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Port tonic overlooking Porto and the Douro River

Does port need a boost?

The answer is probably yes. Many sweet wines are struggling on the market today. (Excepting of course those table wines that are sold as “dry” but which contain a substantial amount of sugar, sometimes well above 10 grams per litre.) Port is one of the great classic wines, one of the first wines in history […]

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Britt & Per Karlsson, BKWine

Packaging or contents? | New Brief out, #164 | The Wine Newsletter

Packaging or contents? We all know the importance of the label on the wine bottle. How it influences us to buy or not to buy. Most consumers are not so knowledgeable about wine, and even if you are, you will sometimes be in a situation where you are unfamiliar with most wines on the shelf. […]

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Britt & Per Karlsson, BKWine

White is (not?) as good as red | New Brief out, #163 | The Wine Newsletter

White is (not?) as good as red Several times over the years I have been asked a question that has made me confused. “Can you have a wine tasting of white wines in the same way as you have of red wines?” Behind the question lies the perception that white wines are not “worthy” or […]

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Britt & Per Karlsson, BKWine

Time to scrap “New World Wine”? | New Brief out, #162 | The Wine Newsletter

Is it time to scrap “New World Wine”? Not the wines of course but the generalising description of a group of wines using those words. “This feels like a New World wine” is something we sometimes hear when people taste blind. We sometimes use that description ourselves. It usually means that the wine is full-bodied, […]

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Bag-in-box wines in a Systembolaget shop

The Swedish alcohol monopoly increases profits by 21% to 23 million euro

Systembolaget, the Swedish alcohol monopoly, has published its financial statements. It had a turnover in 2016 of 28.5 billion SEK (3 bn euro), an increase of 3%. The profit (operating profit) amounted to SEK 217 million (23 million euro), an increase of 21% from 2015, a not entirely insignificant profit from a company who likes […]

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Britt & Per Karlsson, BKWine

Streamlined or personal wines? | New Brief out, #161 | The Wine Newsletter

Streamlined or personal? What is it that makes a wine feel personal, as if it has a special character? It really has nothing to do with the price. Sometimes I get the impression that some winemakers have magic fingers. Or is it simply a question of good soil and micro climate, and clement weather? Having […]

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20-year anniversary and bubbly trends | New Brief out, #160 | The Wine Newsletter

Sparkling trends It is popular to talk about upcoming trends at this time of year. An ongoing trend that certainly will continue in 2017 is the world’s unquenchable thirst for bubbles. In 2016 Prosecco and Cava had an enormous success. Champagne has been doing well although the domestic market is a bit slow at the […]

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Parisian café or Japanese sushi? | New Brief out, #159 | The Wine Newsletter

Parisian café or Japanese sushi? How is the traditional Parisian café doing? Everywhere you look in the French capital, you see a sushi restaurant or a sushi takeaway where there used to be a café. As soon as a café disappears, the Japanese are there. We now have four sushi places 5-10 minutes’ walk from […]

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High or low alcohol? | New Brief out, #158 | The Wine Newsletter

High or low alcohol Are you one of those consumers who think that the alcohol level in wines is getting higher and higher? Actually, this is an undisputed fact. Wine has more alcohol now than it had in the past. Some consumers do not care, while others look at the label and are horror-struck if […]

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Aromatized wine? Flavoured yeast? Luxury wines without oak? | New Brief out, #157 | The Wine Newsletter

Aromatized wine? Flavoured yeast? Luxury wines without oak? On our trip to the southern Rhone Valley last week we tasted the unfermented grape juice from freshly harvested Grenache. It was delicious and sweet. But it didn’t taste like a wine, of course. A wine’s flavour is developed during the fermentation. Aromas that are already present […]

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Terroir, desirable or despicable? | New Brief out, #156 | The Wine Newsletter

Terroir, desirable or despicable? It is interesting to see how a word can be reassessed. Take the word terroir. A word that every wine lover uses about ten times a day. And always in a very positive spirit. A wine that tastes of its terroir is a successful wine, a wine that stands out, a […]

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True or not true on wine? | New Brief out, #155 | The Wine Newsletter

True or not true? You can find tons of information about wine on the Internet. Who look things up in books nowadays? (Actually, as we write wine books, we hope that many do!) It is practical to be able to find everything quickly and smoothly in your computer or phone, but it is also dangerous. […]

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The respect for a fine wine | New Brief out, #154 | The Wine Newsletter

The respect for a fine wine Wine drinking has been democratized in the last 50 years. There are today wines in all price ranges, for all budgets, for all kinds of consumers. Screwcaps and bag in boxes have eliminated the ceremonial opening and serving of a wine. But one thing remains. The respect for the […]

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The easiest game in town: food and wine pairing | New Brief out, #153 | The Wine Newsletter

Some who have just recently entered the world of wine, new wine lovers, recent wine enthusiasts, sometimes says that it is so “difficult” to taste wine. On the contrary! It is the easiest thing in the world to taste wine. The most important thing when you taste wine is if you like it or not, […]

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All-important April? | New Brief out, #152 | The Wine Newsletter

A lot happens in April. Some things that are supposed to happen, like the tasting of young Bordeaux wines from vintage 2015. Other things that shouldn’t happen but do happen nevertheless, like devastating frost nights. The entire northern France, as well as other countries, have been hit and the southern regions have not been spared […]

