? Top regional chef dies: Deborah Whiting, a New York chef who was one of the leaders in that state's local food and local wine movements, died last week in an automobile accident. There were any number of eloquent tributes to Whiting, who ran the restaurant at Red Newt Cellars in upstate New York; her husband, David, runs the winery, and I can't begin to list them all. Know that Dave McIntyre at the Washington Post wrote that "David had become one of the Finger Lakes ? top winemakers and Debra the region ?s leading chef, championing the 'locavore' movement by featuring ingredients from nearby farms. She is widely credited with sparking the restaurant revolution in the Finger Lakes wine country, which had been dependent on fast food." McIntyre's post includes links to several other pieces about Whiting, all worth checking out.
? Too much attention for French wine? French wine has continued its downward sales trend in the U.S., yet it seems to be one of the stars of the wine cyber-ether. French wine, despite an almost 10 percent sales decline over the past year, generates what Nielsen calls a disproportionate share of buzz on the Internet through Twitter, Facebook, and the like. This is not surprising, given the incredibly overwhelming coverage on the Internet about Bordeaux. I have not see the Neilsen stats, but I doubt seriously that it's made up of coverage like mine, writing about $10 bottles. Instead, it's almost certainly from places eRobertParker.com, the Wine Spectator, and Decanter and their NFL-like coverage of anything related to Bordeaux. Also amusing: Nielsen reports that consumers don't trust alcohol advertising, and prefer to get recommendations from their friends. Which is a fitting segue to the next item.
? Shooting itself in the foot: Or, as The Italian Wine Guy says in a recent post: "[L]ately it seems like we are doing everything we can to kill the wine business in the world. Actively." Among the culprits are Bordeaux, which seems hell bent on destroying its traditional markets so it can all of its wine to China. Which, as the IWG points out, is probably not the smartest long-term strategy. He also takes on the Italian government and several other of the maroons who try to tell us what to drink when they really aren't interested in what we want.