France goes va-va-vroom! Customs statistics from the first half of 2011 not only show that France remains in the driver’s seat when it comes to imported bottled wine but also that it increased the lead. And that comes at a time when imports are up 60 percent year on year. Australia keeps second place, but continues to slide, though among The Big Six countries — which also include Spain, Italy, Chile and the United States — it has the highest value per case. More details here.
Grace to say screw it? There is a good chance Grace Vineyard in Ningxia, often considered to be the China wine success story of the past decade, will use screw caps for part of its upcoming vintage. This strikes me as significant given the stature of Grace and the dominance of cork and plastic closures in this country. And it also strikes me as a good idea since many of the corks used in China are crappy, few people here know how to use a corkscrew, and any wine worth drinking should, with few exceptions, be imbibed young. More here.