Winebits 94: Wine glut, wine contests, new mountain name

? More grapes means cheap wine is coming: The great Dan Berger explains how the grape glut benefits consumers, and says bargain are on the way: ?There is so much wine in the U.S. pipeline today that all prices are depressed, from $6 wines in 5-liter boxes to $100 Napa cabernets. ? He writes that wine is just sitting around, waiting for buyers. Case in point: 2006 Geyser Peak sauvignon blanc, which should have been sold out two years ago, on sale at a deeply discounted price. And, he says, ?The 2007 should have been sold out more than a year ago, and the 2008 should be nearly gone. ? So if the 2006 is still around, there is way more wine available than there should be.

? Wine judges don ?t know much: Or says a study in the Journal of Wine Economics, where retired Cal State Humboldt professor Robert Hodgson said he looked at the results for more than 4,000 wines entered in 13 U.S. competitions in 2003 and found little consistency in what wines won gold medals. The study said that of almost 2,500 wines that were entered in more than three competitions, 47 percent won a gold medal in at least one contest. But 98 percent of those gold medal winners were regarded as just above average or below in at least one of the other competitions.

? Renaming Black Mountain: And the man who wants to do it is Jess Jackson, through his company Jackson Family Enterprises (which we know as the company that includes Kendall Jackson). The company has petitioned to change the name of 3,128-foot Black Mountain to Alexander Mountain, a move that would bolster the vintner's attempt to create a special grape-growing designation of the same name on his property. He lives near the mountain on a reported 5,400 acres.