduce the carbon footprint which wine bears on the environment. I can’t lie though; there’s nothing I like more than a nice heavy wine bottle!

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