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Cul de Cuvée: 05 March 2022
A bluntly-curated selection of absolutely random recent bits from around the wine and drink world.
In much the same way that ancient sex objects are often mis-categorized as "tools" in museums, it appears that what once appeared to be scepters, were actually communal drinking straws proving yet again that humans have long loved a good buzz, with friends. Perhaps these straws could be handy in present day New York state which has just announced that movie theaters can sell beer and wine, thus making the next Wes Anderson film, "enjoyable".
For those who, much like myself, wake up after a bit too much wine the night before and swear that you're off wine for awhile, which then turns into 6PM-ish, this woman is not just our sushi equivalent, but an international food hero. Also an international food hero? The Italians, not just for their carbohydrated contributions to the world, but because they're seeking UNESCO recognition for the espresso. May the gods shine favorably on you and your fine peninsula of gastronomic glory.
It appears we've now entered that news cycle again where it's claimed there will be wine shortages. This is admittedly for the better as we've also entered a news cycle where wine will kill you dead. Dead!
If you don't fear death by wine and want to make sure there's enough wine to go around, then follow these simple steps to starting a winery, you'll be glad you didn't.
In the department of inventions absolutely nobody asked for, here's a video of an electric wine decanter that a blogger was sent as a freebie for review. Also very much unwanted, elephant dung-filtered Gin, which is so awful to think about that it actually makes pink Gin a tolerable concept. Admittedly, the Dung Gin™ would probably pair very well with the first nut sack natural wine which thankfully doesn't exist in the real world... yet.
Have you been thinking about giving box wine another go? Of course you haven't! That's why this box wine review was a bit premature. I say this with current insight as Tablas Creek went and atomic mic dropped the entire box wine segment by releasing a 3L rosé for $95. Want to have a taste? Too bad! It sold out the same day they started selling it. Clearly, the global wine shortage is real.
Can't shut up about Riesling? Is Sherry your Sunday cheat wine (whatever that is)? Think that Sauvignon Blanc should be rid of its cougar juice reputation? Well, that means that anyone who still listens to you probably serves wine for a living and may have been part of this group of sommeliers who were asked which un-cool wines they like. This resulting list of wines you'll be able to be sommsplained about the next time you trust going to a restaurant again in 2042.
And of course, the militarized bear in the room is the Russian war in Ukraine which can't and shouldn't be ignored. People have written about winemaking defiance as well as how a brewery in Lviv has switched to producing Molotov cocktails in order to defend the city. And showing that there are still people who don't fully comprehend the seriousness of the war, one South African blogger wrote what he must have assumed was satire but was not only too soon, but also just in poor taste, eventually deleting the post.
In a similar vein, one prominent wine award competition decided to ban Russian wine entries and waive the fees for the Ukrainian ones now that we're a week into it being "safe" to say that Russia is the aggressor. Unfortunately for them, via their own grading scale, "Commendable" isn't a medal worthy level to exist in. But as the due date for entries is this Thursday and you have to pay prior to sending in the wines, it remains unclear as to what all this means or how it will function, but hey, it makes for good optics!
And lastly, La Rioja Alta, one of Spain's most important wineries told Russia sorry not sorry as they're pulling all their wine out of the Russian market. Undoubtedly Russian wine lovers will soon by able to enjoy La Riola Ajta bottles arriving from China.
For better of for worse, that's it for this week!