Things heating up in Europe

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Things are heating up in Europe–not just in Greece. A searing heatwave has the continent in its grasp. Burgundy, which is known for producing wines more winsome than boxum, will have four days in the 100s (39C+) this week–and the balance in the 90s. Yikes. Searing temperatures are expected in Bordeaux, Barolo, Brunello and Britain as well to name a few places starting with “B.” Generally, grape vines don’t like excessive heat. The later in the grapes’ ripening process the heat wave comes, the more difficult it can be to manage. This pamphlet (pdf) from Australia–no stranger to heat waves with a monster one in 2009 that pushed temperatures up over 100 for 14 days–states that the main effects are a loss of crop and reduction of quality. Mitigation strategies include irrigating vineyards during heatwaves, which may be an option in Barossa but not in Burgundy. The last heat ...
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Front Burner: Outdoor Bars and Restaurants to Visit for a Summer Bite

Rooftops and gardens offer possibilities to sip wine and eat snacks for an outdoor experience without the heat of the sun.









Front Burner: Outdoor Bars and Restaurants to Visit for a Summer Bite

Rooftops and gardens offer possibilities to sip wine and eat snacks for an outdoor experience without the heat of the sun.









Eureka! Check out California Wine Institute’s new project in China

My experience with U.S. regional wine promotions in China has not been great during the past decade or so. Yes, I have managed to get on the radar for some events, including a few good ones, but I have often wondered what it takes to remain a blip. A California Wine Institute (CWI) tasting earlier this month in Beijing is a good example. I only knew about the event due to Alex Chen, of U.S. wine importer and distributor Alexander Wines in Shanghai, a single contact that apparently gave me greater guanxi than many other people. This was evident when I showed up to a hotel event room full of tasty wines but few tasters. It was also evident when I posted about it to Facebook and Weixin and found, especially on the latter platform, trade people who had no idea about the event and, in a few cases, were critical of past ones as ...

Campfire Cooking: Roasts on a Stick

An Old-World Dinner Pairs Barolo and Roasted Goat

The meal was inspired by a former restaurant in the home of Barolo, where the specialty was hearth-roasted kid.









An Old-World Dinner Pairs Barolo and Roasted Goat

The meal was inspired by a former restaurant in the home of Barolo, where the specialty was hearth-roasted kid.









Ningxia Winemakers Challenge II: Featuring up to 60 foreign winemakers, USD135,000 in prizes

Note: As in 2012, I am working with the organizers of NWC to help spread word about this project to foreign winemakers and media outlets. A new two-year Ningxia Winemakers Challenge slated for this September will involve up to sixty participants and a prize pool of RMB840,000 (EUR120,000 / USD135,000), a steep increase on the seven foreign winemakers and RMB190,000 that were part of the inaugural project from 2012 to 2014. The application period for NWC opened one week ago and people hailing from more than a dozen countries have already signed up. The deadline is July 17, with the successful applicants to be announced around a week after that. Click here for full details on the project as well as a link to the application form. NWC is being organized by the International Federation of Vine and Wine of Helan Mountain’s East Foothill, with support from the Ningxia Grape Industry Development Bureau. Up to sixty successful ...

Architecture Lovers: Enjoy Open House Porto this Weekend!

Open House PortoOf any city in the world, Porto is by far one of the most dynamic, textured and architecturally rich. It’s a city of layers, where each and every chipped tile, salt covered glass, graffiti lined wall and aged stone shares a story, a story spanning 2000+ years of existence. Walk any city street in downtown Porto and you’ll find yourself saying, “Wow, there’s not one tiny square of this city that’s the same. Everywhere you look, the walls are different, the windows are asymmetrical and the building is morphing into something else! This is incredible!” And you’d be right, it is incredible, which is why you should take advantage of Porto’s first ‘Open House’ happening this weekend! The ‘Open House’ initiative is a completely free event to highlight outstanding architecture in a given city. The concept was founded by Victoria Thornton in 1992 to help the general public in ...

California Wine Institute in China seeks social media whiz

Got mad communication skills? California Wine Institute seeks a savvy social media person to handle its China outreach, which covers everything from California wine news–vintage reports, drought updates, and more–to promotion and coverage of CWI events. If you are a master of weixin and weibo, of Facebook and Twitter, and more, this might be up your alley. The ideal candidate will have some wine knowledge, particularly of California wine, although the most crucial factors for this position are language skills (English and Chinese) and social media experience. To apply or for more information, contact Chris Beros at cberos@calchinawine.com.