Hugh Johnson’s other passion: In a thoughtful profile of British wine writer Hugh Johnson, now 77, Eric Asimov introduces readers to Johnson’s other love: trees and gardening. Johnson has written two books on the subject, The World of Trees and Principles of Gardening, and he has planted many trees, gardens, and even vineyards. [NYT]
Bordeaux seeks younger drinkers: The Bordeaux Wine Council is launching a YouTube video campaign to reach younger drinkers, specifically millennials and Gen Xers. In the 10-episode series, "Beyond Bordeaux: Season 2," host Leiti Hsu visits restaurants, interviews sommeliers and chefs, and drinks Bordeaux in NYC, LA, and Chicago. [Ad Week]
Iraq bans alcohol—then rethinks it: Last weekend, Iraq’s parliament passed a ban on the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol, angering Christians and other non-Muslim citizens. Further, the timing was surprising, considering the current effort to retake Mosul from the Islamic State. On Wednesday, President Fuad Masum called for the provision to be revised. [The Week, The Independent]
Restaurant economics: The New York Times considers the economics of running an independently owned restaurant in NYC as compared to LA and San Francisco, looking specifically at real estate, labor, and food costs. The article concludes that New York City has it the worst, but that it’s harder everywhere than it used to be. [NYT]
French Laundry & Keller sued: A former employee of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group is suing The French Laundry and Thomas Keller for pregnancy discrimination. She alleges that after her transfer from Per Se to TFL had been approved and she had moved to California, the offer was terminated when TFL found out about her pregnancy, which she had disclosed to her manager at Per Se. [Eater SF]
Château Miraval’s future still unknown: Reports early this week stated that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were selling their French wine estate, Château Miraval. A source close to the estate, however, has dismissed this as a rumor. Jolie and Pitt purchased Miraval in 2008 and partnered with the Perrin family to produce wine starting with the 2012 vintage. [Eater, Decanter]
What do you think?
Did you know about Hugh Johnson's fascination with trees?
What do you think of Bordeaux's strategy for engaging younger drinkers? (I spotted a few familiar faces in the trailers, by the way!)
If you know more about Iraq's wine industry, please share.
Do you think the NYT article about the economics of running a restaurant in NYC gets it right? Especially if you work or have worked in these cites, let us know your reaction to the article. Did it leave out anything essential?
Have you had any of Brad and Angelina's wines? What's the verdict?
What else have you been reading this week?