Wine Shorts

Wine News (the magazine)

After a couple of email requests, a FedEx box filled with Wine News magazines arrived last week, much to my surprise and delight.

It’s a nice magazine, built on extended features illustrated with great photographs; extensive (maybe too extensive) coverage of wine auctions around the country; long and well-written profiles of wineries, winemakers and their grapegrowers, the often unsung heroes of this art; and of course tasting notes with obligatory 100-point scores. The Buyline section mimics buying guides in The Wine Enthusiast, Decanter and other consumer wine pubs, but doesn’t have enough value-priced selections in my view, although as the economy continues to tank I suspect the editors may change that. Thoughtful editorials and wine news “vignettes” share space with trade ads that are consumer-oriented, as fits the style of the magazine. All-in-all, a well-done publication – my principal complaint is that the headlines use a typeface that looks like it’s a bit squashed, and the body type is just too small.

U.S. Wine Exports grow 6% to above One Million, er, One BILLION Dollars!

The CA-based Wine Institute reports that U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, passed a billion dollars for the first time in 2008, up 6% from 2007. For more info on this pretty big development, go here.

Nose in the Glass, not in the Air

Wine writers too often write tasting notes that, well, smell. Of snobbery. And silly, flowery descriptions that make us laugh…or something else. A fellow wine writer dissects the trend as he returns from a writers’ symposium.

Trading Down…to the Good Stuff!

Most of us are even more aggressively dropping our sights out of the $20 range down to the under $15 category, and more, as the recession continues to loom over us like torrential rain a month before harvest. You don’t have to drink plonk at that price, either, as Laurie Daniel tells us.

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