London-based Wine Society, the world’s oldest wine club, is recalling more than 15,000 bottles of Prosecco after reports of “spontaneous shattering.” According to a release on its Web site, the company is acting on several complaints of bottles of Prosecco Brut I Duecento shattering during storage. “Whilst the incidence of shattering bottles is limited, as a precaution we have also taken the decision to recall all remaining bottles of this wine,” said Wine Society in a statement.
Oregon-based Craft Brewery Rogue is doing its part to fight a mysterious disease affecting starfish populations along the Pacific Coast. Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, the largest marine animal disease event in recorded history, is worrying area biologists because starfish are important to the ocean ecosystem. For Rogue—based in the fishing town of Newport—the cause hits close to home. The company is brewing Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale to raise awareness about Sea Star Wasting Syndrome, using purple corn nectar to pay homage to a native species rapidly disappearing from the Oregon coastline. A portion of the proceeds from this beer will go towards Sea Star Wasting Syndrome research conducted by the Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at Oregon State University. Due to limited supply, Rogue is only shipping to California, Washington and within Oregon.
As part of a massive 16-week, cross-country tour, Hendrick’s Gin is flying a flagship airship throughout the United States to coincide with National Cucumber Day (a major ingredient in Hendrick’s formula) on June 14. The 130-foot-long Hendrick’s Air dirigible visited the Manhattan and New York metro area June 10–15, but will be visiting Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago, among other cities. The company is also providing at-home cocktail kit delivery service via Cocktail Courier (in NYC and Chicago), cucumber giveaways via the brand’s fleet of delivery bikes, social media contests to win cucumber-related paraphernalia, and specials at bars from coast to coast.
In the Trade
On June 10, non-profit organization Wine Market Council announced their first $10,000 wine-research grant to Texas Tech University PhD candidate Nicholas Johnston. Under the grant, Johnston will research how millennials respond to traditional and less traditional wine packaging. He will present his findings at the 2016 Wine Market Council Consumer Research Conferences, scheduled for March 2, 2016, in Napa Valley, California and on March 7, 2016, in New York City.
France’s President François Hollande opened this year’s Vinexpo in Bordeaux, marking the first time that the wine fair has been opened by the country’s head of state. This year’s show is host to more than 50,000 international wine and spirits professionals, with 2,350 exhibitors from 42 countries. The U.S. wine industry has been named Vinexpo’s first-ever “Country of Honor,” showcasing the work of the Napa Valley Vintners association and Wine Institute of California, amongst others.
According to Drinks Business, leading craft beer industry figures are warning that the category’s rapid success is leaving hops in short supply. In Washington State’s Yakima Valley, which produces nearly 80% of the country’s hops, the supply could go bust if demand increases. Citing Mitch Steele, brewmaster for California’s Stone Brewing Co., the report states, “Some beer makers have even had to drop production because of the shortage.” Global exports of US craft beer rose by 35.7% in 2014, worth $99.7 million compared to a decade prior, when exports totaled only $2.9 million.
On the Scene
Ever wonder what a wine taster drinks when they’re off the clock? Contributing Editor Matt Kettmann gives a glimpse with this stellar line-up.
— Matt Kettmann (@mattkettmann) June 14, 2015
Last week, Assistant Tasting Director Alex Peartree took a break from tasting wine, sipping on American grower ciders instead.
A photo posted by Alexander Peartree (@apatrone23) on