Tag Archives: wine

Pinot Express

Zipline Over Vinyards Via The Pinot Express

Wine lovers who also happen to be adrenaline junkies are being courted in an emerging trend with ziplining tours that soar above vineyard canopies. There is a disclaimer, however: don’t drink and zip.

Pinot Express

A California ziplining outfit is the latest to take winery tours to new heights, with a ride that flies guests above a Pinot Noir vineyard in the Paso Robles wine country.

Instead of gentle biking or walking tours, riders dangle 125 feet (38 m) above ground on a 1,800-foot (550 m) long zipline that swoops low over Pinot Noir vines at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch.

The zipline canopy ride by Margarita Adventures includes a guided tour of the 18th century ranch founded by Franciscan missionaries, and an optional wine tasting.

Romanee Conti 2004 bottle

10,000-euro wine on way to China thanks to French cuts

A bottle of 2004 Romanée-Conti from the French Prime Minister’s cellar is on its way to China after fetching 10,500 euros ($14,300) at auction here on Friday.

The highly-prized burgundy, one of 1,400 bottles put up for sale as part of government efforts to trim France’s budget deficit, went for more than twice its guide price.

Huang Lishen, made the winning bid, but the 27-year-old revealed he would not be getting to taste the wine. “I’m buying for a friend in China who imports wine,” Huang told AFP.

Romanee Conti 2004 bottle

Despite the hefty price tag for the most sought after item, prices were more reasonable for the prime ministerial bottles than they had been at an auction of stocks from the presidential cellar in May.

The sale of 1,200 bottles raised 720,000 euros. In both sales, the bottles were given additional value for collectors by the addition of special labels certifying their origin.

Hotel De Matignon

French Prime Minister Sells Wine Cellar

Hotel De Matignon

After a path-breaking wine auction by the French presidential palace of some of the best bottles from its cellar, the prime minister will follow suit in December, the Drouot auction house said Friday.

A total of 1,400 bottles from the prime minister’s official Matignon residence in Paris will go under the hammer on December 6.

“These bottles are estimated between 15 euros and 5,500 euros,” Drouot said. Top-end offers include Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2000, a Romani Conti 2004 and a La Tache 1990.

In May, 1,200 bottles, including some of the world’s most prestigious labels,were auctioned by the Elysee presidential palace. Officially, the purpose of the auction was to liberate funds to rejuvenate the presidential collection but officials have also said proceeds will be invested in more modest replacements and any surplus will be ploughed back into government coffers.

The conspicuous cost-cutting is in keeping with the tone of Socialist President Francois Hollande’s presidency, which has been clouded by a gloomy economic backdrop.

But it has not gone down well with Michel-Jack Chasseuil, one of France’s most prominent wine collectors who wrote to Hollande complaining that he was selling off national heritage.

Chateau Miraval

Cask of Pitt-Jolie wine auctioned for 10,100 euros

Chateau Miraval

A single cask of organic white wine from the French vineyard owned by Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fetched more than 10,000 euros ($18,000) at auction on Wednesday.

The signed 228-litre barrel from the Chateau Miraval estate’s vineyards sold for 10,100 euros, which will go towards a sustainable village project eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kivu region.

Chateau Miraval terrace

The barrel was among 27 lots on sale by the winegrowers of the Correns commune in southern France to raise money for the charity, with others going for more modest prices including a magnum of white wine for 170 euros.

The couple teamed up with the French winemaking Perrin family to develop the “Miraval Cotes de Provence” label, named after their estate.

Chateau Miraval vineyard

Jolie and Pitt acquired the 500-hectare (1,200-acre) estate in 2008 for around 40 million euros ($52 million) and have used it as a summer residence. The estate includes 50 to 60 acres of vines.

The first 6,000 bottles of Miraval Rose wine sold out within five hours of going on sale online in March.

 

best wines of 2013

The TOP 10 best wines of 2013 under $15

best wines of 2013

A $10 bottle of Bordeaux described as a full, concentrated, densely structured wine has been declared the best value wine by experts at Wine Enthusiast magazine.

The 2011 Chateau Mayne Guyon from Blaye Cotes in Bordeaux bested 99 other bottles in the magazine’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2013, a list of the best-tasting wines under $15 that offer an excellent “quality-to-price ratio.”

Magazine editors claim that of the thousands of wines reviewed over the past year, only five percent (or 922 bottles) were given the Best Buy designation.

