Uncorkings 7/05/2010

News and notes from the world of wine.

Diageo made news when the company said it has put aside 2 million barrels of maturing whisky from its distilleries in Scotland, an innovative way to plug a gaping deficit in its pension plan.

While small compared with most markets Africa is attracting attention from global brewers seeking to tap into the continent's steadily growing thirst for beer.

Pennsylvania wine lovers can now purchase a bottle at supermarkets—but only after they blow into a Breathalyzer. Easing up on its strict liquor laws, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board last week began allowing wine sales in grocery stores.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the brewer SABMiller has quadrupled the number of women on their tasting panels over the past decade. Why? Women may be better tasters than men.

Napa Valley wineries sell more cases of wine directly to consumers than any other grape-growing region in the U.S., according to a new report—which comes as debate is heating up about HR 5034, federal legislation that would stop direct shipping to consumers.

A makeover for boxed wine? Underdog Wine Merchants released the Octavin Home Wine Bar, an artisanal collection of 10 wines in octagonal cylinders. Some are hailing the new design as chic and creatively designed, and are hoping it will breathe new life into the category.

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