I'm keeping things a little shorter than usual today, as much of the wine news I'm reading pales in comparison to what is still happening in California wine country. I can't bring myself to tell you that you ought to know about a French wine tanker driver arrested for siphoning off wine when such life-changing events relevant to our industry are unfolding in my backyard (though if I piqued your interest, it's okay: here's that weird story). Please do pay special attention to the links below about the fires, and look for ways that you can help—both now and in the months and years ahead.
North Bay fires: As you’ve surely heard already, massive wildfires have been blazing through California’s North Bay since Sunday night. Over 220,000 acres have been burned in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Lake, Nevada, Butte, Calaveras, Shasta, Mendocino, and Yuba counties. An estimated 90,000 people have been evacuated, and 5,700 homes, businesses, and other buildings have been destroyed. The death toll is currently at 35. Find all of the excellent coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle here (currently free to all). They are also keeping a running list of the wineries that have sustained damage. Read this Washington Post article for an important reminder that we focus on lives impacted—not vines. And learn how you can help in this thread, where you can also share initiatives you’re aware of in your community. [SF Chronicle, Washington Post]
Recovery in Puerto Rico: Wine Spectator describes the ongoing recovery in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Some restaurants have reopened, but challenges facing staff, supply issues, and structural damage have held back others. Chef José Andrés has led wide-reaching efforts to feed local communities. Forecasting Northern California’s future concerns, Puerto Ricans hope that tourism will resume, supporting their economy. [Wine Spectator]
Wine myth dinner: Eric Asimov reports on a dinner hosted by the sommeliers of Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group, organized to debunk common wine myths. These included the assumption that sweet wines can’t be served with savory dishes, misunderstanding of serving temperatures, and fixation on vintages with great reviews over all others. [NYT]
Saison lawsuit update: Anthony Keels, bar director at Eight Tables, is responding to the intellectual property suit brought against him by Saison, his former employer. Keels will fight the case but also wants to respond publically. He’s planning a tongue-in-cheek event called the Five Hundred Thousand Dollar Pop-up, which will raise money for his case. [Eater]
Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week
A profile of Rajat Parr: SevenFifty Daily talks about the well-known influence of Raj Parr, with stories and quotes from those who worked with him as they made their way up in the industry. The greatest lessons he taught are key in this industry: humility, generosity, trust. [SevenFifty Daily]
What do you think?
Be sure to share initiatives for responding to the North Bay fires in the thread linked to above.
What else have you heard from Puerto Rico about their ongoing recovery efforts?
What are the other wine myths you confront most often?
We all need something positive this week, so share how you have been positively impacted by a mentor in this industry.
What else have you been reading this week?