French Super Chef Alain Ducasse Reduces Wine Prices to Discourage “Dry January”

Internationally famed French Chef Alain Ducasse declares war on the “Dry January” trend.  At the beginning of January, Chef Ducasse was “horrified” to see New York diners drinking iced tea at lunch and not wine. Shortly thereafter he launched an initiative to entice patrons of his restaurants to drink wine during the first month of the year, not less.

“I’ve noted that trend, but I don’t want to see or hear of it, I am opposed to it,” states Chef Ducasse and he further adds that he wants to “rid consumers of their inhibitions” with regards to drinking wine.

In November, the French government abandoned a campaign urging people to give up alcohol in January after the wine industry pushed president Emmanuel Macron to drop it.

“Dry January” began in the UK in 2013 and has since been adopted around the world. Last year one in five Americans participated in the initiative, giving up alcohol for the first month of the year.

Alain Ducasse has runs restaurants all over the world, including the three Michelin star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée in Paris.

What are your thoughts on this ?

Wine Technology:  Bordeaux’s first wine with augmented reality label revealed

Château Laffitte Carcasset has just released a new wine which, when viewed through an app on a smartphone, appears in augmented reality.

The wine, a classic 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 40% Merlot blend, is destined for the export market and pays tribute to a key figure in the region’s history.

Jean Lafitte bought a wine estate in ‘Carcasset’ in 1781, naming the estate after himself and passing it down to his children.

The 35-hectare estate has partnered with the SnapPress app and POSQA, a start-up that supports augmented reality projects, on the initiative.

The producer hopes it brings “young, connected consumers” to the brand, and also to Bordeaux.

Made from grapes sourced from the 2016 vintage, the wine was fermented in stainless steel vats before being matured in oak for 12 months, creating a wine that is approachable and “easy-to-drink in its youth”.

Eden Villages, owned by French businessman Pierre Rousseau, acquired a majority stake in estate in 2017. Since 1958 it had been owned by members of the Padirac family.

Upon acquiring Laffitte Carcasset, his first winery, Rousseaux said he would implement a renovation and restructuring project, drawing on his experience gained through running his company, which specializes in mobile homes and motorhomes and already deals in the wine tourism sector.

 

2020 Calendar Dates for Wine and Spirits Days

To help you plan for 2020, I created a list that you can bookmark. The list, which isn’t exhaustive, is comprised of important national or global wine and spirit days (dates may be subject to change). In any event, this is a great starting point to assist you in planning fun and engaging posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms. Let me know if I missed any.

January

January 17, 2020  – National Hot Buttered Rum Day (USA)

February

February 18, 2020 – Global Drink Wine Day

February 22, 2020 – National Margarita Day(USA)

February 29, 2020 – Open That Bottle Night

March

March 3, 2020 – Mulled Wine Day

March 3, 2020 – Irish Whiskey Day

March 3, 2020 – National Moscow Mule Day (USA)

March 5, 2020 – Absinthe Day

April

April 17, 2020 – Malbec World Day

May

May 1 – 31, 2020  – Oregon Wine Month

May 1, 2020 – International Sauvignon Blanc Day

May 9, 2020 – World Moscato Day

May 16, 2020  – World Whisky Day

May 21, 2020 – International Chardonnay Day

May 25, 2020 – National Wine Day (USA)

May 30, 2020 – National Mint Julep Day (USA)

June

June 2020  – Negroni Week (UK TBD)

June 4, 2020  – Cognac Day

June 13, 2020 – World Gin Day

June 19, 2020  – National Martini Day

June 21, 2020 – Lambrusco Day

June 26, 2020 – International Rosé Day

June 2020  – National Prosecco Week (USA TBD)

July

July 2, 2020  – National Anisette Day (USA)

July 10, 2020 – National Piña Colada Day (USA)

July 11, 2020 – National Mojito Day (USA)

July 19, 2020 – National Daiquiri Day (USA)

July 24, 2020 – National Tequila Day (USA)

July 27, 2020 – National Scotch Day (USA)

August

August 1-5, 2020 – International Albariño Days

August 4, 2020 – National White Wine Day (USA)

August 13, 2020  – National Prosecco Day 9USA)

August 18, 2020 – International Pinot Noir Day

August 28, 2020  – National Red Wine Day (USA)

