Apps for wine lovers on your gift list (US)

Apps for wine lovers on your gift list (US)

Technology and the Internet have not yet infiltrated the dining room or the wine cellar the way they have the living room. But Gary Vaynerchuk, the online wine reviewer, recommends a few online gifts for wine lovers this season. “A gadget that’s Internet-connected in the wine industry doesn’t really exist at this point,” Mr. Vaynerchuk said. “Any gadget that makes wine more complicated than it already is scares people.” But there are a few apps and online publications that he recommends.

Georgian winemakers cautious on post-WTO Russia (Georgia)

Georgian winemakers plan to keep their products out of the Russian market, where they have been a hit since Soviet times, as officials warn their neighbor’s World Trade Organization membership may not guarantee fair treatment. Georgia is striving to recapture the 10 percent or more economic growth it achieved before losing a five-day war with Russia in 2008 and may benefit from renewed wine sales to a market that previously bought four-fifths of its annual output. Still, the government is warning against reigniting dependence on Russia and producers aren’t in a hurry to resume shipments, having diversified their export markets to countries as far afield as China.

Americans are bubbly about sparkling wine (US)

Americans are drinking more bubbly these days. Total consumption of sparkling wine in the United States will approach 15 million cases by the end of this year, almost eclipsing the 20-year high recorded in 1999, when sparkling sales surged in anticipation of millennial celebrations.

$1.3m wine fraud alleged (NZ)

A former fine wine consultant at an exclusive Auckland auction house charged with defrauding affluent clients of over $1.3 million has been remanded on bail until the new year. His alleged victims included leading Auckland surgeons, company owners, and senior partners in law firms, court documents reveal. Alleged victims said Mickleson gained legitimacy from his position as a fine wine consultant at Webb’s Auction House, which handles some of the country’s most valuable trades.

Winery marks its 20th vintage (NZ)

Marlborough’s reputation as a leading wine and holiday destination is growing, Wairau River Wines general manager Lindsay Parkinson says. That is why he decided to build a $400,000 extension to the cellar door restaurant at the premises on the corner of Rapaura Rd and State Highway 6, in August. Four months later, the large room is complete and the new open space for wine tasting sessions officially opened yesterday.

Strong Australian dollar propels sales of French champagne

The strong Australian dollar has sent sales of French champagne soaring up to 25 percent in Australia in the past year. And for the first time, many Australian ‘methode champenoise’ sparkling wines are now more expensive than the prized French fizz. Imported Moet, which makes up more than 40% of Australian champagne sales, is now selling in liquor barns around the nation for $49 a bottle. As the sound of popping corks explodes across the nation in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year, Australians have developed a love of champagne, said Elizabeth Drysdale, from the Champagne Bureau of Australia.

Winegrape rootstocks deal with drought (US)

For more than a century, grapegrowers have chosen rootstocks to fight phylloxera. More recently, viruses, nematodes, limited lifetimes, productivity and soils have been major concerns, but now it’s becoming clear that water usage will be increasingly important. Wines & Vines reports in many areas where grapes grow well, it’s only because they’ve been irrigated—and in some cases are protected from drought by spraying.

Wine Review: Reds for Christmas day (UK)

For many of us, the red wine we bring out for the Christmas feast – perhaps while exclaiming ‘tar-an-ta-raa!’ – is one of the most important of the year. Susy Atkins, in The Telegraph, writes it should certainly be something special, by which I don’t mean crazy-expensive, necessarily, just that your wine should convey a sense of careful selection.

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