Wine Origins Alliance Welcomes Missouri Wine & Grape Board (US) and Yamanashi Wineries Association (Japan)

The Wine Origins Alliance announced March 17th that the Missouri Wine & Grape Board (United States) and Yamanashi Wineries Association (Japan) joined their global efforts to protect wine place names. The Alliance now includes 25 members representing wine regions in 10 countries spanning North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. It welcomed its newest members at a meeting during the ProWein trade fair, where members discussed ways to continue to push governments to recognize the distinctiveness and value of wine regions to the global economy and the need to legally protect the names of these regions.

“As the home of the oldest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States, Missouri has long known that unique places produce unique wines,” said Jim Anderson, executive director of the Missouri Wine & Grape Board. “We are proud to join alongside our colleagues from around the United States and indeed the world in the important fight to ensure that all wine region names are protected and not abused. We look forward to championing our efforts with our Missouri representatives and those in Washington.”

In early 2018, the Wine Origins Alliance released a consumer survey that found that 94 percent of American wine drinkers support laws that would protect consumers from misleading wine labels. The survey, conducted by GBA Strategies from February 6-13, 2018, interviewed 800 American wine drinkers. The group also released a short film featuring winemakers explaining how the complete environment of a wine region’s location makes their wines unique.

“Yamanashi is the first recognized geographical indication by the Japanese government. Since 1874, we have produced great wines that cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world,” said Shigekazu Misawa, Vice Chairman of the Yamanashi Wineries Association. “Yamanashi stands with its global partners to send a clear message that when it comes to wine, location matters. We look forward to telling our story beyond the Japanese borders and to governments across the globe.”

Since 2005, the Wine Origins Alliance efforts have led to increased attention around the protection of wine place names. Last year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution, S. Res. 649, acknowledging the distinctiveness of American wine regions and AVA’s and the contributions they provide to the U.S. and global economy. In 2019, the Alliance will work to get a similar resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Wine Origins Alliance, previously known as the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin, works to ensure wine region names are protected and not abused or miscommunicated to consumers worldwide. Members represent regions in Barossa, Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis, British Columbia, Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Long Island, McLaren Vale, Missouri, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Rioja, Santa Barbara County, Sonoma County, Texas, Tokaj, Victoria, Walla Walla Valley, Washington state, Willamette Valley, Western Australia and Yamanashi. For more information, visit origins.wine or follow the Alliance on Twitter and Facebook.

IronGate.Wine becomes the first online wine retailer to accept cryptocurrency

IronGate.Wine, a leading online retailer of private, rare wine collections, has announced that they have completed testing and will immediately begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as payment methods for their online inventory of vintage wine. Utilizing the processing system provided by BitPay, IronGate.Wine will allow buyers from all over the world to shop for vintage wine from the cellars of private collectors using this form of currency.

“We are very excited to be the first online retailer of our kind to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for the incredible wines that we have available,” said IronGate.Wine President, Warren Porter. “Our research has shown that the adoption of cryptocurrency is on the rise and we want our customers to be able to use whatever payment form they prefer. We view Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as a currency, not unlike the Dollar or Euro and know that our customers would like the option of spending it on this luxury item.”

Porter continued, “aside from convenience, the fraud-proof nature of crypto compared to credit cards will completely eliminate fraudulent transactions. In addition, accepting crypto payments greatly decreases our processing fees compared to credit cards. IronGate.Wine is consistently one of the lowest-priced providers in the United States of fine and rare wine, but we can be even more competitive by further reducing our processing costs by several percentage points.”

“Bitcoin is a global currency and will allow international buyers to purchase wine cheaper and more quickly than credit cards and bank wires,” said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay. “One of the biggest headaches merchants have today is chargebacks, and for online merchants this headache is compounded with the added risks of identity theft and fraud. BitPay leverages the promise cryptocurrency provides with transactional transparency. It is impossible to use cryptocurrency for fraud as every transaction is verified, recorded and stored on the blockchain. Further, as a push transaction, similar to taking cash out of a wallet, the user sends the exact amount of Bitcoin needed to pay the bill. This eliminates traditional credit card fraud and identity theft risks associated with credit cards. As a result, there are no chargebacks.”

In addition to Bitcoin, IronGate.Wine accepts all major credit cards, ACH and wire transactions, and will soon be expanding to accept AliPay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay to round out the most comprehensive array of payment options in the industry.

