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Do you want to work in the vineyard during the harvest?

>> Monday, July 30, 2007 has a page for those who wants to find a job in the vineyard during the harvest. NB: its not a vacation pastime but real and hard working harvest job. For the future harvest hands:


English wines win prizes

>> Friday, July 27, 2007

The recently held competition for English wines saw record number of contestants and better wines than ever, according to the organisers. 142 wines were awarded medals. “Wine of the Year” was awarded to Camel Valley Vineyard for its sparkling Cornwall Pinot Noir Rosé 2004. Camel Valley won three of the eight gold medals, the others going to Chapel Down Wines, Ickworth Vineyard, and Ridgeview Wine Estate. All prize winners:

Read more... in new clothes

>> Wednesday, July 25, 2007, the ”official” site for Bordeaux wines, have had a thorough redesign. You will find information on appellations, the classification system, the history of Bordeaux wines, varietals, winemaking methods, vintages, how to discover the region etc.

►► Best insider tip to discover Bordeaux: Travel with BKWine.


Would you like to buy a vineyard in France?

>> Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Then you have a vast range of prices to choose from. Some examples of prices per hectare:

- Champagne: 627,000€ (the only region where prices are up this year)
- Alsace: 133,000€ (curiously second most expensive)
- Bordeaux: 56,000€ (which actually is under the national average. But variations are enormous, from Champagne levels down to almost nothing)
- Fronton: 10,000€ (Oh, you don’t know where it is? Exactly. It’s a small region near Toulouse in southern France that makes very nice wines from an unusual grape variety called Negrette. But which is not very good at marketing.)


New tour from BKWine: Truffles, Wine, Foie Gras and Duck, February 13-17, 2008

PRESS RELEASE – Paris, 23 July 2007

New tour from BKWine: Truffles, Wine, Foie Gras and Duck, February 13-17, 2008

Paris, 23 July 2007

Truffles, wine, foie gras and duck is the theme for BKWine’s first tour in 2008. The company has just released the details for the program of this unusual wine and food tour. The tour is open to a small number of gastronomy enthusiasts and will take place on February 13-17, 2008.

The tour includes accommodation at a luxury chateau in the Bordeaux region, a morning with truffle, followed by a sumptuous truffle lunch, a gourmet workshop on how to prepare foie gras and other duck specialities as well as visits to a number of wine producers in Saint Emilion and Bergerac. Four dinners and three lunches, all including wine, are also in the package. The price for this out-of-the-ordinary four day tour is 1240 euro.

Britt Karlsson, founder of BKWine and organiser of the tour, comments on the program: “I have designed the program for this tour with the aim of giving the traveller some of the most exclusive and unique gastronomic experiences there are: truffles, foie gras and wine. And I am happy to be able to offer this at a very affordable price”.

Britt comments further on the program: “Spending a morning on a truffle hunt with a truffle dog is almost magical, and then sitting down to an all-truffle lunch is a very special experience. The other gastronomic high point of the tour is the workshop on how to prepare a foie gras – genuine duck liver”. Britt continues: “We’re at a country side duck farm where we will also get to taste many other regional duck specialities. Not to forget, of course, the four dinners we will have at the luxury Château des Vigiers chateau-hotel where we are staying.”

As always on the tours organised by BKWine, there will be several wine visits: both to the classic Saint Emilion district in Bordeaux and to the Bergerac region, which has seen a dramatic quality revival over the last ten years. All in all there will be six winery visits on the program.

The tour is also guided and led by Britt Karlsson, who has more than ten years’ experience of organising and managing wine and food tours. Britt explains her philosophy behind her tours: “I want people to learn more about wine and food and at the same time enjoy themselves. I put a lot of effort into designing the program, choosing the most interesting producers and making them varied and interesting. Since I am also a wine writer and journalist I am fortunate to have an extensive network of contacts that allows me to put together truly exceptional programs.”

BKWine focuses solely on wine and gastronomic travel. Over the years the company has organised more than one hundred wine tours to France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Austria. BKWine also arranges custom designed tours.

