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Slightly More Thinking About Drinking
I’ve got a welt on my arm the diameter of a large orange — or a small grapefruit? — from my latest dose of immunotherapy. Since I’ve taken what is known in clinical terms as a buttload of antihistamines, I decided not to add alcohol to the mix. Instead let’s see what’s been happening in wine and other news:
I stopped in at Hopewell Super Buy-Rite last week for the Gnarly Head, but I also took advantage of their Make Your Own Six-Pack. Why don’t more places do that?! Sometimes you want to try one beer before you risk a whole pack taking up valuable real estate in your fridge.
My favorite new beer from that pack is Berry Monkey by Victory Brewing. It’s a fruited sour tripel, with real raspberries and a whopping 9.5% alcohol. The berry flavor is subtle and the beer isn’t too sweet. It’s shocking sippable for that much booze. Highly recommend. I haven’t really had a beer from Victory that I haven’t liked.
This summer, California-based wine giant Jackson Family Wines—owners of the flagship brand Kendall-Jackson—became the first major still wine producer to invest in the English viticulture sector. The American company, which owns more than 40 wineries in the U.S., Australia, South Africa, Chile, France and Italy, will initially produce sparkling wine at a contract winemaking facility in Kent, but it has also acquired 65 acres of land in Essex, where it plans to plant chardonnay and pinot noir vines with a view to producing super-premium still and sparkling wines.
What next? Jamie Oliver leading wine tours in his backyard? Just bung those grapes in the barrel?
We talked about the glut of French wine a few weeks ago, and looks as if Australia is having a similar problem. From The Guardian:
…[Jenny] Semmler says the market for wine grapes is “the worst I’ve seen it for decades,” and it’s having a ripple effect on the Riverland communities where winemaking is one of the largest industries.
The CEO of Australian Grape and Wine, Lee McLean, says that a lot of winemakers already have full tanks. A recent report suggested Australia had a 2.8bn bottle oversupply of wine.
“[Winemakers] have high inventories and purchasing more grapes just isn’t an option,” he says. “If you have a contract in place, you’re getting very low prices for your fruit, but if you don’t have a contract, it’s another battle entirely. It’s leading to significant stress across the regions.”…
Scary stuff. I don’t know what this means for the market in the U.S. Will winemakers be able to afford to ship wines at cost?
And finally, from ABC, Inside scientists' mission to save America’s wine industry from climate change:
…Wine experts from three West Coast universities are working together to meet the threat, including developing spray coatings to protect grapes, pinpointing the elusive compounds that create that nasty ashy taste, and deploying smoke sensors to vineyards to better understand smoke behavior.
The U.S. government is funding their research with millions of dollars. Wineries are also taking steps to protect their product and brand.
The risk to America's premier wine-making regions — where wildfires caused billions of dollars in losses in 2020 — is growing, with climate change deepening drought and overgrown forests becoming tinderboxes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, grapes are the highest-value crop in the United States, with 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of grape-bearing land, 96% of it on the West Coast….
I sure wouldn’t want a pricey California wine with ashtray on the palate. What does the future hold?
Thanks for checking in. Hope to see you in a bit of a better state next week. Happy end of quarter!