Learn about Wines in Tokyo

Friday, 29 January 2016

7 Reasons NOT to buy from independent wine merchants

1) The wines will have character
Are you used to boring and bland supermarket wines that are designed to dumb down your wine knowledge? Well, dear creature of habit, independent wine shop wines might shake things up – and nobody likes change. Best to stick to what you know: bad wine.

2) No big flashy promotions
Hello, who doesn’t love a bargain? We all know that the discounts are totally fake (so, so fake), but buying wines on promotion feels good. So, marketing pros that have spent decades studying human psychology to know exactly what makes customers feel like they are winning in a sales situation: we salute you.

3) You have to speak to an expert
I suppose there’s something nice about getting great advice and hearing top tips from someone who really knows their wines. But on the other hand, they always have that same Rioja in the supermarket and I know it comes from Spain, tastes like red wine and goes well with meat.
So what else is there really to know? (Plus tormenting untrained staff with difficult wine questions is kind of fun)

4) You can taste the wines before buying them
This again… I don’t need to taste before buying when I’m buying wine that I already know is rubbish. Capiche?

5) Buying from independent wine merchants is more ethical
Okay, so you say that we should be conscious consumers and support winemakers that actually prioritise the taste of the wine over maximum efficiency. Often these winemakers are more environmentally friendly, too – and you could also argue that independent merchants need more business than supermarkets.
But then I wouldn’t get to contribute to the big wheel of unethical money-driven business, now would I?

6) Your friends will think you’re cool
Being a regular at an independent wine shop is super cool, almost like being a part of a community, and your friends would probably look at you and say: ‘wow, I want to be more like them.’ I can’t speak for you, but I certainly don’t want to be the cool, inspirational one.

7) If everyone buys good wine from good people, bad wines might become extinct
Bad wines? Extinct? Well we must do something. At once!

Source: http://www.vinoa.co.uk/

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Top 5 Most Expensive Wines in the World – 2016 List

Wine has been a staple drink for mankind since 4100b.c. Almost everyone can enjoy a good red or white and even the least refined pallets will notice the differences from different vineyards. This list won’t have any of those wines you’d find at your average liquor store though. Four of the five wines on this list were made prior to 1950, one as old as the 1870s. Without further adieu, here’s the top Five most expensive wines in the world.

#5 Chateau Margaux, $225,000

Chateau Margaux is still producing wines to this day. They’re known for good, expensive wines and their reputation in the wine industry is one of the best. With the average bottle costing at least $1,500, they’re definitely not something you’d pick up on a whim.
In 1989, wine Merchant William Sokolin suffered the greatest loss the win industry has seen so far. Discovered in 1985, a bottle of 1875 Chateau Margaux Wine that belonged to Thomas Jefferson was discovered behind a wall in a Paris cellar. At a party with the then owners of the Chateau, he went home to show them the crown jewel of his collection that he’d personally valued at $512,000.
Making his rounds around the room with this treasure, all was going according to plan when the worst happened. The bottle hit the corner of a chair and fell straight to the ground. The old glass held and the bottle itself didn’t shatter. However, two good sized holes did appear and the wine leaked all over the floor. Sokolin was so upset, he left the party with his now worthless bottle forgetting of all things- his wife.  A puddle of the 114-year-old wine left on the counter of the coat check was tasted by restaurant manager Julian Niccolini. Unsurprisingly, his review was one word: “Yuck.”
Despite the high evaluation, the insurance company only paid out $225,000 for the ultra-rare bottle of wine. This was still more than it sold for, as at Auction it only sold for a measly $155,453.


#4 Chateau Lafite $232,692

In 2010, a rare wine from Chateau Lafite was put up by Sotheby’s in China. Part of a 2000 bottle group from Lafite’s cellars, they were among the oldest bottles of wine in the auction. A vintage from 1869, the bottles had only been valued at $8,000 per bottle. Due to a bidding war that astounded even the auctioneers, the bottles were eventually sold for $232,692 each. The kicker is that they were all sold to the same person. The Anonymous Asian bidder paid just under a million dollars for the three bottles. Talk about not learning to share.


#3 1907 Heidsieck $275,000

While not technically a wine, I think this 1907 Heidsieck sits comfortably among them for the most expensive bottles sold.
During world war 1, a German U-boat fired upon a Swedish freighter stocked with spirits headed for the court of Tsar Nicholas II. The freighter, named “Jönköping” (try saying that 8 times fast) went down with zero casualties as the German’s in a stunning show of compassion, evacuated the crew before sinking it with a single torpedo. It lay in the gulf of Finland for 80 years before being raised in 1997. Less than 2,000 bottles were recovered and of those, less than 1,000 were still drinkable. Available at auction and at some of the fanciest hotels, it regularly sells still for $275,000. If you’re interested in trying a similar wine for a much better price, they sell the 1996 version for $120.


