This Week In Wine – 8/28/11


9 - 11 Wine

“Garcon, could you please recommend a wine to pair with the worst tragedy this country has ever seen…”

As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the nice folks at Long Island winery Lieb Family Cellars are issuing a "commemorative" Merlot and Chardonnay released "to benefit the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum”.

The wines have approval from the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, with "6% to 10% of the sales" of each bottle, sold at the inevitable price of $19.11 a pop (if you buy directly from the winery), will go back toward the memorial.
Gary Madden, the winery’s general manager, stated that the wines are "just another tool for the memorial foundation to use as they fundraise," and claimed that they’ve drummed up $8,000 for the foundation in under a month. In 2004, they introduced a cheaper bottle, the $9.11 September Mission merlot. They donate 9.11 cents for every bottle sold to the September Mission, and estimate that they’ve raised $25,000 off that wine already.

Click here to read the full article.

My Thoughts

Tacky. The only slightly redeeming quality is that part of the proceeds are going to the 9/11 Memorial Foundation. But 6-10%!?! Really!?!? I understand you have a winery to operate, but if you want to make a good-will gesture, produce a limited quantity, make sure it’s a decent quality, and jack-up the price!


Napa harvest

Napa Vintners Wait … and Wait … for Harvest

Late and light is the prediction for harvest 2011 in the Napa Valley.
The kids are back in school, September is just around the corner, but the harvest has yet to begin.
“Even sparkling wine grapes, the first to be harvested, are still on the vine”, said Hugh Davies, president of Schramsberg Vineyards, one of the valley’s major sparkling wine producers.
“In a typical year, the harvest for sparkling wine varietals is under way by Aug. 14, Davies said. But this year, as last, grape ripening has been slowed by the mild summer weather. They began harvesting sparkling wine grapes Aug. 27 last year,” he said.

Click here to read the full article.

My Thoughts

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; I’m going to punch Al Gore in the face when I see him next!


Guy with Waaaaay Too Much Time Makes Suit out of 2,000 Corks

A man who has been saving corks from wine bottles for years says he will debut a cork suit at a Nevada festival.

Al Fink took about 2,000 corks from wine he drank with his wife and friends over the years and attached them to salvaged clothing to fashion his suit, The Denver Post reported.

The suit will be introduced at Burning Man Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock desert, set to begin Aug. 29.

"My mistake is that I forgot to design the jacket to allow more movement," Fink said. "I can’t raise my hand above the waist when I’m wearing it. That is a problem. I’m going to have to rig up a cork-covered drinking vessel. With a long straw."

Click here to read the full article.

My Thoughts

My question is; why did it take him 3 years to build up a collection of 3,000 corks? With a little help from my friends, I’m sure I could have achieved that same feat in under 6 months! What an amateur.



Wal-Mart Ends Deal to Install Nasty Little Wine Machines in Pa.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is pulling out of a deal to install 23 state-controlled wine vending machines in its Pennsylvania stores, the latest setback to a program once touted as a way to add customer convenience to the state’s tangled liquor laws.

An Aug. 15 letter from Wal-Mart to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board said it is terminating the agreement but didn’t say why. A company statement blamed "mechanical concerns" among the 10-foot-high machines, which can hold hundreds of bottles.
Installation of the machines in grocery stores around the state began last summer, and 21 continue to operate, according to the liquor board.

Click here to read the full article.

My Thoughts

You know what I like? Small, independently-owned-and-operated wine stores. That’s what I like! I always find that it’s REALLY hard to engage in meaningful conversation, and get solid wine recommendations from a robot. The last thing I want to do is buy wine from a grubby little vending machine. And you can group those “self-dispense wine bars” which started popping up a few years ago, into that same category! Thank Bacchus a lot of them started disappearing shortly after! Good riddance!



Moscato Madness Grips U.S. Wine Industry

They call it “moscato madness” around the headquarters of E. & J. Gallo Winery. And for good reason.

Gallo is selling at least six times the amount of sweet-tasting Moscato wine than just three years ago. Moscato, a take on its Muscat origins, is the fastest-growing varietal in the U.S. wine business, making it a sales boom for Sutter Home, Beringer and Robert Mondavi’s STZ +1.82%   Woodbridge label.

Big wine companies are scrambling to make as much as possible, with some buying bulk Moscato wine from Spain and Italy to quench demand.

Hip-hop culture lent Moscato some street cred several years ago when sales of the wine were weak. Lil’ Kim once sang “Still over in Brazil/Sipping Moscato,” while more recently, Compton artist Kendrick Lamar rapped “We need a bottle of Moscatooo/Puts me in the moment for your lovin.”
“I’ve never seen something like this in my professional career,”
said Stephanie Gallo, who joined the family business in 1994. “What makes this so exciting is that it’s bringing new users to the wine category.”

Click here to read the full article.

My Thoughts

They call it Moscato Madness”, I call it “Insulin Shock”!
Let it be known, I have no problem with Moscato! Even with Barefoot Moscato for that matter! Ok, maybe that’s taking it a little far! But I have no problems with Moscato or its drinkers.
I think Moscato serves as a great segue into wine, but be warned! Moscato is meant as an aperitif or dessert wine. Don’t get stuck on only drinking sweet wines! Also; my advice is, if you’re looking for quality Moscato, do yourself a favor and make sure it’s Italian. Domestic Moscato just doesn’t compare.

1 Comment

  • August 28, 2011


    If you’re going to make clothing out of corks, at least make it cute! Amateur indeed!

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