This week we wrapped up the year 2019. As always, it was a year of interesting twists and turns in the world of wine, and this week we focus on some of the more interesting things that occurred in 2019.
The year 2019 saw wine critic Robert Parker officially retired from the magazine ”Wine Advocate,” which he founded 41 years ago. Related to this, ”Wine Advocate” is now solely owned by the Michelin Guide.
A table, at The Hawksmoor Restaurant, in Manchester England, ordered a $333 bottle of 2001 Chateau Pinchon Loungueville. Due to a mix up in the wine cellar, the customers were served a $5,760 bottle of 2001 Chateau Le Pin. At the end of the night, the manager realized the error. What was done was done, and the restaurant took it in stride and posted humorously about it on Twitter. The restaurant tweeted that they hoped the couple enjoyed the wine and the server was told that mistakes happen and that the restaurant loves them.
The canned wine market continued to explode in 2019. By June, sales were doubled in the year, compared to the prior year, and were at near $80 million.
More news appeared in 2019 that touted the health benefits of wine. Research was published, stating that resveratrol, a substance found in red wine, grapes, nuts, and dark chocolate, can help correct hormonal imbalances in women. Another article supports the anti-obesity effect of the compound, and a third discussed its benefits as it helps retention of bone density and muscle mass. Don’t risk health issues, enjoy your red wine responsibly.
Once again, the Unicode Technical Committee has rejected the request to create and release an emoji of a wine glass filled with white wine. For now, we’ll have to settle for the red wine or the champagne emojis in our texts and emails.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Sites, this year, added Conegliano Valdobbiadene, in Italy, as one of its newest areas to gain Heritage status. Conegliano Valdobbiadene includes the “Prosecco Hills,” which covers 50,000 acres of land. There are many vineyard areas that have UNESCO status, including Champagne, Burgundy, and St. Emilion, in France; South Africa’s Cape; Austria's Wachau; Hungary’s Tokaj; and the Rhine Valley, in Germany.
In 2019, a case of red wine from Bordeaux was sent into space and will reside at the International Space Station for the next year. The wine will allow researchers to compare how wine ages in space based on gravity and radiation levels, versus how wine ages on the earth. Stay tuned.
Unfortunately, 2019 saw more wildfires affecting vineyards around the world, including the Kincaid Fire, in California; Lismore Estate Vineyards, in South Africa; and most recently, Adelaide, in Australia. The best way for us, as consumers, to assist those affected in these areas is to buy their wine, or visit their region (once all is clear).
And we end our highlights, with the viral video from the three-Michelin starred French Laundry restaurant posted in early 2019. The staff attempted to saber a $2,000 15-liter bottle (Nebuchadnezzar) of champagne. The attempt failed in a large-formatted way. Now that you’ve seen how to NOT saber a bottle, here is a video of how to do it properly.
Wishing you all a healthy, prosperous, happy, and wine-filled 2020. Cheers from your friends at City Vino.