Wines & Vines

Wise & Otherwise

Wise & Otherwise – Brief Article

Philip E. Hiaring

“Harpers Poll.” To more or less confront the year 2000, the London-based trade publication conducted a series of polls. As for predicting the next new wine region, some felt China was a go. Others felt England or the NASA Worldwide Agricultural Space Program would be hot. Others asked, “Is there anywhere left?” As to what consumers will be drinking in 2099, some opted for Greek Shiraz, others Diet Coke and “too much” according to others. All this in last December’s issue. Carry on!

Cream Sherry? Yep. It’s a new product from Stone Hill Winery in Missouri. My guess is it’s made from labrusca grapes, which actually make a pretty good sherry given proper aging. This wine was aged four years in small oak barrels. The price: $12.99. Get outa town, Harvey’s Bristol Cream! Stone Hill, by the way, earned “Best of Class” at the San Diego National Wine Competition for 1998 estate Norton.

Just Ducky. Our Sonoma correspondent, Jackie Lee of Compliance Int’l. has proven her mettle once again. She reported a duck was sitting in the Long’s Drugs parking lot in “downtown” Sonoma, apparently nesting and about to bless the plaza with more ducks. The kindly folk in Sonoma erected a beach umbrella during a heat wave, and provided food and water, as well as barriers to keep SUVs or other vehicles from running the duck over.

Vermouth? Andy Quady, maker of the fine Muscats Elysium and Essensia, now has a vermouth, called “Vya”. What’s more, Vya beat out Martini at a London tasting. I remember the first time I interviewed Andy that he only made port. lie still does, but his Muscats are the bell-ringers and cash items. I remember he said he’d like to branch out from port, because of the long aging and no cash flow, and said he may make a vermouth. I thought he was daft, but vermouth has quicker cash flow than port. Assuming you can sell vermouth. Andy joins Dan Duckhorn in producing a premium vermouth. May the powers be with you and the wind at your back.

More Typos. Got a newsletter from an importer that contained a gem: “From no sales when we started, we have not reached an annual total of about 20,000 cases of _____.” Somehow, I think the word “not” should have been “now.”

Forbes Picks WineryExchange. “Forbes” Magazine picked WineryExchange ( as one of the most promising B2B exchanges on the Internet. The company’s Web site was recognized in’s first annual “Best of the Web: B2B Guide.”

Kudos to Kautz Ironstone. “Decanter” magazine selected the Murphys, Calif. 1998 Chardonnay ([pound]5.99) as one of its best mixed case wines and the 1997 Cabernet franc was a (Steven Spurrier) choice as Best New World Red in the July issue.

Benefactor. Al Scheid, proprietor of Scheid Vineyards in California, went to high school in eastern Ohio. He recently gave a gift of $120,000 to that high school in Bridgeport, per the “Ohio Beverage Journal.” Further, he said he’d match other donations up to $50,000. A special fund has been established at the school for special reading and writing programs. Here you have grapes–and wine–continuing to benefit society as a whole. That’s because Scheld grows winegrapes, not table or raisin types. Good on you, Al.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Hiaring Company

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group