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What's in the News?
Let’s see what’s happening in the world of wine news!
Hey, remember when I was talking last week about my Turley grenache from Paso Robles? Turns out I’m a trendsetter! According to Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy, Paso Robles is the new hotness:
…Once sleepy and overlooked, the region has new energy and a definite wow factor. It’s California’s shiny new wine hot spot, and not just for cabernet. It’s where to go for top Rhone style wines, and tourism is booming…
…But what makes the region special is greater day to night temperature swings (of 35F to 50F!) than any other appellation in California. This helps grapes ripen in a more balanced way and translates into bright, crisp wines. The warm daytime temperatures encourage sugar to develop in the grapes, while cold nights help them retain acidity and preserve aromas…
Speaking of the new hotness, Wine-Searcher writers decided to throw AI and the coronation together and see what happened:
…When casting around for a story to mark the coronation, we realized that our writers were mostly too busy, too uninterested or too violently opposed to the very concept of monarchy to actually contemplate writing something. So we did the next best thing: we asked ChatGPT to do it for us.
…The results did sound vaguely like the writers involved (or at least offered up a range of different styles of writing), but what it couldn't do was contextualize. In each case, it spoke vaguely about Champagne, Bordeaux and sometimes added in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or a Barolo.
In fact, the only wines mentioned by name more than once were Dom Pérignon, Château Margaux and Château Lafite Rothschild, a trio so generically "fine wine" that a child could have chosen them. Other names that emerged were Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot…
Phew! Looks like no worries about AI taking over my blog.
Underground Cellar, a San Francisco-based company, could easily be a wine enthusiast's dream: for free, customers could buy and store up to 500 bottles in the company's “temperature-controlled CloudCellar” in Napa Valley and ship them (also for free) whenever they wanted. It gets better: the company worked directly with wineries to offer exclusive wine bottle “upgrades” where, during weekly "offers," members could purchase, let's say, a $25 Cabernet for the chance to be upgraded to a $500 bottle of a similar wine.
However, as of late, many of Underground Cellar's customers are anything but grateful.
In late April, the wine company abruptly halted operations, and, a few days later, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Underground Cellar owes nearly $25 million worth of wine and other debts, and some former customers are now questioning whether the CloudCellar even exists…
Yes, even if you’re well off and sophisticated, if something is too good to be true, it almost always is.
Take it easy and relax, and we’ll talk next week!