Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur: Play that funky music, German boys

    I'm typing this post from a lowball liquor and packaged food convention where I'm not really supposed to be ... it's a long story. At the next couch, two people are preparing a bid for industrial vacuum-packed rotisserie chicken. There are sooo many bottles of scary-looking hooch designed for 99-cent stores.

    1 readers - By The Gray Report

    Millenials vs. grocery store wines

    Last month a wine buyer for a major northern California grocery store chain made this observation at Wines & Vines' packaging seminar. "Baby boomers are still driving volume ...

    7 readers - By The Gray Report

    Wine Spectator, Advocate can now legally sell a 90-point rating

    Can Wine Spectator now openly offer higher ratings to wineries that buy advertising -- and threaten lower ones to wineries that don't? It appears that it can. So can the Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, CellarTracker, and any other site publishing ratings. For years, some wineries have whispered that such practices might be informally happening, even though there has never been any evidence.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Three Napa Valley wineries where you can play games

    The view from the deck at Cade Estate The best way you can help Napa Valley rebuild from the earthquake is to visit. Tourism can take a hit after a quake, and that impacts a lot of local jobs. More than 95% of Napa wineries, restaurants and hotels are open and they want you to come and spend your money.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Why mainstream media always wrongly assumes wine prices will go up

    This story is so wrong. A few days after the Napa earthquake, which I covered extensively for Wine Searcher, I was a guest on a southern California radio program. The host was mainly interested in how wine prices were going to go up. I explained that Napa makes 4% of the wine in California, and only a part of Napa was affected.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Wine shop owner catches Tequila thief with bag of meat

    By day, Frank Pagliaro is a mild-mannered wine store owner. But then he goes into the back room, possibly sliding down some sort of pole, and emerges as Batman, Delaware edition. Gotham City's Batman takes on the Joker and Bane and barely survives. Wilmington's Batman takes on the AssClown and The AssClown's Cousin Julio, and not only does he triumph, he posts video on Youtube.

    4 readers - By The Gray Report

    Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, Prosecco, Barefoot are hot; Syrah, mainstream beer are not

    Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is the hottest liquor brand in the country, and I'm not talking about the taste. It has added easily the most sales in dollar and volume over the last year, according to Nielsen. Two vodkas -- Tito's and New Amsterdam -- are runners up. Yesterday, Nielsen's beverage alcohol head Danny Brager gave a presentation in San Diego about what's going on in the U.S. booze market.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Porn star makes wine: an interview from the archives

    Going through some old files last week, I found this story that never ran in its intended publication; the editor got cold feet. Never too late for a porn star-makes-wine story. This is the unedited original story from 2007. “There are two things I have to ask you about: wine and sex,” I tell porn star Savanna Samson in our phone interview.

    3 readers - By The Gray Report

    Why are Trader Joe's wines so cheap?

    Short answer: For the same reason that everything else at Trader Joe's is cheap. They're industrial agricultural products that are efficiently made and distributed. The Internet got excited last week with the "news" from the Huffington Post that there are dead birds in Trader Joe's wines.

    12 readers - By The Gray Report

    Tasty can of sake rises from the rubble of a tsunami

    Suisen brewery was utterly destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Seven employees (out of only 57 total) died. It was a challenge just to keep going for the 67-year-old brewery. Amazingly, only three years later, not only is Suisen back in business, it's exporting its sake for the first time.

    9 readers - By The Gray Report

    If you can't make great wine, tweet

    Today is a perfect day to get swept away by a glass of our delicious Barefoot Moscato!! #MoscatoMonday — Barefoot Wine (@BarefootWineCA) July 28, 2014 Here are the top 10 wineries Monday on Vin Tank's "Winery Social Index": 1. Four Cousins (South Africa) 2. Barefoot Cellars 3. Wine Sisterhood 4. Biltmore (North Carolina) 5. Castello di Amorosa ( FantasylandNapa) 6.

    8 readers - By The Gray Report

    Here's a rarity: a simple, useful, elegant wine gadget

    Wine Thermals. Mine is plain brown. There aren't many good wine gadgets. Most are superfluous crap meant to keep the cycle of useless Christmas gifts spinning. Even the ones I like usually end up gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. In the few months since I got a Wine Thermal, I've used it every time I had a white wine. I can't say that for any other wine gadget in the house.

    12 readers - By The Gray Report

    Moonshine: The Book

    Moonshine is having a moment. It's painful how hip it is. It's even made in Brooklyn now, and the distillery there charges about double what good 12-year-old Scotch costs. One such modern moonshine producer credits the 2008 financial crisis. "People were really getting back to basics," he said.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Overwhelmed by trying to open a bottle of Lambrusco

    Last week I couldn't figure out how to open a wine bottle. It has a metal clamp over the cork that doesn't pull or twist off. I went to Twitter for help, but nobody gave me advice. I don't drink a lot of Lambrusco at home, so I have to ask: Does anyone know how to open this bottle? Seriously. — W.

    8 readers - By The Gray Report

The Gray Report

Best Blogger/Online Wine Writer (in the world!): Roederer Award 2013

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