Wine news October 2013

Wine Owners United

logoWine Owners is a recently launched online platform that makes it easier and less time consuming to actively managing a wine collection. Their ‘Portfolio Management’ system provides “all the information and tools needed to inform buy, sell, hold, lay down and make drinking decisions.” Owner Nick Martin says “Price discovery is an essential requirement of any properly functioning market. That’s why we deliver a definitive database of 150,000 fine wines, including current prices and price history*. Charting and comparisons further support the decision-making needs of collectors and fine wine enthusiasts. Members gain more power and control to self-manage thanks to our tools, up-to-date research and transparency provided by Market Level Pricing™.” Another intriguing aspect of the service is ‘Wine Passport™’, which sets a standard for provenance in respect of assured fine wine trading. Nick Martin says “we never forget that fine wine is a passion for most collectors, so our definition of value is to support long-term collecting, investing and trading goals via a secure, transparent platform. The biggest aggregate stockholders in the secondary fine wine market are private clients, but many don’t have the time to take advantage of market demand at the right moment.”See

Vinho Verde sparkles

Vinho Verde logoI’ve been drinking loads of Vinho Verde this summmer and many people have heard my enthusiastic endorsement of the wines at the series of tasting events I presented for Wines of Portugal over recent months. And now official figures seem to back up that Portugal’s famous ‘green’ wines is on a bit of a roll: following a year-on-year increase of between 12-13%, exports of Vinho Verde are expected to beat all previous records in 2013. This together with reports that the quality of the 2013 harvest is looking very good, has given Vinho Verde cause to celebrate. Manuel Pinheiro, Executive President of the Vinho Verde commission says, “We will export around 36% or 37% of our total business in 2013, which is the highest figure ever for the region.” He continues, “Even though there are still three months left until the end of the year, I am confident that these excellent results will not change. This significant boost in our exports has compensated for stagnation in our sales on the internal market.”

Cru Thinks Italian

london cruIn August’s news we reported on central London’s first ever winery, London Cru. The start up has announced that a planned seven ton shipment of grapes from France has fallen through, but new plans are in place. They report that the grapes due to come from Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in the next two weeks were rejected due to concerns that the fruit might not arrive in perfect condition. The team felt that the levels of rot in the vineyards this year, combined with the transport required for this project, could end up being detrimental to the wines, a risk they “were not prepared to take.” Gavin Monery, London Cru’s winemaker said, “Obviously it’s a real disappointment to lose two parcels of grapes which we were really looking forward to working with. However, after a lot of conversation with the vineyard owners this week; we all felt that we were unable to get the fruit to London without a high incidence of rot by the time it arrived.” By a stroke of fortune however, London Cru has managed to secure four tons of Barbera from Northern Italy.” Monery said, “This will take the place of the Merlot we were expecting. Having seen how well the supply chain works with ripe fruit in top condition we’re really looking forward to having a trailer full of high quality Barbera pitch up in SW6.”

Fizzical confusion

glasses of champagneA survey conducted to mark National Champagne Week last week has revealed that half of Britons don’t realise Champagne comes from France – despite the UK being the second biggest consumer of the drink. Reality TV shows like Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex are being credited/blamed for creating a culture of young Champagne drinkers, yet one that lacks basic knowledge. The survey, commissioned by Searcys Champagne bars revealed that almost one in five 25-34 year olds purchases the drink at least once a week, but almost 60% admitted that they didn’t know where it came from. By far the most knowledgeable drinkers were those aged 55 or older, with almost 70% correctly identifying the origins of the French drink and almost half able to tell the difference between a cheap and a premium Champagne.

Queenstown Rocks

boatQueenstown on New Zealand’s South Island is on many tourists map, an area of glorious scenery and world centre of adventure sports, but also the heart of the Central Otago wine industry – more my reason for going than the bunjee-jumping. Just launched is a new attraction, the Spirit of Queenstown catamaran that is about to make its maiden voyage Lake Wakatipu. The multi-million dollar catamaran is launching as part of the annual Queenstown Jazz and Blues Festival. The two hour Spirit of Queenstown Jazz, Blues and Wine Cruise will be “people’s first opportunity to experience the area’s newest tourist attraction up close and personal,” according to a spokesperson, and regular music cruises will follow. Tickets and details from