BKWine Brief nr 101, January 2012

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Per Karlsson portraitBritt Karlsson portraitIf last month was special because it was BKWine Brief issue number 100 this month’s Brief is special for another reason.

We have discovered that there are some issues with the delivery of the Brief to some subscribers’ email addresses. This concerns primarily Yahoo and Hotmail addresses that seem to totally block the delivery of the BKWine Brief. But it also concerns some other addresses.

We are currently investigation and hope to find some good solution soon.

One thing that may be causing part of the issue is that the BKWine Brief contains a lot of pictures and links. Some spam filters are of the opinion that if a mail has many links and pictures it is a strong sign that it may be spam, which, of course, we hope that you do not think is the case with the Brief.

For this reason this time the Brief is a little bit different. It only contains headings or summaries and very few pictures. To read the whole BKWine Brief you have to click on the link that takes you to our site, BKWine Magazine where you will find the FULL text with pictures, links and all. Just as usual. If you prefer to print it and read it off-line (think of the trees!) you can do that either with your web browser’s print function, or you can use the “printer friendly” button at the bottom of the text (on the site).

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and hope you understand.

Thank you for reading the Brief!

Britt & Per

PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief!

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What’s on at BKWine Tours

“World’s Top Wine Tours” – Travel + Leisure Magazine, on

2012 wine tour program

  • Bordeaux 9-13 May
  • Bordeaux 19-23 September
  • Tuscany 10-14 October
  • Champagne 14-18 November

Details soon to be published.

For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we’re on French time), or go to our wine travel site on!

What do people think about a wine tour with BKWine?

That is of course a question that we think is very important. We want it to be a wonderful and memorable experience for everyone. Here are some of the comments we’ve had from customers this season:

  • “Many thanks for a fantastic trip. You are so keen to make everything the best for your guests and you are so knowledgeable about wine. A pleasure to travel with you.”, W-A
  • ”Thank you for a wonderful trip to Umbria and southern Tuscany. Wonderful in many ways – our initial ideas for the trip on food and wine in Umbria and Tuscany – and discovering sagrantino and sangiovese – were more than fulfilled”, I & P in Umbria and Tuscany

More wine tour customer testimonials here.

Custom wine tours

We also make custom designed wine tours – on-demand tours for you and a group of friends, for your company (maybe to scout new winegrowers?), for a special event… We can combine winery visits and wine touring with other activities: gastronomic workshops, visit to an oyster farm, truffles hunting, cheese making, and more. We’ve done tours for wine clubs, for sommelier educations, for corporate events, for wine importers, for wine course study groups… just to mention a few.

More info on the custom designed and bespoke BKWine wine tours and travel here!

Wine tours in Finnish

We also do wine tours in Finnish. And in German, Norwegian, Spanish…

Do you want the latest news and updates on our wine travel activity? Subscibe here! (Second alternative

From the World of Wine

Millesime Bio – what a great source to find good wine producers | 17 good producers

Millesime BioIf I had to choose one single wine show to go to I would have a hard time choose between Millésime Bio and Vinisud. But since Millésime Bio has just finished I must admit that it is at the top of my mind, at least at the moment. It has some great advantages. Fore example: it is of reasonable size and above all, the average quality of the exhibitors is excellent, and it is does not have any gigantic plenty-of-marketing-dollars stands. I freely admit that the fact that it is “bio”, organic wine, does not count for me as a main advantage (nor drawback). My main focus is the quality of the wines and if the producer happens to be organic – fine (and they all are at MB). The show is great for someone who is looking for new, small to medium size, character full wineries. The most challenging thing with a wine fair like this, at least if you go there to discover new producers, is to know who to visit. There are many hundreds of wine producers and you have to make a stringent selection. Do your homework, read what others say, as for recommendations etc. I have been very lucky this year – I met many very interesting producers, some old but mostly new. If you plan to go there next year (or if you just want some good names) here is a list of some of those that I met this year at MB and that I warmly recommend for you to try, in no particular order:

