Welcome to the first edition of the Weekly Wine Web Wrap-up (W4..?), where Dude shares some of his favorite wine news bites from the past week (Dude spends a goodly amount of time trolling the 'net for interesting wine tidbits)!
Giant Wine Glasses Invade Britain
In this article from the International Herald Tribune, the Associated Press reports that Britain's Parliament blames part of the country's rising tide of problem drinking (particularly among women) on the growing portion size of common servings of alcoholic beverages, like wine. I've previously cautioned about the same thing (restaurant wine glass portion size, that is) for wine lovers to look out for when dieting.
Cult Cabernet Prices Aren't the Only Wine Crime in CA
The Napa Valley register reported on what appears to be an inside job of high-end wine theft from Jackson Family (Kendall-Jackson) Wines in Sonoma County. The accused men reportedly made off with $200,000 worth of wines - presumably they were going to use that money to buy four bottles of Harlan...
If you follow wine on the web, you'd have been hard-pressed (ha-ha) to miss the less than stellar reviews of the latest wine-related film, Bottle Shock, about the famed "Judgment of Paris" event that put U.S. wine on the map as a serious contender in the international market. I suppose this film is meant to be the wine equivalent of Miracle, but it lacks the ass-kicking coolness of Big Trouble in Little China's Kurt Russel, and was therefore doomed from the start. Plus, this movie's villains (the French) aren't nearly as cool as Lo Pan.
Speaking of China...
According to Wines-Info.com, China is poised to be anything but little in terms of wine sales in 2008, as the market for wine consumption continues to grow in China and Russia. Hmm... let's see... where have I heard this type of prediction before...? Oh, yeah, I've heard it from every industry in every year for the last 15 years, most of which have not really done bumpkis to penetrate the Chinese market. But I'm sure this one will be different, right?
Fight the Power!
Another Senate bill to challenge a state's stupidly archaic wine shipping laws is coming up in New Mexico. If you've not checked out FreeTheGrapes.org and written your state legislators to let them know you want them to stop their evil ways... well, then shame on you!
Fight the Power! Part Deux
Michigan residents are once again upholding their fierce reputation by taking the wine shipping situation into their own hands. MLive.com reports that there is a thriving booze smuggling economy in the state, which presumably has grown as people increasingly try to bypass the state's restrictive monopoly on alcohol sales. Dude never advocates illegal activity. But if his wife did not hate cold weather so much, he might be contemplating a move to Michigan more seriously...
"I'm NOT Drunk Ociffer!"
File this one under the "We've all been there" department - the L.A. Times reports that the busloads of people hopping from wine tasting to wine tasting in CA's wine regions are getting disruptive enough that many CA wineries are starting to institute stricter regulations on these booze cruises. Dude is all about having a good time, but an obnoxious wine-loving drunk is still an obnoxious drunk!
The Bordeaulais are launching a project to measure the carbon footprint of their winemaking industry (which is much, much, much bigger than just the high-end / high-priced market of the top Bordeaux Chateau). Looks like they're kicking the U.S.' ass in something after all - CA winemakers take note!
"Lovey, be a Darling and Pass the `82 Mouton, Would You?"
If you own your own island or 3rd world country, then you might be interested in this advice article in the New York Times, on the proper etiquette for tipping at a dinner when the final price tag on the check "is built from $600 of food and $1,000 of wine but the $1,000 comprises three bottles". Whoa, such a dilemma... maybe you could just offer the server a weekend at your 14-room cottage in the outer Hebrides in lieu of a tip?
Just in time for St. Valentine's day, the Wall Street Journal has a nice introductory treatise on dessert wines. Dude has a serious sweet tooth, and he loves him some dessert wine! If you've not ventured into the realm of higher-end sweet wines because you think that you prefer your wines dry, check this article out because it may convince you of the truth (that you're cheating yourself out of some seriously good wine drinking!).
Cheers - and mind your shadow!