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Wednesday’s Meritage #147

September 23, 2020 1 comment

Meritage Time!

Let’s start with some interesting developments in the world of celebrity wines. We just recently pondered at the topic with the fellow wine writers (you can watch it here), and I mentioned Château Miraval as one of the celebrity wines (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) done right – with celebrities themselves very much involved in the process and website talking about wine passion instead of just trying to promote some irrelevant “merchandise”. It appears that the celebrity couple had ambitions going far beyond Provençal Rosé – after diligently working for 5 years, Fleur de Miraval Rosé Champagne is released to the market – at a hefty £290, according to The Drinks Business. This is a grower Champagne, produced by an apparent superstar Rodolphe Péters of the Pierre Péters estate in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. I would love to try that Champagne, but at around $370, I can only hope someone wants to surprise me – holidays are coming? While still talking about the same celebrity couple, I also want to mention that I just learned about new wine on the completely opposite side of the spectrum – a new Rosé called Studio by Miraval, which can be found for a mere $15.

Moving along, let’s now touch on the subject of wine numbers. I don’t know about you, but I love numbers. What are the total plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in the world? Are the plantings of Pinot Noir are rising or declining? Does anyone still plant Merlot? Which country has the biggest plantings of Syrah? Of course, this information is far less valuable compared to knowing which stock will double in the value tomorrow, but these are still the numbers I’m happy to ponder at. If you are sharing my excitement about wine numbers, a book called “Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where? A Global Empirical Picture” (2nd Ed) by Kym Anderson and Signe Nelgen, is published by the University of Adelaide Press in Australia, and it is freely available on the publisher’s website. What might be even more interesting, on the same website, you can find a collection of the wine-related datasets, including, for example, the Annual Database of Global Wine Markets, 1835 (!) to 2018, freshly updated in January of this year. Love the numbers? Hit those links!

Now, let’s talk about our new reality – the virtual one, where you can see, but can’t touch. It works well if you need to solve a business problem or debug a complex algorithm, but virtual wine doesn’t offer a satisfying experience (whatever way you want to twist that word). I don’t know if the folks at Taste The World were expecting the pandemic to be besieged upon us, or just had a good business hunch, but the idea behind this operation sounds really good. You have an opportunity to get a set of wines for the blind tasting, hand-selected by the group of Master Sommeliers, with the promise of perfectly representative wines for the different categories. Each set includes 6 different wines, and you can get it once for $90, which I believe is reasonable for this offering, or as a subscription. Whether you are looking for a cool gift for the wine lover in your circle, or study for WSET, this sounds like a great help. Don’t get me the Fleur de Miraval, I would be quite content with Taste The World set.

Last one for today – how about some wine videos? Wine Spectator just completed the voting for their annual Video Contest, and here you can find all the videos selected for the final round. With the pandemic-appropriate theme of “Wine at Home”, you will find some truly creative videos – well worth a few minutes of your time.

That’s all I have for you today. The glass is empty, but the refill is on the way. Cheers!

 

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