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The International Screw Cork Initiative

>> Tuesday, February 28, 2006

040923-141-4190“Screw Corkers Unite!” could be the slogan. The purpose is to inform about the benefits of the screw cork and to be way for producers who use screw corks to collaborate. Michel Laroche, who was the first wine maker in Chablis to bottle a Grand Cru with screw cork, is the first European member. The International Screw Cork Initiative is a continuation of the New Zealand Screw Cork Initiative.

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A champagne sabre is not a weapon – says Danish police

At least not in Denmark. In (a Danish wine newsletter) there has been a discussion of whether a champagne sabre should be considered a weapon and therefore require a weapons’ license. (A champagne sabre is used to “sabre” a bottle of wine – opening it by striking of the cork with a rapid blow with the sabre, a clear case of alcohol abuse in our opinion.) Now, to clarify the issue, they publish a statement from a representative from the Danish police. He says that, well, yes, a champagne sabre due to its shape could be considered a weapon but that it depends on what you do with it. Unless you run around town with it, it is really regarded as a piece of household equipment, much like a big cleaver for example.


Wine & Dine Radio in the USA interviews BKWine

We had a call one day from Lynn Krielow Chamberlain who said “Hi, I run a wine talk show called Wine & Dine Radio. Could I make an interview with BKWine to feature you in my next program?” Well, we couldn’t say no could we, flattered as we were! The program broadcast on Lynn’s own site and on Apple’s iTunes and Live365. You can listen to it here: Part 1 ... Part 2


New method to prevent cork taint

>> Sunday, February 26, 2006

Innocork” is a new method to eliminate TCA contamination in corks (TCA is the substance that causes “corked wines”). The process has been invented by Cork Supply USA (CSU). They already produce 5 million Innocork corks per month in Portugal and sells to e.g. Rioja in Spain. (Photo: Innocork)

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The Oregon Wine industry worth $1.4 billion per year

>> Friday, February 24, 2006

A study has shown that the Oregon wine industry is worth considerably more than what was previously thought. The researchers came up with the number $1.4 billion per year. The number includes wine sales to consumers. If you exclude that the value would be $801 million. As reported in Katu Newsin Oregon

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Star wines in Ukraine?

Gérard Dépardieu, perhaps France’s most famous actor, was recently in Ukraine. Apart from dining with president Viktor Yushchenko, Dépardieu also had the time to investigate the prospects for growing wine on the Crimea Peninsula (which is an old wine growing area) with a team of experts that he had brought with him. Dépardieu already makes wine in e.g. the Loire Valley and the Languedoc. Read more in (Maybe this is a reflection of the saying ”Do you know how to make a small fortune in wine? – Start with a big fortune!”)


Looking for a job in the wine industry in France?

>> Thursday, February 23, 2006

Then there is a site for you: Job hunters can register their profiles and look at job offers and employers can post their job ads and trawl through CVs. At the moment there is 166 job offers.


Surplus of grapes in California .... or shortage?

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to believe. One day we read that it is expected that 2005 will prove to be a record vintage (in volume) in Sonoma and that it will lead to plummeting prices. Next day we read that there are fears for a grape shortage… But the shortage is supposedly only for selected, high-in-demand grapes. Read both versions on North Bay Business Journal and in The Press Democrat.


Cheaper oak aged wines with laminated barrels?

>> Sunday, February 19, 2006

A research project in Gironde (Bordeaux) has developed a barrique (225 litre barrel) made of laminated wood. The inner layer is made of oak but the outer layer is made from ash wood. At blind tastings of wine aged in the laminated barrels after six months ageing the wines from the “traditional” barrels had more oak character but the wine from the laminated barrels were preferred since the wine’s own characteristics were more evident. Similar trials have been done in Hungary and Portugal. Read more


Tune in to Wine

Jacques Orhon is a Frenchman expatriated to Canada working as a sommelier and writer. He has now (once again) shown unexpected talents by launching a CD with wine songs. He sings and plays the guitar and is accompanied by professional musicians – all in classic French style. (Despite our efforts we have not found a way to buy the CD outside of Canada, but it should be available on Amazon Canada soon.) (The picture is of Jacques making a fabulous performance at the Bodega del Fin del Mundo in Patagonia, Argentina!)


