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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
16 Mar 2011

There seems to be a surfeit of news at the moment, not just all the appalling news from Japan, and continuing and relatively ignored worrying developments in North Africa and the Middle East, but also on a less macro level in our own little world of wine.

Yesterday's big news is that the US has already overtaken France as the biggest market in the world for wine. Obviously Americans drink far less wine per capita than the French, but there are just so many of them, and - hooray - wine has become such a popular interest among younger Americans that the total amount sold in the US has overtaken the amount sold in France, according to California wine industry analysts Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates. More details from Bloomberg here. I wonder how long the Bordelais will continue to focus all their attention on markets to the east rather than west of them?

Then, also from the US, comes news that US authorities have officially allowed US imports of Brunello's controversial 2006s. (You may remember there was a spot of bother over the 2003s when it emerged that many of them were not in fact 100% Sangiovese wines, the so-called Brunellogate issue that continues to rumble on.) Reuters report in more detail here. For background here on, see Recent Italian coverage - a guide.

And then, also in the US, but a long way from any regulatory authority, comes news that Gary Vaynerchuk, wine marketer and social-media pioneer extraordinaire, has made his 1,000th and last broadcast from the old green baize-covered table in his New Jersey store for Wine Library TV. With his multi-book deal, lucrative consultancies and, doubtless, many schemes about which most would not even understand, he clearly has bigger whales to fry. He is switching to, to be sent to your mobile ('mow-bull') phone in a trice. Darn exciting 2.0 stuff, as he says, adding, 'I feel like in the last five years, I haven't shared with you as much as I could.' Can this be true?!