Analysis

Style and Regions

Natural Wine: Entering the French Mainstream?

Natural wine remains a niche but, as Magalie Dubois reveals, it is steadily building a following in France.

Reading time: 9m 45s

Will Climate Change Make Wine Healthier - or Less Healthy?

Becca Yeamans-Irwin takes a scientific look at the credibility of health claims that are made about wine, and the possible impact of a changing climate.

Reading time: 5m 30s

Hybrids: Finding a Place

In a world apparently tiring of experts, there is at least one in the viticultural sphere that we should be grateful for. In 2020, research led by Andrew Walker, a geneticist and professor of viticulture and enology at UC Davis, led to the release of five new grape varieties. They have some advantages in common. Sarah Philips McCartan reports.

Reading time: 5m 45s

Mixologists Compete for Big Money in Netflix's New Series, 'Drink Masters'

The format is familiar: A group of contestants face specific challenges in front of a jury until one remains at the end. In the Netflix series "Drink Masters," there are twelve bartenders mixing for a $100,000 prize. Will Sommeliers be next? Commentary by Stefan Adrian of our sister publication Mixology.

Reading time: 3m 30s

Lascombes gets a new US Owner, as a Predecessor Has Just Been Acquitted

Days before a US jury acquitted Tom Barrack, ex head of Colony Capital, former owners of Château Lascomes, of illegal foreign lobbying charges, the Margaux estate was acquired by another American, Gaylon Lawrence of  Lawrence Wine Estates. This is only the latest episode in the long, checkered history of a 2nd growth chateau that has had many memorable owners, none of whom have kept it for long.

Reading time: 7m 15s

Pricier in Pink: the Fight to Charge More for Rosé

Rosé wines are enjoying an extraordinary boom, but they are still struggling to command premium prices. But, as Roger Morris discovers, this situation is starting to change.

Reading time: 7m

Can the Nordic Monopolies Turn the Drinks World Green?

Scandinavia’s five alcohol monopolies have launched a joint program to combat climate change. Petri Pellinen considers its practicality.

Reading time: 12m

Barolo: Too Much Bulk?

Barolo has neither image nor sales problems. The only issue is that the bulk wine market is still too large and the vineyards are too expensive. Veronika Crecelius reports.

Reading time: 4m 15s

Fred Franzia, the Questionable Pillar of the US Wine Industry

Head of the fourth largest wine business in California, and its biggest landowner, Fred T Franzia, who died on September 13, aged 79, was a spectacularly divisive character. Robert Joseph considers both sides of the story.

Reading time: 10m

France's Top Wine Brands Woo US Consumers With More Affordable Wines

The producers of some of France’s most-valued wines also make very affordable négociant wines. Roger Morris updates their progress.

Reading time: 7m 30s

Champagne and Sparkling Wine – Booming US Sales

In 2021, thirsty US wine drinkers popped 69% more Champagne corks than the previous year. Some of that dramatic increase can be attributed to the impact of Covid on 2020, but sales are still growing and, as Sarah Philips McCartan reveals, France’s iconic fizz is not the only beneficiary of this trend.

Reading time: 5m

Alternative Packaging: Everything But Glass

Alternative packaging in the wine industry promotes climate benefits. What possibilities are there to replace the emission-intensive disposable glass? Vincent Messmer reports.

Reading time: 7m 30s

The Rise and Plateau of Hard Seltzers

Why is hard seltzer so successful with younger consumers? Sarah Phillips McCartan reports on a category that's no longer a novelty and considers what it means for the wine industry.

Reading time: 6m

The Masters of Wine Exam - Relevant to Non-MW-Students?

The Institute of Masters of Wine publishes the questions candidates for membership have had to answer in 2022 - and the wines they had to taste. Robert Joseph considers the exam, and whether wine professionals with no interest in becoming MWs might still benefit from giving it some thought.

Reading time: 3m 45s

Spain: Time for a Rethink in Rioja?

The Rioja classification system has tradition and determines marketing. Ever cheaper Reservas, however, are causing criticism and fueling doubts about the traditional model. David Schwarzwälder reports.

Reading time: 6m 30s