2005 promises to be an excellent Rhône vintage

According to Inter-Rhône (the producers’ organisation) it will be an excellent vintage for all three colours. Almost perfect weather (avoiding excessive heats as in 2003) resulted in perfectly ripe and healthy grapes. We look forward to tasting them!


Catalan separatists kills cava sales

>> Saturday, February 18, 2006

041006-151-5103Sales, and consumption, are plummeting of cava – Spanish sparkling wine primarily made in Catalonia. Consumers in the rest of Spain are protesting against the proposals for more Catalan autonomy by drinking less of the Catalan bubbly. Read more on Bloomberg


Age your wine fast-forward with electrolysis

>> Friday, February 17, 2006

A Japanese laboratory has developed a method to rapidly give the wine the equivalent of bottle age by passing it through an electrolysis apparatus: a young, fruity wine is turned into a mellow, full-bodied wine in a couple of minutes. The inventor, Hiroshi Tanaka at Innovative Design and Technology in Tokyo, says that he thinks that it will not be easy to sell the machine in Europe and in other traditional (or traditionalistic) wine countries. Read more in Sydney Morning Herald and on CNN.
- Sydney Morning Herald


”Can you help us?” or ”Do you want wine news on your site?”

Wine Pictures from BKWineCan you help spread the word about the Brief? And at the same time get some up to date wine news on your site! If you have a web site (or a blog) you can get one of these animated gif headlines that will show the five latest headlines from the BKWine Brief blog. It will look just like this. You can also see how it looks on – we have put it in the header. Find out how here. (We've put it in the header on too so you can see how it looks there.)


5 Great Gold Medals at the 1st BKWine Scandinavian Wine & Spirit Competition and record number of wine fair visitors

>> Thursday, February 16, 2006

Paris, 2006-02-15

CRW_4137The world’s first competition for “Scandinavian” wines and spirits resulted in 5 Great Gold Medals, 9 Gold Medals and 24 Silver Medals. The competition – The 1st BKWine Scandinavian Wine & Spirit Competition – was organised in connection with the BKWine Scandinavian Wine Fair in Paris on February 11, both organised by Britt Karlsson, BKWine, in collaboration with the Cercle Suédois and Restaurant Rivoli.

The third Scandinavian Wine Fair was successfully completed with a record number of exhibitors and visitors. Some 350 visitors sniffed, slurped and sometimes drunk more than 100 different wines and spirits presented by 32 exhibitors from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Most of the wines and spirits were of course produced by “emigrated” Scandinavians in France and other wine making countries but there were even three exhibitors growing and making wine in Sweden.

The BKWine Scandinavian Wine and Spirit Competition

Five Great Gold Medals was awarded by the jury that consisted of sommeliers, wine writers and oenologues:

Great Gold Medals

-- Red wine
Château Lecusse 2001 Vieilli en fût, Gaillac, France, owned by the Danish couple Mogens and Pernille Olesen.

-- Rosé wine
Chateau de Palayson Rosé 2004, Côtes de Provence, France, owned by the Swedish-American couple Christine and Allan von Eggers Rudd.

-- Dry white wine
Château Carsin l’Etiquette Grise 2002, Bordeaux, France, owned by the Finn Juha Berglund.

-- Sweet white wine
Château Carsin 2001, Cadillac, France, owned by the Finn Juha Berglund.

-- Spirits
Gute Restu Exklusiv "grappa", Gute Vingård, Gotland, Sweden, a grappa-style spirit made from grapes in Sweden by the Swede Lauri Pappinen.

