Tag: wine news

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 26—July 31

Happy weekend my friends. I’m going to keep my intro here pretty short because, as you may or may not know, tomorrow is my birthday. My birthday present: sitting my first WSET Diploma Exam. Wish me luck.

For those of you following along on my WSET Exam-Type Questions series, never fear. These will continue for a few more weeks, as I’ve written out several that still need to be posted.

Regarding current events, the food and wine industry (like so many others) continues to be in a state of flux. COVID cases continue to rise here in wine country, as with the rest of the country. Tariff drama remains. US alcohol shipping laws seem to be going sideways. And the fight to create and celebrate a more diverse professional food and wine industry continues.

Scroll through. There’s some fun stuff too. Veraison in Lodi’s looking good. There’s some new wine literature for your fellow wine geeks. Take a photo tour of Sicily. And anybody want some tennis shoes made from wine? Here yah go.

Enjoy your weekend reads. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: July 12—July 17

Hope everyone is staying happy and healthy and making smart decisions out there. Here’s what’s happening in the wine and food world…

Locally, California has gone back a phase (or two) and all indoor recreation, including indoor dining, wineries, and tasting rooms are shuttered once more. While those latter three can accommodate guests in an exterior setting, all bars (that don’t have a food service attached to them) must close completely. The Press Democrat has a breakdown of what’s going on, but also check out the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance on Closures below.

IF you decide to go out—WEAR. A. MASK. In Napa, the Register reports, COVID guidelines are now officially being enforced. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing courtesies, don’t gather in large groups—or be fined.

In other Napa-news COVID is now potentially affecting harvest. It’s a time when many workers travel from around the globe to pick and crush grapes, but no-go given the current circumstances. Are you a local looking for a harvest internship? Scroll down to the Napa Valley Vintners Job Board link below.

Good wine news? Wine-searcher reports that French sparkling wine is, as of yet, affected by the tariff drama. Cheers to that.

Looking for some COVID distraction? Scroll down to the BLOGS where Eater has a top list of graphic novels that feature food as the major theme. Decanter has a fun crossword that will challenge your Rhone Valley knowledge. And that same publication will take you on a tour of some of the most beautiful California vineyard estates currently for sale.

As always, there’s loads of other things to read—not all COVID and not all bad news. So, have a dose of fun with your newsy news as well.

Cheers, all. Be well.


This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: July 4—July 10

Alright cool kids, here’s what’s going on. The Napa Valley Register reports that Napa has shutdown indoor dining and entertainment. According to the Press Democrat, Sonoma will probably (and in my opinion hopefully) soon follow suit. The number of COVID cases in both counties are rising. The number of people who seem to care are not—check out the below pieces from wine-searcher and HuffPost on how that’s affecting our hospitality workers. (Spoiler: not well.)

But if you want some “good” COVID-related news, read Decanter’s article detailing how the UK chancellor is putting schemes in place to help the hospitality industry; Wine Spectator takes a look at the successes of the Spanish wine industry.

For those in California prepping for harvest, the Wine Institute has established a “COVID-19 Harvest Protocols Workbook,” aimed to help you with those efforts. Stay safe out there.

Don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs. There’s a lot of good stuff up this week. I’m calling out Amber LeBeau again for her well-written piece on creating a more racially inclusive wine industry.

Another interesting anecdote: Tim Atkin’s author Andy Neather and Vinous author Neal Martin seem to be talking to each other this week. The topic: climate change—and how it’s positively affecting the English wine industry.

Oh, also, take a look at the curious (and potentially delocious?) Shiraz-Pinot Noir blends (I know!) discussed by Young Gun of Wines.

There’s loads more so, scroll through, read some educational pieces, but please do check out some of the fun bits as well.



This Week’s Latest Wine Headlines: June 28—July 3

It’s a short week this week for those of us in the US, and I hope everyone has some way they’ll be enjoying the time off. Of course, celebrating our country’s heritage is a bit bitter sweet this year—for many reasons—so, I’d like to highlight a few positive pieces that came out in this week’s wine-related news. Wine Industry Advisor speaks to Sonoma viticulturist Brenae Royal, who speaks to how racial inclusivity within the wine business means creating a simultaneously broader, yet more intimate and meaningful, wine consumer base. For more on that kind of perspective, check out the Forbes piece that profiles three Black wine experts—including one of my favorite local producers Theodora Lee. And for those of you in the biz who are looking to hire, work or network with, or just become familiar with qualified Black wine industry pros, Julie Coney has spearheaded, and officially launched, the Black Wine Professionals website just this past week.

Need a bit of a laugh? Well, there’s a company making wine bottles out of paper. Yeah…

Oh, and for my wine nerds out there, check out Tim Gaiser’s blog post on deductive tasting and Young Gun of Wines’ dive into ageable Aussie Chard.

That’s some of the good/fun news. However, I do want to say that if you have outdoor plans for this Fourth of July weekend, please stay safe. Here in California Newsom has shutdown indoor businesses (including bars, restaurants, wineries, and tasting rooms) in 19 counties, as well as state beaches from Monterey to Sonoma. But before you get any ideas about packing up the truck and heading toward the North Bay, be warned: Sonoma County is not immune and is, in fact, probably next on that list.

So, again, wherever you are, however you choose to celebrate, please make smart decisions, stay safe, protect yourself and others. That’s all from me for now. Have a happy weekend and drink some good wine.