· Amazon won't sell wine: Amazon.com has ended a trial program to sell wine on-line, the company has confirmed. The Wall Street Journal reported that the online retailer killed its pilot plan, which has been underway for about a year, in the wake of the bankruptcy of the company which was supposed to handle plan and continuing frustrations with with individual state liquor laws. This is huge news, and I'll probably have more about this later this week. The three-tier system that governs U.S. liquor laws makes it almost impossible for a national retailer to sell wine.· Soil doesn't flavor wine: If you teach wine, you teach that soil -- the mineral quality, the type of soil -- affects the flavor of wine. But, says a study at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, that probably isn't true. Research has shown that the theory that minerals could influence the flavor of wine is flawed, since the amount of minerals in wine is so small that it can't be detected through human taste and smell. More research is needed to figure out why some wines have a mineral flavor, if it isn't the soil.· Best cheap wines: The Beverage Testing Institute, which focuses on value wines, has picked its top labels for 2009. Among the winners: Black Box shiraz, Ravenswood's $8 zinfandel, and Hogue riesling.