For more information on the wine tours:

Press photos on this wine and food tour, as well as on BKWine are available here:


Britt Karlsson, info RemoveThisSpamBlock, ph 00 33 6 80 45 35 70

Kay Steggles, kay.steggles RemoveThisSpamBlock, 00 33 6 79 18 96 91

More information

- About the Wine Tours:

- About BKWine:

- Press photos: (Additional press photos from our 20.000 pictures library can be requested for publication)

About BKWine AB:

51, rue du Chevalier de la Barre, F-92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux (Paris), France, 00 33 6 80 45 35 70, info RemoveThisSpamBlock,

BKWine AB 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. She started her business in the early 1990s. Since 1995 she publishes a private newsletter called “VinNytt” with articles on wine. The same year she launched one of the first wine web sites:, which is now bilingual (English-Swedish). She also publishes an email newsletter – the BKWine Brief – which in a short time has grown to become one of the largest newsletters on wine. “The Brief” is available in English and Swedish – for free. Britt is completely independent of wine producers and of the wine trade. She is a member of the British Circle of Wine Writers, the International Wine and Food Society and numerous other wine and gastronomic organisations.


V&S Vin & Sprit up for sale

>> Monday, July 23, 2007

The Swedish government has confirmed its willingness to sell the government owned wine and spirits importer and producer V&S Vin & Sprit. Many suitors are expected, not least because Vin & Sprit owns one of the world’s leading vodka brands, Absolut. Speculations include Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Fortune Brands, and even the Finnish state owned Altia Corporation. The price tag is estimated to around $5-6 billion. Well, it’s high time that the Swedish government gets out of the business of producing and selling spirits to the international market - often in blatant conflict with Swedish public health policies.


Test (MetaCafe)

>> Sunday, July 22, 2007

Languedoc - Going Home (test) - More amazing video clips are a click away


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Conference on competition and the future in the wine industry

>> Friday, July 20, 2007”Competitive Forces Affecting the Wine and Winegrape Industries” is the full title of the conference organised at US Davis wine university in California. Indeed an interesting theme. More info:


World’s finest collection of Yquem for sale

>> Thursday, July 19, 2007 you have a sweet tooth? Then you should note September 28 in your agenda. On that date Nils Stormy will sell his unique collection of Chateau d’Yquem at auction at Zachys in New York. Stormby has over many years amassed the world’s finest collection of the legendary sweet wine from Bordeaux. And now he thinks it is time to sell it – rather than having some less wine interested heirs gulp it down to ice cream…


Small demonstration in Languedoc against the EU wine reform

Only 300 participants in the demonstration on Monday in Béziers (Languedoc) protesting against the upcoming EU reform of the wine support program. Most producer organisations had preferred to await the official presentation which is expected this week. The demonstrators demanded more protectionist custom barriers and guaranteed minimum prices for the producers. It would perhaps be more productive to focus the energy on making quality wine and on selling it to consumers?


France’s oldest vineyard

>> Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Archaeologists have found what is believed to be France’s oldest vineyard dating back to 10 AD. They have identified fragments of the fermentation tanks and water channels that are said to have been used for temperature control. The winery includes a roman villa and a 200m2 swimming pool in the garden.


Moth threatens American grape harvest

>> Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The light-brown apple moth can devastate fruit plantations – both grape crops and other fruit such as apple (obviously), apricots, and tomatoes. The moth has not previously existed in North America but has been spotted in nine different counties in California since the beginning of the year, e.g. in Napa. Wine and fruit growers fear the worst and traps as well as pesticides have started to be used. See it here


Moth threatens American grape harvest

The light-brown apple moth can devastate fruit plantations – both grape crops and other fruit such as apple (obviously), apricots, and tomatoes. The moth has not previously existed in North America but has been spotted in nine different counties in California since the beginning of the year, e.g. in Napa. Wine and fruit growers fear the worst and traps as well as pesticides have started to be used. See it here


EU and Australia writes new wine agreement

A new wine agreement has just been signed by the EU and Australia. It stipulates e.g. that Australian wine producers will no longer be able to use European regulated place names for their wines, such as for example Moselle, Chablis, Champagne or Port. It also says that the EU will recognise Australian wine making practices and will allow wines to be sold in the EU even if they do not follow European regulations, as long as they follow Australian rules (for example, in Australia de-alcoholising wine is allowed but not in the EU). In both cases the rules are reciprocal (i.e. European producers will not be allowed to use Australian place names etc).