Gold Medals

9 Gold Medals were awarded to wines and cognacs.

Silver Medals

24 Silver Medals were awarded to wines, cognacs and an armagnac.

The complete list of medal winners can be found on the site:

The BKWine Scandinavian Wine Fair

The Scandinavian Wine Fair greeted a record number of exhibitors: 32 wine and spirit producers, all with a Scandinavian link, came and presented in person their wines and spirits. The full list of exhibitors and their provenance is available on the site:

CRW_4250Some 350 visitors came to the wine fair to taste the more than one hundred Scandinavian wines and spirits. The visitors were a mix of professionals, sommeliers, wine buyers, journalist and other, as well as the wine loving public. The Wine Fair was even honoured by the visits of both the Swedish ambassador, Frank Belfrage, and the Norwegian ambassador, Björn Skogmo.

Britt Karlsson, BKWine, organiser of the event, says: ”I am very satisfied with the outcome. Record number of exhibitors and record number of visitors. The wine producers say they very much like the informal way of meeting with consumers and professionals. But many also point out that it is their only occasion to meet other Scandinavians involved in wines and spirits. It was very positive to see the high quality of the wines. The wide range is impressive and perhaps confusing – wines from 2 euro to 200 euro were there to taste – but virtually all was of good quality. Which also showed in the number of medals awarded”. Britt explains about the competition: “The jury consisted of ten wine experts – sommeliers, oenologists, wine writers. All wines and spirits were of course tasted blind and if it reached a certain, pre-defined score it was awarded a medal.”

Press photos
More info
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- Britt Karlsson, ph 00 33 1 58 88 04 66,,
- Per Karlsson, ph mobil 00 33 6 83 51 12 53

BKWine AB – Britt Karlsson
BKWine, 51, rue du Chevalier de la Barre, F-92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux (Paris), France, ph 00 33 6 80 45 35 70,,

BKWine is managed by Britt Karlsson, a Swede living in Paris. She is one of the few Swedes working internationally with wine education and wine journalism and is also a very experienced organiser of wine tours.

The Swedish Club in Paris
Cercle Suédois, 242, rue Rivoli, F-75001 Paris, France, ph 00 33 1 42 60 76 67,

The Cercle Suédois was founded in 1891 and is a meeting point for Swedes and other Scandinavians living in Paris. The Club is housed in a prestigious building overlooking the Louvre and Tuileries gardens.

The Restaurant Rivoli at the Swedish Club
Restaurant Rivoli, 242, rue Rivoli, F-75001 Paris, France. ph 00 33 1 42 60 40 22, fax 00 33 1 42 61 46 06,

Kajsa von Sydow runs the restaurant at the Swedish club, the Restaurant Rivoli. It is open for lunch guest as well as for private parties and functions. It is open both for members of the club as well as for non-members.


This month’s must-have wine (gadget)

>> Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Buy a bottle of wine that is encased in a glass sculpture. To drink the wine you will have to break the sculpture. That is at least what Château Cablanc tries to convince buyers to do. Only 870 euro for a bottle. Sales are limited to one bottle per buyer.


Tell us where you are!

That’s right. We want to know where you are. Just for fun, to know where our readers are located. We have created a Frappr map (a free Google service) for the BKWine Brief. You can put a pin on the map to show us where you are, anonymous or not. Please do. Just for fun!


Wine and China

>> Tuesday, February 14, 2006

050120-035- - China invests in wine production and export
China is not a big wine producer today (only 4.3% of the world’s wine production) but they are putting a lot of effort into expanding the sector. There was recently an job ad looking for a winemaker from Bordeaux, they buy wine presses from Italy, and plan for more exports. Read more in the NZ Herald

- - California sees China as an interesting export market and not as a competitor
California could have felt threatened but instead they see China as an opportunity. Daniel Sumner from the University of California considers China to be an interesting export market, as he recently explained at a Californian wine strategy seminar. Read more at California Farm Bureau Federation


Asian Wine Fair in Paris

>> Monday, February 13, 2006

Wine from 11 Asian countries will be presented at the Asian Wine Fair in Paris on March 6. Apparently it is high season for unusual wine fairs! The Asian event takes place at the Hotel Normandy. Contact Gourmand International for info: icr-at-virtualsw-dot-es


BKWine interviewed in Chile’s main online wine news site

>> Sunday, February 12, 2006

Andes’ Wines interviewed Britt in their December issue. Andes’ Wines is Chile’s leading online wine newsletter. We can’t help being a bit proud since a few days later they interviewed Jancis Robinson.


