Australian Wine Soars, French Wine Slides

Australia’s exports of wine soared in 2003 to record levels despite one of the worst droughts ever.
Overseas sales jumped 24% in the year to June 2003, government figures showed, taking total exports to 2.1bn Australian dollars (US$1.65bn).
The rise in exports to 518 million litres occurred despite lower production than in the previous year.
In contrast, French winemakers are suffering from sliding sales both at home and abroad.
Wine industry leaders are meeting.


Rising number of young adults pop wine corks

Here’s an article I had to grab off a website, some kind of Javascript error…

New generation of wine buyers savvy about food pairings, years and types

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Piper Fleming doesn’t know all there is to know about wine, but she’s learning fast. “Beer has so many carbo-hydrates. Wines not bad for you, and it’s good for your heart,” she said. “I drink red with steaks, venison and tuna, and white wine with fish and chicken.”

Jennifer Berzof (left) and Gretchen Loos, both of Mount Pleasant, sip on cabernets at Meritage in downtown Charleston. They say they prefer wine over beer or mixed drinks.

The 29-year-old property manager at Atlantic Islands Vacations at Seabrook Island is among a lot of people her age who have switched from beer and liquor to the grape.

The trend has wine store owners, restaurants and vineyards feeling, well, rosy.

“More and more people in that age group are coming in for wine tastings and asking a lot of questions,” said Debbie Marlowe of the Wine Shop on Lockwood Drive in downtown Charleston. “Rather than drinking cocktails with dinner, they’re drinking wine.”

Julie Limehouse of Rosebank Farms Cafe at the Bohicket Marina has seen the spike in wine consumption.

She said wine now makes up a majority of her alcohol sales.

She said more and more young people are turning to wine because, quite simply, it’s “in.”

“We’re seeing younger kidscome more sophisticated,” Limehouse said.

Jack Libby, who owns Uncork, a wine store at 333 King St., said his business was up 26 percent during the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. A lot of those customers were in the 21-30 age group.

“They make me feel like an old codger,” Libby said.

Libby said the new breed of buyer is “very wine savvy and already versed in good bottles of wine. They know about pairing wine with food.”

These new wine drinkers, or people who drink wine at least once each week, have increased 32 percent during the past three years, according to the Wine Council. The trade group said Americans are consuming more than two gallons of wine annually, a figure that has not been seen since the 1980s.

All of these new wine drinkers — coupled with the devaluation of the dollar, which makes European wines more expensive, and the decline in the supply of grapes worldwide — are expected to benefit the California wine industry, which produces 90 percent of the wine in the United States.

“Price is definitely part of the equation,” Libby said.

John Campbell, wine manager at Meritage Restaurant on East Bay Street, said groups of young adults have been showing up regularly at his bar, which is known for its vast selection of wines. He said most order wine, and that has led to an increase of about 20 percent in his wine business.

“It’s been steady,” he said.

One business that is taking advantage of the good times is Irvin House Vineyards on Wadmalaw Island.

Co-owner Ann Irvin said she and her husband, Jim, are planning a sizable increase in their wine output. “We’re getting ready to bottle 50,000 bottles this year, almost double our production” from last year, she said.

She said recent medical studies have shown that wine drinkers have a substantially lower death rate than people who drink other forms of alcohol. “Red wine is good for you,” she said.

While there is no wine association in South Carolina, there is some movement afoot to get one started. A group of wine growers met with officials from the state agriculture commission in Columbia in November.

“It’s in the embryonic stage,” said Mary Ridgeway, marketing specialist for the agriculture department. “We want to see if we can grow that industry or help the folks producing it.”

Join me on the Wine Road

An event worth attending: Barrel tasting in the Russian River Valley. Here’s a great chance to taste wine practically practically free, meet the winemakers, and experience that special feeling of tasting the wine before it is bottled. All who want to join me are welcome, cause I’m going!
Here is the link

Alcoa introduces a Glass Cork

BMW, VW, the autobahn, and now a glass wine stopper instead of cork. What will the German’s think of next. The glass stopper is the brain child of Alcoa, a German company, and will go head to head with screwcaps for market dominance in the closure business. The company thinks it has a leg up on screwcaps because wine drinkers, they say, “don’t like threads.” This from Wine Spectator.
visit vino lok’s website

Tasting 1993 Napa Cabernet

It’s great to look back in retrospect on a year in Napa that never received great press, yet still delivers some great wine. James Laube takes a look back in time at 1993, by tasting some of Napa’s most sought after cults and high end wines in this article in Wine Spectator. I had the chance of trying the 1993 Montelena estate with friends, and found it well balanced, with great fruit on the nose and palate, and a nice structure which finished with a lingering blackberry aftertaste. Here is a list of wineries and ratings for the year with estimated market value. I’m sure however, that after this article hit the press, some bottles will be going for more than what is mentioned here.

Experience Livermore

Livermore’s at it again, and this time they’re pulling out the big guns. A marketing campaign will try to raise it’s image as being a mediocre wine destination. Business leaders are uniting in a major, first-of-its-kind campaign to market Livermore’s wine country. The new marketing catch phrase: “Experience Livermore Valley Wine Country.”
The idea is to spread the word throughout the Bay Area that people don’t have to travel to Napa and Sonoma for fine wine and dining. The Valley’s 26 wineries will be portrayed through radio advertisements and other marketing efforts as a friendly place to visit within an hour’s drive of most of the Bay Area.

Look to Oregon for New Wineries

Here’s a cool look at some of the wineries flying under the radar in Oregon. Amongst the winners of a blind tasting held by Oregon, Silvan Ridge/Hinman as did Eola Hills Winery for their chardonnay and Maquam Hill Vineyards for their Pinot Noir. Frankly, I’m a huge fan of Pinot’s and I’m always on the lookout for an up and coming star.

Anybody out there?

Does anyone read this blog? I’m thinking of doing more with it, but I’m wondering if it’s worth my time if no one is listening. Please take a sec to just email me regarding this website. Put winexpression in the subject line, but don’t worry about writing anything in the main email body.


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