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A collection of news items, comments & musings on all things wine & foodish.

Grape News, Folks!

Looks like things are about to get shaken up in the vineyards & wineries of California.  More than one story in the news lately has hinted at a drop in wine prices due to a glut of grapes recently.  With a seemingly ever growing demand for wine all the players have planted grapes ferociously over the past 10 years to where now there may be more than the market needs.  And now, California wine consumers have just seen their first $1.99 wine.  It may not be a stunner but it probably is the point of a wedge.  Tasting Info predicts an onslaught of lower priced wines (mostly in the under $10 but also in the under $20 range and further consolidation on the producer side.  Good news for us but don't expect to see a big drop in cult wine prices just yet...


Taking Your Food Seriously

It seems that France’s currently most famous & endearing chef has ended
his life over a less than flattering review by the second most famous
critic of restaurants, GaultMillau.  Bernard Loiseau, chef & owner of
the Michelin 3-star restaurant Cote d’Or in a small burgundian town
southeast of Paris had basked in gastronomic glory for over 10 years.

While it’s tragic to end a great career this way, one cannot help
wondering about the power of critics & especially the making or killing
of careers by the Guide Michelin et al.  There is obviously enormous
pressure to perform & to keep performing in a style that pleases.  But
at what expense?

Just how seriously should one take one’s craft?  The cuisine of Michelin
rated restaurants is excellent by anyone’s measure, but is it “to die
for” in the real sense.  Money buys all sorts of wonderful indulgences
but, in the end, a restaurant meal is only food & beverages. Perhaps
it’s time for us to rethink some priorities.  This event has cost a
family dearly…

And on a lighter, though cooler note…

There’s Gold In Them There Hills

In a winter that has been milder than usual there had been little hope
of a new vintage of Ice Wine in BC. this year.  But temperatures dropped
long enough & low enough for a few patient Okanagan vintners to gather
in some gold.  The grapes left this long are by no means a pretty sight
but they mean some extra dollars in the pockets of the patient.

It’s a serious gamble for growers in BC because it doesn’t always get
cold enough to create the conditions for the ultra-sweet ice wine. In
order to make ice wine, the grapes have to be picked at less than -8 C &
the few holdouts got their wish this week.  The rest of the grape
growers can still make Late Harvest wines which are dessert wines that
are less sweet (& offer less revenue) than Ice wine.



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