As if boxed wine and mini-bottles weren't controversial enough now we have wine packaged in individual glasses. Marks & Spencer debuted the individual serving sizes called "Le Froglet" in the UK this summer and has now started offering them in Hong Kong at their M&S food shop in Wanchai. A sign that they're doing well? Perhaps. M&S reports that more than one glass is sold every minute.

Although the glasses are, of course, not really glass. It took 18 months of development to come up with the design, which includes a plastic wine glass, a leak-proof paper top, and even "inert filling technology" to keep the wine from being exposed to oxygen inside the packaging. The single-serve glasses are geared to impromptu picnickers or people who want just one glass with dinner and according to the WSJ they actually taste better than expected, as long as you don't let them sit too long after opening.

Le Froglet comes in three flavors, Shiraz, Rosé, and Chardonnay, for about $5 each.

By Rigel Celeste | Source :: www.luxist.com

Drink Wine & Save The Planet

Filed Under Wine Trends | Comments Off


Want to cut your carbon footprint and get a buzz at the same time? Grab a bottle of wine from the Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California. The winery is the pilot project for Cogenra Solar, a startup backed by top VC Vinod Khosla. It brings together photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies to produce hot water and electricity from a single unit.

Cogenra's technology reflects sunlight into a solar array that in turn faces down into a mirror. A tube located above the array carries liquid that has been heated by sunlight reflected off the mirror. That heat is then used to produce hot water.

The company explains:

Traditional photovoltaic (PV) systems convert approximately 16% of the sun’s energy into usable electricity, discarding the remaining energy as waste, mostly in the form of heat. Solar cogeneration captures this waste heat and transforms it into real value—hot water. This cogenerative solution has the added benefit of cooling the PV components, which boosts the system’s electric generation.

Cogenra is taking aim at the commercial market. "If you look at heat consumption, a substantial part is on the industrial level and the institutional level–jail, retirement communities, hospitals. Everywhere where there is industry, industry uses heat," says Dr. Gilad Almogy, Cogenra's CEO.

That includes wineries. As part of the pilot project with Sonoma Wine, Cogenra has set up a 272 kW electric and thermal installation to support the facility’s operations. "We give them electricity to run the plant, and heat to run the winery," Almogy says. The installation, which is partially funded by a $1.5 million research grant from the California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration program, will be completed by the end of the year.

By Ariel Schwartz | Source :: Fast Company


Despite a move in recent years to replace cork closures for wine with alternatives such as synthetic cork or screw-caps, a study by AC Nielsen on behalf of the Cork Quality Council indicates that the premium domestic US wineries are increasing their use of cork closures, with brands using cork showing higher annual sales growth over those using alternatives.

According to the data released recently by the CQC, out of 100 top selling wine brands, the number of brands using cork closures rose to 72 during the past five months, registering an increase of 7.5%. These brands using cork as the closure also posted an average annual sales bump of 10.2 %, compared to annual growth of 3.7 % for alternative closures majority of which are screw-caps.

Cork comes from a certain variety of oak tree that is only found in the Mediterranean, especially Portugal.

The reason for sticking with cork has a lot to do with the psychological value of cork with the consumer. Some whiskies, such as Makers Mark, also use cork stoppers or the premium impression. Though with whiskies, which do not typically get stored on their sides after opening, cork dry-out can happen if the bottle doesn't get consumed fast enough.

A look at the survey indicates that the maximum use of alternative closures is in the $6-9 range- whereas 16 producers use cork, 15 are still using screwcaps (more than half of screw-cap users are in this category).

France's cork federation last summer went on the the offensive with a poster campaign that features wine and champagne bottles with outlandish alternative stoppers like a plastic duck and the slogan: "Always imitated, never equaled."

By David Kiley | Source :: www.luxist.com


Can lighting affect wine taste? One German study found that drinkers who were served a bottle of Riesling in differently lit environments had different taste experiences. Researchers found that subjects rated the wine as better and more expensive tasting when exposed to the red or blue background lighting versus rooms with green or white background lighting. According to an article in the Telegraph, the wine was described as being sweeter and fruitier in red light than in white or green light. When drinking in the red or blue lit room the subjects though the wine was worth as much as one euro more for the same bottle.

Dr Daniel Oberfeld-Twistel, of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz said in the Telegraph article that more tests are needed to determine why the color makes a difference. One theory is that some colors put people in a more positive mood but it may be more complex than that. The study certainly makes a case for mood lighting in wine shops and tasting rooms as well as in bars or restaurants.

By Deidre Woollard | Source :: www.luxist.com


The owners of Grand Rêve Vineyard in Red Mountain, Washington are reeling after an unexpected and mind boggling crime: sometime over the last week $4000 worth of rare grapes were stolen right out of their vineyard. Coined 'The Great Grape Caper of Red Mountain' the theft was clearly well planned and cleverly executed as the thieves made off with a ton (literally) of very specific and exotic grapes called Bushvine Mourvedre. Because they ignored every other kind of grape and did such a clean and complete job it's being considered the work of professionals. "Whoever it was, knew what they were doing." said Ryan Johnson, one of the vineyard partners and manager. "They were very thorough."

Mourvedre grapes are usually only found in areas of southern France and are often used in valuable, high end wine. 'Head trained' to grow as a bush instead of on a long trailing vine, they're particularly labor intensive and this harvest was a bit of an experiment that started way back in 2008. "The most frustrating thing about this is we waited three years to see what these vines would do," said Johnson. "This was our opportunity to see what the future might hold for us."

At this time authorities have no suspects but think it was an 'inside job' by someone familiar with the tightly-knit Washington wine community. Paul McBride, the other partner at Grand Rêve, said "For somebody in the state to think 'Gosh, I have just got to have that Bushvine Mourvedre,' that takes a real wine geek." Plus the thieves had to know where the grapes were, how and when to harvest them, and have a means to quickly sell them or make wine. This was no spur of the moment effort.

If there's any bright spot in this dark cloud it's that the thieves may not have gotten quite as great a bunch of grapes as they could have. According to Johnson "The grapes are good right now, but if they'd waited another 10 days, what they got would have been absolutely phenomenal. They missed out."

The stolen grapes are valued at about $4000 but estimates put the wine they would have made at worth over $30,000.

By Rigel Celeste | Source :: www.luxist.com

← Previous PageNext Page →

E-mail It