Russian Tycoon Sets Champagne Splurge Record

A new record was set for a wine sale in Britain recently when an unnamed customer spent $75,000, including tip, on a bottle of Dom Perignon in a London bar. The buyer’s name hasn’t been released but he’s believed to be a Russian tycoon (Abramovich feeling spendy again, perhaps?) with good taste: the sale was for a methuselah of the prized 1996 Rose Gold vintage.

The large bottle, dipped in rose gold and worth more than the champagne itself, holds 6 liters (1.59 gallons) and is obviously meant to serve a large group. The purchase took place this past Tuesday during an afterparty for the screening of the new movie “Boogie Woogie” at the Westbury Hotel and included a well-earned $15,000 tip — according to witness reports within minutes of delivery 3 glasses of the pricey champagne had been spilled.

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The Local Vine

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The Local Vine

The moment you pry open the heavy wooden doors at 2520 Second Avenue in Seattle, you’ll be struck by the magnitude of The Local Vine’s Wine collection. An eternity of bottles soars to the ceiling, some accessible only by ladder. Selection is just one of the many reasons The Local Vine is a Luxist nominee in the best wine bar category.

Founded in 2007 by Harvard Business School graduates Allison Nelson and Sarah Munson, The Local Vine boasts both an air of sleek sophistication and a refreshing accessibility. Free wireless internet, down-to-earth advice on wine, and a casual atmosphere complete with a fully functional fireplace make it more like a coffee house than a strict wine bar.

And there’s plenty of wine to go around. The Local Vine’s list consists of over 100 wines by the glass, with a focus on wines from California, Oregon and Washington. Oenophiles with more exotic tastes won’t be disappointed, as the menu is packed with vintages from all around the world, ranging in price from $5 to $485 per glass.

If this all sounds very appealing but you’re thousands of miles away from Seattle, don’t worry. The Local Vine ships its wares all around the world, and its monthly wine clubs offer an easy and customizable way for patrons to indulge in communal wine enjoyment. Memberships range from the Picks of the Month Club ($49/month), which includes two reds and a white delivered to your home, all the way up to the Collectors Club ($600/quarter), which brings six rare wines to your doorstep every three months.

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Organic wine

Pop quiz: What’s the one product on store shelves that decreases in price when it has a label marking it as organic? As most wine snobs know, the answer is organic wine. Next100 points us to a study (PDF) from researchers at the University of California claiming that wines with an eco-label sell for 20% less than similar vintage bottles. Oddly enough, organic wines without an eco-label cost 13% more than wines from the same year, grape variety, and appellation. So what do consumers have against organic wine?

The biggest problem, the researchers claim, is that most people don’t know the difference between “wine made from organically grown grapes” and “organic wine.” Organic wines have to be free of sulfite preservatives. Without sulfites, wine spoils more quickly, which causes the overall quality to go down. But wines made with organic grapes can contain sulfites–and they are often higher quality than similar wines with non-organic grapes. And biodynamically grown grapes? Many people don’t even know what the word “biodynamic” means. The bias against eco-labeled wines is so strong that many wineries opt out of including any sort of organic label at all.

All of this indicates that the wine industry needs to figure out a more informative eco-labeling system if it wants to catch up to, say, the produce industry, where organic products command a premium. In the meantime, you all now know to search for wine made with organic grapes for a good deal.

Source :: Fast Company

Ontario Wine Brands Get New Logo

Filed Under Wine Branding | Comments Off

Ontario Wine Brands

“Canadian wine country” may sound absurd to those not in the know but the land of the maple leaf also boasts a robust fermented grape industry in Ontario. One challenge for local vintners though is that many Canadians might not know this.

Even worse, many Canadians who do know this are having trouble figuring out just which wines are home-stomped and which are imports. Consumers looking to buy local can identify 100-percent Ontario-made wines by noting the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance of Ontario) symbol. The problem? Grape Growers chairman Bill George Jr. explains, “Several studies have shown a lot of customers don’t know what VQA means.” However, the alliance has a solution. Too bad it is more of the same. [more]

In the interest of helping consumers better identify the Ontario-made brand, the organization’s marketing board introduced a new, very characteristic logo: A clutch of purple grapes surrounded by a trillium flower. The logo is more colorful and noticeable than the old black VQA version.

However, the new logo does not advance the winemakers beyond their existing quandary. While a more colorful, attractive logo may be an improvement in theory, the fundamental problem remains; if a lot of customers did not know what VQA means, why are they going to know what the new (prettier) logo means?

What the alliance really needs is a strong, extensive outreach and education program for its brand. This is especially true since the alliance’s marketing board says the new logo is intended only to compliment the existing VQA symbol, not replace it.

Source :: Brandchannel

Washington Winery Gets Into The Beef Business

The owners of the acclaimed Leonetti Cellar winery in Washington have announced plans to get into the cattle business. Although wine and beef may sound like completely opposite pursuits Chris Figgins, CEO and winemaker for Leonetti Cellar, says “The whole idea is contrary to modern beef production. We’re taking the estate winery model and applying it to beef.”

Figgins purchased a ranch in the Wallowa Valley with his father four years ago in order to raise Scottish Highland Cattle, which have longer hair and tend to be leaner than other breeds. The cattle are grass fed on certified organic fields without the use of hormones and will be harvested humanely. In another connection to the wine business, Figgins plans to feed the cattle pomace, which is the skin, pulp and other solid remains left after wine grapes are crushed.

The meat will be available via mailing list beginning this fall through the Lostine Cattle Company website.

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