Winebits 93: $1 million wine book, wine sales, wine competitions

? Seven figures to buy a wine book?  British publisher Kraken Opus plans to release a book on wine that will retail for a whopping 640,000, the equivalent of US$1.04 million. The 850-page book, titled The Wine Opus, will feature a list of the 100 best wineries in the world. This is a joke, isn ?t it? Apparently not. Twenty-five of the 100-copy print run have already been sold.

? Wine sales down: Diageo, one of the world ?s big three drinks companies, says wine sales declined seven percent in fiscal 2009, which ended June 30. Doesn ?t get much worse than that, does it? Said one top official: "[I]n the U.S. you’re seeing more pronounced down trading in the wine environment…top end restaurant in major cities – say wine that was over $60 a bottle has significantly come down. People are going for far more affordable wines." Why does he make this sound like like it ?s a bad thing?

? Judging wine competitions: Jim Clarke, a New York City wine expert, discusses the ins and outs of judging a wine competition (one of the Wine Curmudgeon ?s most interesting tasks). His take: ?Generally, the judges work these things out, but remember that the gold- or silver-medal sticker on the side of a bottle only tells you that the wine performed well on that day, in the competition environment, for a panel of experts. ? Sound advice indeed.

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