Wine and Beverage News Round-up Week of Feb. 6th

Every Friday Uncorkd compiles the most recent restaurant and beverage industry stories that had us talking. Here’s our list of must-read articles from the web this week. This week features wine for the oldest wine in New Zealand, concrete wine barrels, climate change and hops, plus minority restaurant owners . Here are the can’t miss new’s stories from February 6th – 12th.

Wine News

Oneophiles in New Zealand popped the cork of the oldest wine ever to be opened and consumed in NZ. No, it was not a wine forged in the Middle Earth Mines of Moria. Apparently, The 113-year-old “claret” still packed a punch. Let’s toast to good genetics.

There’s a revolution in the midwest. Or at least a game-changing hybrid grape. The new varietal, Crimson Cabernet, is breed to sustain the harsh winters of America’s Third Coast.

Sonoma Cast Stone is presenting a cost-effective way to age wine that could replace oak barrels. Their product? Giant concrete barrels. While that sounds like how the industrial wasteland may age their wine, the Nubarrels can hold 4x the volume of an oak barrel, last for decades, and have the potential to save wineries millions per year in barrel costs.

Sommeliers are changing the way restaurant’s sell wine. With more by-the-glass options, and a casual, hip way of writing wine menus to replace stodgy leather bound bottle lists, sommeliers are looking to appeal to the holy grail of demographics – millennials.

A new wine book from Jancis Robinson aims to turn you from an amateur wine drinker to an expert – in only 24 hours. Like PEDs for wine drinkers, you can turn your naivety into snobbery in record time.

Eric Asimov writes about the growth and increased presence of the nebbiolo grape driven Valtellina wine region of Italy.

Natural wine is still around. Here’s insight into where to find vin naturel.

Beer News

America’s hop production is concentrated in only 3 states. Washington is the leading producer of American hops – the buds that add bitterness, aroma, and stability to your brews. What would happen to American hop growth if climate change affected the growing regions of an essential beer ingredient?

Spirit and Cocktail News

Here’s the skinny on beverage insights for alcohol trends taking shape at bars and restaurants through out the U.S.

Rye whiskey has been making huge comeback in the past decade. It’s reclaimed it’s spot as the essential mixer for a manhattan, and now Jack Daniel’s is getting into the rye business with their Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye.

Genever is the forefather of Gin. The malt-based spirit, flavored with juniper berries, carries more weight and texture than it’s drier counterpart. Bols has brought Genever back into modern drinking world as a great base-spirit for cocktails.

Restaurant News

San Francisco is outpacing New York City in restaurant growth. San Fran is more than just a tech-hub, it’s a leader in the culinary arts. It’s growth has been much more diverse than New York’s growth, too, with concentration in Mexican and Asian cuisine. In both cities, the number of French restaurants have declined. Sacre bleau.

Minority-owned restaurants have grown rapidly in the past 5 years. This is good news for diversity in the restaurant industry. And the news comes on the heels of Chicago’s first Black Restaurant Week.

An OpenTable briefing on how to find and manage your online restaurant reviews.


That’s all for this week’s Uncorkd Weekly News Round Up. Check in with us next Friday to find the stories you missed during the week.

Kyle Thacker