Editor's Note


Joshua Greene:
   What Price Bordeaux?

End Note: If Wal-Mart
  had a Wine Bar

 Fall '09  Features at Wine & Spirits

Champions of Value
In the simplest terms, value is the relationship between quality and price. There's some deep emotional place in most people's minds, however, that makes it nearly impossible to separate those two criteria. As tasters, we hear it all the time: "I would recommend this wine if it were cheap," panelists tell us. Our response, long ago, was to take price out of the equation; the only information we give our panels and our critics is vintage, variety and region. So the recommendation and numerical rating a wine receives is based on its quality: Is it a fine expression of what it purports to be?

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

48 Hours in Charlottesville by Dave McIntyre
Charlottesville offers early American history as well as a thriving modern wine industry. The homes of three of the first five US presidents—Jefferson's Monticello, Madison's Montpelier and Monroe's Ash Lawn—are major tourist draws, with vineyards interlaced among them. Charlottesville today is also a wine destination, as the hub of a thriving industry that currently exceeds 140 wineries. Vines flourish now at Monticello, on the very spot where "Mr. Jefferson," as the locals still call him, tried unsuccessfully to cultivate them two centuries ago.

48 Hours in Niagara Wine Country by John Szabo
Niagara may be famous for its world wonder, but these days there is much more to see than falling water and busloads of tourists. Over the last two decades, the Niagara Peninsula has developed into a wine lovers' mecca, with a critical mass of wineries, restaurants and accommodations that are attracting gourmet travelers from far and wide—especially those south of the border, given the strong USD.

48 Hours in New York City by Neil Dorosin
There are wineries in New York City. That may seem odd at first, but everything eventually comes to New York, no matter how out of place it may seem. This has always been New York's greatest strength—the innovative, can-do spirit of its people. This city is an ongoing experiment, a place that offers limitless possibility, given hard work. Nothing is easy here, particularly making wine. The environs are not well suited for growing grapes, and the space necessary to house a functional winery is prohibitively expensive for most. Nonetheless, there are wineries in New York City, and visiting them takes you to some of the hippest neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan—Red Hook, Williamsburg and TriBeCa.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.

Weather, or Not by Joshua Greene
In the 1980s, Orley Ashenfelter created a stir among economists and Bordeaux enthusiasts when he published a model to predict the future value of Bordeaux vintages. He gathered historical weather data from the airport in Bordeaux and set it against auction prices for the wines of each vintage. He found that there was a positive correlation between auction prices and winter rain and heat during the growing season, and a negative one between prices and rain at the end of the season.

The complete article is available in the print edition of Wine & Spirits.