The Search: Boutique Wine and Big Data

Wine producers are not immune to the allure of data.  And it goes beyond assessing the contents of a wine bottle. DNA analysis of both vines and yeast, soil assays, drone monitoring and water usage analysis are being employed in vineyards around the world.  With data analysis and computer modeling, it is becoming possible to identify and dial-in particular attributes designed to get a high score in wine publications.

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The Great Merlot Crash: And the One Looming for Domestic Pinot

America’s love affair with Merlot was a brief and passionate one.  In the 90s and early 2000s, Merlot was almost synonymous with red wine.  It seemingly could do no wrong.  Then, the story goes, Sideways came along.  Throughout the movie, the main character, Miles, passionately stumps for Pinot Noir while occasionally and profanely taking shots at Merlot’s inferiority.  In what was widely dubbed “the Sideways effect,” US Merlot sales tumbled and have yet to recover.  

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The American Roots of Viticulture: How the U.S. Saved European Viticulture

For the next 20 years, phylloxera ravaged European vineyards -- France’s in particular -- and wine production cratered 70%.  Panic.  Thousands of farmers were watching their lives and legacies die in front of their eyes, and once the enemy became known, a frantic search for solutions began.

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Why You Shouldn't Stress About Wine Pairing

The “new world,” with its blend of cultures and cuisines, is more comfortable with experimentation and fusion.  Indeed, restaurants borrowing ideas from all over the world are a staple in every American city.  However, when it comes to wine, the search for a correct pairing continues unabated.  The pervasive idea that there is a right and a wrong answer to pairing is seated in insecurity about wine --  a series of rigid and complex rules is easier to follow than having the confidence to trust in your own taste.

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