Chambertin Grand Cru with screw cap

>> Monday, July 16, 2007 Burgundy producer Jean-Claude Boisset has launched two top level wines with screw cap: a Chambertin Grand Cru and a Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes. Both are from the vintage 2005. Boisset calls it “a provocation?”.


Lower yields = better wines. Or?

a0617-218-1813The ruling has been confirmed that raises the yield in Champagne to 15,000 kg/ha. Very few people (in France) counts in kg/ha so if we translate it to hectolitres per hectare it equates to 100 hl/ha. (In Bordeaux, as a comparison, the yield is usually around 40-50 hl/ha.) Perhaps it has to do with that champagne is selling just as fast as the corks pop these days and that there is no land to increase the cultivated area, so the only possibility for expansion is higher yields? (For the wine nerd: Rendement de Base is now 12,400 kg/ha (up from 10,400) and the Rendement Butoir is 15,500 kg/ha (up from 13,000).).


Does the minister drink?

>> Friday, July 13, 2007

There was some concern in wine circles in France after the appointment of Christine Lagarde as agricultural minister after the French presidential elections. The magazine L’Express had written that the new minister did not drink wine and wine being one of the main agricultural sectors, it raised questions. However, it turned out that the information was false and that the minister does drink wine (as BKWine can attest, having seen her sip a glass of champagne at a press conference recently). Shortly after, Lagarde was promoted finance minister.


Champagne Duval-Leroy appoints new female winemaker many champagne houses have a female winemaker. But now there is one that is both owned and managed by a woman as well as having a female winemaker. Duval-Leroy recently appointed Sandrine Logette-Jardin to “chef de caves” and thus responsible for the wines at this family-owned house. Logette-Jardin is with Duval-Leroy since 1991. The company is owned and managed by Carol Duval-Leroy.


Wine region-of-the-month: Muscadet

>> Thursday, July 12, 2007 is a wine region in the westernmost Loire valley

  • A total of 13,000 hectares and 91 communes
  • The appellation was created in 1936. There are now four ACs: Muscadet (3400ha), Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (8800ha), M. Coteaux de la Loire (200 ha), and M Côtes de Grandlieu (300ha)
  • 700,000 hl is produced annually, exclusively from the grape variety Melon de Bourgogne, also called Muscadet
  • Some Muscadet is made “sur lie”: it requires (for example) that the wine has been kept on the lees until bottling. This should give the wine added freshness and aromas. Some 40% of all Muscadet is sur lie.
  • The soil is very varied: schist, micaschiste, granite, sand and gravel.


USA tops the cognac list

>> Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The top ten export markets for cognac is quite an interesting read (source BNIC):
- Singapore
- UK
- Germany
- China
- Russia
- Finland
- Hong-Kong
- Norway
- Japan

All markets grew during 2006, except Finland (-2.1%) and Japan (14.9%). Just over 50% of exports are of the VS (youngest) category.


Still dear Bordeaux?

031011-3-k924-0021Many more primeur prices have now (finally) been ”released”. Hardly any bargains for the wine lover. Here are some examples (R = release price from the winery per bottle; C = estimated merchant price in England): Château Mouton-Rothschild (R=270€, C=£3200), Lafite-Rothschild (R=270€, C=£3200), Margaux (R=275€), Latour (R=275€) and Haut Brion (R=275€, C=£2950). And a bit more: Ch Ausone (R=450€, C=£7500).