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What’s in the colour? | New Brief out, #151 | The Wine Newsletter

White, red or rosé? Colour is not just about that! What is the importance of the colour of the? Quite a lot actually. Many people like dark, dense wines, they promise body, power and lots of fruit. But lightly coloured wines, like wines made from Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo can have as intense, even more […]

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Domaine du Moulin Blanc Sec Vieilles Vignes from Gaillac

Unusual grape varieties, for the adventurous wine-lover | Britt on Forbes

There is a certain comfort and feel-good aspect to drinking wines that are familiar. On the other hand, there is excitement and the joys of discovery in finding new things. And for us, discovering new things, wines, regions, people, is one of the key elements of the joys of wine and food (and travel). It […]

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Ethical wine? Systembolaget’s ethical labelling does not mean that no-label wines are unethical

Systembolaget, the Swedish monopoly, launched some years back a special project for “ethical” assessment of their products. It is a question that concerns many producers and buyers around the world. Systembolaget has also begun a sort of “ethical labelling” of the products. BKWine Magazine’s reporter Mikael Karlin met recently with Systembolaget’s staff responsible for the […]

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Revolution in the “New” World? | New Brief out, #150 | The Wine Newsletter

This is number 150 of the BKWine Brief! Who would have thought that when we started one hundred and fifty issues ago!? Revolution in the New World? We have just come back from a wonderful tour in South America. You will hear more about that in coming Briefs. We spent two weeks in Chile and […]

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What style wine tasting notes? | New Brief out, #149 | The Wine Newsletter

Wine descriptions… How should a wine writer describe a wine so that everyone understands what he/she means? “Excellent” is of course a good word in this context which cannot easily be misunderstood. Possibly it is a bit short although sometimes it can actually be enough. Some writers choose to write entire novels about each wine […]

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CO2 bottle with an Insead cap

Additives and techniques used for organic wines; good or bad?

“When making organic wine you use no additives and you don’t spray toxins in the vineyard”. Just a little bit exaggerated (but only slightly) this is what one can both hear said and read sometimes. But it is completely wrong. Organic wine producers both spray their vines and use processing aids (“additives”) in the wine […]

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Are you paying too much for fine wines? | New Brief out, #146 | The Wine Newsletter

Wine consumers often have great respect, not to say reverence, for fine wine. Old vintages, famous producers, famous vineyards. It affects us all at some point. An awe that comes when you realize you have a Grand Cru or something similar in the glass. Wine is not just a beverage. If it were so, the […]

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New Brief out, #145: Why you should not trust vintage ratings, and much more | The Wine Newsletter

An insider’s tip to the wine enthusiast: do not pay much attention to vintage tables and ratings. This year’s harvest is a prime example of why you should not bother too much about what you read in vintage ratings tables. Last Friday I was in Champagne, at Chassenay d’Arce, an interesting cooperative in southern Champagne […]

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New Brief out, #144: South Africa, exclusive Champagne and Napa and much more | The Wine Newsletter

It is sometimes strange to see how different trends and how media seem to affect our taste in wine. When they aired a popular TV series about Italian food Italian wines and travel to Italy became tremendously popular. We can see a somewhat opposite today with South Africa. South Africa has for quite some years […]

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Will the Champagne growers (CIVC) force a great supporter, Champagne Jayne, into bankruptcy with their bullying?

The despicable behaviour of the CIVC Champagne marketing organisation against a great champagne supporter “Champagne Jayne” is the name that Jayne Powell uses for her wine tasting and wine promotion activity in Australia. Or at least it has been until recently. The Champagne growers and makers association CIVC is suing her for using the name […]

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Mjödhamnens produktbeskrivning med cirkeldiagram

Monopoly on pie charts? You must be kidding!

No, I am not kidding. The very small company called Mjödhamnen is threatened with a law suit by the very big monopoly retailer Systembolaget in Sweden. Mjödhamnen means “the port of mead” and is a small, tiny, producer and importer of mead. What has Mjödhamnen done? Well, they have used pie charts, circular diagrams, to […]

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Are wine bloggers becoming just a megaphone for marketing budgets?

Wine blogging, as well as on-line (and off-line in print) wine journalism is changing. Are more and more blog articles just promotional pieces published just because the blogger / journalist has been invited to a tasting or been treated to a trip to a wine region? It all started with a report that I happened […]

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The orangerie at Moet & Chandon in Epernay

Why does champagne cost so much?

A champagne lunch for, maybe, 1500–2000 euro Champagne always carries a not insignificant price tag. As with everything, “expensive” is a question of each one’s personal assessment. One thing is certain: there are no other wines that are marketed with so much money. It is in many ways a meaningless question if a wine is […]

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Is it a problem with all these new “cheap amarones”?

Are all the new, low(ish) priced appassimento, ripasso, passito, “baby-amarone” wines a cause for concern? I received an interesting question on email from someone in the wine business. In short: “You see more and more of ‘cheap amarone’ (or ripasso, appassimento, passito), not least in Sweden at Systembolaget where amarone has become fantastically popular, but […]

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Selling wine in supermarkets, something to be ashamed of?

Often we hear wine producers in France saying, not without a certain pride in their voice that their wine is certainly not sold in supermarkets (grande surfaces). I wonder why this would be so terrible. Today’s supermarkets often have as a minimum a very decent selection of wines and sometimes an extremely good one. So […]

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