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Archive for the 'Wine Comment' Category

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the pricing of Bordeaux (‘09 that is…)

Jul. 1st 2010

Figeac_1996Back in April, I enjoyed a very good tasting of Bordeaux 2009. Very good indeed in fact. So good I was worried about the prices. Well, here cometh the day and the prices and I’m still taking copious doses of oxygen. How can this be sustainable?

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Posted by Paul | in New Wines and Products, Uncategorized, Wine Comment, Wine News | Comments Off

Wine for the heart and wine for the mind

Jun. 23rd 2010
Strawberries and Moscato

Strawberries and Moscato

While in conversation with a wine supplier, it  struck me that maybe we (I?) think too much about wine and probably don’t enjoy it quite enough. Is wine a drink for the heart or for the mind? Or both?

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment, Wine Knowledge | Comments Off

Ridge Vineyards New Releases – Tasting 21 April 2010

Apr. 29th 2010

Ridge_Monte_BelloI had the pleasure of attending the pre-release tasting of the new vintages of Ridge Vineyards. Ridge certainly make some of my favourite wines, from the “modest” Zinfandel blends through to the truly world class Monte Bello.

Read on for more detail and tasting notes for each of the wines

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EU Health Commissioner confirms proposals are being developed to ban wine

Apr. 1st 2010

In an interview today with France’s Le Figaro, Airf Lloop, the Dutch EU health Commissioner has confirmed that he is developing proposals to outlaw wine production, sale and consumption in the EU.

The surprise confirmation comes as a number of EU Governments are placing greater and greater restrictions on the sale and purchase of alcohol. The UK for example has seen a recent punitive increase in duty on wine and France has banned its first TV channel dedicated to wine. This is in addition to the vine removal programme already being pursued by the EU.

Lloop justified the move in the interview by saying that the estimated alcohol related healthcare spend across the EU amounted to €35bn whereas estimated tax revenues on alcohol sales was estimated at €27.3bn. “Economically it just doesn’t make sense. As a community, we’re spending much more on sorting out the problems caused by wine than we’re receiving in taxation. Given the current economic climate, something has to change”.

“We need to learn lessons from the successful prohibition period in the US, where alcohol consumption plummeted. Sure, there were some resulting crime issues, but these can be overcome”, Lloop continued.

When asked about the fate of the millions of grape growers across the EU, he said EU officials had been working with the main global commodity exchanges, such as Liffe and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on developing markets in Rectified Concentrated Grape Must (RCGM).  This would allow grape growers to sell their grape juice on the open market and gain great prices for RCGM, in some instances better than the returns on a bottle of wine. “I see RCGM being traded as successfully as Pork Bellies or Coffee. The exchanges are very excited about this.” said Lloop.

In outline, Lloop’s proposals amount to:

  • The production of wine to become illegal from 1st April 2012
  • All wine imports from outside the EU to be stopped on the same date
  • The sale and consumption of wine to become illegal from 1st April 2014
  • The development of a global RCGM market from 1st April 2011
  • EU transitional relief for grape growers and wine makers will continue until 1st April 2015

Lloop also confirmed that no decision has yet been made on the fate of other alcoholic drinks, but he expected similar proposals to be developed for these too. “Transitional markets are more difficult to develop for other raw materials, but we’re actively working on options” he confirmed.

So far, major wine producers have declined to comment and are awaiting further details from the Commissioner.

Lloop is expected to make a further announcement about this at 12:00 BST today.

Read the full Le Figaro interview with Arif Lloop.

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society, Wine Comment, Wine News | Comments Off

Cheap Champagne – Oh dear….

Dec. 1st 2009
Popping the cork may be a dissappointment

Popping the cork may be a dissappointment

‘Tis the season to be jolly…  And it’s also the season when all the supermarkets start discounting Champagne for the Christmas period. Some of these bottles can be snapped up for less than £10.

But what can you expect when you get the bottle home, nicely chilled and with a thirsty group of friends and family waiting in anticipation to sample the elegant bubbles within?

Read on to find out more

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment | Comments Off

Wine can make you fat – FACT!

Nov. 23rd 2009

Another "Wardrobe Malfunction" at West Mount WineThe Government last week announced that they have underestimated the number of calories we can consume in a day by up to 16%. That could allow up to another 400 calories per day for a reasonably active man.

We all know that wine contains calories. But how many and is it responsible for all too often seeing sights like this on British high streets?

But what do these precious 400 calories mean to the dedicated wine drinker?

Well, I’ll let you do the sums for yourself, but to calculate the number of calories the following formula comes in handy:

% ABV of wine x size of glass in ml x 0.054 = Approximate number of calories

So, for example:

13% alcohol x 125 ml glass x 0.054 = c. 88 calories.

We can therefore expect up to four small glasses of Aussie Shiraz extra per day to use up our new calorie intake. Oh, but this would be 7 units of alcohol – and that would be binge drinking.  So, not only can we expect our waistline to expand, but our liver to deteriorate too.  

Ah well, all the more reason to maintain the moderate drinking. It makes sense.

Or better still, drink something low alcohol, like these gems:

Dr Loosen Berkasteller Lay Riesling Kabinett 2008 - 54 Calories per 125 ml glass

Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 2008 - 61 Calories per 125 ml glass

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society, Wine Comment | Comments Off

Wine tasting on TV – What’s the point?

Nov. 17th 2009

It made Oz Clarke and Gilly Goulden famous and spawned many a series where we watch people drinking wine on TV.

Wine Tasting is a practical pursuit

Wine Tasting is a practical pursuit

There’s even a whole TV channel dedicated to it for goodness sake. Wine tasting on TV – what is the point in that?

Read on to find out more 

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment | Comments Off

Wine mark ups in restaurants – how to confuse your customer

Sep. 30th 2009

It’s a reasonably well known fact that restaurants mark-up wine. And their mark up will vary considerably, but will usually be at least 200% if not more like 300%. Some even go beyond this – sometimes as far as 450%.

We all know the arguments (staff, glassware, investment in a cellar, etc.). However, have you ever wondered why you can rarely find your favourite supermarket wine on the wine list of your local restaurant?  Well maybe you can, you just don’t realise it. Read on to find out more…

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment, Wine Knowledge | 2 Comments »

It’s Official! £19.99 is the optimum price for a bottle of wine….

Sep. 9th 2009

Fixed costs such as duty, shipping and bottles account for a considerable proportion of the price of a bottle of wine in the UK. There are considerable variable costs too, such as VAT and wholesale and retail margins, not forgetting the cost of actually growing the grapes. A really good question was recently asked at a wine tasting event; “what is the optimum price of a bottle of wine”?

This got us thinking and we have applied the vast resources of the West Mount Research Labs to answer that very question. The answer is £19.99, but read on to see how we reached that conclusion…


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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment | Comments Off

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