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If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 11.25.2016

Sussex wine inches toward PDO status: Britain’s agriculture ministry has applied for Sussex wine to receive PDO status in the EU’s Geographic Indication scheme, with producers eager to bring recognition to both still and sparkling wine. The process often takes several years, and the uncertainties of Brexit complicate the situation. [Decanter]

Top beer trends considered: Reviewing the past 15 years of the Beer Advocate “Top Beers” list offers insights into beer trends. Back in 2001, a wide range of styles were represented on the list; today, IPAs, imperial stouts, and sour ales claim most slots. It was around 2005 that the list became dominated by rare beers. Aaron Goldfarb argues that it isn’t worth chasing the top examples. [PUNCH]

St. Clement Vineyards sold to Huneeus Vintners: Huneeus Vintners has purchased St. Clement Vineyards from Treasury Wine Estates. The sale includes the tasting room, winery, and vineyard, but not the brand. This is another step in Treasury’s efforts to consolidate wine production in hopes of growing more sustainably. [Wine Spectator]

Transparency in wine pricing: New wine company Alit in Portland is bringing the price transparency model to the wine market. It sells its $27.45 Pinot Noir directly through its website, offering consumers a clear description of the costs that go into the wine. Founder and winemaker Mark Tarlov hopes this model will take some of the mystique out of wine. [Fast Company]

The science of hangovers: Scientists are gaining a better understanding of hangovers. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and converted to acetaldehyde, which is then converted to acetic acid. But heavy drinking leads to acetaldehyde toxicity, leading to nausea and headaches. Chemicals called congeners also play a role. The darker the color of alcohol and the greater its age, the higher the concentration of congeners, intensifying the hangover. [McGill Tribune]

A glimpse into Ruinart’s caves: Ruinart’s Champagne caves are composed of five miles of intersecting tunnels and carved out rooms, all 125 feet below ground. The caves were used as shelter during WWI and are now a carefully preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. The article offers suggestions for visitors to the area. [Condé Nast Traveler]

What do you think?

What's your prediction for the progression of Sussex wine toward PDO status?

How have you observed changing beer trends? Are there other factors that you think played a part but aren't mentioned in this article?

What do you think of the transparent pricing model for wine? How might this be helpful? Are there any risks?

Have you visited Ruinart's caves? Share your experiences if so!

What else have you been reading this week?

  • Craft beer drinkers are a fickle lot. We've begun to see some of the consequences of that with brands pulling out of markets as the consumption doesn't justify the distribution expenses. As more and more brands become available in a given market, there is an initial clamor for the new, and then nobody cares about it anymore, or at best, just the most solid 1 or 2 SKUs see any action. Those that hunt for the rare and limited are super obnoxious too. Any retailer dreads answering the phone for the day or two after a limited release hits the market :) People don't seem to understand that in order to get better allocations for said rare releases, you have to support the brand YEAR ROUND.
  • The TTB just released a new proposal on potential upcoming changes. It's a long read, but some of the highlights include approving additives such as biotin, arabica gum, and permitting reverse osmosis to correct the "accidental addition/dilution of must from water." Constellation has also submitted a proposal to expand the legal reasons for putting wines through reverse osmosis outside of reducing alcohol content.

    www.gpo.gov/.../2016-27581.pdf