Based in upstate New York and shipping worldwide, IronGate.Wine is an online retailer of vintage wines meticulously sourced from private collectors throughout the United States and Canada. Currently, there are over 2,500  unique wines available for purchase through the website, which will grow to over 4,000 in the next four weeks.

Meredith uses AI to sell wine

Meredith Corporation the US largest brand-powered food, lifestyle and entertainment media company, and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S., are exclusively partnering to position the remarkably broad and deep Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio as the perfect wine pairings of choice through the use of Meredith’s smart technology capabilities, including proprietary first-party data, real-time consumer insights and predictive advertising capabilities. This alliance marks the first time a major advertiser has joined forces with Meredith to create and deliver a program rooted in artificial intelligence.

The program taps machine learning techniques to automatically classify recipes on Allrecipes, the world’s largest recipe site with a reach of 55 million consumers, and the diverse wines in the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio. An AI-based algorithm then combines the classifications to automatically generate specific wine pairings for each recipe. Suggested pairings appear adjacent to recipes and are automatically linked directly to local grocery stores or to e-commerce partners such as Instacart and Amazon Fresh for fulfillment using Meredith’s proprietary Shopper Marketing platform. Automated wine and side dish pairings can also appear in interactive meal plans which permit users to customize various elements of the meal based on their personal preferences.

Real-time insights generated from this program include user location store proximity, impressions by channel, trending products and trending recipes to help create usage occasions that reinforce the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates wines of choice, keeping the brand top of mind for all entertaining purposes. As part of the campaign, high-impact and targeted media also engages users with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates across Meredith platforms, including strategic video alignments, custom native content, high-impact media and editorial sponsorships.

“We are very excited to partner with Meredith to accelerate consumer engagement with our portfolio of world-class wines,” said Jim Mortensen, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “This data-driven approach represents a smarter, more impactful, results-oriented form of advertising, allowing us to reach high-value consumers at the point at which their wine purchasing decisions are made.”

Corbin deRubertis, Head of Innovation for Meredith, commented, “Consumers are increasingly expecting media platforms to do more than just present search results. They’re gravitating to smart platforms that take into account all available data to make intelligent recommendations. Picking the perfect wine to pair with a new dish is exactly the type of challenge we can solve at scale, and we’ve combined our deep, first-party insights, including our unparalleled context taxonomies, with new machine learning and AI techniques to deliver a next-generation consumer experience that also drives brand equity and product purchase for our client.”

In addition to investing with Allrecipes, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates will leverage Meredith’s scale by extending its exclusive partnership across the company’s O&O assets. Meredith owns the largest premium content digital network for American consumers, reaching 175MM engaged consumers across its platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2018 Cellars in the Sky Awards

The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2018 Awards, which recognize the best business and first-class wines served by airlines worldwide for 2018, were presented on Monday, February 18 at The Langham, London, by Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.

Qantas was the evening’s biggest winner, taking the coveted Gold Medal for Best Overall Cellar, as well as the top spots in the Best First-Class White, Best First Class Sparkling (jointly with Air France and Cathay Pacific), Best First-Class Cellar, Best-Presented First-Class Wine List, and Best Business Class Fortified / Dessert Wine categories.

Cathay Pacific won two Gold Medals for Best First Class Sparkling (jointly with Air France and Qantas) and Best Business Class Red, while Malaysia Airlines took the top spot in the Best First-Class Red category, ANA won the award for Best First Class Fortified / Dessert Wine, and Qatar Airways took the top spot in the Best Business Class Sparkling category.
Oneworld was named Best Airline Alliance, while one of its member carriers British Airways took the Gold Medal for Best Business Class Cellar.

And a special note to US low-cost carrier Jetblue, which won a Gold Medal in the Cellars in the Sky competition for the first time, taking the top spot in the Best Business Class White category.

Business Traveller contacted airlines in summer 2018, and 33 entered.
Blind tastings of 240 bottles took place at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, Victoria, in December, with the four judges independently scoring the wines over the course of two days.

Participating airlines were: Aegean, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Aircalin, Air Canada, Air France, Air Italy, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, EVA Air, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Iberia, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Jet Blue, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and Virgin Atlantic.

