The Grapevine

What Your Wine Shop Customers Are Reading – Wine Spectator 8/31/14

July 24th, 2014

On the cover of Wine Spectator this time around: Eric Ripert, “New York’s Seafood Master;” Australian Cabernets; a promise of 650 wine reviews and the annual dining guide. Let’s jump right in. [level-members]

Front and center is a page devoted to the Grand Award Winners of 2014, those restaurants deemed by WS to have the best wine lists. It’s a list of 74 restaurants mostly in the US, but with about 2 dozen around the globe from Monaco to Singapore, Australia to China.

Important safety news: Coravin, the product that allows consumers to drink from bottles without opening them, has suspended sales. Reports of bottles shattering under the additional pressure the device introduces inside the bottle to get the wine to flow out have been linked to damaged or flawed bottles. 40,000 of the devices have been sold. They include a needle that penetrates the cork to facilitiate the pressurization and flow of wine out. When the needle is removed, the cork self-heals and remains closed, allowing consumers to drink less than a full bottle without damaging the remaining wine. A protective sleeve has been proposed.

The Spirits column focuses not on spirits, but on their garnishment. True aficionados feel high-quality garnishes are worth the effort and expense, as garnishes are not necessarily just decorative.

Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Adelaide Hills Reserve 2013 is a Best Value at $13. The Amavi Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2011 is a Smart Buy at $29.

Australian Cabernets are the country’s #2 export behind Shiraz, but is growing at a faster clip. Top values are around the $15 to $22 mark and include bottlings from Fowles, Paxton, Pyren, The Chook, Mollydooker, Schild, and Yalumba.

Nearly all of the rest of the issue is devoted to the dining guide.