? High-end wine futures remain costly: Decanter reports that the 2007 Petrus futures are running about 700 euros a bottle for consumers (about US$1,100), down 30 percent from the 2006 vintage. Cheval Blanc futures are down 25 percent from last year, while Chateau d'Yquem is up about 9 percent. Perhaps an even bigger shocker is that Robert Parker gave Cheval Blanc, one of the great chateaux of France, less than 90 points for this vintage. Somewhere, speculators are slitting their wrists.
? Bring on the wine snobs: Joel Stein writes in the Los Angeles Times that he misses "the days when we made fun of wine snobs for saying that a wine was 'ingratiating without being obsequious.' " This is music to the Wine Curmudgeon's ears, of course. Stein does get a pole at wine writers, but that's to be expected. Why should we write in English when so many of us want to be famous? And you can only do that by writing in Wine.
? Gina Gallo speaks: The third generation to run one of the largest wine companies in the world doesn't give many interviews, so this one is especially interesting. It's not so much what Gallo says as it is how she says it: Positioning a multi-billion dollar company as a family business. "In the simplest terms we ?re celebrating being family-owned. We started realizing a lot of family businesses weren ?t family anymore and what better way than stating it right on the bottle?"