Wines are then whittled down to a tidy top 100 ranking based on other factors such as availability and buzz. US wines dominate the list followed by bottles from France, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

A critic from Bordeaux Wines in the US meanwhile describes the Chateau Mayne Guyon as a plummy, ripe, juicy wine with cedar notes and good balance.

Here are the Top 10 best buys for under $15 according to Wine Enthusiast:

1. 2011 Chateau Mayne Guyon, France
2. Aveleda 2012 Quinta da Aveleda, Portugal
3. Kirkland Signature 2011 Pinot Noir, US
4. Barnard Griffin 2012 Riesling, US
5. Scheiblhofer 2010 Andau Zweigelt, Austria
6. Chateau Bianca 2011 Pinot Gris, US
7. Cramele Recas 2012 Dreamfish Sauvignon Blanc, Romania
8. Tres Ojos 2011 Garnacha, Spain
9. Trapiche 2010 Broquel Malbec, Argentina
10. Villa Cafaggio 2010 Basilica Cafaggio Single Estate, Italy

sparkling wine India

Moet-Hennessy launches sparkling wine produced in India

sparkling wine India

Moet-Hennessy has launched a new line of sparkling wine grown and produced in India in a bid to create a new “consumption culture” among young, affluent and sophisticated Indians.

The French wines and spirits house is launching an aggressive marketing campaign for ‘Chandon Nashik’ in a country where wine consumption is still low and the potential for growth very high.

Produced in the Nashik region of western India, the homegrown bubbly benefits from the drier, more moderate temperatures of the area which is located inland and at a higher altitude.

The Chandon Brut is a mix of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is described as having a fresh aroma and “subtle complexity.” The Rosé, made from Shiraz, is ripe with red fruit aromas and a full flavored palate.

The luxury brand’s marketing strategy, meanwhile, is to catch both the demographic and the wine market while they’re still young. That means engendering brand loyalty among young, cosmopolitan and social Indian consumers while the wine-sipping culture is just beginning to find its feet.

Chandon Nashik India is rolling out in wine shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and nightclubs across the country starting this month.

Chateau Margaux 2009 bottle

World’s most expensive wine goes on sale

A 12-liter bottle of 2009 Chateau Margaux is being touted as one of the best vintages in the winery’s history to justify its $195,000 price tag and make it the most expensive bottle of wine to be retailed.

Chateau Margaux 2009 bottle

After a little number crunching, based on the assumption that a standard bottle of wine yields five five-ounce (150 ml) glasses of wine, that works out to be a jaw-dropping US$2,437 a glass.

This marks the first time that the French winery has bottled Balthazars (12-liter bottles). Only six have been produced, three of which will be offered for sale through luxury wine merchant Le Clos, whose flagship outlet is located at the Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3. Their virtual store is open 24/7.

The Balthazar is housed in an oak case which has been raised on steel legs and the bottle itself engraved in gold by a master craftsman.

Chateau Margaux 2009

Winemakers describe the wine as having “finesse, balance and freshness” with a flavorful finish of “astonishing” length which can be aged for a century.

In addition to claiming the landmark vintage, the owner will be flown first class to France to visit the estate in Bordeaux. They will also get a private tour of its cellars and vineyard before sitting down to dinner with chateau winemaker and managing director Paul Pontallier.

Winemaker creates premium coconut wine

Coconut Water

A Filipino winemaker is hoping to put coconut-based wines, which have long been consumed in parts of South Asia and Africa, on liquor store shelves around the world.

Made from the sap of coconut palm flowers, Vino de Coco is slated to hit shelves this month in China, where it will sell for 100 Yuan a bottle ($16), reports trade publication The Drinks Business.

And while coconut wine is considered a common “conventional” drink in the Philippines, Filipino-American entrepreneur George Vacal Paraliza is hoping to turn the beverage — also known locally as tuba — into the world’s first premium product by upgrading with “aroma, flavor and complexity.”

Coconut wine is made by tapping fresh sap from the flower of the coconut tree.

Vino de Coco, located in Tacloban City, Philippines, proposes a trio of wines. The dry red is described as a “true wine drinker’s drink” for being smooth and tannic. The sweet red is to be consumed as a dessert wine or post-dinner digestif, while sweet white coconut wine leaves a light, sweet taste on the palate and can be consumed any time.