#2 1947 Cheval-Blanc, $304,000

This wine is unique because it shouldn’t have been as good as it was, but somehow managed to become the wine other spirits wish they could be. Facing weather that was ruining their crops and damaging the wine making process deep in their cellars, it was almost the ruin of Cheval-Blanc. Because no one had mastered refrigerated wine making, quite a few vats ended up with yeast going bad and the fermentation process just stopping resulting in a gross, sugary mess.
The vats that survived made one of the best Bordeaux’s in the world according to wine tasters. For that reason, an unknown buyer purchased a bottle in Geneva for a whopping $304,000 at a Christies auction. Bottles had previously sold for around $12,000 a bottle but with an ever diminishing supply, the price started to rise sharply. In 2008, a lucky buyer purchased a case for $146,000. At current prices, that would be a whopping 3.6 million dollars at current market value.


#1  Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992, $500,000

The newest wine on this list, the Screaming Eagle is actually one of the highest reviewed. Sold at auction or by an exclusive mailing list, it was one of the rarer wines for such a new vintage. Only 175 cases were produced, even less were produced of the following years. The bottles were sold in up to six liters though so if you bought one, you were set for a good amount of time if you didn’t rush yourself.  Last sold at a charity auction in 2000 for $500,000 the high demand quickly ran through the supply of this new wine. Not bad for a wine that had only gone to market 5 years earlier.


Source: http://gazettereview.com/

Thursday, 17 December 2015


ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump makes plenty of controversial statements, but his poll numbers keep climbing. According to Trump Winery's General Manager Kerry Woolard, so do sales of Trump wine. 
"Overall we're seeing about a 300-percent increase in our business across the board," Woolard said. "Particularly as it pertains to online, which I think is directly indicative of the exposure that we're getting from him being on the campaign."
Woolard also credits some of the growth to awards won by Trump wines and several recent national magazine articles.She says some winery patrons express appreciation for Trump the candidate, while others express dismay, or just stay away.
She notes that Trump Winery is actually owned by Trump's son, Eric, and she says the people who work there are just focused on making and serving wine. 
"We're not political, we're a winery at the end of the day, and we're making really nice wine and trying also to provide exceptional service," she said. "I think people know that, and that's why they're coming out to the tasting room and having such a great experience." 
That's why the owner of Market Street Wineshop, Robert Harllee, keeps selling Trump wine, even if he disagrees with Trump's politics. 
"We are here to provide things that people ask for," he said. "So that's why we keep selling it, even if my personal view is to fire him."
And Harllee says even though he doesn't like Trump's politics, he respects the people who work at the winery. 
"I know most of them and they do a great job, they've done a great job under the Kluge Estate and I support them," he said. "I support the working man."
Source:  www.newsplex.com

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Two pints a week could cut risk of heart attack!

Drinking two pints of beer a week could help cut the risk of heart attacks in women by up to a third, according to research carried out by the University of Gothenburg.

The conclusion follows a study of more than 1,500 women over a 50 year period, tracking the frequency of their consumption of beer, wine or spirits from “daily” to “nothing in the past 10 years”.
Over a 32-year follow-up period, 185 women had a heart attack, 162 suffered a stroke, 160 developed diabetes and 345 developed cancer.
Comparing instances of heart attacks to the frequency of alcohol consumption, researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg found that women who drink beer at most once or twice per week run a 30% lower risk of heart attack, compared with both heavy drinkers and women who never drink beer.
The study was not able to confirm if wine carried the same protective affect, while drinking spirits appeared to increase the risk of cancer.
“Previous research also suggests that alcohol in moderate quantities can have a certain protective effect, but there is still uncertainty as to whether or not this really is the case”, said Dominique Hange, researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy. “Our results have been checked against other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which substantiates the findings. At the same time, we were unable to confirm that moderate wine consumption has the same effect, so our results also need to be confirmed through follow-up studies.”
Conversely, the study showed that those with high consumption of spirits (defined as more frequent than once or twice per month), had an almost 50% higher risk of dying of cancer, compared with those who drink less frequently.
The study was published online in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care.

Source: www.thedrinksbusiness.com

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Bond Boost for Bollinger and Belvedere!

Advertising works, if searches for James Bond-related drinks are anything to go by.

Although it won't be released for another five weeks, the latest James Bond movie has already left the drinks industry stirred, if not shaken – and it's also having an impact on our users.

