The Scientific History of Loving Booze: This excerpt from A Brief History of Vice takes an in-depth look into the evolutionary biology behind our current appreciation of alcohol. The ability to metabolize alcohol first showed up about ten million years ago and, in those ancient times, gave primates dense calories that they desperately needed. The trend continued from there. [Esquire]
Diageo Ends Masters of Whisky Program: Spirits company Diageo is ending its widely admired Masters of Whisky initiative, effective at the end of September. The program put on tastings, masterclasses, and events aimed at educating customers and consumers about Diageo spirits. At least 40 people will lose their jobs as part of the change. [ScotchWhisky.com]
Renewed Enthusiasm in Carneros: The Carneros region was once the most sought-after place to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California, but winemakers today are more often turning to uncharted areas further north to make a name for themselves, while larger corporations have settled in Carneros. However, a small group of vineyard owners and winemakers are seeking to return excitement to the region. [WSJ]
Cheaper Coravin for Young Drinkers: Coravin has launched a lightweight, cheaper model of their wine-opening gadget. Called Model One, it is targeted at millennial wine drinkers. Coravin suggests that the new tool will appeal to this demographic as it will let them "drink what they want, when they want." [Decanter]
CA Vineyard Deals This Week: Williams Selyem bought the 33-acre Saitone Vineyard in Russian River Valley, their first Zinfandel parcel and a historic one as well, planted in 1895 and home to some of Sonoma County's oldest vines. Meanwhile, in Santa Barbara's Sta. Rita Hills, Sea Smoke purchased the 61-acre Rita's Crown Vineyard. [Wine Spectator]
Calling Attention to Vittoria: The wines of Mount Etna have gotten a lot of attention of late, but notable wines are also emerging from Vittoria and the surrounding area, a poorer part of Sicily south of Etna. Producers such as Arianna Occhipinti, COS, and Valle dell'Acate have been successful, championing indigenous grapes like Frappato and Nero d'Avola, often blended to make Cerasuolo di Vittoria. [NYT]
What do you think?
Share your thoughts on the shuttering of Diageo's Masters of Whisky Program.
Do you feel you've watched the changes in Carneros unfold?
What are your favorite wines from Carneros?
Would you buy a cheaper Coravin for use at home? Do you think this simpler model could be useful in a restaurant setting?
What do you think of these most recent California vineyard purchases?
Have you had any great wines from Vittoria? Who are your favorite producers from the area?
What else have you been reading this week?
Met the winemaker from Valle dell' Acate a few weeks ago during his tour through SoCal. Loved the Frappato and Grillo (Zagra) that he poured.