Record 30 participants at the Scandinavian Wine Fair and Wine & Spirit Competition on February 11

>> Friday, February 10, 2006

040207-lek338-000830 Scandinavian wine and spirits producers will participate in the BKWine Scandinavian Wine Fair in Paris on February 11. This is a record number at this unusual wine and spirits event. In connection with the Wine Fair there will also be the first ever Scandinavian Wine & Spirits competition where more that one hundred products are expected to compete for the medals. The Wine Fair will take place on Saturday February 11 at the Cercle Suédois (Swedish Club) in central Paris between 11.00 (11 AM) and 18.00 (6 PM). The Wine Fair is open to both professionals and the public. The Fair is organised by BKWine in collaboration with The Swedish Club in Paris and Restaurant Rivoli. Full information is available on the site:

Britt Karlsson of BKWine, the organiser of the event, says ”I am extremely happy with the strong and record turn out for this event. We have a very interesting, and unusual (!), group of wine and spirit producers who will present their products both to the trade and to the public. All with a Scandinavian link.”. The Wine Fair will give the visitors to the event the opportunity to taste well over one hundred different types of wines and spirits and to meet the winemakers in person.

The First Scandinavian Wine & Spirit Competition that will be held in connection with the Fair is the first time ever that Scandinavian producers of wines and spirits will have the opportunity to together have their wines and spirits evaluated by an international panel of expert judges. The best products will be awarded medals that will be announced at the Fair on February 11.

There will be participants, in the Fair and in the Competition, from all Nordic countries except Iceland: Denmark (7 participants), Finland (3), Norway (7), and Sweden (13). Most of the participants in the BKWine Scandinavian Wine Fair actually make wine, or spirits, in traditional wine producing countries. The most popular country for Scandinavians to settle in and start making wine is France, judging from where participants in the Wine Fair come from. But there is even three exhibitors who make wine in Sweden. Wines and spirits from the following countries will be presented at the event: France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, USA, Sweden.

This is the full list of participants:

- Birkedal-Hartmann & Cie, Cognac, France (N - Norway)
- Chateau K, Bergerac, France (N)
- Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, Jerez, Spain (N)
- Georg Breuer, Rheingau, Germany (S - Sweden)
- Profils-Bordeaux, France (N)
- Chateau Carsin, Bordeaux, France (SF - Finland)
- Chateau Lecusse, Gaillac, France (D - Denmark)
- Gute Vingård, Gotland, Sweden (S)
- Vinmand/Createur de Vin Didier Cornillon, France (D)
- Celliers des Dominicains, Collioure, France (S)
- Chateau Peyriac de Mer, Languedoc, France (D)
- Chateau Champcenetz, Bordeaux, France (D)
- Domaine Gachot-Monot, Bourgogne, France (D)
- Jenssen Cognac, France (N)
- Vignobles Croce-Spinelli, Chateau Clarettes-Domaine du Saint Esprit, Provence, France (S)
- Abbaye de Sainte-Radegonde, Muscadet, France (SF)
- Finca La Molineta, Spain (SF)
- Chateau de Costis, Vignobles Mazeau-Bergstrom, Bordeaux, France (S)
- Domaine Pialentou, Gaillac, France (S)
- Nangijala Vingård, Sweden (S)
- Villa Sandahl, Hungary (S)
- Chateau Kirwan, Margaux, Bordeaux, France (D)
- Chateau Raissac, Languedoc, France (N)
- Lars Torstensson (Domaine Rabiega, France, Hedges Family Vineyard, USA, Vinzavod Assenovgrad, Bulgaria) (S)
- Blaxta Wine, Sweden (S)
- Bache-Gabrielsen, Cognac, France (N)
- Domaine Canto Perlic, Gaillac, France (S)
- Chateau de Palayson, Provence, France (S)
- Chateau de Mons, Bordeaux, France (D)
- Chateau de Castex d'Armagnac, Armaganc, France
- Chateau de Nozay & Château Favray, Loire, France
- Braastad, Cognac, France (N)


