Times of wine

In this first of my regular columns, I will be sifting through all that is happening in the wine world, picking the bits of news I find intriguing and bringing them to you! All of this, and a drop or two more.
The last 30 years have seen a new development in the Nordic countries.

Wine, terroir and the human touch

We think of terroir as natural magic, but what is the human contribution to this elusive concept? Vicki Denig offers some interesting insights on one of the most captivating features of wine production: “Terroir is seen as a natural phenomenon, but there is a strong human influence, too.When it comes to discussions surrounding terroir, one of the most important factors – human influence – is frequently omitted.”

She adds that, though often romanticized as a nature-exclusive, even ‘magical’ notion, considering the unique places from which grapes come without ever mentioning human impact is simply impossible – and a number of seasoned industry professionals agree. You can read more about this here.

Sustainable Scandinavian wine

While for many Europeans today wine production is associated with France, Italy and Spain, the last 30 years have seen a new development in the Nordic countries and especially in Denmark. Sustainable solutions are at the heart of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They are, amongst other things, about innovation, but in some cases it’s also about taking into account the circumstances provided by climate change, for better or worse. The Dane Sven Moesgaard did just that when he started his own wine production in Denmark in 1995. A wine production which has since won many awards. You can read more here.

Time for fine wine to ditch the cork?

Some winemakers have already made the switch—and they’re pleased with the results. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen have their say to share: “When we host wine tastings, we are often asked our thoughts on screw cap wines as opposed to the more traditional cork. Being New Yorkers, we respond with questions of our own, which are: How many people here today are wearing clothes with zippers? Okay, and how many have buttons on their clothes? Who is wearing both buttons and zippers? The point of our inquiry is that while types of closures on our garments is something we rarely think about, the way wine bottles are sealed is a hot topic and the subject of much debate.” You can read more here.

Tension rises over Ireland’s health warning labels for wine

A dispute between Europe’s winemakers and Ireland’s government has continued to intensify as the country moves closer to enforcing compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks labels. Chris Mercer notes how Ireland’s government has recently notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of its plans for mandatory health warning labels on wine bottles and other alcoholic drinks. If implemented, written warnings would include stating there is a direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers, as well as a message about the dangers of drinking alcohol when pregnant. They form part of section 2012 of Ireland’s 2018 Public Health Act. You can read more here.

Joséf Bonello runs VINDIVINO wine consultancy and can be reached on josef@vindivino.co.

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