Good Reads Wednesday

by Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte Rosé)

jeff-smEvery Wednesday I post my recommendations of the best of last week’s postings concerning wine, whether blogs or news. I list them in the order I read them, so you shouldn’t infer anything about the order in which I list these posts.

How Wineries Will Fail in the 21st Century


Yarrow’s survey of wineries in Sonoma and Marin counties finds a lot to be desired in how they build relationships (or don’t) with their clientele. Just a snippet:

So back to my experience calling and e-mailing more than 150 different wineries in Sonoma county over the past couple of months. I was astonished to find how many wineries didn’t answer their phones during their stated business hours; didn’t return phone calls even when the message made it clear that the topic I wanted to discuss was an opportunity for publicity; and didn’t return e-mail messages asking for information.

Looking at Three-Tier from the Other Side

Alfonso Cevola

A defense of sorts of the three-tier system. This article looks at what the three-tier system does well. I think most people in the trade wouldn’t quarrel with most of what’s here, but would quarrel with the way the three-tier system works to narrow the availability of wines in the marketplace, with dire consequences for both the consumer and smaller producer.  The author’s conclusion:

Whatever the three-tier system is not, it has the capacity to move enormous amounts of wine over vast and small distances economically, to move those wines quickly to retail outlets and consumers, and to keep a perishable beverage from getting too hot or too cold along the way.

Not tonight, I have a wine headache…

Tom Mansell

An interesting review of the claimed causes of wine-inspired headaches. Most of the wine lore out there on the subject isn’t very evidence based. For example, sulfites are often blamed, but in fact there’s little reason to think they have much to do with the wine headache. The main culprit is dehydration. My advice: drink less total alcohol (after all, do you really want to get plastered?), and drink plenty of water with it.

Pay Homage


What makes this review of the 2006 Quivira Hommage a Ampuis Syrah is that this is the second time Sonadora reviewed it. As is so often the case, the wine a year and a half ago was totally different than the one reviewed today.

What Are The Marketing Costs For a $50 Bottle of Wine?

Wine Blog, Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz

How does a bottle of wine end up costing $50. This post goes through the costs of producing a bottle of wine. Much of the cost is incurred after the wine is produced, in both marketing and distribution. My series on the subject begins at

The Whineaux foresees our 2010’s “Wine Moments”

Dawn Brister’s predictions for 2010. Predicting is a dangerous business, but I hope most of her predictions come true, and two in particular: that blends will gain ground against varietals, and people will start drinking more Merlot again. A few others (e.g., that splits will become more popular) I have my doubts about. Only time will tell.

For keeping up to date with what’s going on the in wine world, the best all around source is

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