BKWine Pick: Restaurant Lagmark, Helsingborg

>> Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lagmark, Helsingborg

bh16-455-5558A popular watering hole in the coastal town of Helsingborg, open for lunch and dinner, or for just a glass of wine. The popular tapas, called ‘gourmetas’, are world famous in Helsingborg – two or three makes a nice lunch, for example in classic Swedish style with marinated herring and egg, “skagenröra” (with a creamy mix of shrimps), or a thick slice of salmon. Each is charged the very affordable price of 24 kr. If weather is good (so not this summer) you can enjoy sitting outside on the newly renovated square.
Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Restaurant Le Brandevin, Paris 16

>> Monday, July 09, 2007

Le Brandevin, Paris 16 A classic Parisian neighbourhood bistro – crowded and with a great and friendly atmosphere and good service. The emphasis is on classic French cuisine – main courses are mostly meat, for example côte de Boeuf (T-bone steak style), entrecôte, escalope de veau (veal with morel sauce), steak tartare, filet de boeuf. Prices for a main course vary between 18 and 22 euro, starters around 7 euro

Click here for address and more recommendations


BKWine Pick: Domaine de Triennes

>> Sunday, July 08, 2007

Domaine de Triennes, Provence

bc25-355-5519Triennes is a property that has attracted quite a lot of attention lately although it carries the quite modest appellation of Vin de Pays du Var. But you should not be fooled by the humble origin – the wines are excellent and interesting and we would be surprised if they were not. The winery was founded by two Burgundy legends: Aubert de Villaine (Domaine de la Romanée Conti), Jacques Seysses (Domaine Dujac in Morey St Denis), together with Michel Macaux. In 1990 they bought a rather run-down property between Aix-en-Provence and bc25-355-5563Brignoles and gave it the name Triennes, after the name used for a roman wine feast (and perhaps the fact that they were three partners?). They did some replanting with Chardonnay on soil that was similar to Burgundy, Syrah on soil that was more iron and clay rich, and Merlot on a flat but well drained plot that reminded them of St Emilion. Domaine de Triennes now makes very good wines at very affordable prices – the powerful and well structured Cuvée Sainte Auguste, from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Les Auréliens from Syrah and Cabernet, and the white Sainte Fleure from Viognier, a full-bodied wine with a fresh acidity and notes of ripe apricot and flowers.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Château Pech Latt

>> Saturday, July 07, 2007

Château Pech Latt, Philippe Mathias, Corbières

bp06-532-3253A narrow road from the village Lagrasse in the Corbières leads to Chateau Pech Latt, owned by the Burgundy house Louis Max. The winery and vineyard is manage by the enthusiastic oenolog Philippe Mathias. It’s a big vineyard – 120 ha, 100 of which are planted with vines – all in a single plot, and without any close neighbours. “An advantage”, says Philippe “when you want to run the vineyard organically”, which they do since 1991. 90% of the production goes on export. “Selling Languedoc wines in France is difficult. The French ’drink the label’” Philippe explains, using the expression “buveurs d’etiquettes” – all the worse for the French we can only say. bp06-532-3271Balance is a central theme for Philippe, balance in the vineyard, between different plants and animals, and balance in the wine cellar. Pech Latt Cuvée Tradition make up 85% of the production, made from 50% Carignan and some Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. A wine with distinct typicity, deep colour and powerful bouquet, a good structure with quite a healthy dose of ripe tannins and notes of the local garrigue herbs. Other cuvées: Vieille Vignes, dominated by Carignan, and Cuvée Alix that has been aged 16 months in wood. Excellent and good value

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Brief nr 48, July 2007

>> Friday, July 06, 2007 year the summer seems to have been very short. I’ve just spent a week in the southern Rhône and the Languedoc, enjoying sunshine and warm temperatures. Back in Paris we have autumn weather. Is summer already over? This will be a very strange wine harvest and vintage. Where I was, in the south of France, most wine growers seemed very happy with the year so far – expecting a medium size but good harvest. But further north the situation is much more difficult. Much rain and cold weather with all the dangers and difficulties with diseases and uneven ripening that it will lead to.

If you are a wine grower you probably have to be a bit of an artist in doing all sorts of things. One of the growers we met in the Rhône valley had just opened a bed-and-breakfast (or chambres d’hôte as it’s called here); another was growing fruit in addition to the wine (and using the fruit cold storage to refrigerate the grapes if weather was hot during harvest). A third put a lot of effort into selling direct to the consumers at the door and sold more than half of his production in the winery shop – with correspondingly higher margins. Everything helps….

Wine points pointless?

