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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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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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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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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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Thursday, June 13: Time for Systembolaget’s Lottery: The winner gets some 40,000 to 60,000 crowns

How Systembolaget subsidises luxury wines From time to time a few bottles of Romanée Conti, Domaine de la Romanée Conti (DRC), arrive in Sweden. This Thursday Systembolaget will launch this wine in a “new” vintage (2010). There will be in total four bottles available of Romanee Conti in Systembolaget’s “web launch” (wines only sold on […]

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Wine tanks at Cupertinum co-operative, Apulia

Is it good for the wine consumer that the producers are now allowed to blend vintages with VCI?

A new kind of insurance for the wine producer: “The individual supplementary volume” Many things can happen in a vineyard. Weather problems are frequent. Diseases can reduce quantity and destroy quality. A small harvest could be disastrous for the producer. On the other hand, the change of character in a wine according to the specificities […]

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Chateau Richelieu, Fronsac, Bordeaux

Should Bordeaux (or the French) have a monopoly on the term “chateau”?

Another example of outrageous protectionism or justified worries about consumer protection? The Bordeaux producers, or more precisely the Fédération des Grands Vins de Bordeaux (FGVB), the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB, who sent the press release) as well as the Confédération Nationale des AOC (CNAOC) is incensed by a discussion between the EU […]

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