This blog has moved to a new location.

You can now read it on BKWine Magazine.

Please change your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly.

And do subscribe to our free wine newsletter, the BKWine Brief!

All info on our wine and food tours are now on

Buy or license our pictures

>> Saturday, December 03, 2005

Did you know we have thousands of wine pictures available for licensing to professional photo buyers/photo editors/magazines/... Or if you want to buy a print for your own personal use to decorate your wall that can also be arranged.

You can find more information and many of our photos here.

We also have many pictures with the on-line photo agency Alamy. See them here:


Christmas Gifts from BKWine: Wine Tour for you or for a friend

The best gift for a wine lover is without a doubt a wine tour. Give it to yourself or to a friend! We can also arrange for a gift voucher, either for a complete trip or for a specific amount. Here’s the spring program for the wine tours. Contact us for info about gift vouchers (


Christmas Gifts from BKWine: Wine Calendar

We have two different wine calendars to offer you: one do-it-yourself, that is free, and one that is printed and ready to hang on the wall. Both have one page for each month with a pretty picture with a wine motive (the photos are partially different on the two calendars):


Christmas Gifts from BKWine: Note Book or Greeting Cards

Do you need a note book for your wine tasting (or other) notes? Get a BKWine Wine Note Book or give one to a wine-loving friend for Christmas. We have also made a greeting card with a Champagne motive.


Christmas Gifts from BKWine: Framed Large Prints

A selection of some of our favourite photos with wine (and travel) motives, printed in archive quality, mounted on acid-free paper, with matte and a black frame. Format 19”x13” mounted. If you’d like a print of an image on our site that you can’t find in our “shop” – contact us and we will try and arrange it! (


Christmas Gifts from BKWine: Screensavers with Wine Motif

Do you prefer some magic chateaux or some gnarled vines instead of flying windows on your computer. Get one of our screen savers for free! There’s a few different themes on the screensavers.


Christmas Gifts from BKWine: The World of Fine Wine

“Fine Wine” is a relatively recent UK based wine magazine. It is very contents rich and often has probing articles written by well known writers. Now you can get a good deal from us on the subscription: get 8 issues for the price of 6 plus a book as a gift. Get all the details here (900kB pdf file).


Finnish Language Wine Tours - Viinimatkoja Ranskan viinialueille!

040923-143-4359Tours on the schedule (in Finnish):

  • May 3-7, 2006: Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy - 3 Classic Wine Regions - "3 Klassikkoa".
  • March 29 - April 2, 2006: Bordeaux.
More info here!


Wine Tours

Tours on the schedule:

  • May 17-21, 2006: Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy - 3 Classic Wine Regions

    Take a break for a long weekend and visit three of the most famous wine regions in France: Champagne, Chablis and Bourgogne! More info here!

  • June 8-11, 2006: Bordeaux

    For a wine lover a trip to Bordeaux is a must! Here you find not only world famous châteaux and world famous wines but also a lot of new exciting initiatives. In this trip you will get to know both in detail. More info here!

Click here for more info.


Recommended Producer: Domaine Réméjeanne, Rhône

Rémi Klein’s father bought Domaine Réméjeanne in 1960. Réméjeanne is in the Côtes-du-Rhône, close to Bagnols-sur-Ceze, on the west side of the river. He started with 5 hectares and it has now grown to 35 ha. Rémi Klein has almost become a reference for what Côtes-du-Rhône can be. For Remi it is the soil that decides. It is the terroir that expresses itself through the grape, especially when it comes to Grenache. He considers it to be a very interesting grape but, he underlines, it has to be treated correctly. It cannot take high yields without losing both aromas and colour. He mixes the Grenache with Syrah and also some Mourvèdre that he is progressively increasing by new plantings. Remi thinks it adds some finesse to the wines. He is always experimenting: micro-oxygenation, malolactic fermentation in barrel, different ways to do pigeage (stomping down the cap of skins and pips) etc – but all is just a means to find the best expression of his terroir.

Click here for address.

Read about more recommended producers on the site: Favourite Producers


Recommended Producer: Tokaj Oremus, Hungary

Oremus is owned by the same Spanish family that owns Vega Sicilia, the Alvarez. It is a spectacular place. The winery is impressive and brand new, just as new as the ageing cellars are old! Walking along the underground corridors is an almost magical experience with bottles shining in gold tokay colours. The main wine is of course the sweet aszú wines but Oremus also makes some very interesting dry Tokay, for instance the one called Mandolás. Click here for address.

