Montesquieu Winery Reflects on VinExpo 2011: All Eyes on Asia, Not Losing Sight of US

August 2, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

VinExpo, the largest trade show of wine and spirits in the world, is always exciting to attend. Held every other year in Bordeaux, it is a bustling international scene packed with a dizzying array of tastings, seminars, exhibitions and more. With the most influential members of the wine industry attending plus the sheer scale of the event, it is no surprise that a huge amount of networking and deal making takes place, both on-site in the vast exhibition center and off-site at the many premiere dinners and events. It is a powerful bellwether event, revealing key trends and emerging markets in the wine world.

The organizers of VinExpo have encouraged new and emerging markets with a global perspective, reflected in the 47 countries represented among the 2,400 exhibitors. The attendance was over 48,000 which was an increase of 3 % over 2009 which kept the aisles humming, and the mood was decidedly optimistic all around. View Full Post

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Looming Political Influence of Alcohol Wholesalers Illuminated in Staggering SWRA Study

July 15, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

On July 12 the Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) released a report—Toward Liquor Domination—about the alcohol wholesalers and their political spending habits. The figures are astonishing—since 2006 the wholesalers have spent more than $82 million dollars on campaign contributions at the state and federal level, as well as federal lobbying, dominating by a huge margin what is spent by the rest of the liquor industry.

The study covers the time period from 2005 to 2010, and details the enormous amount of money spent to keep wholesaler influence intact at both the federal and states levels to insure policies that protect the wholesalers’ interests.

According to the report at both the state and federal level, the wholesalers have spent nearly double since 2006 compared to the rest of the alcohol industry combined on political campaigns. On the state level alone, alcohol wholesalers have spent almost $60 million for campaign contributions since 2006. This is nearly double what wineries, distilleries, breweries and wine retailers have contributed all together. View Full Post

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Decanting Basics, by Montesquieu Winery: Part 1 — Why and When to Decant?

July 12, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

With so many decanters and accessories to choose from, for some the idea of decanting may be intimidating or seem pretentious. We at Montesquieu Winery would like to share the basics of decanting because it is actually a very simple and extremely valuable tool that can bring out the best in your wines!

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Montesquieu Winery Reflects On Independence Day and The Spirit of Wine: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

July 2, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Happy Birthday America! Independence Day is upon us, the Fourth of July- the day in 1776 that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved by Congress.

The eloquent second sentence of the Declaration shines and endures, one of the most celebrated and revered of American history:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Ahh, the pursuit of happiness. One of the many great things about our country is that we provide people the freedom to choose their path to happiness. No matter the challenges we face and the many issues that warrant change or improvement, the fact remains how very fortunate we are! View Full Post

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In Search of the Hanging Tree: Montesquieu Winery Explores the Vineyards of St. Emilion

June 24, 2011, by: Stephen George

The splendor of St. Emilion viewed from one of its crown jewels, Pavie Macquin

“Is this the hanging tree?” I asked.

I stood on a grassy path flanked by vines on both sides, staring up at a tall tree with large branches spreading wide.  Oak? Elm? I wasn’t sure, and it didn’t really matter.  All that mattered was whether this was THE tree, the one that – according to legend – the townsfolk of St. Emilion used for executing criminals many years ago.

We had broken free from our tight tasting schedule in order to take up this quest.   That Tuesday, our first day of 2010 tastings at Primeurs, we did Cheval Blanc and the Rolland Collection at Le Bon Pasteur, followed by Michel Rolland’s consultancies at Chateau Soutard and then Stéphane Derenoncourt’s consultancies at Chateau La Gaffelière.   Wednesday brought a full morning of tasting biodynamic wines at Ch. Fonroque followed by a cross-river haul to take in the wines of St. Julien, St. Estephe and Pauillac at Ch. Branaire Ducru, and then a dash to Ch. Lascombes to sample Margaux before the day’s tastings closed.  We began Thursday morning early with the St. Emilion tasting at Ch. La Couspaude before heading back to the Left Bank for Graves and Pessac-Leognan – both rouge and blanc – at Ch. Malartic-Lagravière, and then back again to La Gaffelière to finish tasting Stéphane’s wines and chat with some of our producer friends there.