  1. Meinklang, Austria
  2. Pares Balta, Spain (Catalonia)
  3. Viña Ijalba, Spain
  4. San Polino, Italy
  5. Badia a Coltibuono, Italy (Chianti)
  6. Bott-Geyl, Alsace
  7. Domain Meyer, Alsace
  8. Marcel Deiss, Alsace
  9. Domaine Duseigneur, Rhône
  10. Plantamur, Italy (Puglia)
  11. Domaine Grand Guilhem, Languedoc
  12. Clos de l’Anhel, Languedoc
  13. Domaine Turner Pageot, Languedoc
  14. Domaine Canet Valette, Languedoc
  15. Thierry Valette / Clos Puy Arnaud, Bordeaux
  16. Bret Brothers / Domaine la Soufrandière, Burgundy
  17. Domaine Conte de Floris, Languedoc

Demand for Bordeaux and Languedoc will grow the most

Wine SalesThe appellations that were expected to see the biggest growth in demand in 2011 were Bordeaux, Languedoc and Rhône, according to Sopexa. Every year Sopexa polls wine importers and retailers across 12 countries on how they think the market will develop. According to this poll these are the regions that were expected to have the strongest increase in demand in 2011 (in order of priority):

  1. Bordeaux
  2. Languedoc
  3. Rhone
  4. Burgundy
  5. Tuscany
  6. Veneto
  7. Rioja
  8. Sicily
  9. Loire
  10. Sud-Ouest

Millesime Bio 2012, statistics from the organic wine fair

Dirty wine glassesIt is actually the 19th yearly edition of the Millesime Bio organic wine show that has just finished. Amazing that it has been going for almost 20 years. Some numbers about the show: around 3600 visitors in 2012, which is 400 more than last year (+12%). 23% of the visitors are international (= not French). The biggest “countries” are Germany (14%), Scandinavia (14%), North America (meaning US+Cnd, 12%), Belgium (12%), which tallies fairly well where the biggest interest and growth markets for organic wine is, with the exception of the Netherlands that seem curiously missing in the visitor numbers. There must have been well beyond 500 wine producers represented (460 stands but many were shared). 13 countries were represented. More:

World vineyard acreage: diminishing; top 12 countries

Global vineyard surface area shrunk in 2010 to 7.6 million hectares, loosing around 10,000ha. The “old world” is still very dominant although the “New World have increased in importance, gaining just over nine percentage points over the period. Here’s the split:

  • Europe: 57%
  • Asia: 22%
  • Americas: 13%
  • Africa: 5%
  • Oceania: 2.7%

Old vine in SpainThe world wide vineyard acreage has been steadily declining since 2003 when it peaked at almost 7.9M ha. The big “loosers” are the traditional big, old world wine countries: Spain, France, and Italy.

The 12 leading countries are:

  1. Spain: 1082 Mha
  2. France: 825 kha
  3. Italy: 798 kha
  4. Turkey: 505 kha
  5. China: 490 kha
  6. USA: 404 kha
  7. Iran: 300 kha
  8. Portugal: 243 kha
  9. Argentina: 228 kha
  10. Romania: 204 kha
  11. Chile: 200 kha
  12. Australia: 170 kha

As you can see, “vineyard area” really means “grape growing acreage” since some of the countries grow a lot of grapes but make little wine.

(Source: OIV, vineyard statistics 2010)

La Taverna del Capitano, I 3 Mori, Siena restaurant | BKWine Pick

La Taverna del Capitano-I 3 Mori is a small taverna-restaurant just next to the Doumo so a bit away from Piazza del Campo. Traditional Siennese dishes served in a simple setting. The old vaulted rooms with naked brick walls give a certain atmosphere. Their speciality is the hand rolled picci (pasta that is like fat spaghetti) served with a variety of sauces: spices, tomato, meat sauce (ragù) etc, but they also have a number of other things to choose from. Very affordable. Good choice for an uncomplicated dinner.

La Taverna del Capitano, I 3 Mori, Via del Capitano 6-8, ph 0577 288094

World wine production down in 2010, top 12 countries

Just like vineyard acreage, world wine production shrunk in 2010. The total volume of wine produced in 2010 is estimated to be 263 million hectolitre, down from a bit over 270 Mhl in 2009. Here’s the split on continents:

  • Europe: 66%
  • Amercias: 19%
  • Asia: 5.5%
  • Oceania: 5%
  • Africa: 4%

The New World has gained 7% points on the old world over fifteen years. World wine production peaked in 2004 at just under 300 Mhl.