After rolling out in China, Paraliza said he hopes to find partners in the Filipino luxury hotel market and export the coconut wine to the US and Canada later this year.

vino de coco

‘Downton Abbey’ fans to get their own wine

Downton Abbey

“Downton Abbey” fans can now watch their favorite TV show while sipping on a wine inspired by the British period drama that has gained cult-like popularity among audiences around the world.

The same firm that produces wines in homage to the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd is harnessing the popularity of “Downton Abbey” to release a new wine that evokes the clarets that were imported to Britain from France and were at the height of popularity during the 1900s.

Wines That Rock has teamed up with Dulong Grands Vins de Bordeaux to produce the new range of Bordeaux Clarets and Bordeaux Blancs, which will be sold as single bottles and gift sets.

Charlie Trotter

US celebrity chef sued for counterfeit wine

Charlie Trotter

Celebrity Chicago chef Charlie Trotter was sued Thursday for allegedly selling two collectors a large bottle of wine that was supposedly highly valuable but in fact was a fake.

Bekim (Benn) and Ilir Frrokaj paid more than $46,200 in June of last year for what Trotter had claimed was a magnum of 1945 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti from the chef’s famed, now-shuttered restaurant Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago.

The pair said they only learned the bottle was counterfeit when they tried to have it insured and a consultant told them it had no value.

As part of his plans to close his restaurant last August, Trotter sold parts of his restaurant’s fine wine collection that had drawn the interest of collectors like the Frrokajs.

“During dinner, Charlie Trotter and the sommelier explained the rarity and value of the DRC magnum to Benn and Ilir,” the Frrokajs said in a court filing in US District Court in Chicago.

“Charlie Trotter and the sommelier also spoke about wines from the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti estate and how those wines are some of the rarest and most valuable in the world.”

The consultant hired by the wine aficionados, Maureen Downey, traveled to the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and met with the estate’s co-owner, Aubert de Vellain, who confirmed the assessment.

De Vellain indicated that “the DRC magnum was counterfeit because Domaine de la Romanee-Conti only produced small yields in 1945 and as a result did not produce any large format magnum-size bottles in that vintage,” according to the lawsuit.

The wine collectors are seeking more than $75,000 in damages — to match the amount of their $46,227.40 loss plus an additional $30,000 in punitive damages against Trotter for violating state and federal consumer laws.

A museum displays Mouton Rothschild wine labels

bottles chateau mouton rothschild

Chateau Mouton Rothschild has announced plans to permanently open a museum that will house its collection of wine labels rendered by artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Andy Warhol and Prince Charles.

After traveling the world, the exhibition Mouton Rothschild Paintings for the Labels will find a permanent home on the chateau estate in Pauillac in the Medoc alongside the existing Museum of Art in Wine.

The chateau is currently undergoing major renovations and is expected to open to the public in June.

Over 70 years, the wine producer enlisted some of the greatest artists around the world to design bottle labels which in addition to Picasso and Warhol included Keith Haring, Anish Kapoor, Salvador Dali, Lucien Freud and Chinese calligrapher Gu Gan.

As compensation, artists were paid with 10 cases of Mouton Rothschild. Labels on display date as far back as 1924, and from 1945 to 2010.

The collection of wine labels, which has traveled to 42 cities since 1981 in locations such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, London and New York, will continue to visit other cities as temporary exhibit.

winestar

French firm breaks taboo with wine in a can

winestar

A start-up out of France is getting a lot of buzz and raising eyebrows for launching a range of canned wines in a country of wine purists, where traditional winemaking traditions are fiercely upheld.

Winestar is the latest company to put wine in an aluminum can, joining the likes of brands like Barokes, Francis Ford Coppola and Friends Just Wine in taking the concept of boxed and bagged wines a step further.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Winestar co-founder Cédric Segal said his goal is to make his company the “Nespresso of wine,” in reference to the concept of single-serve portions.

He’s also targeting a specific market and season: young French consumers who are bypassing wine shelves and instead plucking off cans of fizzy drinks and juices to wash down their picnic dinners.

Segal’s reasoning: lighter, portable, user-friendly cans filled with premium, AOC wines will encourage consumers to put wine back on the picnic menu, practically a summertime sport throughout the country.

Meanwhile, wine consumption in France has experienced a precipitous decline over the years. In 1965, the average per capita consumption was 160 liters per adult. By 2010 that fell to 57 liters.