Read about more recommended producers on the site: Favourite Producers

Read more recommendations on restaurants and winebars on my Restaurant and Wine Bar page.


Scandinavian Wine Fair is getting closer

On February 11 BKWine organises the 3rd Scandinavian Wine Fair in Paris. Registrations have started to arrive and we currently have around 25 registered producers. In connection with the Fair BKWine also organises the First Ever Scandinavian Wine & Spirit Competition. The Wine Fair is open both the public and to professional. Saturday February 11, 2006, 11.00-18.00 at the Cercle Suédois in Paris. In the evening there is a also a Winemakers’ Dinner with a limited number of spaces available for visitors. Here’s more info about the Fair and about the exhibitors:


Two wine giants fighting

Constellation Brands, one of the world’s largest wine producers, is making a hostile bid to take over Vincor International. Vincor is the forth largest wine producer in the USA. Constellation is offering CAN$ 1.48 bn which is 48% over the share price before Constellation’s bid was announced.
Edmonton Journal


Can you tell a First Growth claret from a Bordeaux Supérieur?

That was the challenge launched by one Swedish wine importer (Bibendum) recently. Main challenger was Yves Vatelot, who was there to present his wine from Château Reignac, a Bordeaux Supérieur in the Entre-deux-Mers region. Vatelot bought Reignac in 1989 and in spite of the modest appellation classification he decided that he wanted to make top-of-the range wines, since the soil in his vineyards is similar to the one at Château Lafite-Rothschild, according to Vatelot. He relishes in arranging blind tastings with his wine and wines like Cheval Blanc, Lafite-Rothschild and other top Cru Classé wines. 20 journalists had been invited to the Bibendum Reignac tasting in Stockholm.

The wines we tasted (blind) were: Reignac Rouge 2002, Cheval Blanc 2002, La Mission Haut Brion 2002 and Lafite Rothschild 2002. So how did it go? Well, not very well. Or very well, depending on what perspective you have. 11 of the tasters liked Reignac the most, to the great satisfaction of Monsieur Vatelot of course. And considering that Reignac only costs a fraction of the other wines, maybe the 11 should be happy too. Good for your wallet! One comment can be that the high percentage of Merlot makes the Reignac more accessible at this young age than the other wines which are mainly Cabernet based. And some of the wine making techniques that Vatelot uses can also have an impact, like microbullage (micro-oxygenation), partial fermentation in barrels, and ageing in 100% new oak. More on Château de Reignac at, Yves Vatelot, Château de Reignac, 33450 Saint-Loubès


Auction 1: Hospices de Beaune

This year, the traditional autumn auction at the Hospices de Beaune was managed by Christie’s. On average prices were up by 11%. 789 pièces (burgundy barrels) of this year’s wine were sold for a total of 4,865,500 euro. This year there were (unusually) also some bottled, older wines: 300 bottles were sold for a total of 212,500 euro.


Sexy wines in Australia?

Buller Wines, a family owned winery in Australia, has announced that they will sponsor Sexpo in Melbourne. Sexpo is the largest fair on sex and sexuality in the southern hemisphere. Buller says that they hope to reach a different consumer group than at the traditional wine shows – younger and less conservatives. No doubt they will.


Auction 2: The Swedish monopoly completes it’s autumn wine auction

The third Swedish wine auction was held by the monopoly Systembolaget on November 29. Their wine valuation expert Maria Laurila was happy with the result: “we see it as a confirmation that there is a market for drinks auctions in Sweden”. 90% of the 503 numbers were sold for a total sum of 4.1 million kronor (433,000 euro), which was in the middle of the range of estimates. The highest price was fetched by 57 vintages of Mouton-Rothschild (1945-2000) that sold for 175,000 kr (18,500 eur). It was a rerun from the last auction when that lot remained unsold. The highest price for a single bottle went to a double magnum of Le Montrachet DRC 1983 that someone paid 58,000 kr (6,100 eur) for.
Photo: Systembolaget


Vinsobres new AOC in the Rhône Valley

Vinsobres becomes the fifteenth village in the Rhône valley to get an “appellation locale” (or “cru”). The wines will therefore become AOC Vinsobres instead of being Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. It will cover exclusively red wine made from at least 50% Grenache, plus Syrah and Mourvèdre. To these “principal” grape varieties some “secondary” grapes can be added (Cinsault, Carignan,…). The appellation covers 1200 ha. Basic allowed yield (rendement de base) is 38 hl/ha.