BKWine Pick: Le Jardin d’Ausone, the Wine Restaurant, Bordeaux

>> Thursday, February 09, 2006

Last December Laurent Vialette opened this wonderful little restaurant in the centre of the old town in Bordeaux in a place where there used to be a Michelin-starred restaurant called Le Plaisir d'Auson. Laurent worked there as sommelier and when they closed he took over the restaurant, renamed it and at the same time he has opened a wine shop further down the street with an extensive selection of both old and new vintages. (Laurent is a bit of a specialist in old vintages and writes on the subject in La Revue du Vin de France). You can also buy olive oils, balsamic vinegar, and food and wine books. The restaurant has a very interesting menu based around fresh products and "simple" preparation to keep and enhance the aromas and tastes of the ingredients. The cook comes from Chateau de la Chevre d'Or on the Cote d'Azur that has two Michelin stars. Many of the dishes are served in small or large sizes. You choose what you want depending on if you hunger, or depending on if you take it as a starter or a main course. An excellent idea. The risotto is a speciality that is served either with cèpes mushrooms or with langoustines. If you feel overwhelmed by the choice or just feel a bit adventurous go for the chef's menu surprise for 45 euro. Add 30 euro and the wines are included and you are guaranteed an experience of both food and wine. Or you can pick the wine from a wine list that does take a while to read (or ask Laurent and he might have something special to suggest). Only thing to add is that the decoration is a discrete and well made mix of old and new. Laurent has also designed a wine decanter that is both easy to pour from, easy to hold and very original (see picture). It will be manufactured and sold by Spiegelau that Laurent represents in France.

Read more recommendations on restaurants and wine bars, and for the addresses, visit my Restaurant and Wine Bar Page


BKWine Pick: Le Domaine Léopold, Bistrot à vins: Paris 1

>> Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This is a very nice wine bar/restaurant on the already restaurant dense rue Leopold Belland in the 2nd, just a stone's throw from the market street rue Montorgueil. In summer time they have a big and calm 'terrasse'. The menu is short but with a good selection of typical wine bar food made from fresh raw material: a plate with different duck preparations (the owners come from Sud Ouest), cheese, sausages, ham etc. They also serve a few cooked dishes with a distinct South West flavour (magret de canard, entrecote,...) The regional style also shows on the wine list even though it is not so dominating: they have more than 150 different wines! some 10 wines served by the glass, some unusual (and interesting) vin de tables... Ask for advice if you're not confident. We can particularly recommend the duck, made in different ways: traditional magret with pommes sautées, or made as tournedos (less filling) or as a tartare! Excellent with home-made spicy mayonnaise. Or the duck liver (foie gras) as a main course (!), served raw. Definitely worth trying. And if you're lucky you will get a cannelé (Bordeaux speciality) to the coffee. Best ones in Paris.

Read more recommendations on restaurants and wine bars, and for the addresses, visit my Restaurant and Wine Bar Page


Paris vineyards

>> Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The winemakers’ association in the Paris region (l’association des Vignerons Franciliens Réunis - VFR) have produced a map showing where you can find all the vineyards in and round Paris. The most famous is in Montmartre but there are some 150 different registered vineyards both in Paris itself and outside. Here are some pictures from Paris vineyards.