Read more here...

Wine tours

We’re working on the program for next season and you will soon find more information on it on the site. You can already get a sneak preview of the first trip of the year in 2008: a luxury tour with truffles, foie gras and wine. More info below.

Custom made trips, events, educational tours,...

I also do custom made tours – designed specifically to your requirements. If, for example, you’d like to take some people from your company on an exciting and unusual trip with (among other things perhaps) wine and gastronomy on the agenda. Or if you want to take a customer or a business partner on a special event. Or if you’re part of a wine tasting club that celebrates an anniversary. Or if you run a wine education program, perhaps you'd be interested in a specifically targeted educational trip. Or… I can organise the whole trip for you, custom designed as you wish, or I can do a specific event that can fit into a bigger organisation, e.g. a day trip to champagne to lighten up a conference in Paris, or a wine and gastronomy dinner… Give me a call or send me an email if you are interested to know more.


PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief or forward it to them !


The EU court rules that internet sales of wine and spirits should be allowed into Sweden

>> Thursday, July 05, 2007

It has taken the EU court five years to finally rule on an intriguing issue regarding internet sales from the EU into Sweden. The Swedish government has always claimed that it is illegal for individuals to buy wine and spirit from other EU countries through the internet (or any other distance sale, e.g. mail order). Sweden has obtained an exception from EU rules that has allowed it too keep the monopoly on wine and spirits retail sales, through the government owned chain of shops "Systembolaget" - claiming that it is vital for the public health and for the good of the youth to keep the monopoly. (No doubt, the Swedish monopoly supporters can see how in the rest of Europe vast swathes of the population are alcoholics and the youth is entirely decadent.) (Interestingly, though, in spite of the monopoly, the government shops have less than 50% market share. The Swedes have a larger supply from restaurants, from travelling abroad, and from illegal imports and home brewing). As a consequence of this monopoly, the government has claimed, Swedes should not be allowed to buy wine and spirit from other EU countries.

In spite of the government claiming that internet sales were illegal several internet sites have appeared specifically targeting the Swedish market (usually with exceptionally poor selections, but cheap). The merchants claimed that it was against the EU principles of free movement of goods (which it is, but, you know, Sweden had this monopoly derogation). Several cases where people have bought online and had their goods confiscated at the border have gone to court. Some cases have gone along government lines whereas other court decisions have gone against the government. Undeterred, the customs officers have more and more tightened the control and have recently confiscated all parcels they have found.

One court case has gone to the supreme court. However, instead of taking a decision, the supreme court asked the EU court for advice on how the EU regulations should be interpreted - a normal procedure when country regulations seem contradictory to EU rules, but a procedure that takes time. It is this ruling from the EU court that has now been pronounced.

The conclusion is that the EU court considers that it is an unreasonable restriction for Sweden to limit such imports and that it does not serve the stated purpose of protecting the youth. The EU conclusion is therefore that Swedes should be allowed to buy wines and spirits over the internet. This was actually an unexpected decision since preliminary notes from the EU have indicated the opposite and a ruling late last year that said said that a Dutch resident who had bought duty paid wine in France and had it shipped to Holland would have to pay Dutch duties on it, in spite of it already having been taxed in France.

In the mean time, several of the companies involved in the business have closed down and at leas one has gone bankrupt, as a consequence of the government's previous (erroneous) interpretation of the rules. More comments in the IHT.


Spittoon innovation

Spittoons are perhaps not what you put on your wish list for Christmas but they are very useful (well, essential) in many wine tastings. The French company Oenocom, who produces a clever, time-glass-shaped spittoon called Oenosablier, has just launched a new, smaller spittoon. It is smaller and lighter than their flagship Oenosablier, just 1 litre and made in Bordeaux coloured plastic. Easy to carry with you and does not take much space on a wine tasting table or a wine show stand. More info:


Wine fair in Finland

On August 10 and 11 there will be a wine and gastronomy fair in Karleby in Finland. The theme is wine and food in combination. Visitors will be able to buy small portions of food (à 2 euro), prepared by the Professional Chef’s Association of the region. 13 wine importers will be there to present their wines to go with it. They will also have cheese presentations and on other gastronomic themes (e.g. by Aki Wahlman), tutored wine tastings, and presentation of other gastronomic specialities (e.g. from Rougie). We here that there are also a few spaces left for a additional wine importers to exhibit. More info: virpi-punkt-sorvisto-at-kolumbus-punkt-fi or


Richard Smart introduced into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame

The Australian viticultural researcher and consultant Richard Smart has been elected into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame. The nomination is based primarily on his work to improve vines and rootstocks after the Phylloxera invasion and for his work on canopy management.