Italian wine bottlesThe 12 leading wine producing countries in 2010 were (“OIV forecast”):

  1. Italy: 48.6 Mhl
  2. France: 45.3 Mhl
  3. Spain: 36.1 Mhl
  4. USA: 19.6 Mhl
  5. Argentina: 16.3 Mhl
  6. China: 13 Mhl
  7. Australia: 11.2 Mhl
  8. South Africa: 9.2 Mhl
  9. Chile: 8.8 Mhl
  10. Russia: 8.2 Mhl
  11. Germany: 7.2 Mhl
  12. Portugal: 6.8 Mhl

It is interesting to note that China has moved up to the world’s 6th biggest wine producer. There is a lot of buzz around China as a wine buyer (a market for wine) but apparently it is also catching up on production. It has overtaken both Australia, South Africa and Chile.

(Source: OIV World Wine Production 2010)

Global wine consumption sees a small rise in 2010; top 12 countries

In contrast to global vineyard area and wine production, that declined, global wine consumption saw a slight increase in 2010, inching marginally up to 238 million hectolitres. World consumption peaked in 2007 at around 250 Mhl, declined substantially in 2008 and 2009. But this declined was stopped in 2010 when the consumption essentially levelled out. The Old World is by far the biggest consumer, accounting for 65% of the total, but its importance have declined (7 percentage points over 15 years):

  • Europe: 65%
  • Americas: 22%
  • Asia: 7.9%
  • Africa: 2.9%
  • Oceania: 2.7%

Burgundy vineyardThere are dramatic differences in consumer patterns in different parts of the world: The traditional big producers and consumers have declining consumption: France, Italy and Spain have seen the consumption drop radically. The big growth markets are the USA, China, Australia, Russia and (curiously) the UK (in the longer term). The US passed Italy in 2006 (both countries drank 27 Mhl that year) and looks likely to overtake France as the biggest consumer if the trends continue. Here are the top twelve countries:

  1. France: 29.4 Mhl (trend: -)
  2. USA: 27.1 Mhl (+)
  3. Italy: 24.5 Mhl (-)
  4. Germany 20.2 Mhl (+)
  5. China: 14.3 Mhl (+)
  6. UK: 13.2 Mhl (=/+)
  7. Spain: 10.9 Mhl (-)
  8. Argentina: 10 Mhl (-)
  9. Russia: 9.7 Mhl (short term -, longer +)
  10. Australia: 5.3 Mhl (+)
  11. Portugal: 4.4 Mhl (-)
  12. Canada: 4.4 Mhl (+)

(Source: OIV)

World wine exports booming; top 12 countries

It is in the world wine export numbers (international trade in wine) where you see the real boom. Wine is more and more consumed outside the country of production. There are two big drivers behind this: the big producers are consuming less wine domestically and thus have to export more. Secondly, there is a host of “new” wine producing countries that are becoming important wine producers but that have relatively modest local demand. Lets look at some countries, looking back over the period 2002 to 2010:

Italy: has seen a steady growth, especially lately and is now the biggest exporter.

Spain: has also seen a substantial increase in exports (>+50%) over the period and has become the second exporter.

France: Used to be the biggest exporter but have seen a steady, but not dramatic, decline (-12% over the period) and has fallen to 3rd place.

Ship at seaAfter these there is a big group of countries that have seen very impressive growth in wine exports: Australia, Chile, USA, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and curiously even Germany.

The big loose in relative terms, in market share, is France, although in absolute numbers it has not shrunk all that much.

Here are the top twelve wine exporting countries 2010:

  1. Italy: 20.6 Mhl (trend: +)
  2. Spain: 17.1 Mhl (+)
  3. France: 13.5 Mhl (-)
  4. Australia:7.8 Mhl (+)
  5. Chile: 7.3 Mhl (+)
  6. USA: 4.1 Mhl (+)
  7. South Africa: 3.9 Mhl (+)
  8. Germany: 3.8 Mhl (+)
  9. Argentina: 2.7 Mhl (+)
  10. Portugal: 2.6 Mhl (-)
  11. New Zealand: 1.4 Mhl (+)
  12. Moldavia (!): 1 Mhl (-)

(Source: OIV)

Le Chapelier Toqué, Avignon restaurant | BKWine Pick

A hat shopLe Capelier Toqué is a tiny restaurant. It is easy to miss it when you walk up the street Rue Guillaume Puy in the Quartier des Teinturiers (the old dyers’ part of Avignon – definitely worth a visit). Once you find it you may be a bit surprised. It has only a few table but is very “designed” (for French standards). This is also evident when your food is served – we have never seen so gigantic plates (not the servings – the porcelain!). The restaurant is owned and run by Joe Attipoe who is from Ghana. Everything he does is fresh and well made.

