Wine writers are a very important part of the wine industry and I was therefore happy to see that The Wall Street Journal have introduced a new column called On Wine, written by Jay McInerney and Lettie Teague.
Both are excellent writers who also write for the newspaper’s wine blog with the same name. Below are the first two paragraphs from one of the first On Wine columns in The Wall Street Journal, which demonstrates the pair’s great writing style. This one, written by Lettie Teague, is about a vintner who buys top wineries’ excess and resells it for bargain prices.
“There is a glut of wine all over the world—an oversupply so significant that it’s compelled Australian winemakers to plow up their vineyards, forced French producers to turn wines into ethanol and brought wealthy Napa vintners if not to their knees then to their bankers in search of refinance. The reasons are various—new vineyard plantings by ambitious producers, increased productivity at a time of plummeting demand, winemakers who have overleveraged their brands.
“The bulk wine market—which encompasses everything from wine in the barrel to finished wines in unlabeled bottles, aka “shiners”—may absorb some of this excess but with prices as low as $1 a gallon, it’s not going to help winemakers raise very much money, let alone make them rich. Except in the case of Cameron Hughes. Mr. Hughes takes the $100 California Cabernets that have gone begging for buyers and sells the very same wines under his own labels for $25 a bottle and less. He packages them in generic-looking bottles with names like Lot 164 Rutherford Cabernet and Lot 135 Syrah and sells them on his website and to retailers like Sam’s Club and Costco in 38 states.”
I have a link to the On Wine blog in my Wine Blogs section but accessing it will probably require a subscription to The Wall Street Journal.