A bluntly-curated selection of absolutely random recent bits from around the wine and drink world served up “mostly fresh” for your enjoyment.

Have a good New Year’s Eve? Toast in 2023 with Champagne? Well, if it was made by Frédéric Gallois, it could have very well have been illicit, fake Champagne and not just the Russian type, but genuine French fake which means that while the grapes were from Champagne, they were picked outside the allowed harvest window. Gads!

José Andrés has said that drinking red wine in the morning is perfectly acceptable. The man speaks truth as if you’re in Spain, the only people who would disagree are those currently sipping a beer with their breakfast.

What to do when you find out that a barrel of your top wine is hopelessly infected with TCA? You roll it down a hill in epic style and rack up the likes, that’s what you do. Note that this will not work with a kvevri as it is both buried in the earth and no one ever tosses any wine that comes out of one for any reason.

According to a study from Spanish fraud minders, it’s not patience, time, nor even common decency that’s the most stolen item during the holidays, but wine (in Catalan). This goes a long way to explain why all the booze is under lock and key next to the Santa hats in supermarkets now.

In what will undoubtedly be deemed as “too negative” because it’s incredibly true, here’s a solid take on the fact that without criticism there is only marketing. It’s about whiskey, but it’s even more true for wine where in certain markets nearly all the “journalists” are being paid by the subjects of their articles to write about them.

Tired of all the Espresso Martinis, Negroni Sbagliatos, and that bubbling blue thing that smells like an air freshener? You do not graze alone in this pasture as there are many cocktails those in professional type circles wish would just stay in 2022.

Also along this note, Lettie Teague would like to see natural wine, advent calendars, and a slew of others things left to the wolves in 2022 and burned from the history books. At least, this is what I assume she said as the good stuff is behind a paywall and I ain’t payin’ for no Wall Street Journal subscription. Suck it, Murdoch!

Much as how there’s a push to make “vegan cheese”, it seems that the quest to make nonalcoholic wine (and other alcohols) continues. The problem is always the same like how taking the milk out of cheese makes it… not cheese. Take the alcohol out of wine and it’s just not terribly great tasting water at a price much higher than even the swankiest of bottled waters. It’s akin to wanting to own a Ferrari with all its performance but with the gas consumption of a Prius and ending up with a moped somehow.

Of course if you do want to booze it up, Dubai has apparently scrapped their 30% booze tax which will undoubtedly make it cheaper to get loaded there than in Sweden. They’ve also dropped the “personal alcohol licenses” so people can drink completely freely, in the Middle East. If all this doesn’t rev you up to visit a shopping mall in country form, nothing will. Woo hoo…

Is it that you need to call it a night or is it the case that wine is getting noticeable more expensive? The answer is sadly, a big fat number two. It’s almost like someone should write up a piece on solid, affordable wines right about now.

Also, in case you were still questioning your state of sobriety, it is indeed the fact that every wine book roundup has recommended basically, the same damned books no matter who they are. Clearly that means these must absolutely be the best wine books ever! That or maybe, just maybe, there weren’t actually that many released in 2022. Alternatives both past and present always available here.

Is an Israeli wine contest handing out medals to sanctioned Russian oligarchs ‘making’ wine in Crimea? Well of course they are. Those medals aren’t going to pay for themselves now, are they?

The darling of the Blah dee Blah sector in 2000 something, Somm Select has declared bankruptcy although it shockingly wasn’t for people getting sick of wine clubs.

Scared of English wine or just scared of the English? Regardless of your reaction to that question, the gauntlet has been thrown down for pistols at dawn… or just trying English wines and not being fully impressed by them or at least thinking they’re vastly overpriced.

Palate Cleanser

In a rare instance of heavy drinking saving your life, it appears that baker, Charles Joughin, survived the Titanic wreck primarily by being absolutely slammed when it went down. If you’re having trouble envisioning this, Drunk History has delicately reenacted it, “Now I’m the pie.”

Until we meet again in the cul of the cuvée.


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