Eat

I find happiness in an honest meal. Whether it's a simple pasta or an exquisite risotto, a perfectly cooked steak or an intricately prepared curry, all great dishes are a seamless blend of ingredients and indulgence, of style and substance.

Drink

Many poets have waxed philosophical about the values and virtues of wine, about its power and principles, its joy and attraction.

Travel

Travel isn't about the destination; it's about the journey. It is about the people and places you meet along the way.

Shop

As I crisscross the globe I often discover innovative wine products, new gadgets or the perfect gift for wine lovers; and so I have created a collection of Wine Portfolio merchandise.

Learn

Wine can sometimes seem complicated and intimidating but it doesn't have to be. Wine should bring joy not stress and you don't have to be an expert to learn to love wine.

Networked Blogs

Archives

The World’s Best Selling Beers by Country

March 30, 2015 7:12 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

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Humble snack goes gourmet in Spain

February 6, 2015 3:31 pm - Posted by Jody in Eat
Long taken for granted as a mere bar snack, Spain’s humble tapas have graduated from the neighborhood cafe to the realm of haute cuisine. Long taken for granted as a mere bar snack, Spain’s humble tapas have graduated from the neighborhood cafe to the realm of haute cuisine. Inspired by their simplicity and versatility, top Miche-lin-starred… read more
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China’s drinks sector suffers New Year hangover

February 3, 2015 3:29 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

Jody may not be the world’s biggest fan of baijiu but our Editors track liquor and wine consumption in China very closely. The Middle Kingdom has become the new epicenter of wine consumption and a slow down here could have effect far and wide.Fortunately many new e-commerce channels are opening n China so we’re pretty excited t see what kind of pioneering online wine sales will come from the likes of Alibaba and more.

Although 2015 has so far started on a relatively positive note for China’s drinks industry with a slight increase in stock prices, the nation’s baijiu sector remains sluggish. A visitor inspects liquor products at a recent wine and spirits trade fair in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. Apart from Moutai, which saw 2 percent growth in… read more
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Lost heaven’s mystic touch

January 26, 2015 12:40 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink
My frequent visits to restaurants across Beijing have become boring. For a while now, I’ve been finding food to be either delicious or simply monotonous. The ground floor bar.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily] A heady mix of ethnic cuisines from Yunnan, along an ancient tea route, makes the Beijing restaurant a go-to place. My frequent visits… read more
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US Fine Wine Industry Expected to Grow in 2015

January 22, 2015 12:32 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

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Annual State of the Wine Industry Report Forecasts Growth in 2015:- Increased Demand for Fine Wine Driven by an Improving Economy- 14-18% Sales Growth- Higher Bottle Prices according to a report released today by Silicon Valley Bank.

“We are seeing real strength in the U.S. economy going into 2015, which will increase demand for wine,” said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division and author of the report. “Declining oil prices are transferring wealth to oil-consuming countries, the employment picture is improving, the US dollar is strengthening and interest rates will move at a measured pace. As long as the industrialized world economies can hold their own, the middle-income consumer will see improved prospects. We’ll be toasting to that.”

“We are especially positive on the year ahead,” McMillan said. “We expect the fine wine business will experience accelerating growth, achieving 14–18 percent sales growth in 2015. At the same time, the cellars are full with several consecutive years of very good vintages.”

Based on a survey of nearly 600 West Coast wineries, in-house expertise and ongoing research, SVB’s Annual State of the Wine Industry report covers trends and addresses current issues facing the US wine industry. The report offers unique data and observations that help wine business owners and managers think critically about their business strategies.

Key findings and predictions:

Supply: We expect to see the third consecutive harvest of heavy yield and great quality across most appellations.

Sales Growth: After finishing the year at the top end of our predicted sales growth of 6% – 10% in 2014, we are predicting a breakout year of growth in the fine wine category in the 14%-18% range in 2015.

Pricing: While the large supply of wines in the cellars should normally indicate continued depressed pricing, we believe 2015 will be a year of both volume and price increases in the fine wine segment, driven by an improving economy and higher demand.

Demand: Wines priced below $7 a bottle performed poorly both on and off premise in 2014. This poor performance is likely to continue in 2015.

Planting: Grape planting is shifting regionally. Oregon and Washington are showing strong growth in planting on a percentage basis and we expect that this will continue for the foreseeable future given favorable quality and price dynamics relative to the fine wine growing regions in California.

All in all 2015 looks like it will be a good year for the industry and pretty good one for consumers. We wine lovers may end up paying a little more but the quality and variety of wines should be worth it.

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Portugal is shaking up the wine world

December 16, 2014 9:47 am - Posted by Jody in Drink
LISBON, Portugal — The world’s greatest wine region? If you’re thinking Bordeaux, Burgundy or Napa Valley, it may be time to think again. Wines from Portugal’s Douro Valley claimed three of the top four places in Wine Spectator’s 2014 top 100 ranking — including the No. 1 spot awarded to Dow’s 2011 Vintage Port. “It’s been… read more
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Bubbling Over

December 5, 2014 2:54 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

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Legal moonshine spreading across South Carolina

December 1, 2014 4:52 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Moonshine has gone legit. Since South Carolina began taxing small distilleries in 2009, allowing entrepreneurs to make legal moonshine, 28 companies have registered with the S.C. Department of Revenue – some using recipes handed down by ancestors. But despite the sheen of commercialization, there are still secretive moonshiners in the woods of… read more
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Lawsuit: Tito’s vodka isn’t actually ‘handmade’

November 28, 2014 1:48 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink
Austin, Texas-based Tito’s Handmade Vodka has been hit with a lawsuit alleging its signature product isn’t actually made by hand. The suit, filed this month in the Superior Court of California’s San Diego County division on behalf of consumer Gary Hofmann, accuses Fifth Generation Inc., the maker of Tito’s, of false advertising, among other claims. Lawyers… read more
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There are as many types of cruises as there are plates on a buffet

November 25, 2014 10:35 am - Posted by Jody in Travel
When most people picture a cruise, the image that likely comes to mind is the big-ship variety, with their splash pools and lido decks. And while most of the 22 million people who will embark on a floating vacation next year will take this kind of trip, those intimate parties for 3,000 are far from the… read more
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