Tuesday 13 December 2016

Beaujolais Closer to Burgundy

Producer: Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun)

Think that wine has outpaced beer? I was brought down to earth in a recent conversation with a young, bubbly lady who had just entered the wine trade. It occurred to me to enquire what wines her generation were into, and the reply was more humbling than enlightening. “Actually millennials don’t drink wine,” she said. “My friends are more into beer.” Research by Barclays in the USA shows that the 18-29 year old demographic is increasingly favouring wine, but 40% still choose beer as their preferred beverage, versus 23% for wine and 30% for liquor. I suspect that the consumption in Asia is even more skewed towards beer, judging by the sales of Tiger and Heineken, and the growing popularity of craft beer. Now I know what to order when drinking with younger colleagues.

Friday 9 December 2016

A Solaia Vertical

Producer: Antinori

The decline of Chianti, once Italy’s most revered wine, started after World War 2 and reached a critical level in the 1970s. The causes are many – an enlargement of the original viticultural zone which encouraged planting on subpar sites, too many producers capitalising on the Chianti name, and the mandatory inclusion of grapes such as Trebbiano (a profligate but undistinguished variety) to name a few. This situation laid the groundwork for the rise of Italy’s –aia wines; super-premium bottlings that stepped outside Italy’s fossilised wine laws and whose prices were way above those wines classified at the DOCG level, supposedly Italy’s top tier with the strictest regulations. Collectively known as Super Tuscans, the names of these wines (e.g. Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Tassinaia) would be familiar to any serious Italian wine collector.