Abundant year for English vineyards

2006 was a very good harvest for England and Wales too. They produced in total 3,369,000 bottles, which is the third largest harvest since records began. The planted surface grew over the year from 793 hectares to 923 ha and 16 new vineyards were created, bringing the total to 362 wine producers in England and Wales. (A curious comparison with South Africa, who has 581 “wine cellars”. When will England+Wales overtake South Africa?)


Vin de Pays d’Oc celebrates its 20th anniversary

Vin de Pays d’Oc was created in 1987 and there will be a big celebration at Vinexpo this summer. Some facts:

- VdP d’Oc is the biggest exporter of French wine, ahead of e.g. Bordeaux

- is also the biggest exporter of varietal wines (and totally dominant of the French production of “vins de cepage” making 90% of all varietals)

- is in fourth place internationally for varietals, after Australia, Chile and USA

- made 4.5 million hectolitres of wine in 2005


Amber Ridge Vineyard in Sonoma sold to Nickel & Nickel

Meanwhile in California… Amber Ridge Vineyard is located in the Russian River district in Sonoma and covers 12 hectares. They grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Nickel & Nickel, a winery in Napa, recently paid $4.1 million for it (3 million euro). It’s the highest price ever paid for a vineyard in this area and computes to around $300,000 per hectare (240,000 euro/ha).


Allegrini buys vineyards in Montalcino

The Veneto-based Italian wine producer Allegrini has just bought two vineyards in Montalcino in collaboration with their American importer: Poggio San Paolo and Montluc. They will merge the two vineyards under the name Poggio San Paolo. The total surface will be around 21 hectares. They mainly produce Brunello di Montalcino but also some Rosso di Montalcino and two “super Tuscans”. The price tag has not been made public but it is estimated to around 10 million euro. (The price per hectare in Montalcino is around 375,000 euro…)


Wine points pointless?

>> Wednesday, July 04, 2007

You can read more on wine ratings in the article in the Wall Street Journal that you’ll find in the ‘link tips’ in another post. But the question certainly has a point. Yes, it can be interesting and “convenient” with wine ratings sometimes. But in many ways it is unfair and unjust to reduce a wine to a simple score. Because you can’t really rate a wine with a number. Read for example in the WSJ article about the wine that once had a top score in the Wine Spectator and a bit later only had a very moderate score. The same wine. What had happened? Nothing really. And you should certainly not blame the WS and say that they are incompetent wine judges. It’s just that you simply can “rate” (or taste) a wine differently at different occasions. On top of that, different persons have different tastes and appreciate different wines. Some like Burgundy and others like Amarone. Some like elegance others prefer structure. And Parker does not have the same taste as Jancis (Robinson) who does not have the same taste as (Hugh) Johnson who does not have the same taste as BKWine…

Another illustration: in a wine competition in south America the organisers decided one year that all members of the jury should come from England. No doubt a clever move to get some added international attention. But when the medal winning wines were announced they scratched their heads in South America. How could those wines win? Well, no doubt because the taste is different in South America and in England. (And in France, the US, Germany, Hong Kong, etc.)

So perhaps the best thing would be to scrap points ratings? But nevertheless, at BKWine we do use a rating system sometimes, albeit not often on these pages. But I encourage you to read the descriptions and comments rather than the point rating for a wine, and to not only buy top rated wines but also give the lowers ratings a chance – the “rater” may have had a bad day or may have a different taste than you. And best of all – don’t bother with what some “experts” say, taste the wines yourself and judge for yourself and you will discover many wonderful things in the wine world.