Spectre, the 24th installment of the seemingly ageless franchise, opens in cinemas on November 6, but the hype has gone beyond mere product placement, with Champagne house Bollinger once again releasing a special edition and Belvedere vodka also getting in on the act.
Bollinger's Spectre Limited Edition Champagne is a cuvée from the 2009 vintage, which chef de cave Gilles Descôtes described as "the best, the richest wine". It comes in a black cool-box covered in embossed Bollinger and 007 branding. The outside of the case is designed to imitate the texture of the handgrip of Bond's favored sidearm, the Walther PPK.
It's the latest in a series of Bond-related releases by Bollinger, which has had a commercial relationship with the movie franchise since 1979's Moonraker.
Polish vodka producer Belvedere is the latest name to attach itself to the famously brand-friendly Bond franchise with a 007 Spectre bottling and a Silver Saber version, which will be limited to 3000 bottles.
Belvedere president Charles Gibb said that the association with Bond was all about growing the vodka brand in a way that simple advertising could not. After all, what could be better for a vodka brand than having Daniel Craig order your product on the big screen?
"The release of Spectre this year is a cultural event in many, many countries, which allows us to put ourselves into culture on a global basis, as we wouldn't have been able to in any other way," Gibb said.
"I think Bond is a man of style, taste, and character, and he's a man who knows the difference – he makes distinct choices in what he drinks, what he drives and what he wears, and those choices are universally respected and admired."
And while some may scoff at the idea that seeing an actor order a drink might influence them into doing the same, it certainly appears to work. Since the launch of the Bond-aligned drinks, searches on Wine-Searcher for both Bollinger's Spectre release and the Belvedere have gone through the roof, and the movie is still more than a month away.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com

Obama serves ‘$30 screwcap wine’ at state dinner

A screwcap 2014 Penner-Ash Viognier was on the menu at the White House to honour Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan.

Designed to “highlight American cuisine with nuances of Chinese flavours,” according to a statement released by the White House last week, the dinner also featured a Shaoxing rice wine, a 2012 Proud Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot and a 2011 Schramsberg Cremant demi-sec sparkling wine.
The food options included wild mushroom soup, Maine lobster, Colarado lamb and bread and butter pudding.
The cork-loving Chinese media has made much of the fact that one of the wines was a screwcap and all come under $80 – especially since Obama served former President Hu Jintao with a $115 Cabernet, said the Washington Examiner.
Guests included 100 politicians, executives and artists including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

The Menu:

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Grapes of wrath: fury in Crimea as Putin and Berlusconi drink 240-year-old wine!

Ukraine’s head prosecutor opens criminal case against Russian leader and former Italian PM for consuming a 1775 Jeres de la Frontera during cellar tour.

Vladimir Putin appeared to be having a great time when he and the disgraced former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi popped a 240-year-old bottle of Spanish wine in Crimea this week.             
During a visit to what is claimed to be the biggest wine collection in the world at the Massandra winery, Putin and his longtime friend tried a 1775 Jeres de la Frontera that was brought to Crimea by Count Mikhail Vorontsov, during the reign of Catherine the Great.
But the prosecutor general of the former Crimean government, which has been operating in exile since Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, didn’t find the VIP degustation amusing.
He opened a criminal case for large scale theft over the incident, estimating the loss at two million hryvnia, or about £60,000, the Centre of Journalistic Investigations reported.
Berlusconi had joined Putin in Crimea for a day of sightseeing, visiting a historic church and laying flowers at a monument to Sicilian soldiers who fought in the Crimean war. State television showed the pair walking through the wine cellars and asking questions as they were shown especially valued bottles from the collection.
In the footage, Berlusconi is seen picking up a 1891 vintage and asking “Can we drink them?”The two leaders apparently had such a good time at the winery that Putin even joined in for an uncharacteristically lighthearted photo, raising his hands above his head with Berlusconi and the winery employees. After the visit, Ukraine’s national security council issued a decree banning Berlusconi from the country for three years for the “security of our government”.
Prince Lev Golitsyn started the first winery in Crimea in 1894, and since then its wines have been celebrated in the Soviet Union and Russia. The Massandra wine cellars hold about 500,000 bottles, including five bottles of the 1775 Jeres de la Frontera. Director Yanina Pavlenko was reportedly the one who uncorked the bottle for Putin and Berlusconi.
The Kremlin has not commented on the criminal case but it’s not clear how the Ukrainian authorities could hope to bring Pavlenko, Berlusconi or Putin to account.
The Ukraine foreign ministry said Berlusconi’s visit was contradicting the European Union’s condemnation of the annexation of Crimea. Berlusconi last visited Putin in June, when the two fished and relaxed at a spa complex in the Altai mountains in Siberia.

Source: www.theguardian.com/