Winebits 199: Hall of Fame, cheap wine, wine labels

? Six chosen for Hall: Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug heads the list of six men elected to the Vintners Hall of Fame. The other five are Albert Winkler of University of California-Davis; Joe Heitz of Heitz Cellars; former Beringer winemaker Myron Nightingale; Mendocino County's John Parducci; and long-time winemaker Richard Sanford. Eugene Hilgard, one of the fathers of modern soil science, was selected by the nominating committee. This year's balloting seemed to go much more smoothly than previous years, thanks to the absence of wine writer Robert Parker, who was not nominated this time (and still deserves to be in the Hall). The Wine Curmudgeon voted for five people: Mondavi, writer Bob Thompson, Sanford, labor leader Caesar Chavez, and Chateau Souverain founder Lee Stewart.

? Wine Enthusiast best buys: The Winestream Media comes in for a lot of criticism on the blog, but I try to be fair. Hence these kind words for the Wine Enthusiast's 2011 list of 100 best buys for $15 or less. Most look to be solid choices, and if there were some wines that I would quibble with (Kenwood zinfandel for $14 seems a bit much) and what look to be some availability issues, they did have to find 100. Still, the top 10 were especially impressive, including the blog's favorite wine, Tormaresca Neprica at No. 8; Bogle sauvignon blanc at No. 3; and Pacific Rim riesling at No. 1 (a tad high, but I think they're focusing on the sweet wine market, which seems to be so popular these days).

? French labeling laws: The French wine police have charged a colorful Loire winemaker with violating the country's very strict labeling laws, and the winemaker seems to be daring the authorities to put him in jail. Decanter has the story, and though it's difficult to follow — these are French labeling laws, after all — the gist is that the winemaker, Olivier Cousin, has repeatedly violated several laws to protest what he says are flaws with the regulations for his region. He has been charged with mislabeling and bringing the appellation into disrepute, which carries a ?37,500 (US$51,400) fine or up to two years in prison. And they think they have it bad in California.

2 thoughts on “Winebits 199: Hall of Fame, cheap wine, wine labels

  • By Kovas -

    How does a “vin de table” bring the appelation into disrepute? Funny if it weren’t so sad.

  • By Jeff Siegel -

    I warned you that it was difficult to follow, Kovas…

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