Hello and Happy Holidays! This will be my last post before the New Year, as I’m taking a bit of a hiatus to relax a bit (as much as one can whilst studying for their WSET Diploma exam).
I just want to wish everyone a safe and healthy end to 2020. Cheers to a new bright future ahead!
Wine Enthusiast: As the Wine Industry Grapples with Change, Its Educational Institutions Evolve
“In the Masters of Wine [MW] world, there is more of an equal footing between men and women, with 53% and 47% holding the certification, respectively,” said Bree Stock, MW, during a November 10 panel discussion, “I’m Speaking,” with five female Masters of Wine. “This is not the case with the Court of Master Sommeliers-America, where only 20% of those certified are women.”
Increased organizational representation can be important to wine professionals at all stages of their careers. READ MORE…
SF Chronicle: Wine Country is officially closed for wine tastings under Bay Area’s new regional stay-at-home order
After several months of back-and-forth opening and closing restrictions, Bay Area wineries were handed a clear and absolute message on Wednesday: They must all close to visitors. Most notably, the new guidelines mean that wineries in Napa County, the country’s most famous wine region, will have to shut their doors as of midnight on Thursday.
Wineries in six Bay Area counties had already closed down after the individual counties instated stay-at-home orders earlier this month. That includes wine-heavy Sonoma, whose order took effect on Saturday. On Wednesday, news that the greater Bay Area region had dropped below 15% capacity in its intensive care units triggered stay-at-home orders in the remaining holdouts like Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano and San Mateo counties. The 15% threshold, part of a new plan introduced by Gov. Gavin Newsom in early December, also means that hair salons, breweries, distilleries, outdoor dining, movie theaters and bars will have to close. READ MORE…
Decanter: New ‘fingerprint’ method may help detect wine fraud, says study
A novel technique capable of quickly pinpointing a wine’s origin has great potential, scientists in Australia have said.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found that a novel technique using ‘‘fluorescence spectroscopy’ could provide a relatively simple and rapid way to help detect wine fraud.
Trials showed the method had ‘great potential’ to authenticate the geographical origin of wines, according to a study on the research published in the issue of Food Chemistry journal dated 15 January 2021. READ MORE…
New York Times: A Deeper, Darker Look at James Beard, Food Oracle and Gay Man
A new biography traces the influence he wielded as a writer and the pain he endured for his sexuality in an unwelcoming world.
Fifty years ago, this is how the foremost American food authority described his favorite menu for a holiday open house:
“I put out a big board of various slicing sausages — salami, Polish sausage, whatever I find in the market that looks good — and an assortment of mustards. I also like to have another board of cheeses: Swiss Gruyère, a fine Cheddar and maybe a Brie. And with the cheeses, I serve thinly sliced rye bread and crackers of some kind and a bowl of fruit.”
In other words: James Beard, who died in 1985 at age 81, was a master of the charcuterie board long before it became a staple on Instagram and Pinterest — and even before those platforms’ founders were born. READ MORE…
Drinks Business: South Africa Faces up to 300 Million Liter Wine Lake
The impact of South Africa’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, including the imposition of prohibition, have left up to 300 million litres of wine unsold as the next harvest approaches.
The closure of the country’s hospitality industry, the near complete absence of tourism, two (relatively) short-lived bans on exports and periods of prohibition have left in the region of 280m to 300m litres of wine unsold according to Nedbank – essentially the equivalent of the entirety of domestic sales in 2019.
…The South African wine industry’s most important struggle at present is maintaining its economic viability. READ MORE…
Sonoma Index Tribune: Meet the ‘new guard’ of natural winemakers in Sonoma Valley
Over the past decade or so, natural wine has begun to catch on in a big way, with a growing portion of the wine drinking world falling for the liveliness and unique characteristics of natural bottles and new and exciting wine projects popping up throughout California and the rest of the world. Despite a relative dearth of winemakers working in a natural style in Sonoma Valley, this region happens to be home to some of the most renowned and longest-operating natural winemakers in the country. READ MORE…
Blogs Worth a Read
Taken from the list of Blogs I follow regularly, here are just a few posts from this past week I think are worth a read. Shoot me a note if you have suggestions of blogs to follow or want your blog included on that list.
Tim Atkin: Bubblegum In Your Coffee?
When you’re six years old, “less” is never “more”. It’s a glorious time of learning and discovery.
But at some point, most of us become aware that it’s cooler (or at least the mature thing to do) to sedately profess the preference for all things subdued. And if we let slip the occasional flurry of enthusiasm, then we must justify our outburst by explaining that the reason for our excitement is due to the exquisite subtlety of the object of our affection. In wine circles, “alluringly introverted” is just about the highest praise imaginable – for either wine or winemaker.
The world of coffee, however, has yet to reach such levels of maturity. In fact, when the world’s most pioneering winemakers are philosophising about how eye-contact with a vine during véraison might constitute unnecessary levels of intervention, coffee pioneers are asking, “what’ll happen if we throw banana peels in there?” For real. READ MORE…
Jancis Robinson: What are de-branded wines worth?
‘Pssst! You like the good stuff? Got some 100-pointers here. Excess stock, guv’nor—can’t tell you who made it, but let’s just say this little Napa Cab is Seeming Legal, know what I mean?’
Everybody loves a bargain, and the thought of getting top-shelf bottles at a fraction of the price should be irresistible to wine lovers. Such offers are reasonably easy to come by, and—despite the dodgy sales patter above—are very often genuinely great wines made by venerated producers. READ MORE…
Fermentation: Is Stealing Wine the Right Choice for a Life of Crime?
