Tuesday wine bits 64: Wine web awards, Las Rocas, Aussie wildfires

? American Wine Blog Awards: There was some doubt this year whether the awards would happen, but apparently they ?re on (with sponsors, even). I don ?t mention this so you can support the Wine Curmudgeon, since I don ?t think I was nominated — I ?m too shy to nominate himself. I mention this because the awards are a terrific way to see who is doing good wine writing on the Internet (or bad writing, as the case may be). In addition, if wine blogging is to advance in the world, we need to take it seriously, and these awards are one of doing that.

? Gallo buys Las Rocas: This is big news, and probably even more shocking than it is big. Las Rocas is a well respected Spanish label. Its $12 garnacha, with the makes a lot of best cheap wine lists). It was imported by the even more well respected Eric Solomon, who is one of the top names in Spanish wine. I don ?t know anyone in the business who isn ?t shocked that Solomon sold the brand. Whatever the reason, expect to see more sales like this as the recession deepens. Big producers like Gallo have the deep pockets to pick up labels if the owner needs cash.

? Wildfires scorch Aussie wine country: As if the Australians didn ?t have enough problems, the wildfires that devastated the country and killed more than 180 people last week also destroyed vineyards and wineries, especially in the Yarra Valley. The Yarra is one of the most important regions in southeastern Australia.

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