Posts Filed Under wine news
I’d fully intended to provide some peripatetic and yet somehow also sublimely insightful wine review action for you this week (and I’ve much to tell you about my recent jaunt to Israeli wine country, too). But nature has intervened, once again declaring herself the boss, and me her beeeatch, by providing me with a cold/fever combination, and a broken toe.
Anyway, I’m going to actually listen to that harsh task mistress and get up off of my feet for once and just rest and heal. Which means I’ll be delayed in getting things written up here. In the meantime, however, I’d encourage you to check out Wholesale Protection 2018: A Report on Alcohol Wholesaler Campaign Contributions, a new report by the National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR), whose Executive Director is my friend Tom Wark. According to the press release, the report “examines the amount of money America’s alcohol middlemen give to state political campaigns, to whom they give it and the differences on a state-by-state level.”
Which basically means that you can see which of your state’s politicians actually kinda-sorta works more for the Booze Wholesaler Man, political-swamp-style, then they actually do for you. Two quick takeaways from my perusal:
1. The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America has some cash, baby, and they are not afraid to use it.
2. Repubs have the edge in accepting the coin when it comes to these donations, as do incumbents; in the case of the latter, it’s a a whopping 76%, strongly suggesting that the focus is keep the status quo…
NBA living-legend LeBron James appears to be the real deal. And I’m not talking about his on-the-court abilities, which are justifiably considered among the greatest of all time, or even his acting credentials (I dare you to watch his movie cameos and declare him un-funny), which are quite good.
I’m talking about his wine chops. Or, at least, his tastes when it comes to selecting wine (or drinking the wine that gets selected for him, maybe?).
Now, despite my near-endlessly professed love for the six-time Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the world of professional sports doesn’t often cross our vinous paths here at 1WD; but I was asked by SBNation writer Tim Cato to provide my thoughts on some of the wines featured by James in one of his recent Instagram posts.
Said thoughts on this undeniably, incredibly important matter are included alongside those of winemaker Randall Grahm, writer Meg Houston Maker, and hospitality professor Dr. Han Wen in Cato’s article, which you can read at https://www.sbnation.com/2017/11/28/16710156/lebron-james-wine-incredible-taste-experts-agree.
The TLDR version: James’ picks are legit. They include an `07 Mayacamas Cab, a pretty killer Chassagne-Montrachet, and one of Cathy Corison’s Kronos reds.
But you can check out our quoted ramblings and decide about James’ wine-picking prowess yourselves.
By now, most of you reading this will have at least some knowledge of the devastation that is impacting Northern California wine country in the wake of over one dozen fires that, at the time of this writing, have left over twenty people dead, burned more than three thousand or more structures to the ground, and has consumed roughly 170,000 acres (for some perspective, that is and area larger than the city of Chicago).
Because the situation is changing rapidly due to weather conditions, it will be some time before we know the true impact to the wine businesses in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino, and to the lives of the people who are at the heart of those businesses. For those of you who are looking for details on the impact, WineBusiness.com blog is keeping a list of winerires destroyed or damaged in the blazes.
Personal reports sent to me by those in the area all have one thing in common: the situation is just as bad – if not worse – than depicted in news reports.Fortunately, a good number of the people that I know in those areas have checked in as safe, but how the fires have affected harvests, aging wines in storage, inventory, vineyards… we’re not going to know the extent of that anytime too soon. The feeling of near-helplessness from the Left Coast as friends tell me they are evacuating their homes (some multiple times) has been, in a word, heartbreaking.
What those of us who are remote and care deeply about those gorgeous areas, their beautiful wines, and their wonderful people can do, however, is donate to those funds that are in a position to do something to help. Following are donation links provided by McCue Marketing Communications:
Please consider donating.
“The most endangered species –
The honest man”
-Rush, Natural Science
In the great room of my house, there are two 5″x7″ framed prints in Chinese script, each of which represents one of the two “house rules” of the home shared by me and my daughter (it’s generally too big of a space for the two of us, but she understandably – and emphatically – did not want to move after I filed for divorce).
And yeah, there really are only two house rules at Chateau Dude. One represents Integrity, the other Honesty.
And yeah, we really do believe in and live by them. The fact that I feel compelled to write that last sentence is, I think, indicative of just how far through the looking glass we have come, socially speaking, in the USA, even in my relatively short lifetime.
And yeah, this will eventually get to the topic of wine, but that’s not the crux of this article (you have been warned). To get to that, we’ll need to review a couple of articles by W. Blake Gray that were recently published on Wine-Searcher.com [ full disclosure: I utilize their affiliate program ]. The first of these, Pay-to-Play Scandal Exposed, detailed the fallout from illegal bribes (including several thousand dollars spent on “adult entertainment”) offered by the likes of mega-distributor Southern Glazer’s to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to influence what alcoholic products were/weren’t carried on its state store shelves.
That story justifiably got a lot of traction. But it’s Gray’s follow-up story that, to me, is actually more important, and should have most of us outraged…
Read the rest of this stuff »