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Archive for April, 2011

We Take Baby Steps

April 30th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Wine Spectator has excellent round-up of state legislative activities involving the regulation of wine. In summary: seven states have either liberalized or are considering the liberalization of their wine laws. Most of those changes have to do with allowing local wineries to ship directly to customers, a delicate legal area given that Granholm vs. Heald [...]

Posted in Regulation | Comments (0)

A Royally Bad Day for British Wine

April 30th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

I, like everyone else in the world, spent yesterday swept up in Royal Wedding Mania. A lovely bride…a rich, balding groom…throngs of plump women weeping at the romance of it all. What’s not to love? For the British wine industry: a lot. Romantic as the wedding was, the day was a P.R. disaster for British [...]

Posted in Celebrity Wine | Comments (2)

Royal Wedding: Horrible But Unlikely Faux Pas

April 29th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The Washington Times, which occasionally worries about unlikely things (e.g., Sharia Law overtaking the American legal system), worries that the royal wedding reception will run out of wine: Wine is very important at a wedding. It would embarrass the royal family if the supply of wine runs out. The wine cellars of Buckingham Palace contain, according [...]

Posted in Readings | Comments (0)

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

April 28th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The town of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, population 35, is hosting its first wine festival. The festival starts at noon this Saturday, and runs for six hours. Camping facilities are available at nearby Big Bone Lick state park. The duly elected mayor of Rabbit Hash, by the way, is a dog.

Posted in Events | Comments (2)

Dumping (On) Rosé

April 28th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Every now and then I make a belittling crack about rosé. When I do that, someone defends the stuff, either because they are personally insulted or because they believe my disdain for pink wine brands me as a pretentious rube. They’re inevitably confident that one day I will give rosé an honest chance and come around to [...]

Posted in Pointless Rudeness | Comments (23)


April 27th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Joe at 1 Wine Dude makes a blogger breakthrough and is named a judge in the 2011 Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year Awards. This makes me insanely jealous and I’m going to have a psychotic eruption. That said, if I may risk a moment of sincerity, I’ve met a lot of wine bloggers [...]

Posted in Good Stuff | Comments (1)

Wine Made Simple: A Modest Proposal

April 26th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

When market researchers ask what people don’t like about buying wine, the response indicates a general consumer aversion to feeling stupid. Confronted by aisle upon aisle of unfamiliar wines, it is no surprise that people turn, instead, to the relatively uncomplicated world of beer. Depending on who you talk to, there are between 40,000 and [...]

Posted in Mr. Grumpy | Comments (10)

Ze French, Zey Are a Confusing People

April 26th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

The special French police force used to suppress riots — often by French farmers, protesting low wine prices — are threatening to riot themselves because of a newly passed regulation forbidding them from drinking wine on the job. The 14,000 dark-blue-uniformed members of the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, or CRS as they’re known in France, [...]

Posted in News | Comments (0)

The Wine Business Explained

April 25th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

Buried deep inside the 100-page Wines of Chile Strategic Plan 2020 there is this insight: Consumers seeking premium and superior wines are faced with too many alternatives from a wide range of origins; they are overwhelmed by a very broad selection of wines that seem very similar and lack sufficient differentiation one from the other. [...]

Posted in Data | Comments (0)

Who Will Stand Up For Wine Critics?

April 25th, 2011 by Tom Johnson

South African wine writer Christian Eades damns wine criticism with faint praise: When we’re not writing about each other and actually writing about wine, it’s no bad thing. He then goes on to explain that wine criticism is different from nearly all other forms of criticism: The average punter about to make a purchasing decision [...]

Posted in Good Stuff | Comments (1)