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This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 8—August 14

Happy weekend, my friends. Let’s take a look at some of the headlines in wine this past week…

Remember how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released a report significantly changing the recommend daily alcoholic intake, stating men should not consume more than two drinks per day and women should only consumer one? (Yeah…right…) Well, the NAWR has something to say about that. And if that doesn’t put a damper on things, it looks like tariff drama continues and its affecting wine businesses all over the world. (They really want to make it hard for us to get a drink around here, eh?)

It looks like COVID’s latest wine victim is the ancient art of food-treading. Wine Spectator reports that more and more Port producers are turning to mechanical means to make their wines this vintage.

Over in Russia there seems to be something of a wine boom, according to Wine Intelligence’s latest report. The younger generation wants to steer clear of their parents’ and grandparents’ typical imbibes (vodka) and want something “modern” and “lower in alcohol,” which for them means—wine. Which is funny, because my cohort Jim Gordon wrote a short piece for Wine Enthusiast saying that to attract U.S. Millennials, wine producers need to emphasize the health benefits of wine on their labels, calling out organic, biodynamic practices and even providing clear tasting notes. (Seems like we’re going to need bigger labels…) I have thoughts on that. What are yours?

Oh yeah! NOT wine: Sonoma has officially planted its first legal hemp farm. Not something I’m into personally, but kind of interesting how things evolve. Curious if this trend will continue.

Interesting stuff—and there’s tons more. So scroll through, and don’t forget to check out the Blogs for some independent insight.

Stay well, stay healthy. Cheers.


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: August 2—August 7

Happy Saturday all. Hope you don’t mind, I took a few days off following my birthday/WSET Diploma Level 1 exam…extravaganza weekend. But I have, of course, been keeping up with the latest wine (and food) news. So let’s take a look at what’s going on lately.

Locally, Sonoma (finally) has implemented fines for breaching (what I call) COVID-courtesies. So mask up if you’re coming up to Wine Country or pay the price—literally. In spite of that, a common phrase around here is, “The grapes don’t know there’s a pandemic.” True enough, and harvest has officially kicked off. If you’re in the industry getting ready for harvest, be sure to check out the Wine Institute’s harvest protocols webinar materials. Also of interest my industry readers may be Nielsen’s latest data on COVID impacts on on-premise sales and UC Davis’s white paper on developments in remedying smoke-tainted grapes.

Looking around the world, Japan has a fun new canopy management situation; Portugal is making waves as a leader in the fight against climate change; and the quality of the Chinese wine-scene may be on the rise.

And don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs for some independent insight and fun, including a top 16 list of the best wine-related documentaries to watch.

Lastly, on a personal note, if you haven’t seen the latest in my video series with Wine Industry Network, check out my interviews with Dry Creek Vineyard President, Kim Stare Wallace, and Tablas Creek General Manager/Proprietor, Jason Haas. More to come, so keep your stations tuned to WIN.

And I have received a few inquiries about my posts chronicling my WSET journey. I’ve pulled them down for now—the goal is to edit and consolidate for clarity and organization. So if you are/were looking for those or wondering what the story is, that’s it. I’ll try to get them back up if/when I can. Thank you for your patience with that.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone’s doing well. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, write me a note, connect with me on social. Would be nice to hear from you.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: July 19—July 24

Time for my weekly newsy catch-up. Hopefully you all are staying safe and smart out there. If you’re in wine country, you’ll be forced to be: The Press Democrat reports that Sonoma will soon join its fellow North Bay county neighbors and start implementing fines for those not adhering to COVID-courtesy rules. This includes folks not wearing masks as well as businesses not enforcing the proper protocol for employees and consumers. If you are a California tasting room and are not sure just what rules apply to you, the California Wine Institute has put together a list of tasting room re-opening resources just for you. And if any of this gets you down, check out this photo reel of 150 years of Sonoma picnics.

On the other side of the country, Wine Spectator reports on how New York tasting rooms are coping with their new re-opening rules and regulations dictated by Governor Cuomo. Meanwhile in Ohio, wineries have actually seen boost in business. But, sadly, an Ohio winery event has been linked to a virus outbreak.

Oh, and you know what else has seen a boom in the age of corona? Weed.

Over in the blogosphere, check out Jason Haas’s letter opposing the looming wine tariffs. In that same post is a link where you can send in your oppositional vote as well. And, once again, it looks like there are a few posts that seem to be “speaking to each other:” Eric Asimov talks about his connection to nature and the outside world being the “greatest thing my job has ever given me.” (Personal note: As a wine journalist myself, I agree and relate to 100% to this piece.) Tim Atkins’ Margaret Rand talks about experiencing wine from an artistic point of view. And, meanwhile, Tim Gaiser gives us tips on logical, deductive wine tasting. Which point of view do you most relate to?

There’s loads more to read. So, scroll through, have some fun.

That’s all from me for now. Have a wonderful weekend.


C.G. Di Arie 2013 Touriga Nacional

Touriga Nacional: If you’ve heard of it, you’re probably thinking Port production, and you’re not wrong. Indeed, it is the most important red grape of the Duoro Valley where the majority of Port grapes are grown. Interesting fact: Touriga Nacional isn’t just for Port production, but still, non-fortified wines as well. (Read more about the wines of Portugal here and Port production here.) Another interesting fact: You don’t have to go to Portugal to taste Touriga Nacional. Actually, the grape grows in a couple of different California regions—some more successfully than others. In fact, past experience has told me to be wary of the grape when it hails from my home state. But today, we’re speaking about Touriga Nacional from El Dorado County, located in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains—a region I’ve come to know and trust for it’s cool-climate expression of otherwise harsh and rustic grapes. Where Touriga Nacional can become over-ripe and thus cloyingly alcoholic in some of California’s warmer, inland regions, C.G. Di Arie has crafted a wine expressive of the elevated hillsides and loamy soils.