If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 2.10.2017

Strategies for pricing old wines: In pricing old wines for restaurant lists, a few different strategies emerge. Some wine buyers collect wines, allowing them to keep markups low; others like to give deals on old vintages and make up the difference on current releases; and still others price wines by considering perceived value on the market. [PUNCH]

Lining up for beer: The New York Times joins lines of ale fanatics waiting for new brewery releases. The fan base for special-edition ales has grown since the early 2010s. Brewers have been shocked by the crowds; some have reverted to different tactics to curb the lines. Customers have become creative, too. [NYT]

Value in scoring: Andrew Jefford explains how Decanter accounts for value in its wine scores. However, he believes that the current consideration of value doesn’t go far enough to help the consuming public as it struggles to understand scores. For nearly everyone, price is not a matter of complete indifference, he points out. [Decanter]

Liquor companies expand: Liquor companies are increasingly expanding their product lines to include mixers and more. Goslings started making Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer five years ago; you can mix a Dark ‘n’ Stormy with their products alone (plus a lime, of course). The urge is economic as well as idealistic—brands like having ownership over the entire cocktail that incorporates their booze. [NYT]

Introducing Fernet-Branca beer: Fernet-Branca’s collaboration with Forbidden Root brewery started when Edoardo Branca toured the brewery, and they asked him to collaborate on a beer during the visit. Fernetic was released in January. The product fits into the craft beer landscape, as botanical beers are an emerging trend. [Eater]

Aging with ultrasound: Spanish researchers mimicked aging by blasting brandy with ultrasound and altering additional variables. Since European regulations require oak cask aging for the spirit, the product couldn’t legally be labeled as brandy, but researchers say the process could help distillers speed up their development process. They also want to experiment with wine. [PBS]

What do you think?

How do you price old wines on your list? Or, if this isn’t part of your current role, what strategy do you prefer?

Do you wait in line for special-edition releases? What motivates you?

How do you think value should be accounted for in scoring?

Do you like botanical beers? Have you seen this trend emerging in your market?

What are your thoughts about the tactic of mimicking aging with ultrasound? Do you think this will take off?

What else have you been reading this week?

  • Hm, mimicking aging...

    I would view it much in the same way as using oak chips on wine.
    You can mimic oak, but when you try it, it's just not the same.

    I would see it as a useful tool if you want to study the long term effects of something.

    The potential is there, my one fear is that the big players will just try to (ab)use it unless legislation is there to say: You guys cant call this "cognac/rioja reserva/barolo". Then again, if the product tastes good...
    The public might not care and buy it anyway, much like with the Super Tuscans.
    I'm just hoping it wont lead to more deceptive marketing - I can already see someone making a "Rioja Style" Tempranillo in 5 days. Technically, they aren't saying it's a Rioja, it's just in that STYLE and I already dislike the person making this hypothetical wine.

    We  know that people use "craft" , "artisan" and "small batch" for their spirits - (and getting around it by saying it was "bottled" or "conditioned" at their place because - they aren't technically lying, but we all know the regular consumer has no idea) while just buying the spirit from somewhere like Indiana or Kentucky.

    /rant over. (before anyone asks me how I really feel)

  • No botanical beers in our market (Toronto). Just going to have to make a trip south, I guess.