One of the fundamental principles of thievery (as it has been explained to me) is the value per pound of the item to be stolen. The greater this ratio, the more complex the thriving operation: heavy things are hard to move while lighter things are more easily spirited away. This explains why identity theft is so attractive. The object of the theft is without weight. READ MORE…
Deborah Parker Wong: Five years of Progress for Alentejo’s Sustainability Program
Producers in the Portuguese winegrowing region of Alentejo— whose vineyards encompass about 18,000 hectares, or almost a third of the country—have made significant gains in sustainability under the guidance of the Wines of Alentejo Sustainability Program (WASP).
Launched as a membership program in 2015 by the Comissão Vitivinicola Regional Alentejana (CVRA), WASP offers a certification path that aims to tackle environmental and societal challenges while reducing operational costs and improving the economic health of its members. READ MORE…
Science & Wine: Polyphenols in Wine Authenticity
Polyphenols constitute a diverse group of bioactive compounds occurring in both grapes and wines. Polyphenols also exhibit a significant role in modern food technology and human nutrition and are frequently key ingredients in functional foods. The benefits derived from the moderated wine consumption for human health have been well elaborated with several groups of phenolic compounds including stilbenes, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins found to exert various health-promoting properties. READ MORE…
Sovos ShipCompliant: Kentucky to Begin Permitting DtC Shipping of Alcohol
In April, 2020, Kentucky passed HB 415, which established new rules permitting the direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping of alcoholic beverages. Early on December 14, 2020, the Kentucky legislature’s joint committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administration Regulations voted to approve new regulations enforcing HB 415 making those laws effective and finally allowing DtC shipping to begin in the state.
The approval of these regulations allows the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control to issue approved licenses to applicants for the new License to Direct Ship to Consumers. Once an applicant receives their approved license and completes any other required registration with the state’s Department of Revenue, they may begin selling and shipping alcoholic beverages directly to Kentucky residents. READ MORE…
These are some press releases I received this week that I actually thought were interesting…enjoy!
SOMMTV: Wine Docuseries CRUSH to Premiere 12/18
(North Hollywood – CALIF.) — SOMM TV will release the new docuseries CRUSH on Friday, December 18. Hosted by New York-based sommelier Shakera Jones, the premiere episode of CRUSH takes viewers along on the discovery of wine from the grape harvest to the bottle in California’s Sonoma County during the autumn of 2020.
CRUSH is an original SOMM TV series and the first by the network created completely by a trio of women: written and directed by Christina Wise, produced by Diane Carpenter who is also a co-founder of Forgotten Man Films and hosted by sommelier Shakera Jones. Each brings vast experience from multiple perspectives of the worlds of wine, food and visual storytelling. READ MORE…
The Future of Wine: VIVANT® Presents The World’s First Live Streaming Wine Experience Platform
Aiming to accelerate the wine industry’s transition to a sustainable future, VIVANT features responsible wine producers, transports members to wine regions around the world, and supports the industry through the 1% for Wine™ initiative.
Paris, France—VIVANT debuts as the first interactive online platform to connect winemakers, consumers and expert wine advisors in streaming Live Experiences™. The platform blends engaging interaction, personalized education, and lively entertainment, transporting members to iconic wine regions without leaving home. VIVANT is redefining how consumers learn about wine and supporting a more sustainable future for the industry, featuring the world’s best tasting wines from responsible winemakers practicing sustainable, organic, and biodynamic viticulture. READ MORE…
Coravin, Inc. Launches Digital Marketplace to Showcase Wine Products and Experiences
New Coravin Marketplace is part of a larger website redesign, embodying how the brand continues to innovate and adapt to an evolving market
Bedford, Mass.—Coravin, Inc., the premier global wine technology company, announced today the launch of the Coravin Marketplace, a one-stop-shop for a wide selection of unique wine-related offerings. Designed for all wine lovers, from elite connoisseurs to mainstream enthusiasts, the Coravin Marketplace features a curated selection of offerings like wine tasting experiences, décor, appliances and bar accessories not easily accessible online or in store. READ MORE…
Sony AI Launches Gastronomy Flagship Project with the Release of the “Chef Interview Series”
Initiative explores the creative processes of top chefs and culinary visionaries now and in the future to inform intelligent solutions that can enhance the creation and experience of food
Tokyo, Japan—Sony AI, an emerging leader in human-centric artificial intelligence established with the mission to unleash human imagination and creativity with AI, today announced the launch of its Gastronomy Flagship Project, together with the release of its “Chef Interview Series,” featuring online video interviews with 18 of the world’s top chefs, sommeliers, and culinary professionals that explore their creative processes and how innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, can enhance creativity and technique now, during the times of the pandemic, and in the future. Introduced by François Chartier, renowned aromas expert and special advisor to Sony AI’s Gastronomy Project, the video series is one of the first initiatives from Sony AI, and one of three Gastronomy Flagship Project research and development initiatives announced today, along with an AI-powered recipe creation app and a chef assisting cooking robot. READ MORE…
BriscoeBites officially accepts samples as well as conducts on-site and online interviews. Want to have your wine, winery or tasting room featured? Please visit the Sample Policy page where you can contact me directly. Cheers!
Educational posts are in no way intended as official WSET study materials. I am not an official WSET educator nor do I work for a WSET Approved Program Provider. Study at your own risk. Read the full disclaimer.
**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**