Should the Alcohol in Wine Be Lowered?; Premier Cru Embezzler Confesses; Julia Child & More News

Photo by Faisal Akram / flickr

Would offering and promoting lower-alcohol beverages be an effective public health policy? The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology podcast refers to studies where party-goers are randomly given “normal” strength beers and beers with a reduced alcohol content. At the end of the evening, those drinking lower-alcohol beers did not end up consuming more drinks than their full-strength counterparts nor, when questioned afterwards, feel like something was amiss.

Are people able to discern alcohol level in beer, wine, and spirits? Experiments show that many drinkers cannot distinguish between an average-strength beer and one with less than 2% alcohol. The same goes for spirits of 40 proof and 30 proof. Can you tell the difference?

Premier Cru Owner Embezzles $5 Million From Customers, Spends It on Ferraris, a House and Online Dates

By selling $20 million of “phantom” wine over a five-year period and embezzeling an additional $5 million from his company, John Fox, owner of Premier Cru, a wine retalier located in Berkeley, California, was able to defraud thousands of customers. His embezzlement allowed him to live a lavish lifestyle at the expense of 9,000 creditors. Frances Dinkelspiel has the story of Fox’s guilty plea in Berkeleyside.

Is Napa Cabernet Losing its Distinctiveness?

Warren Winiarski, legendary winemaker at Stags Leap Wine Cellars is concerned about the future of Napa wine. He shares his thoughts in this interview with The North Bay Business Journal. Winiarski also reveals his “Copernican moment” that led him from Chicago to a life in wine. Read more about the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris.

Take a look at a Zinfandel Harvest…in Nevada

Sure, there’s a more famous neighbor to Nevada’s west as far as states that make wine are concerned. But take a chance to get to know Pahrump Winery, about an hour west of Las Vegas, via 8NewsNow.

Marquette, Frontenac Gris, Itasca?

Meet these hybrid grapes, developed at the University of Minnesota. Bill Ward in the Star Tribune will also introduce you to Petite Pearl and Frontenac Blanc. Journey to Vermont to find out why hybrid grapes matter in our interview with La Garagista winemaker Deirdre Heekin.

Happy Birthday, Julia Child

The late, great Julia Child was born on this day in 1912, and her impact on cooking—particularly for home chefs—still reverberates today. We at Wine Enthusiast would like to mark the occasion with a little wisdom from the legend herself.

Meanwhile, in the Trade

Jaffurs Winery is Sold

Influential Santa Barbara stalwart Jaffurs Winery has sold to winemaker Daniel Green. Founded in 1994, Jaffurs found acclaim in their Syrah, expanding their production over the years to become a profitable and respected winery throughout the region. Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor Matt Kettman gives the full story in the Santa Barbara Independent.

No end to Mergers and Acquisitions?

Speaking of winery buyouts, as the economy twists and turns, are we likely to see a deceleration in winery and distributor consolidation? Brian Freedman weighs on Forbes.

New Major Supporter of Institute of Masters of Wines

Washington state-based Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE) stepped up to lend support to the prestigious wine certification and education organization. Winemaker and Master of Wine Bob Betz, who worked for SMWE for nearly thirty years, told Great Northwest Wine, “For decades, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has conducted wine education programs internationally. This formal sponsorship will create additional opportunities for the institute’s already robust learning curriculum.”

On The Scene and In The Press

Senior Editor Jameson Fink tries a 2001 Lucas Winery Chardonnay in Lodi at the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Tasting Coordinator Fiona Adams and Assistant Digital Editor Dylan Garret took in an impromptu garden ballet performance at the Secret Summer NYC Food & Cocktail Festival in Queens, New York.

And finally, Senior Editor Lana Bortolot gets nerdy via text across the tasting room at TEXSOM.

Published on August 15, 2016
Topics: Wine News + Trends

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