Wine Evolution in Paris

Wine Evolution 2006 is taking place 30-31 January 2006, at the Palais des Congres in Paris. Wine Evolution is a two day conference focusing on the business side of wine, with a particular view to the international markets. It is organised by a Paris consultancy company called Skalli & Rein.


Terrorist bomb damages Rioja Alta

The famous Rioja bodega La Rioja Alta was damaged recently by a terrorist bomb. The bombers claimed to represent the ETA. It cased minor property damage but no persons were hurt. Why Rioja Alta was targeted is not known.


Application submitted: Vin de Pays de France

A group of producer organisations have submitted an application for a new appellation called Vin de Pays de France. The idea is that VdP de France would allow producers to make branded wines in large volumes, to compete better on the international market, while allowing the producer to give specification on the label on what is in the bottle, e.g. specifying the vintage or the grape variety. (Note: If a producer chooses to make wine in a way that is not according to the AC rules he can do so. But then it must be bottled as a Vin de Table and the problem with that is that on a VdT you are not allowed to indicate the vintage, the grape variety or any other “specifications” about the wine.)


Finland’s largest wine exhibition on March 15-18

Next ViiniExpo will take place in Helsinki on March 15-18, 2006. ViiniExpo is Finland’s largest (and only) wine and spirits show. It is open mainly for professionals, but on March 18 it is also open to the general public. The show also has many visitors from neighbouring countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia…).


Wine fights Alzheimer's disease

As reported in Scientific American: “A chemical compound in wine reduces levels of a harmful molecule linked to Alzheimer's disease. In a recent study, resveratrol - one of several antioxidants found in wine - helped human cells break down the molecule, which contributes to the lesions found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Fortunately for teetotallers, the compound is also found elsewhere.” Read the full article here.


Bidders for Lanson

As we have reported earlier, Champagne Lanson is for sale and the French press reports that there are several bidders lurking. Favourite is Champagne Boizel-Chanoine and the other two bidders are LVMH (who already is the largest producer of champagne) and a consortium made up of the bank Credit Agricole and the Rothschilds. However, a spokesperson for LVMH denies that the company is interested in the deal.


Hang time is hotly debated

A "hot" topic, these days, especially in California, is ”hang time”. hang time means how long the (ripe) grapes are left hanging on the vine before picking. Hang times influences several things: “ripeness” of course, which implies e.g. the phenolic ripeness (tannins), acid levels, sugar levels etc. But it also influences the water contents, thus the weight (longer hang time means loss of water). And since many grape grower are paid per tonne it can mean a substantial loss of income. (Often, in California, the grape grower and the winery/wine maker are entirely separate and independent.) It is also a debate about what taste characteristics it leads to: longer hang time means more powerful, heavier, and sometimes jammy wines. And the tendency today is towards longer hang time. Some also say that the longer hang time often used today sometimes leads to too concentrated must which leads to that the Californian winemakers have to dilute their wines with water…
Hang time:
Water into Wine in California:


World’s sparkling wines

For the third time, the competition Effervecents du Monde was held in Dijon on November 17 & 18. Three Great Gold Medals were awarded: Pillitteri Estates Winery in Canada for the Sparkling Icewine Vidal 2004 (!) (, Champagne Canard Duchêne Brut Cuvée Léonie (, and La Cave de Die Jaillance Clairette de Die Tradition ( 31 Gold Medals were distributed to wines from the following countries: Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, France, Spain, Chile, Brazil, Austria and Germany. Full results here:
Photo: Effervecents du Monde.


André Lurton ”innovates” again

A very common affliction amongs wine producers (and others) is to create a web site that is too ”flashy”. As a visitor you are forced to watch a welcome page that moves around, maybe with music (and that takes ages to open), animated pages etc. And finally, there’s not much information anyway. Take Rothschild as an example: Always very frustrating. So, again, André Lurton has proved to be an “innovator”: Lurton has launched a new web site that is easy to use, well structures, full of information about his 8 chateaux (e.g. La Louvière) and without silly animations. Visit it here:


Argentine wine exports continue to grow

Over the first nine months of 2005 Argentine wine (and must) exports grew by 32% in value (24% in volume), achieving a total value of $307 million. But exports are quite “concentrated”: only 289 producers exported 1234 brands. The largest exporter was Peñaflor. The largest brands were Trivento (in volume) and Trapiche (in value). Malbec represented 27% of the total.