The latest figures out of France’s ministry of agriculture also show that fewer than one in five French adults now drink wine almost every day.

To launch the new line, Winestar is featuring a wine from Chateau de l’Ille of the Corbieres region, one of 12 AOC wines to be featured. The term AOC — Appellation d’origine contrôlée  — is used to designate the terroir of products like wines and cheeses special to a specific geographical area.

Other AOC wines will come from Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Loire and Alsace among others.

The can, meanwhile, is said to use a special coating that isolates the wine from the metal to ensure stability and the integrity of the wine. A 187 ml can retails for €2.50.

woman drinking wine

50 most popular wines on Twitter

woman drinking wine

After looking at the number of mentions, retweets and followers among the world’s leading wineries, an infographic has classified the 50 most tweeted wine brands on social media into a single tidy list.

Coming out on top? Spanish winery Bodegas Muga @bodegasmuga, which, despite following only 41 feeds as of May 28, counts more than 4,220 followers.

Furthermore, according to Servilia’s infographic, despite a modest Twitter presence with just 270 tweets, the brand exerts a strong influence within the oenophile Twittersphere with a retweet rate of 99 percent and inclusion on 190 lists.

Of the 50 most retweeted wines, 20 come from the US, 8 from Argentina and 8 from Spain, followed by 5 from Canada, 3 from Australia, 2 from Chile and 1 from Italy.

Rounding out the top five most popular wines on social media are brands Oasis Wine in the US, Chateau d’Yquem in France, Le Quattro Terre in Italy and Keint-He Winery in Canada.

Check out the full list at http://visual.ly/50-top-engagement-wines-twitter.

Paolo Basso

Swiss sommelier tops world wine waiter contest

Paolo Basso

Paolo Basso, from Switzerland, was hoisted into the air as judges in Tokyo awarded him first place in a ceremony in front of several thousand spectators that was carried live on Japanese national television.

Basso, who works at Conca Balla in Vacallo, on the Swiss-Italian border, beat off competition from fellow finalists Belgian Aristide Spies and Canadian Véronique Rivest. The 47-year-old takes the title previously held by Gerard Basset, who won the 2010 competition in Chile competing for Britain.

Entrants from 54 countries had been tested over three days of events designed to measure their skills marrying wines to foods and serving demanding customers.

Contestants from Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Sweden were among those participating in the event, which has been held 14 times since it started in 1969.

“A good sommelier not only has to have good knowledge of wine, but he also needs to be able to put customers at ease and know what to do to let them enjoy the food,” explained Serge Dubs, chairman of the jury and a former champion, ahead of the competition.

Miraval rose wine

First Jolie-Pitt rose wine vintage sells out within hours

Miraval rose wine

The first 6,000 bottles of Miraval rose wine from a French vineyard owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt sold out Thursday within hours of going on general sale.

“Selling started at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) and everything was sold by 2:00 pm” during the online sale, said Vitabella, a public relations firm representing the vineyard.

The couple teamed up with the French winemaking Perrin family to develop the “Miraval Cotes de Provence” label, named after their Chateau Miraval estate in the south of France.

The 2012 vintage was priced at 105 euros ($138) per case of six bottles for the Internet sale. Another 100,000 bottles have been sold to wine merchants and restaurants.

Jolie and Pitt acquired the 500-hectare (1,200-acre) estate in 2008 and have used it as a summer residence. The estate includes around 50 to 60 acres of vines.

Marc Perrin said that the couple were involved in the production process and wanted to do more than “just put their name” on the label. “They want to be proud of the wine on their property. They are really looking for excellence,” he said.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Enter Wine Business

Chateau Miraval

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will be releasing their first bottles of wine next month, produced from their sprawling French estate in the south of France.

The first bottles to be released out of their Château Miraval vineyards in Correns about 110 km east of Cannes will be Miraval rosés, due out on the market in March.

Chateau Miraval terrace

The Jolie-Pitts purchased the 500-hectare property for $60 million USD and are in the midst of extensive renovations including the installation of stainless steel tanks.

Chateau Miraval vineyard

The wines will be produced and distributed by the Perrin family, current owners of Château Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who began working on the estate during the 2012 harvest.

Chateau Miraval PinkFloyd

Currently the estate produces red and white wines and a rosé named Pink Floyd after the group that recorded one of its albums in a studio on the property.