Winebits 627: Happy New Year 2020 edition

legal weed

This week’s wine news: Beaujolais legend Georges Duboeuf dies, plus the Italian Wine Guy critiques wine writing, and Canada’s legal weed bubble bursts

An icon dies: Georges Duboeuf, one of the icons of French wine, died on Saturday. He was 86. Dubouef, known as the Pope of Beaujolais, almost single-handedly made the release of Beaujolais Nouveau an international event every November. Said one of his competitors: He “was responsible for “raising the Beaujolais flag all over the world. He had a nose, an intuition, [he was] a step ahead of everyone.”

• “A pitiful thing:” Alfonso Cevola, the Italian Wine Guy, doesn’t mince words in assessing the state of wine writing: “Wine writing has become a pitiful thing. There are so many bad articles about wine, misspelled, written from a perspective that sounds more like someone is pushing a (p.r.) agenda rather than trying to educate the readers. …But real writing, real good writing?” Cevoola writes this as someone who has been around wine writing for decades, both as a retailer and wholesaler and as a successful wine writing. So his opinion is worth pondering.

Not so fast: Legal weed in Canada was going to make everyone rich when it debuted a year ago – and the wine business was more than a little worried about how it would hurt sales. Turns out, hardly at all, reports the BBC, with Canadians sill buying pot from the “black market.” Or, as we used to say, “you know, the guy down the street, who knows your friend.” Says the story: “Statistics Canada estimates that about 75% of cannabis users still use illegal cannabis,” since the guy down the street is cheaper and more convenient. Which, in retrospect, seems quite obvious.

Photo: “Wine Train – The restaurant” by micurs is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

One thought on “Winebits 627: Happy New Year 2020 edition

  • By Jay Bileti - Reply

    Before I make my negative point, let me say I love good Beaujolais and was one of the Nouveau revelers some 40 years ago. I remember going to Stapelton Airport in Denver at midnight to meet the plane with a bunch of spirited souls, opening the bottles in the parking lot, and marveling that millions around the world were doing the same thing at virtually the same time. It was a blast! But let’s be honest – those wines were little more than alcoholic grape juice. They weren’t ready to drink – how could they be so soon after fermentation? The marketing program splashed the Beaujolais name around the world, but it became known for pop-like wine and fun. I’m not sure that has helped them in the long-run. Cru Beaujolais are among the finest wines in the world but how many still think of the region as the producers of Nouveau?

    This is not to in any way detract from the contributions Georges Duboeuf made; his crus were wonderful. I raise my glass to him, a glass of Fleurie!

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