I know everyone will be busy this weekend, but in case you need to escape your dysfunctional family and do some wine reading, here’s my weekly roundup of what’s interesting in the blahblahsphere:
Mike Steinberger looks back fondly on the epicurean and vinous adventures of North Korea’s late Glorious Eater …. er, sorry, Glorious Leader, Kim Jong-Il, who passed away last weekend. The Huffington Post also chimed in. After all, the sybaritical excesses of a lunatic despot who systematically starved his own people are endlessly fascinating.
My favorite death notice said Kim died of a “heart attack on a train.” Wasn’t that a movie with Samuel L. Jackson?
U.S. wine exports could reach $1.4 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) this year, according to Decanter.com. Citing statistics from the Wine Institute, Decanter says U.S. exports through October already matched last year’s record setting $1.4 billion – a weak dollar and surging demand in China are credited for the increase. Was it all that expensive plonk from Yao Ming?
Falcon Crest Redux: Louis M. Foppiano and his sister, Susan Valera, are dukeing it out in court for control of the family winery, the 115-year-old Foppiano Vineyards. Their fight seems to continue the long tradition of family feuds in Italian-American winemaking clans (think two generations of Mondavi and Sebastiani). Valera accuses her brother of raiding the family trust behind the backs of her and their father, Louis J. Foppiano, 101, while Louis M. says he was following an agreed-on plan to make the company more competitive. Now there’s a dysfunctional family Christmas.
Do wine drinkers need a political action committee? Well, we’re about to get one. Tom Wark, the feisty consumer advocate and the brain behind Fermentation: The Daily Wine Blog, and David White of Terroirist are launching the American Wine Consumer Coalition. The aim is to represent the interests of consumers on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, where too often only the wholesaler lobbies get heard. You can friend them on Facebook at the link above and help by taking this survey to tell them what issues interest you.
Happy Holidays, and thank you for supporting Dave McIntyre’s WineLine!