Some photos: Paris Vineyards


BKWine Pick: Daps Restaurant, Barcelona

>> Sunday, February 05, 2006

The elegant but discrete design makes it obvious you're in Barcelona. It certainly looks like the jet set resto but lunch guests seem more to be ordinary people from the offices around the corner. Well prepared food with quite a lot of "modern style" dishes: ravioli with seafood, mini-croquettes (much more tasty than what it sounds), grilled gambas with spicy rice... Around 35 euro (aperitif, starter, main course, wine).

Read more recommendations on restaurants and wine bars, and for the addresses, visit my Restaurant and Wine Bar Page


BKWine Pick: Table Kobus Restaurant in Champagne

>> Saturday, February 04, 2006

One of the better restaurants in Epernay. Classic cuisine with a bit of innovation, but not too much. Menus around 25-37 euro, e.g. a "pear menu" where everything is with pears: salad with smoked duck breast and pear, pigeon with pears, pear sabayon..


BKWine Pick: Le Bistrot des Grands Crus in Chablis

>> Friday, February 03, 2006

A bistro with very well prepared food and an interesting wine list in the centre of Chablis. It is connected with the Hostellerie des Clos which has the one-star in the Michelin guide Guide Rouge "Michel Vignaud". Around 20-30 euro for a meal. We tried the veal kidneys (rognons de veau) and a very tasty fish soup.

Read more recommendations on restaurants and wine bars, and for the addresses, visit my Restaurant and Wine Bar Page


BKWine Pick: Le Café du Passage

>> Thursday, February 02, 2006

Paris 11e. Very pleasant. Exceptional wine list, cool jazz, mix of English club atmosphere and Italian design (owner is ex-interior designer). Outstanding selection of Rhone and southern France. Small things to eat. Also a small shop where you can buy to bring home even late at night! Say hello to Gerard from us!

Read more recommendations on restaurants and wine bars, and for the addresses, visit my Restaurant and Wine Bar Page here!


Subscribe to updates to this blog

>> Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Just found FeedBlitz: If you want to get an email notification each day this blog is updated , you can subscribe to it here:

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Some Paris Wine Shops BKWine recommends

This is Wine Blogging Wednesday and we've been asked to write about some interesting wine shop. We'll actually talk about more than one though.

The first to mention is the "incontournable", that you just cannot not mention: Lavinia on Boulevard de la Madeleine: Very broad range of French and international wines. A special section on bio-dynamic wines. Sometimes a touch expensive (what would you expect with this address?). They also have a restaurant and wine bar. Definitely an address to visit for their amazing range of wines (6000 references, more wines in one Shop than what you can find in the whole of Sweden!).

20030615_1_0017The second suggestion is more "iconoclaste": a small "farmers' market" market shop: Arômes et Cépages is a wine shop that is located inside the Marché des Enfants Rouges. They have a very good selection of organic or bio-dynamic wines. Many of the producers who are starting to establish a name (or have already done so) are there: Marcel Richaud (Cotes du Rhone), Domaine 20030615_2_0029Rimbert (Coteaux du Languedoc), Domaine Coupe-Roses (Minervois), Domaine de Montgilet (Anjou), etc. An interesting address if you look for wine that is good value, not from Bordeaux or Burgundy, and that happen to be organic. And at the other end of the market you find one of Paris' really unique and excellent wine bistros (restaurant and wine bar) that you really should not miss if you are there: Les Enfants Rouges run by "Dany" (left on the photo), but since this is about wine shops you'll have to read the rest of the story about the restaurant here.

You'll find the exact addresses of these wine shops and many other recommendations on our wine shop page here.

    There is one more Paris Wine Shop tip in our Wine Picture Blog here.

    Oh, and if you have some other interesting addresses to suggest to us - your own favourites in Paris or elsewhere - do let us know!

    This occurence of Wine Blogging Wednesday is coordinated by DrVino that you find here. On his page (I guess) you will find links to all other participants.

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

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