? Think it ?s bad here? Andrew Jefford in Decanter talks about wine laws in Europe, where there seems to be a more civilized approach than what we manage in the U.S. with the three-tier system. At least, writes Jefford, it ?s more civilized most of the time: ?The European scene doesn ?t smell quite so strongly of market control, but the dream of direct shipment from producers to consumers within the European Union remains precisely that: a dream. ? In fact, the state-controlled retailing system in Sweden and Finland doesn ?t sound all that different from the infamous Pennsylvania state stores.
? Must-read wine blogs: And, of course, the Wine Curmudgeon is not among them. Fortunately, the compiler has the wisdom to mention the award-winning Italian Wine Guy. It ?s a good thing that I have such high self-esteem; otherwise, all this being ignored would send me to a dark room, where I would lie on the bed and whimper. And, as long we ?re talking about being ignored, there ?s a long story in the Northwestern University alumni magazine about NU types in the wine business ? which also doesn ?t include me, Medill class of '79. There are some really important people, though, like Stephanie Gallo (yes, of those Gallos) and Dr. Vino.
? Mixing moscato and cognac: Am I the only one who doesn ?t understand what ?s going on with moscato? Or big booze companies? Shanken News Daily reports that Beam, the multi-national drinks company, is introducing Courvoisier Gold, a blend of Cognac and moscato — yes, moscato, the sweet white wine. And they expect consumers to pay $25 for it, too. Here ?s what ?s confusing: If consumers won ?t pay $25 for a bottle sweet wine, and the story notes that consumers aren't buying as much Courvoisier as before, why would anyone buy a blend of the two?