September

September 3, 2020 – International Cabernet Sauvignon Day

September 18, 2020 – International Grenache Day

October

October 4, 2020  – National Vodka Day (USA)

October 10, 2020 – International Pinotage Day

October 16, 2020 – Global Champagne Day

November

November 1, 2020 – International Xinomavro Day

November 7, 2020 – International Merlot Day

November 9, 2020 – International Tempranillo Day

November 18, 2020 – National Zinfandel Day

November 19, 2020 – Beaujolais Nouveau Day

November 24, 2020 – Carménère Day

December

December 4, 2020 – Cabernet Franc Day

December 20, 2020 – Sangria Day

Liz Palmer

Exploring the Diversity of the Rheinhessen Wine Region [Part 3 of 3] — VDP “Große Lage” Seminar and Tasting

A special trade seminar was held the following morning with a specific focus on VDP “Große Lange.” The seminar was held in the beautiful Kurhaus Wiesbaden, which is unmistakable Wiesbaden’s landmark. This magnificent neoclassical building is the city’s convention center.

VDP stands for Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (or the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates). It was founded as a regional association in the Rheingau over a hundred years ago with the goal of recognizing and encouraging quality producers of dry wines.

The VDP has selected and classified the best German vineyard sites coming from all 13 of the country’s wine-producing regions. In 2019, there are 200 members. The logo for VDP is an eagle with grapes on his chest. If you see this logo on a bottleneck, you know that it comes from one of the best vineyards in Germany and is a trustworthy guarantee for the quality within. VDP has four classifications:

VDP Gutswein –  these are often the first wines of a wine year to be bottled and sold. They must come from estate-grown grapes and the producers are given freedom here to experiment and innovate.

VDP Ortsweine – these are wines that express regionality. The grapes must come from one village and offer a sense of expression of that particular place. Only regional grape varieties are used, and many come from the higher-classified Grosse Lage or Erste Lage sites.

VDP Erste Lage – these wines are Premier Cru from first-class vineyards where there are optimal growing conditions. These wines must also be grown with a view to sustainability and tradition.

VDP Grosse Lage – these wines come from the highest quality German vineyards. They are complex, express single vineyard sites, and are known for their long-aging. These wines also must also be grown and made with a view to sustainability and tradition.

Membership is by invitation only, and with producers known for long-standing quality and a commitment to excellence.  Members must also adhere to strict rules including low yields, higher starting must weights, selective hand harvesting, and five-yearly inspections.

Promotion remains a major aspect of its activities. The VDP has developed its own quality pyramid based on the official German system,  with a specific focus on dry wines. Recently, they introduced a new classification for Sekt, German sparkling wine.

5% of Germany’s vineyards are included in the VDP classification, accounting for 7.5% of the turnover of the German wine industry.

Riesling is the most important grape among VDP producers with 55% of all VDP vineyards planted with Riesling, compared to 23% across Germany as a whole.

 

 

Other grape varieties approved for VDP Grosse Lage certification include:

Chardonnay

Weissburgunder

Spätburgunder

Grauburgunder

Frühburgunder

Traminer

Geographic Indication Approved for San Pablo, A High-Altitude Mendoza Sub-Region

San Pablo, a sub-region of Mendoza, Argentina has been awarded Geographic Indication status after a four-year campaign led by local producers. San Pablo is located in Uco Valley, and is the northernmost sub-region in Tunuyán, Uco Valley.

It is also one of Mendoza’s extreme regions in terms of altitudes, with vineyards planted between 3,600 ft (1,100m) and 5,600 ft (1,700m) above sea level, with an arid climate and an average of 500mm rainfall per year.

San Pablo is located on the alluvial fan of the Las Tunas River, on the right bank, where the soil has a high pebble content as well as other calcareous materials.

The GI spans the following areas:

East boundary: Provincial Route N°89

North boundary: Las Tunas River

West boundary: dimension lines at 1.700 meters above sea level

South boundary: Villegas Creek up to its intersection with Cuevas Creek

The Salentein winery was the first winery to produce Estate Bottled wines from what today is the GI San Pablo and one of the first in the Uco Valley.

Salentin launched the campaign in collaboration with Bodegas Tapíz, and Familia Zuccardi wineries, together with the Facultad de Agronomía de la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Agronomy School of the National University of Cuyo) and the Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura (National Institute of Viticulture), in 2016.