Tuesday tidbits 36

? Cheap wine stumps the pros: Sometimes, all the Wine Curmudgeon can do is smile. The San Francisco Chronicle runs an annual feature in which three sommeliers have to buy seven bottles of wine for $70 ? and suffer in the attempt. ?”This is harder than I thought,” said one. Of course it is. As the Wine Curmudgeon always says, ?Anyone can buy a bottle of expensive wine. What ?s tougher ? and more fun ? is to buy a good bottle of cheap wine. ? Among the choices was our long-time favorite, Toad’ Hollow ?s pinot noir rose.

? Aussie exports decrease: The weak dollar has done its job on Australian wine exports, which are down 12 percent his year ? the first decline in 14 years. Shipments to the U.S. fell 18 percent. The value of the Australian dollar has increased almost 25 percent since September.

? Sunday blue laws: It may be the 21st century, but 15 states still have laws restricting the sale of wine on Sunday. Why do these laws still exist? No one is quite sure, say several people quoted in the article. But it does reveal one intriguing piece of information: A recent paper published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics found that in states where blue laws have been repealed, there has been a 15 percent decline in attendance among weekly churchgoers, along with a nearly 25 percent drop in donations.

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