LIST OF WINNERS AND SHORTLISTED AIRLINES

FIRST CLASS
BEST FIRST-CLASS RED

• Gold Medal: Malaysia Airlines – Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune 2015, Burgundy, France

• Silver Medal: American Airlines – Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016, Sonoma County, US

• Bronze Medal (joint): ANA – Château Léoville Barton 2012, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, France; Qatar Airways – Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2009, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, France

BEST FIRST-CLASS WHITE

• Gold Medal: Qantas – Penfolds Reserve Bin 15A Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills, Australia

• Silver Medal: Qantas – Flametree SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2016, Margaret River, Australia

• Bronze Medal (joint): Cathay Dragon – Lamblin and Fils Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaumes, 2016, France; Malaysia Airlines – Palliser Estate Chardonnay 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand

BEST FIRST-CLASS SPARKLING

• Gold Medal (joint): Air France, Cathay Pacific, Qantas –Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006, Franc

• Silver Medal (joint): ANA, Qatar Airways – Champagne Krug 2004, France; Singapore Airlines – Dom Pérignon 2006, Champagne, France

• Bronze Medal: Oman Air –Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal, Brut, 2009, France

BEST FIRST-CLASS FORTIFIED/DESSERT WINE

• Gold Medal: ANA – Barbeito Madeira Malvasia 20 year old, Portugal

• Silver Medal: Cathay Pacific – Warre’s Otima Single Year Tawny Colheita Port 2006, Portugal

• Bronze Medal: Qantas – Morris of Rutherglen Wines Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat, Australia

BEST-PRESENTED FIRST-CLASS WINE LIST

• Gold Medal: Qantas
• Highly Commended: ANA

BEST FIRST-CLASS CELLAR

• Gold Medal: Qantas
• Silver Medal: ANA
• Bronze Medal: Cathay Pacific

BUSINESS CLASS
BEST BUSINESS CLASS RED

• Gold Medal: Cathay Pacific – Elderton Shiraz 2015, Barossa Valley, Australia

• Silver Medal: Air New Zealand – Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014, Central Otago, New Zealand

• Bronze Medal: Air Italy – Olianas Perdixi 2016, Gergei, Sardinia, Italy

BEST BUSINESS CLASS WHITE

• Gold Medal: Jetblue – Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2015, California, US

• Silver Medal: Aer Lingus – De Bortoli La Bohème Act One Riesling, 2016, Yarra Valley, Australia

• Bronze Medal: Oman Air – Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Montagu 2016, France

BEST BUSINESS CLASS SPARKLING

• Gold Medal: Qatar Airways – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs 2006, France

• Silver Medal: EVA Air – Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2007, Champagne, France

• Bronze Medal: Malaysia Airlines – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs 2007, France

BEST BUSINESS CLASS FORTIFIED/ DESSERT WINE

• Gold Medal: Qantas – Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Series Classic Muscat, Victoria, Australia

• Silver Medal: Air New Zealand – Forrest Botrytised Riesling 2016, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

• Bronze Medal (joint): Oman Air – Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé
en 1855, 2014, Sauternes-Barsac, France; Aeroflot – Grahams 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, NV, Porto Duro, Portugal

BEST BUSINESS CLASS CELLAR

• Gold Medal: British Airways
• Silver Medal: Qatar Airways
• Bronze Medal: Jetblue

BEST-PRESENTED BUSINESS CLASS WINE LIST

• Gold Medal: EVA Air

OVERALL AWARDS
BEST AIRLINE ALLIANCE

• Oneworld

BEST OVERALL CELLAR

• Gold Medal: Qantas
• Silver Medal: Cathay Pacific
• Bronze Medal: ANA, Qatar Airways
• Highly Commended: American Airlines

Wine Review: 2016 Taliano Michele Blagheur Nebbiolo, Langhe DOC, Piedmont, Italy

2016 Taliano Michele Blagheur Nebbiolo, Langhe DOC, Piedmont, Italy

Beautiful ruby-red colour; it reveals perfumes of white flowers, raspberries, and cherries, which carry through to the palate; well-balanced tannins; Approachable now, this will also age well.
Best decanted.

VINE: Nebbiolo 100%
SOIL: calcareous
ALTITUDE: 300m above sea level
EXPOSURE: south
SYSTEM OF VINE GROWTH: Guyot
NR. OF VINESTOCKS PER HECTARE: 4000
RETURN IN WINE PER HECTARE: 63 hl
VINTAGE: first half of October
VINIFICATION: traditional with maceration
REFINEMENT: wood for 12 months
REFINEMENT IN BOTTLE: 2 months
ALCOHOLIC CONTENT: 13,5-14%

PAIRINGS:
Blagheur prefers mushroom dishes, ripe cheeses, second courses which include chicken, rabbit, and game.

93.5/100

Liz Palmer