Romanée Conti leads to day long queues at the Swedish monopoly Systembolaget

The Swedish alcohol monopoly Systembolaget launched the Romanée Conti 2002 in November (28 bottles for sale) at a price of 13,495 kronor (1,425 euro). Swedish press reported that some people queued for a day before the wine was launched to be sure to get a bottle. According to some comments the wine is worth three times as much on the international market. In other words, the monopoly Systembolaget (controlled by a social democratic government) indirectly subsidises purchases of luxury wines by selling wine below market prices. So, that’s what we have a monopoly for?...


The Swedish monopoly Systembolaget parties for 14 million kronor (1.5M€)

The Swedish monopoly Systembolaget recently organised a staff party (and staff meeting Systembolaget underlines) for 14 million kronor (1.5M€). On the other hand 14M is maybe not much when you make a profit of almost 200M. The cost equates to 4000 kronor (422€) per person. World of Wine reports that one of the wines served was corked – possibly a step in the alcohol policy of Systembolaget who’s goal is to reduce Swedish consumption. Some commentators have been critical both to the cost and the timing, two days before the Systembolaget bribery scandal was due in court and in a time when Systembolaget is set to reduce staff with 90 jobs.


The Systembolaget launches an international political propaganda campaign

The Swedish monopoly Systembolaget has launched a new political propaganda campaign both in Sweden and in Europe. The campaign uses as a pretext a wish to inform the EU president Mr Barroso about the danger of alcohol. The managing director of Systembolaget, Anitra Steen, says that she is not worried about the future of the monopoly, on the contrary. The campaign is just there to make you think a bit. For 8 million kronor (845,000 euro): ad in the Financial Times (760,000kr), ads in some 70 Swedish papers (4.5M kr) and a propaganda film and a dedicated web site. It is curious that the Systembolaget AB is not just executing the policies that the government has decided but is actually doing its own political campaigning. Read a leader comment in The Local.


Alcohol consumption increases more in Sweden than in other countries: +12% (or +30% according to the FT ad)

Statistics from the OECD shows that Sweden is the country where alcohol consumption has increased the most (2000-2003). The survey covers 30 countries. Most successful in decreasing consumption, according to the stats, are Slovakia, Portugal, Italy, Mexico and Ireland where consumption has decreased with between 5% and 15%. Perhaps this could make one think of which type of alcohol policy seems to be effective? Here's some background data.


Four new Côtes-du-Rhône Villages villages

Four new villages have gained the right to use their names together with the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages appellation: Massif-d’Uchaux (Vaucluse), Plan-de-Dieu (Vaucluse), Puyméras (Vaucluse) and Signargues (Gard)...! They all make exclusively red wine. This brings the Villages appellation to a total of 20 villages.


Cazes in Bordeaux/Langudeoc expands in Portugal and in South Africa

(Correction) -- Jean-Michel Cazes, owner of Chateau Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux as well as a few other wine properties i Bordeaux and Languedoc (where he makes a wine called Circus), has established a collaboration with a producer in Portugal to make a wine called Xisto which recently was named one of the ten best wines in Portugal. Cazes also has a collaboration with Bollinger (25% each of the capital) and Brian Croser to make a prestige wine in South Africa called Tappanappa. (We mistakenly originally attributed this to (the equally dynamic) Domain Cazes in Roussillon. Apologies to Jean-Michel Cazes as well as to Domaine Cazes. A case of mixed Cazes? Many thanks to an attentive reader who spotted it.)


Oak record!

Do you happen to own an oak forest? Then you might be rich. A cooper in Bordeaux just paid 37,790 euro for a single oak. But it was not just any oak: it was 340 years old, so planted around 1660, 39 m high, a diameter of 1.3 m (not much compared to the Swedish Rumskulla oak (pictures here) oak that is 4 m in diameter), and a volume of 19 cubic meters.


Bordeaux prices sky-rocket thanks to British pensioners?

Prices for top claret is said to have gone up dramatically recently. The reason is not that retired Brits gulp down more Latour and Mouton than before. Rather, as often, it is a change in taxation and legislation that is the cause. From the beginning of next year British SIPPs (individual pension funds) will be allowed to invest in wine. (However, in spite of the name, it is not wine for drinking. The SIPP must be managed by a professional fund manager who is responsible to achieve maximum performance.) Some merchants believe strongly in this, e.g. Berry Brothers & Rudd, who have set up a special activity focused on SIPPs. Others doubt if fund managers will think wine a good investment. Some commentators say that the price rise is more a question of increasing demand from Asia. All according to various reports in Harpers, Decanter, OLN and the Circle Update.

The blog has moved. Here is the new location: BKWine Magazine Blog.

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP