The 4% dilemma

Column - Robert Joseph 

Insiders explain Chicago's Wine Market

Chicago’s world-renowned culinary landscape has been altered by innovative chefs who have highlighted regional specificity, sustainability and the craft movement, and the city’s wine professionals are eating it up. It’s a wine scene that requires practitioners to balance classics with the undiscovered, remaining alert to culinary and consumer trends and bringing the passion and creativity to present it all in fresh and intelligent ways. Chicagoans are lucky to have an abundance of such wine professionals. Scott Saunders speaks with five of them.

A grape dispute

Vinistra, the body representing winegrowers in Istria, turns 20 this year. An unusually effective wine body, it’s come up against an unexpected problem – a name that two sides want to claim as their own. Caroline Gilby MW reports.

A snapshot of the US consumer

Recent research by the Wine Market Council, a non-profit wine industry association, in conjunction with Wine Opinions, has created a demographic profile of the US market. Larry Walker reports.

Marriage of opposites

Bricks and mortar retailer Majestic Wine has acquired digital business Naked Wines, in a move that could see both businesses become much stronger. And yet, reports Richard Woodard, the issue of profitability hasn’t gone away.

Alarm bells on climate change

Australia is already bearing the brunt of climate change, reports Jeni Port. In response, the Australian Wine Research Institute and other bodies have been developing new tools for wine producers.

The value of communication

Column - Robert Joseph

Perspectives - Florida

South Florida’s Gold Coast – the sun-splashed, resort-laced stretch from Miami to the Palm Beaches – has long drawn domestic and foreign visitors as one of the US’s leading leisure destinations. Foreign financial influence is on the rise, and Miami alone is expecting $16bn of this year’s whopping $23bn tourism-related dollars to come from outside the country — influence that can be seen on area wine lists.

Miami wine professionals see it as a natural reflection of their worldwide clientele. Sébastien Verrier, head sommelier at the five-star St Regis Bal Harbour Resort, has seen the shift first-hand over his 15 years in Miami, remarking how wine lists that were once 65% American are now 65% foreign, with European wine representing the bulk of this.

It’s no surprise that weather is another major factor in a wine’s popularity. South Florida’s tropical climate and resort-like atmosphere offers a lot of time in chaise lounges and open-air restaurants. So what exactly is the result of these influences? Scott Saunders asked three professionals to give their account of what’s happening at some of the area’s most renowned resorts.

A wine country emerges

Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, is rich in oil and natural gas, as well as agriculture. Eugene Gerden reports on government plans to add high-value wine production to the economy.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Argentina’s wine sector has experienced crisis after crisis, being hit by the country’s macro-economic conditions. As inflation is slowly brought under control, the most recent crisis is receding. Daniel López Roca explains.

Declaration of independence

How soon is too soon for producers to start declaring an appellation? Richard Woodard looks at a dispute over plans to introduce a separate PDO for English sparkling wines.

Here we go again

Column - Robert Joseph