Stu McFarland - Friday, September 19, 2014
With the recent release of the new iPhone 6, it seems an appropriate opportunity for this list. Tomsguide.com
has a list of 8 apps for wine lovers. There seems to be some overlap between some of the apps, so there's certainly no need for all of them, but a few could be pretty useful! For example, DRYNC (available for both iOS and Android) lets users take a pic of a bottle's label to bring up that wine's availability, price, tasting notes, descriptions, and ratings. You can even order online with the app. It also helps you discover new wines based on your friends' recommendations. Pretty neat! For more information on the other 7 apps discussed in the article, head on over to tomsguide.com!
Stu McFarland - Saturday, August 23, 2014
We've discussed Mr. Kurniawan's wine counterfeiting before, but now The Wine Spectator has reported that the trial has ended, and he has now been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Additionally, he is being ordered to pay $28.4M in restitution to 7 of his victims, as well as to forfeit $20M in personal property. Before the sentencing, Mr. Kurinawan wrote a letter to the judge to plead for leniency, yet Judge Berman stated that Kurinawan took no specific responsibility for his crimes, which couldn't have helped his case. Kurinawan's attorneys asked for a sentence of under two-and-a-half years (time already served), claiming that his actions didn't cause too much harm since the defrauded parties were wealthy enough for these purchases to "not make a dent" in their fortunes. The prosecution disagreed, stating that "rich or poor, everyone is entitled to get what they pay for." It seems Judge Berman agreed. The article by The Wine Spectator goes into much more depth and is a very interesting read, so be sure to head over there to read the full article!
Stu McFarland - Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wines & Vines
reports on the astounding record-breaking results of the 2014 Auction Napa Valley, with a grand total of $18.7 million raised. This eclipses last year's record of $16.9 million. The top-selling lot was a double lot from Raymond Vineyards selling for $840,000. According to W&V, The Vintners attribute some of the success of Friday night's Barrel Auction (which raised $1.7 million) to a new mobile application that allowed bidders to monitor and respond to bids on their smartphones, and nearly 400 guests took advantage of the technology. For a list of the top-selling lots and more information about the Auction, please visit the Wines & Vines article here
Stu McFarland - Wednesday, April 09, 2014
has a brief article with some fantastic maps showing the locations of many of the wineries in both the Napa and Sonoma valleys. The maps were created by Pop Chart Lab
who are experts at infographics. As the Fast Co article states, "To make sense of some densely-packed areas,they've created zoomed-out pockets with different color-coding to help visitors pick out the exact location of smaller wineries." The maps offer a neat, stylized view, and they're certainly worth a look. Head over to the Fast Company article
, and click-to-enlarge the images to view the maps in full size - it's quite an impressive effort. The maps are also available as prints for only $29 each or $54 for the pair from Pop Chart Lab
Stu McFarland - Friday, March 21, 2014
The Chicago Tribune
is reporting that coffee giant Starbucks will begin offering an evening alcohol and "light bites" menu. This program has been in a trial stage for several years now in markets such as Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, and Southern California. Apparently, it has been a successful enough test to warrant rolling it out to a much larger market.
In Chicago, the after 4:00 pm menu includes items such as truffle macaroni and cheese, chicken skewers, Chardonnay, and chocolate fondue. This new offering won't be available in all areas, instead focusing on urban locations near other restaurants and theaters where people are more likely to be out at night. Be sure to head over to The Chicago Tribune
to read the full article.
Stu McFarland - Thursday, March 06, 2014
has an entertaining article/list on their website with a tongue-in-cheek look at what your grip says about you. With names such as "The County Fair Claw" and descriptions such as "You write poetry. Not for a living, but that's still all you do", it's a humorous look at the ways some may hold their wine glass. I know I'll have a chuckle the next time I see someone holding their glass in an "improper" fashion. Be sure to head over to The Savory
for the full run-down - it's certainly worth your time. Just don't forget to bring your sense of humor. :)
Stu McFarland - Sunday, February 23, 2014
Wines and Vines reports on the growth in the number of wineries located in North America. According to the article (and their image above), there are now a total of 8,391 bonded and virtual wineries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This is a gain of 4.3% over the previous year. Interestingly, American wineries' production increased 6.3%, and the average bottle price rose $1.85 from $9.00 to $10.85. They also list the states with 100 wineries or more with California hosting the vast majority with 3,674 and Illinois squeaking in at the bottom of the list with an even 100.There's much more interesting information in the article, so be sure to head over to Wines & Vines to read the rest
Stu McFarland - Sunday, January 26, 2014
Here's a pretty interesting two-part video tour
of the wine cellar at the world famous Hotel de Paris in Monaco. The tour is led by the hotel's Head Sommelier, Patrice Frank. The cellar was built in 1874, and understandably houses approximately 90% French wine, consisting of more than 560,000 bottles. The cellar is approximately 2,500 square meters, and is kept at 12 degrees Celsius and 80-85% humidity. The scale of the entire cellar, and the quantities of each varietal and vintage are particularly impressive. It's definitely worth a look, so click here to watch part 1
, and here to watch part 2
. Each part is approximately 5 minutes long.
Stu McFarland - Sunday, January 19, 2014
According to this article in SFGate
, the Sonoma County Wine Grape Commission wants every winery and vineyard in its domain to be certified sustainable within the next five years. What exactly does that mean? The commission's president Karissa Kruse defines it as "a good steward, a good employer, and a good neighbor" as well as using fewer chemicals and less water, and preserving the natural resources of the land. The article states that true 100% sustainability will be very difficult to achieve, especially in a voluntary program, but if they are able to pull it off, they will be the first wine region in the nation to do so. It is also stated that there are financial benefits as well, because the consumer demand for sustainable products is on the rise - whether they know what it means or not. There's much more information, so be sure to head over to SFGate to read the full article
Stu McFarland - Friday, January 17, 2014
The devastating heatwave that Australia is experiencing may have a serious effect on future wine production. According to this story from ABC News
, with temperatures in the 40*C (104*F) range, all of the agriculture industries in south east Australia are preparing for the worst. To make matters worse, this heatwave comes after a "black frost" this past November, which also caused an enormous amount of damage. It's hard not to draw parallels between the Aussie's plight and our own unseasonably warm weather we are experiencing here in California combined with the frightening lack of rain and almost assured drought we'll experience soon. Be sure to head over to abc.net.au
to read the full story.