News Round-Up: Week of November 23
Diversity and Inclusion in the Drinks Trade
The drinks industry has not been in a void when it comes to the issues of diversity among those who work in and around the business, and we certainly have had issues with inclusion of gender and backgrounds. With a number of high-profile incidents popping up in recent months, it can only be assumed that there are far more that go unreported, and have been for much time. Whether you own or operate a business with a written code of conduct that addresses these issues, or (like many) you simply try-and-do-the-right-thing, you should look to up-date or add a current code of conduct for your staff and associates. Having something that is is written and referable is always going to be a great policy. Now it the time to put in place a strong policy about how your business operates. It is also important to make sure that everyone in your business knows what that policy is how it may impact their status.
This week, Tom Lewis writes on UK based The Buyer blog about this topic, and while this may not be the normal piece of info you look to NWEA for, this is definitely something that our industry friends should be considering and thinking about. New England Wine Academy is a relatively small operation but we have a clearly defined policy for inclusion and adaptations for our students' needs, and do everything we can to ensure there is as easy and accessible a path toward education as we are able to provide. Hopefully this article can guide some thoughts. The drinks trade is full of all kinds of people, and because of this I have always found it to be one of the best industries to work in and be creative. I see it as the intersection of art (think of what a winemaker or distiller has to do) and the economic/business world. The more we have the more creative ideas we have - what could be better.
And on a Lighter Note...How About a Wine Gadget on Sale!
In a Food & Wine article out this week, I noticed that the Coravin is on sale for one of the lowest prices I have ever seen it - $200.
I AM NOT A FAN OF WINE A GADGETS!
But, when I am, I choose one that works well, and is completely functional. Aside form a great corkscrew, the Coravin is the only other gadget I own and use regularly. When I want a glass or a taste of something, or I am studying and do not want to waste an entire bottle, the Coravin has been the answer.
Check out the article here for full details,
and note that NEWA is not affiliated with F&W or Coravin, nor receive any royalties (or free cartridges) from them.
My Coravin is Ferrari Red, BTW
WINE ENTHUSIAST Magazine Picks Lail as Top Wine of the Year for 2020
I have been a fan of Rob Lail since reading James Conaway's Napa, a long time ago. I also sold wines that were related to her and her family over the years, including Napanook, Merryvale, Lail, as well as Dominus and Inglenook. I always admired her father's wines and the story of how Inglenook came to be and then was lost - and then rebuilt by Francis Ford Coppola. I had the chance to visit Inglenook about 10 years ago, and it has been great to see how he has rebuilt the estate over the past 50 years.
I also have had the opportunity to meet and present with Robin Lail and the wines of Lail Vineyards to the public, and she is a wonderful person. As a history and a wine buff, I guess what I like and admire about Robin Lail's story is her connection to the history of Napa Valley, and so many people and wineries that have emerged or have connections to Inglenook, her father, and early days of The Valley. I was really happy to see her 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon selected as the top wine for 2020, by WE magazine. Everytime I taste Blueprint I am reminded of what great wine Napa really does produce.
Read the article here on Wine Enthusiast
Regional Focus: Franschhoek, ZA
While working on some wine study this week (which has not been exactly easy with all of the distractions and works schedule getting tossed about due to the global pandemic), I landed on South Africa, and specifically Franschhoek. I got here due to the fact that I posted a Survey on Facebook and asked folks to vote on which wine I should open and discuss from my cellar. I gave several choices - all from the 2001 vintage.
Why 2001? Well, I had 19 stuck in my head for some reason, and so I went back 19 years to see what I had about. It turns out there are quite a few items in my cellar from that vintage - I was working as a sales rep at the time, and I had the opportunity to accumulate quite a bit of wine from suppliers, personal purchases and the odd sample that never got used. Of the selections offered up for opening were a Barolo from La Spinetta, a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from Ladera Winery, and the Cabernet Sauvignon from Boekenhoutskloof Winery from the Franschhoek region of the Western Cape in South Africa (ZA). The winner, with 2/3 of the votes, was the Boekenhoutskloof, and was it ever good.
The key points on this wine are: it is from the 2001 vintage, a vintage that was hot and very low yielding - in fact the lowest yields since the 1988 vintage for the most part. Additionally, Boekenhoutskloof had only been making wine for about 5 years, and they made one of the highest regarded wines of the vintage. This wine scored very well in the press and there were many comments from reviewers that indicated long aging was ahead for this wine. As I held this for 19 years or so I would agree upon opening it that there was indeed a lot to be hopeful in this wine. Those predicting agability were definitely correct in their predictions. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 27 months in French Oak barrels.
Guide to wineries in the the Franschhoek:
The basics on Franschhoek
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With 30 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.