The cuisine is of a style of its own: lots of vegetables but also lots of fruit used in the food. So you can get, for example, a duck’s breast with roast pineapple, roast sweet potatoes, onion fondue and sweet chilli jam. Plus a red and black sauce. A firework of different raw material and tastes. This is a type of cooking that some people like a lot (curiously, Swedish people seem to be very fond of this mix of sweet and salty) but personally I am personally not too fond of fruit and sweetish sauces with my main course. This said, it is well made but perhaps a touch over-ambitious in my taste.

The restaurant wine selection is short but good, including for example Domaine Duseigneur from Lirac. Prices are moderate (15-30 euros for dinner without wine).

71 Rue Guillaume Puy, 84000 Avignon, 04 90 82 29 01

Wine imports booming too in 2010; top 14 countries (with some surprises)

Wine from a foreign countrySince wine exports are booming so is wine import. Over the period 1995 to 2010 it has increased from 48 million hl to almost the double: 87 Mhl. The wine buyers have been even more dominantly Old World: today 70% of wine imports are to European countries (including intra-Europe), down though from 83% in 1995.

Here are the top 14 countries:

  1. Germany: 14.2 Mhl (trend ‘05-‘10: +)
  2. UK: 12.5 Mhl (+)
  3. USA: 9.3 Mhl (+)
  4. Russia: 5.5 Mhl (-)
  5. France: 4.5 Mhl (-)
  6. Canada: 3.5 Mhl (+)
  7. Netherlands: 3.3 Mhl (-)
  8. Belgium: 3 Mhl (+)
  9. China: 2.9 Mhl (+)
  10. Japan: 2 Mhl (+)
  11. Denmark: 2 Mhl (+)
  12. Switzerland: 1.9 Mhl (+)
  13. Italy: 1.7 Mhl (-)
  14. Portugal: 1.6 Mhl (+)

It is perhaps surprising to find Germany at the top of the list, but it has been there for quite some time.

The big gains have been in the USA, Canada, and China. China is still (in 2010) modest in size, only in 9th position, but in percentage terms the growth has been very high, from almost nothing in 2002. If the trend continues (as many producers hope) it will rapidly climb up the chart.

(Source: OIV)

It is nice when someone notices you…

A few people have noticed that we exist recently. That’s very nice and we appreciate it very much! Here’s a list:

Twittering about wine more and more popular: an introduction

A dove on a ledgeThere are more and more people in the “wine community” that twitter, both professionals and “amateurs” (in the French sense of the word). We have written a short introduction in two parts to get you started on Twitter, hoping that you might join the conversation.

Reader recommendations for growers’ champagne

We wrote in December on a few of the small independent champagne producers that we think are worth discovering, making so-called ”growers’ champagne”. Following the article we had several suggestions from readers on more names to put on the list. So, here is an update: Reader suggestions for growers’ champagnes

Prestigious producer in Montalcino tasted: Col d’Orcia

Tenuta Col d’Orcia is one of the most famous producers in the region around Montalcino where they produce the exclusive Brunello di Montalcino and the somewhat more affordable Rosso di Montalcino. The winery contacted us and asked if we might be interested in tasting their wines. Of course we are, we said. Read the report on the winery and on the wines we tasted, written by Åsa, here: Col d’Orcia – a winery in Montalcino, Tuscany

Ristorante Aldo di Castiglione, Asti restaurant | BKWine Pick

A truffleRistorante Aldo di Castiglione is certainly one of the more peculiar restaurants we have been to, at least when you arrive. We knew the address but wondered if we were mistaken when we arrived. It looked like just any (ancient) apartment building in Asti. But yes, there is a small sign and a door-bell. We press the button and someone comes and opens the door. It is indeed a restaurant. But it feels almost like being let into someone’s home for dinner. It is run by an energetic lady who does not speak much English but who has a lot of good will to make you understand all the same.

