Friday, January 24, 2020

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2020


HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2020

YEAR OF THE RAT



Happy Chinese New Year 2020  by ©LeDomduVin 2020  Remy from Ratatouille courtesy of Disney-Pixar
Happy Chinese New Year 2020
by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Remy from Ratatouille courtesy of Disney-Pixar 




Cheers! Santé! And best wishes for the year 2020 to all of you and your family and friends. 

LeDomduVin a.k.a. Dominique Noël


Happy New Year, Chinese New Year, Happy Chinese New Year, @ledomduvin ©ledomduvin2020 #happynewyear #newlunaryear #chinesenewyear #bestwishes #ledomduvin #lesdessinsadom #lesillustrationsadom #lescreationsadom

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A HUGE THANK YOU !!!


A HUGE THANK YOU !!!



No 85 Feedspot Top 100 Wine Blogs Websites & Influencers in 2020  by ©LeDomduVin 2020
No 85 Feedspot Top 100 Wine Blogs Websites & Influencers in 2020
by ©LeDomduVin 2020




WOW!!! I'm speechless... 

A few minutes ago, I was just googling the name of my blog "LeDomduVin" as I do occasionally from time to time (as every other blogger does 😊) to check the various links to websites and articles citing or containing my blog's name. 

So, I scrolled down the first page, and pretty much all the links were mine (Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wix, etc...). Then, logically, I went to the 2nd page, and to my surprise the first link was https://blog.feedspot.com/wine_blogs/  

I was not expecting much of it and I even thought that it was a mistake. I mean, I remember joining and submitting my blog to "Feedspot" once, about a years ago, to promote my blog, but I did not go back to visit it for a while. And I did not think they will have kept my blog's name in their database. I thought that it was one of these websites were you have to submit your blog's name every year to be a participant and eventually enter the list (maybe I didn't the fine print properly). 

So, intrigued and curious to see if my blog's name was contained in that website, I clicked on the link. 

And the first thing I saw was that


Feedspot Top 100 Wine Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2020  (screenshot courtesy of https://blog.feedspot.com )
Feedspot Top 100 Wine Blogs, Websites & Influencers in 2020
(screenshot courtesy of https://blog.feedspot.com )

Well... What !?! Top 100 Wine Blogs, Websites and Influencers in 2020... 

Could the name of my blog be on that list? 

I immediately scrolled down towards the bottom of the list, slowly to check all the names of the blogs and websites, and not to miss mine, if it was there. Scroll, scroll, scroll... scroll more.. the end was near but I wanted to be sure. 

Then suddenly, my heart stopped. Here it was at number 85. My blog "LeDomduVin" was at number 85. I was so happy (still I'm now as I'm writing this post 😊), I couldn't believe it. Not sure how I  manage to make it to the Top 100, but who cares. I'm IN !!!!  And that's really satisfying, trust me!


LeDomduVin No 85 of Feedspot  Top 100 Wine Blogs Websites & Influencers in 2020
LeDomduVin No 85 of Feedspot
Top 100 Wine Blogs Websites & Influencers in 2020
(screenshot courtesy of https://blog.feedspot.com )



It's exciting as back in April 2019, I discovered that I also made the "Feedspot Top 100 list Wine Blogs, Websites and Influencers", but back then I was number 92 (read the post here). And this year, I'm number 85. And that's GREAT!!!

It may not mean much to you, or for the big bloggers out there, who have already certain notoriety and public recognition and thousands of followers. But, it is a big deal for me, as I'm just a small independent wine blogger, who only writes about 20-25 posts per year (in average), which is far from some bloggers I know who write about 5-6 posts a week (or even more). 

I don't write much as I don't have the time or do not necessarily make the time to do so. Moreover, my posts are usually very, very, very long, full of details and apartés, (and usually take time to write), which for most people is too boring and too lengthy to read even one post until the end. And I received lots of criticisms for it. But I don't care, this is my way of writing and I like it that way (hoping you do too). 

I love sharing my knowledge and telling stories about wines. This is the reason why I created this blog in the first place, to be able to share with you about all sort of things related to wine and life in general.  

And obviously, some of you probably enjoyed reading some of my posts, otherwise, I will have never made that list, and for that, I would like to give all of you a BIG HUG and a HUGE THANK YOU. 

Being on that list means a lot to me. It makes me feel proud and motivates me to continue writing even more. So THANK YOU again.  This is AMAZING!

And if "LeDomduVin" made it to that list, it is because of YOU, not me, YOU !!!

YOU, all the readers and followers, so THANK YOU / MERCI. You made me a very happy wine blogger. 

As the list is regularly updated, I'm not sure how long I will remain at number 85, but for today I am number 85 (😊). 


Take good care of yourself, and stay tuned for more posts this year. 

Cheers! Santé!


LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noel) 



NB: I love writing so much in both French and English and telling stories about everyday life situations too, that I created a second blog called "Really!?! The Adventures of the courteous stickman" where I write about people behaviours and their lack of courtesy and politeness in big cities, illustrated with stickman put into various situations. If interested go check it out at    https://ledomduvin.wixsite.com/reallybydomelgabor

   

@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #feedspot #feedspottop100winebloglist #top100winebloglist #topwineblog #thankyou #bigthankyou #hugethankyou #lesillustrationsadom #lesdessinsadom #numbereighhtyfive


Thursday, January 9, 2020

When is "too much" too much?


When is "too much" too much? 


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020
©LeDomduVin 2020


Like every year, we received countless amount of "Happy New Year" cards from the Chateaux in Bordeaux. It is a nice gesture and it is much appreciated... 


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (2) ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (2)
©LeDomduVin 2020


Look how beautiful this card from Domaine Clarence Dillon signed by Prince Robert of Luxembourg is, isn't it ?... 


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (3) ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (3)
©LeDomduVin 2020


And after opening the envelope, the card itself comes into, not 1, not 2, but 3 more folders. Isn't it nice? Or a bit too much (should I say)? And I can't even imagine how high their marketing budget must be.?... 


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (4) ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (4)
©LeDomduVin 2020


However, as nice and beautiful as it is, it is also discouraging and sad.


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (5) ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (5)
©LeDomduVin 2020


Discouraging because, in an age where we are asking people to pay more attention to the environment, their carbon footprint, to recycle, to consume less to reduce their waste, prestigious Chateaux should be leading the way and showing the right example. But that is not the case unfortunately. . . 


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (6) ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (6)
©LeDomduVin 2020

And sad because in an age where climate change is induced by pollution and deforestation (among other things), I can't help thinking about the trees and nature, when I have to unfold so many folders to read a "Best Wishes" card that will end up in the trash bin few minutes or a few days later. . .


Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (7) ©LeDomduVin 2020
Domaine Clarence Dillon Happy New Year Card 2020 (7)
©LeDomduVin 2020



Don't get me wrong, I love the wines from Domaine Clarence Dillon (Haut-Brion more especially being my favourite wine in the world), and I have the utmost respect for Prince Robert of Luxembourg, but still, I'm asking you the question again (even for luxury goods):

When is "too much" too much ?...


In my opinion, this type of elaborated "Happy New Year" cards are terribly bad for the environment, as for example, this particular card comes into 1 envelope + 3 folders inside before you can get to it. It is a lot of waste for a card that will last only a few minutes before being trashed in the bin (as I was saying above).

And it is true, the intention and the gesture are nice and very much appreciated.

However, it is still bad for the trees, and it generates more useless trash and frankly travelled all the way through from France to Hong Kong to arrive on my desk for basically nothing.

I can even risk myself saying that this is the kind of things that has to stop if we want to save our little planet.

Of course, we can also take the problem on a different angle by saying that if we stop the Christmas card then the graphic designer, the printer, the postman, and the people on the chip or the plane may have less work or even end up losing their jobs.... but, at some point, we are going to have to make a choice... (sigh)

What should we save? The Christmas and New Year cards or our planet?


I let you meditate on that...



Santé! Cheers!

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noel)



@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #domaineclarencedillon @domaineclarencedillon @chateauhaut_brion #hautbion #bestwishes #bestwishescard #happynewyear #happynewyearcard #pollution #environment #waste #reduceyourcarbonfootprint #lesphotosadom #lesmessagesadom #whenistoomuchtoomuch #wine #vin #vino #wein @ Hong Kong

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Trump 100% Tariffs on French Wines

Trump 100% Tariffs on French Wines




Trump 100% Tariffs on French Wines by ©LeDomduVin 2020
Trump 100% Tariffs on French Wines by ©LeDomduVin 2020



As if the 25% Tax on European products was not enough (effective since October 18th, 2019),  late December 2019, the Trump administration threatened to impose a tariff up to 100% on French products (including handbags, clothing, wine, cheese and other products) after France passed a tax on digital services in July 2019. On Monday, January 6, 2020, France warned that it would retaliate if the US followed through with the proposal to slap tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of its products.

Such high tariff would be devastating on both sides of the Atlantic, at both ends of the process from the producers in France to the consumers in the US and everyone in between (importers, wholesalers, brokers, distributors, agents, promoters, retailers, restaurants, bistros, bars, hotels, etc, etc… and consequently would be catastrophic for both Americans and foreigners working in the wine and beverage industry overall in the US.  

So I wrote this post and made this illustration to express my discontent and the fact that I'm opposed to such high tariff on French products.  You will note how I intentionally wrote: "loosers" with 2 "o" and not only 1. The urban dictionary says that "loosers" are losers who can't spell losers, which seems appropriate for a guy like Trump. 

Regarding the 100% Tariff on French wines 

The tariff on French wines will do more bad than good on both sides of the Atlantic, but more especially on the American side. Thousands of people will be affected and a lot of them will lose their jobs. 

The tariff will affect all people at both ends: the producers, winemakers, growers, Negociants, agents, but also, importers, wholesalers, brokers, distributors, retailers, promoters, restaurants, bars, bistros, hotels, etc, etc... and even the consumers. 

The U.S. is the largest consumer of French wines and spirits, importing $3.5 billion worth of bottles in 2018, up 4.6 percent from the previous year, according to the Federation of French Wines and Spirit Exporters. 

