Wine News

Robert Parker

The new writers for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate were announced today, following last week’s departure of Pierre Rovani and Daniel Thomases.

Aside from Parker, four new or expanded roles at the publication have been created. Parker himself will now cover only four regions.

David Schildknecht, who has written for the Advocate part-time since 2005, will leave his job in the wine business to become full-time in the New Year. He will bear much of the work left by Rovani as well as covering other areas not regularly touched on by the publication.

‘In addition to his continued championing of the wines of Germany and Austria as well as Central Europe and America’s Eastern and Midwestern wineries, [Schildknecht] will also cover Alsace, Burgundy, the Loire Valley and the Languedoc-Roussillon,’ Parker said.

Parker said his journal ‘will expand coverage by at least 30-50 percent, as many areas that have been shortchanged because of a lack of person-power will now receive full coverage.’ (more…)

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Hollywood star Brad Pitt is looking to acquire a vineyard in northern Italy, according to reports.


-by Oliver Styles / Decanter

UK broadsheet “The Daily Telegraph” claims the 42 year-old actor paid a secretive visit to three wine estates, all in the Barolo region, 35 miles south of Turin. Pitt was in Italy to attend a party held in the town. (more…)

As the great saying goes; “prevention is better than cure”. Better learn how to prevent a hangover before you get hungover.

Avoiding Hangover

-by jim bauer @

Picture it: You and the boys are planning a big night out on the town — the kind of night that gives rise to those legendary stories. Well, just because you plan to have a smashing time, doesn”t mean that you have to have a smashing reminder. (more…)

Wine Glasses

Researchers in the USA have developed an intelligewnt wine glass. The idea is to allow partners living separately to enjoy mutual wine drinking.

Using sensors and GPS-supported wireless contact, the wine glasses are able to communicate with each other. For instance, one glass could light up when the partner, who can be thousands of kilometres away, lifts his or her glass to the mouth. The idea was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, and it is believed the concept could improve loyalty and fidelity.

Source: Agencies

Château Yquem 1787

How much would you pay for your favourite bottle of wine? £50, £100? or may be a $500 for the top wine? One wine connoisseur has just bought what is thought to be the most expensive bottle of white wine in the world at US$100,000 (£55,000): a Château Yquem 1787. 

When the grapes for this wine were harvested George Washington was the first President of the United States, the French Revolution was imminent, George III was King of England and James Watt was developing the steam engine.

The valuable bottle was acquired by a UK-based company from a private collector in France.

The interesting thing is that no-one has tasted it, but a number of interesting things come to light. Any wine will slowly evaporate in the bottle, and hence over the years the levels will have been “topped up” – like taking your car into the garage, Bordeaux chateaux will “service” your bottles of fine wine – re-corking, topping-up and often supplying a new label with a certificate of authentication. If you have old or rare bottles of wine it will be important to have some evidence of its provenance (where it came from) and how it has been stored. (It is hard to believe that during this “topping-up” someone was not tempted to try a little sip – for quality control purposes of course! )

Red Wine

Enjoying a glass of red wine may help you hold on to your teeth. Red wine is good for your teeth, claim scientists from Laval University in Quebec, Canada. They say its polyphenols stave off diseases such as periodontitis which affect the gums and bone around the teeth.Periodontitis is a progressive disease of the gums and the bone that surrounds and supports teeth. The disease is caused by bacterial infection. The infection triggers an inflammatory response that is responsible for the gradual degradation of the bones holding teeth in place.

Results from a study conducted by Canadian researchers show the polyphenols in wine modify the immune response to bacteria. The wine inhibits the free radicals made by macrophages, a type of immune cell, and control intracellular proteins involved in their release.

Red wine, green tea, and fresh fruits have all been touted in recent years for their cancer and heart disease-fighting properties. These properties are all attributed to polyphenols.

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California wineries Lynmar, Clos du Val and EOS Estate Winery have come top in a listing of the top ten US winery websites of 2005.

The list is based on an independent review of over 2,200 sites carried out by Michael E Duffy & Associates, publishers of The Winery Website Report.

The report evaluates ‘user effectiveness’ using 25 criteria, including the site’s visual appeal, its navigation, personalisation and responsiveness.

Information about current releases, the biggest single rating element, accounts for 6% of the site’s total score.

‘Increasingly, the first point of contact between a customer and a winery is through the winery’s website. That one contact may be a winery’s only shot at a potential customer’, Michael E Duffy told

First place, with a score of 83 out of a possible 100, was awarded to, with and in second and third place.

‘The best sites clearly address the needs of four distinct types of visitors: buyers, browsers, the trade, and the media. An effective site helps a visitor accomplish what they came to do without a lot of effort wasted,’ said Duffy.

However Duffy added the caveat that with an average score of 48 points, the 2,231 sites surveyed aren’t working as well as they should. He made the point that wineries should ask ‘What is someone who just landed on this page trying to do?’ rather than ‘What do I want my site to do?’

‘The report is designed to help wineries make their sites more visitor effective, meaning that visitors achieve their goals, and leave with a positive impression. Those two elements lead to continued interaction between them and the winery, which, properly managed, leads to sales,’ Duffy added.

So far the survey covers US wineries only, though Duffy has plans to expand. ‘So far, we’ve had requests from Canadian, Israeli, and Tuscan

The full top ten:
1. Lynmar Winery (83)
2. Clos Du Val Wine Co. (82)
3. EOS Estate Winery (81)
4. King Estate Winery (80)
5. Huntington Wine Cellars (79)
6. Nickel & Nickel (78)
7. Goldeneye (77)
8. Lambert Bridge Winery (77)
9. Wildhurst Vineyards (77)
10. Quivira Vineyards (75)


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