Welcome to the BKWine Brief nr 57, April 2008
Snow in Chablis.
It’s not exactly what you expect in April but we had it a week ago when we were there. On the other hand, perhaps it doesn’t make that much of a different since you spend most of the time in the wineries, tasting. Or in some nice and cosy restaurant sampling the local food with the wine.
But this time of the year is a particularly sensitive period in the vineyards. The buds are starting to break. If you get some cold frost nights it can cause serious damage in the vineyard. Various anti-frost measures have been invented by nervous and concerned winemakers: Oil burners to heat the air, spraying water to create an insulating ice shell (yes, it works), big propellers to move the cold air and other things.
The big news this month (from a Scandinavian as well as an international perspective) is the sale of V&S Vin & Sprit. It is the Swedish government who sells it to Pernod Ricard. It will put an end to a strange period in Swedish alcohol policy history. Vin & Sprit is one of the world’s most successful vodka brands – Absolut Vodka. It has a tremendous market share, not least in the US, not least thanks to clever and not very subtle marketing. At the same time, the company is owned by the Swedish government who maintains that it is essential for the public health to maintain a monopoly market in the country for wine and spirits, on the one hand, and on the other hand V&S pours large quantities of vodka over the rest of the world. A logic that has been difficult to understand. But that will now come to an end with the sale of Vin & Sprit. The only thing to regret is that they did not abolish the monopoly too.
We have now finished the planning of next season’s wine tours and are very happy to present the full program to you in this BKWine Brief. We will have three exciting tours this autumn:
– Bordeaux in early October
– Douro in Portugal later in October (when it’s still nice and warm, we hope), and
– Champagne with both wine and gastronomy in November
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief or forward it to them !