We decided to pretty much follow the advice of the lady (which spared us from trying to figure out what everything meant) and we were not disappointed. Various charcuteries, vegetables, the Piedmontese raw meat and numerous other things for starter, followed by a selection of traditional meat courses. All hearty, tasty and very good. And copious.

The wines were not much easier. “Wine list? Come have a look! On these shelves we have wines between 20€ and 35€, and on these they are more expensive.”

Certainly an experience and a very nice and most enjoyable one, but original. Don’t expect it to be like you normal restaurant visit. Prices turned out to be at a quite decent mid-level for the food we had.

Ristorante Aldo di Castiglione, Via Giobert 8, 14100 Asti, ph 0141 35 49 05

Wine fair in Finland in April

If you are interested in selling your wines in Finland, perhaps this is something you should look at: the Tampere Wine Fair on April 13-15, 2012. The event is open both the trade and to the general public. It could be interesting e.g. for producers selling their wines over the internet since that is currently legal in Finland although they do have a retail monopoly. More information: (use Google translate if needed) and

Two of Italy’s great wine profiles have died: Gambelli and Quintarelli

Giulio Gambelli was one of Italy most famous oenologists. He worked almost all his life with the sangiovese grape i Tuscany. Giuseppe Quintarelli was a legendary wine producer in Valpolicella, sometimes called “the father of amarone”. Both died in January 2012. Åsa reports.

A small glassGiulio Gambelli is honoured by a special mention on the Consorzio Chianti Classico site for his work in the region and for his passion for the sangiovese grape. Gambelli was sometimes called Signor Sangiovese or Il Bicchierino (the small glass). Many wine producers in Tuscany were assisted by Gambelli to master the art of sangiovese.

He was one of the first the really believe in the potential of the sangiovese and argued that it was perfectly capable of producing excellent wines on its own, without being blended with other grape varieties. During his long life he produced some seventy vintages of Tuscan wines.

Giuseppe Quintarelli is seen as “the father of amarone” and his wines, produced at the winery near Negrar in the heart of Valpolicella are legendary. Quintarelli was regarded as a “tradizionalista”, in other words a very traditional wine producer. He aged his amarone wine for seven years in the big Italian oak vats called botti. The labels on the bottles are hand painted. But he was also open to innovations and in his vineyards one can today find other grape varieties than the classic Valpolicella grapes (corvina, molinara, rondinella), for example cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo and croatina.

We had the occasion to taste one of the Quinaterelli wines on one of our BKWine Tours trips recently, a 2001 Amarone, and it was outstanding.

There have been many mentions in press and media, internet, social media etc of the passing of these two great Italian wine people. They will surely be missed by many, wine producers as well as wine lovers.

The most visited pages and articles in 2011

Girls with legs in the metroHere are the most visited English language pages on BKWine Magazine in 2011. Or to be really correct, since we re- launched the web site in the new design in early June, and excluding the blog page, newsletter archive page and other non-editorial pages:

  1. Short Gastronomic Glossary: English-French-Swedish
  2. The 2012 calendar with sexy winemakers launched
  3. BKWine TV, our video page
  4. Wine Shops, BKWine Pick
  5. Wine of the Month
  6. Restaurants and Wine Bars, BKWine Pick
  7. An enjoyable trip to Paris – some recommendations
  8. Sexism and equality in wine packaging
  9. Wine Region articles
  10. The dangers of inviting your friends over to share a bottle of wine

Or if you look only on articles and news items (excluding categories of posts):

  1. The 2012 calendar with sexy winemakers launched
  2. An enjoyable trip to Paris – some recommendations
  3. Sexism and equality in wine packaging
  4. The dangers of inviting your friends over to share a bottle of wine
  5. La Chablisienne – a high quality cooperative
  6. A selection of “grower’s champagne” producers
  7. The magic of oxygen in the wine bottle
  8. 11 wine regions to discover (or rediscover) during 2012
  9. Château La Garde, Pessac-Léognan – BKWine Pick
  10. The world’s wine production 2010: very small volume

Wine events calendar

Wine shows, wine tastings, wine tours, wine dinners, and other wine events: take a look in our wine events calendar!

Send us an email if you have some event you want on the calendar.

Don’t be an egoist! Share with your friends and other wine enthusiasts! Forward the Brief to your friends! Suggest that they sign up for a free subscription !

© Copyright BKWine

This post is also available in: Swedish

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