Cognac with tea?! is a newly launched drink that is a blend of cognac and green tea. It was originally created by a French woman in her kitchen in Cognac. It is actually much better than what it might sound, I must admit. You serve it as a refreshing drink or aperitif, simply on some ice cubes. Light, refreshing and pleasingly aromatic. Actually a quite elegant mix of cognac and tea aromas, mixed with a hint of citrus and peaches. It’s just launched so you’ll have difficulties finding it in a shop near you (unless you near Drugstore Publicis Etoile), but they’re looking for distributors internationally.


Why do it the simple way when you can make it complicated

bf15-396-9615The Swedish monopoly retailer Systembolaget (who also likes to take on a particularly responsible attitude when it thinks that the citizens are not quite up to it) has a project to introduce level indicators on Bag-in-Box wines so that the consumer can see how much is left in the plastic bag inside the box. Unfortunately, as they note in their latest newsletter “the proposals that have so far been presented have all incurred a substantial cost for the packaging”, but they continue their quest. Perhaps they don’t think that the consumers are willing to pay a substantial premium to get the gauge on the box. Which seems entirely reasonable, considering that you can check the level by simply lifting the box and feel its weight. For no extra cost. But why choose a simple solution?...


World’s best Syrah

The wine competition Syrah du Monde recently honoured 36 wines with the Gold Medal. Wines from all over the world participated in the competition. Here is the list of winning wines:


The world’s most powerful brands

>> Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The magazine The Drinks Business makes a yearly review of the world’s most powerful brands, weighing in things like brand recognition as well as sales volumes. Here are this year’s top 10 brands.

- Smirnoff
- Bacardi
- Johnnie Walker
- Martini
- Stolichnaya
- Hennessy
- Absolut
- Jack Daniel’s
- Chivas Regal

And here’s “the wine list”, the list of the top ten wine brands (overall ranking in parenthesis)

- Gallo (17)
- Hardys (21)
- Concha y Toro (24)
- Robert Mondavi (36)
- Yellowtail (43)
- Jacob’s Creek (47)
- Lindemans (50)
- Sutter Home (56)
- Blossom Hill (65)
- Rosemount (80)

One can perhaps note that none of the wine brands originate in Europe, although Jacob’s Creek is owned by the French company Pernod Ricard.


EU launches propaganda campaign for wine? Outside Europe...

Agricultural commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel will present the project for wine sector reform om July 4. One of the elements in the project is a proposal to invest substantial amounts in a marketing campaign to promote European wines. But only outside of Europe. Fischer Boel says that it may involve “very significant figures … people will be very surprised”.


The world’s best sommelier is Swedish

bh10-453-5356Andreas Larsson recently won the title as the world’s best sommelier at the championship in Greece. His daily job (or perhaps nightly) is at the restaurant PM & Vänner (PM and Friends) in the small Swedish town of Växjö.


Great uncertainty (and apprehension?) re. prices on Bordeaux primeurs

>> Monday, July 02, 2007

040330-2-71-0010What will happen with the prices on the primeur wines (“release prices”) from Bordeaux? Many people, both buyers and sellers, seem to look at it with a certain concern. And many chateaux seem reluctant to announce the prices. The prices will certainly be below those for the 2005 vintage that were extremely high. But how much lower? Some (Mr Parker among them) predict that it is a vintage that will not much interest the American market. For economic reasons and because fo the weak dollar. First to release the price was Léoville-Barton who announced a price that was certainly lower than for 2005 but still quite high according to some observers. Other chateaux seem to wait (hesitate?) with the prices… Is it the beginning of market reaction on the very high prices of recent years? We will see. Read more:


500 wineries in Washington

Sweet Valley Wines in Walla Walla claims to be the 500th winery in Washington State. The state has 31,000 acres of wine (13,000 hectares). Production has grown steadily from not more than 20 wineries in the 70s.


Record (small) harvest in Australia

In contrast, in Australia this year’s harvest will be the smallest since 2000 – only 560,000 tonnes (~400 M litres of wine). It is almost 30% less than last year. Perhaps not entirely unwelcome though, since Australia has had large surplus volumes of wine recently.

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

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