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Archive for November, 2009

“Ambivalent” Is Not a French Word, But It Could Be

November 30th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

The French government has spent billions subsidizing the production of vin ordinaire that can’t compete in the world market, perpetuating economic dependence on the production of wine destined to be distilled down to alcohol to power French automobiles. At the same time, the French government has embarked on a campaign to decrease French consumption of [...]

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WS Top 100: Making a Statement

November 23rd, 2009 by Tom Johnson

No one really knows what goes on around the Wine Spectator offices when they’re deciding on the Top 100 wines of the year. It’s a mysterious, subjective and political process. The Wine of the Year is not automatically the best wine made (or the world’s greatest wine, as assumed in this article). The wines are [...]

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Beaujolais Nouveau: Harbinger of Doom

November 17th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

The third Thursday of November, Beaujolais Nouveau is released. That’s two days from now, at which time Nouveau becomes the first vintage 2009 wine to be publicly poured and enjoyed. If history is any guide, the quality of the wines will be unremarkable, because the quality of the wines isn’t the point. The point is [...]

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Proof, If Any Were Necessary, That the Return of Huge Wall Street Bonuses is Having an Economic Effect

November 17th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

Further signs of economic recovery in the wine business, at least at the high end of the market. Prices at the legendary Hospices de Beaune auction in Burgundy were up. Reds soared 31% over last year while whites declines 2%. In New York, auctions at Christie’s, Zachy’s and Sotheby’s over the weekend exceeded estimates and [...]

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How To Sample Wines You Can’t Afford: Big Red Tasting

November 16th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

The way to get familiar with the world’s great wines is to go to tastings where lots of good wines are available at low, promotional prices. As noted, here, Tuesday, November 17 is a Big Reds tasting at Westport Whiskey & Wine. The line-up is one of those that can familiarize you with wines you [...]

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Big Reds at Westport Whiskey & Wine

November 16th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

No list yet, but tomorrow for $30 they’re tasting Bordeaux, Barolo and big Napa Cabs. I’ll work on the details and let you know, but it’s not often a tasting offers Barolo. The tasting is Tuesday, November 17, from 7 to 8 PM, at Westport Whiskey & Wine. Barolo is the greatest of Italian wines. [...]

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Spam Comment

November 16th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

Sometimes when I look at the comments list I think this blog should be called “Louisville Xanax.”

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Sanctimonious Puritanism, Pure and Simple

November 12th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

The Tribune Comany’s advice columnist — appearing here in the Los Angeles Times — is asked (and I paraphrase) this question: When we babysit our grandchild, our daughter has a zero tolerance policy on drinking. We like a glass of wine at night. What do you think? “Ask Amy” columnist Amy Dickinson answers (and I [...]

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Today In the World Wine Market

November 12th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

Constellation Brands reports a sudden rebound in premium wine sales, while Australia reports a surplus of more than 100 million cases of wine. Are prices headed up or down? I say: both. More, cheaper, pretty-good wine, and a few high-status labels that will continue to go up in price.  For those of us in the [...]

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Technology on the March

November 12th, 2009 by Tom Johnson

Winemakers in California are using dry ice to clean wine barrels. The dry ice, at 109 degrees below zero, removes mold spores, bacteria and fungus. From the inside of a wine barrel, the automated “Rajeunir” machine removes five thousands of a inch of old, wine-saturated wood without removing the “toast” levels of the barrel, thus [...]

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