The Wine Channel, Aerators, Flaws, and Laws: The Top 5 Things I Read This Week

Sunday, February 15, 2009

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are some things I found interesting in the world of wine from the past week:

  1. The Wine Channel
    is one of the most popular wine blogs on the Internet and Tom Wark's recent entry floating the idea of a Wine Channel on TV caught my attention. Tip: If you have a TiVo, create a "wine" WishList search to catch any programming that contains the word wine even in the program description. I've done this and catch about 5 shows a week that I would otherwise miss.
    Most of the time, the programming really isn't about wine, but rather an HGTV remodeling show that includes a wine cellar installation, or a travel show that visits a wine region. But occasionally I do catch something really interesting- like "Spain...On The Road Again" which follows Mario Batali and Gwenyth Paltrow as they tromp around Ribiera del Duoro (in a black Mercedes convertible) eating good food and drinking good wine.
  2. Wine Aerators vs. Decanters
    Wine aerators have been a frequently highlighted subject here on the WWP since its inception, so this piece on Wine Enthusiast The Catalog's blog caught my attention. Comparing wine aerators against one another is interesting, but this piece specifcally discusses wine aerators (like the Vinturi, the Respirer and the Soirée) vs. decanters. Decanters themselves are optional wine accessories so I found it refreshing to discuss when decanters should be used vs. aerators.
    By the way, on the subject of wine accessories in general, would you be so kind as to take the poll on the right hand side of the site that asks: "Where are you most likely to purchase a wine accessory?" The answers I receive help me determine which direction to push for future wine accessory deals.
    Speaking of wine accessory deals, free shipping on the Soirée expires at the end of this month so take advantage while you can (which *is* a legitimate deal because the product does *not* qualify for free super saver shipping on Amazon.)
  3. Laws: Shipping to Massachusetts
    An update from ShipCompliant on the ongoing saga related to whether large wineries can legally ship to MA. If you're a MA wine lover, and you haven't already, please consider letting Attorney General Coakley know that you think it's a waste of time to appeal a recent court ruling that gives consumers more choice in MA.
    Ship Compliant helps wineries navigate the complex wine shipping laws that are unique to each state. If you're looking for someone helpful and wise in these matters, follow Jeff Carroll on Twitter. He recently took time to answer a boatload of questions I had in this area and was extremely helpful.
  4. Laws: Kentucky Alcohol Tax
    A second piece that caught my attention was this entry from Under The Grape Tree regarding a recent bill that would significantly increase tax rates on wine in Kentucky. It seems that the fashionable thing to do as a result of the weakening economy is raise taxes on alcohol, including of course wine (CA is going down this path too.) Only problem with this idea is that it affects a lot of hard working people in the industry. Duh! Warning: Strong language in this one!
  5. Flaws: Brett
    Finally, a piece of wine flaws. This week, the dreaded Brettanomyces or "Brett" as they call it from Slinging Juice. Brett is a wine flaw that imparts an inordinate amount of "funk" to a wine's bouquet. Brett has always been a tricky one for me to detect because I drink a lot of Pinot Noir, and earthy aromas are actually a positive characteristic of Pinot Noir. Read the comments section of the post for some tips on differentiating Brett from earthy aromas.
Hope you're having a great President's Day/Valentine's Day weekend!


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