Europe quibbling, Trader Joes and Holy Wine

It’s a worry:

Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, says Italian wines are the world’s best, better than those from France. French President Francois Hollande responds by saying French wines get higher prices, which must show they are better. With all the problems in Europe, there two are quibbling about wine. It’s a worry.

Off the pedestal:

Trader Joe’s is the US arm of Aldi Nord, and very fashionable. For the past four years it was named top supermarket by Market Force Information, which says it surveys 10,000 consumers to compose its list. But this year Joe’s has dropped to third place. Number one is Wegmans, with Publix in second place. Walmart comes last. The full list:

  • Wegmans
  • Publix Super Markets
  • Trader Joe’s Markets
  • Hy-Vee Food Stores
  • Aldi
  • Costco
  • H-E-B
  • Kroger
  • WinCo Foods
  • ShopRite
  • Meijer
  • Giant Food Stores
  • Safeway
  • Stop & Shop
  • Walmart

Holy wine:

An April 19 Reuters report says: “A Jerusalem brewery has produced a craft beer with a taste it says dates back to the time of Jesus. A sip of the concoction may help explain why wine was the preferred sacred drink of the Bible.”

Herzl Brewery acquired wheat from Tel Aviv University that geneticists say was the strain used for beer in the Holy Land 2000 years ago and brewed 20 litres of “biblical beer”. It was described: “There’s a hint of honey and berries in the cloudy – and flat – nectar, which has a 3 per cent alcohol content.”

Two-way street:

Washington State-based Ste Michelle Wine Estates has acquired Patz & Hall in Sonoma County, California. No vineyards are involved, just the brand, inventory and winery equipment. Patz & Hall is noted for chardonnay and pinot noir production. Traveling north, California-based Jackson Family Wines has bought Oregon winery Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, a noted pinot noir producer. This is the fifth Oregon winery that Jackson has acquired since 2013, bringing its holding in the Beaver State to a total of 450 acres. Jackson also owns Yangarra in McLaren Vale.

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