If you’re counting at home, that’s over 500 wines tasted in three days, not counting bottles we enjoyed during our dinners or at the late-night producer parties we attended. This kind of professionalized indulgence is par for the course during Primeurs week, but still, by Thursday afternoon we needed a break that didn’t include swirling, sniffing or sipping. View Full Post

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What’s Cooking with Montesquieu Wine: Sensational Summer Recipes with Pairings

June 15, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Whether you have an almost endless summer climate or the full swing of four seasons, summer is here! With Father’s Day approaching and the 4th of July shortly after, it seems the perfect time to share some of our favorite recipes and wines that we particularly enjoy this time of year.

We love hearing from our community of wine lovers, which of course includes our Montesquieu Wine Brokers who are well-versed in all things food and wine.  A natural occupational passion is the discovery of meals that work particularly well with our diverse selection of Montesquieu wines.  Join us as we kick off summer in search of the perfect pairing….. View Full Post

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Travel Insights: Montesquieu Winery on the Splendors of Venice ”Queen of the Adriatic”

June 11, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Sunset-Europe-Gondola-Italy-List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_Europe-Venice-World_Heritage_Site-image

Grand Canal at Sunset

It’s no secret Montesquieu Winery is fond of exploring wine regions off the beaten track, inspired by the thrill of adventure and discovery as we seek new and exciting sources for our international portfolio of Montesquieu Wines.

That being said, we also relish the wealth of experiences one finds traveling to classic destinations such as Paris, Rome, New York, London, Barcelona and the like. Even though these cities are not wine regions, and not off the beaten track, the opportunities to be immersed in fine food and wine are great with an abundance of world-class dining and top-notch wine lists, plus in many cases wonderful wine regions nearby!  Add the museums, shops, and cultural treasures galore, and you have all the ingredients that most consider essential to the art of living well. View Full Post

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Partnering with the Aspen Institute: Montesquieu Winery Gears Up for a Second Summer in Aspen

May 31, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

We are pleased to announce the continuation of our relationship with the Aspen Institute, partnering for a second straight year to ensure that the Institute’s summer conference guests and donors will enjoy not only stimulating conversation but also delicious, hand-crafted wines compliments of Montesquieu Winery. Like last year, we will offer favorite selections from our international portfolio of Montesquieu Wines at two of the Institute’s marquee events this summer.

The Aspen Institute

The first of these events is the Socrates Program Benefit Dinner 15th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday June 26, 2011, for which Montesquieu Winery will participate as the exclusive wine sponsor. The Institute’s Socrates Program was created to bring young emerging leaders from a variety of professions together in order to discuss and explore important contemporary topics of current political, ethical/moral, economic and global concern. (For more information on the dinner and the Socrates Society read more here.)

This year’s event promises to be fascinating, as it features Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author. Mr. Freidman will moderate a conversation with by Sonal Shah, Director, White House Office of Innovation, and Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, on the topic “Digital Disconnect: Innovations in Technology and the Impact on International Relations”. Socrates founders, Laura and Gary Lauder, will serve as dinner co-chairs, and Society of Fellows members and the event will honor Socrates Program alumni, Samia and Huda Farouki. View Full Post

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Michel Rolland and Montesquieu Winery: Joining Together in Pursuit of Perfection

May 26, 2011, by: Stephen George

The Uco Valley in all its splendor

Spend a little time in the Uco Valley in Argentina, and it doesn’t take long to realize that  not only is Michel Rolland one of the most accomplished winemakers of our time – he’s also a true visionary.

That’s a bold statement, perhaps.  But once you’ve seen Bodega Rolland firsthand, situated at an elevation of 3,300 feet in the shadow of the snowcaps of the Andes, the conclusion is inescapable. The proof of Michel’s vision is everywhere you look.

You see it in the in the vineyard’s rocky, arid soils where the vines’ roots burrow deeply in desperate search for nutrients.  You see it in the rugged, barren terrain that surrounds the vineyards as in every direction, offering no evidence of life beyond the occasional desert flower. View Full Post

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Montesquieu Winery Updates: Hearts and Wine Overflow for the Children of St. Jude

May 24, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi

Cocktail Reception St. Jude "Affair of the Heart"

Members of our Montesquieu Winery team recently returned from Las Vegas where we participated in the second annual fundraiser for the Las Vegas Chapter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Saturday May 21, 2011 at the Mandarin Oriental.

The elegant red carpet gala, “An Affair of the Heart” was a huge success, bringing in an unprecedented amount for this chapter benefitting the children of St. Jude.  We saw generous support and enthusiasm all around by the well-heeled attendees, artists, and volunteers—all engaging each other while enjoying colorful artwork, our elegant wines, lovely cuisine and a wide variety of entertainment. View Full Post

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