Some thoughtful keyboard tappings for oenophiles:
Tom Wark, never one to mince words, continues his latest criticism of “natural wine” adherents as being the only sector of the wine industry that promotes themselves by being negative about everyone else. Wark was responding to an interview in The Drinks Business of Giuseppe Mascoli, a leading Italian advocate of natural wines, in which he compared them to the works of Karl Marx; you see, it requires some knowledge and sophistication to understand Marx, who was “not for the masses,” Mascoli said. An interesting, and perhaps inherently Italian, view of socialism, in which only the elites are capable of understanding what the proletariat needs. In the New York Times, Eric Asimov decries the “hissy fits” about natural wine and pleads, “Can’t we all just get along?” (Ok, not a direct quote on that last one.)
On the Regional Wine Front, “Wine Curmudgeon” Jeff Siegel visits Denver in preparation for April’s DrinkLocalWine.com annual conference there, and discovers he’s a media star. Seems the folks there are so excited about Colorado wine they even filled a Friday evening press conference – of course, samples from participating wineries helped. Jeff writes: “I had to tell the story about how Dave McIntyre and I started this thing so many times that even I got tired of it.” The conference will be April 27-29; tickets go on sale February 1.
Good news for the California wine industry at this week’s Unified Grape Symposium in Sacramento. Sales were up in 2011, and short harvests the last two years mean there will be weak supply to satisfy increasing demand for wine. As a result, growers can expect prices to rise. Presumably consumers can expect higher prices, too. At least there’s plenty of wine from elsewhere to compete and moderate that pressure (he says, thinking of the weak euro and some recent dips in prices of European wines.)
Speaking of hissy fits, this one must have been a doozy: Sheriffs deputies were summoned to the Mendocino Wine Co. in Ukiah to intervene in a “domestic disturbance” after Paul Dolan was ousted as a partner there. Mendocino Wine Co. owns the estimable Parducci Cellars. Dolan, who helmed Fetzer Vineyards for years, is a leading advocate of organic and biodynamic viticulture. No word on whether that figured in the dispute. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat offered no details on the fracas, as the former partners were too pissed to comment, apparently. Officers Malloy and Reed determined that nothing criminal happened and pleaded, “Can’t we all just get along?”