The U.S. is also the 5th largest customer of French Wines based on sales volumes. 



No Wine Tariffs Sign
No Wine Tariffs Sign




Therefore, it is wrong and would be a mistake to think that imposing a 100% Tariff on French wines would do any good to the US economy and all the people working in the wine industry in the US. 

And consequently, I think I that it would be wise to reconsider applying this tariff. 

The 25% tax effective on October 18th 2019, already deeply affected the wine market and the wine industry, a 100% tariff will kill it. 

There are two things you can do if you too are against the 100% Tariffs on French Wines. 

1. You can leave a comment on the government official websites, it is very important and the sooner the better, as the tariffs might be effective as of mid-February 2020 (click the following link) 


2. You can also join a Facebook group like "Organizing Wine Tariff Response" or others, and voice out your disagreement about the tariffs on French wines (French products in general). 


Thank you for your understanding and help on the matter. 

LeDomduVin (a French-American Sommelier) 


#winetariffs #nowinetariffs #trumpwinetariffs #tariffsonfrenchwines #wine #vin #vino #wine @ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesillustrationsadom #lescollagesadom #lesdessinsadom 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Yquem Collection - Revisiting some old vintages


Yquem Collection

Revisiting some old vintages 


Chateau d'Yquem 1825 and 1826 labels ©LeDomduVin 2019
Chateau d'Yquem 1825 and 1826 labels ©LeDomduVin 2019


A bit more than two years ago, back in August 2017, I wrote a post about the company's "Yquem Collection" (*), proudly displayed at the time in the display cellar of "Le Pan Apicius" the French restaurant of the company work for, located at the ground floor of the company headquarters building in Kowloon Bay. (If interested read the post here)  


In this previous post, I was introducing to you to this quite unique "Yquem Collection" encompassing a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem 1825 and a bottle of Chateau d'Yquem 1856, as well as, at least, 1 or 2 bottles of each vintage produced at Chateau d'Yquem from 1856 to 2007, roughly a bit more than 140 different vintages displayed in that cellar at Le Pan Apicius. 

If interested to see some nice shots I took of some of these bottles, go back to the post (here), I must admit, some of the pictures are really good (I'm proud of myself for that 😁)

However, due to their fragility and their eventual degradation under the bright lights and natural light of the display cellar, I decided, a few months after putting them there, to remove all the vintages prior 1960 from the display cellar, and put these bottles back into a proper cellar with appropriate level of humidity (70-75%) and constant temperatures (12-13°C), and especially less light and fewer disturbances for these old ladies to be able to, once again, rest in peace in a quiet and peaceful environment in the dark.  


   








* To be continued and finished soon *




Santé! Cheers!

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noël)








(*) by "the company" I mean "the company I work for", but to keep it short, I refer it as "the company"



#yquem #yquem Collection @ledomduvin #ledomduvin #sauternes #bordeaux #bordeauxclassic #sweetwines #oldandrareladies #oldandrarevintages #oldandrarewines #oldandrarebottles  #vin  #wine #vino  #wein  #lesphotosadom #lesvideosadom #wineeducation #wineknowledge

THIS JANUARY... KEEP IT DRY!!!


THIS JANUARY... KEEP IT DRY!!!




THIS JANUARY... KEEP IT DRY!!! by ©LeDomduVin 2019
THIS JANUARY... KEEP IT DRY!!! by ©LeDomduVin 2019



Unless you are hibernating in a cave somewhere in a remote place with no internet, no radio and no TV, you have surely heard about the "DRY JANUARY". 

But, what is "DRY JANUARY"? 

As per Wikipedia: "Dry January. ... The term "Dry January" was registered as a trademark by the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014; the first-ever Dry January campaign by Alcohol Concern occurred in January 2013. In the leadup to the January 2015 campaign, for the first time, Alcohol Concern partnered with Public Health England." - Wikipedia



England Dry January by ©LeDomduVin 2019
England Dry January by ©LeDomduVin 2019



So, basically, it is understood that DRY JANUARY was created in England (in 2013) to encourage people (Britons mostly) to stop drinking for a whole month, to counter the "excessive" drinking habits of many, to dimish or prevent people from drinking too much (in general), and, to a certain extent, probably sober up after the end of the year holidays too, which usually end up becoming 2 full weeks of food and alcohol binging.



Coca-Cola French ad #survivingjanuary
Coca-Cola French ad #survivingjanuary


The Brits have the reputation of being heavy beer drinkers, as well as spirits and cocktail drinkers, and, thus it is no wonder why such " NO ALCOHOL for a month" campaign would be initiated there. However, it would have been a good thing, if this idea would have stayed within the boundaries of the Brexiting Kingdom. But, NO! It crossed the Channel to contaminate the mind of its European neighbours (France in particular) and give ideas to some American companies (already ruling the soda world) on how to capitalize on it (see the Coca-Cola french ad above #survivingjanuary).         




THIS JANUARY... KEEP IT DRY!!! by ©LeDomduVin 2019
THIS JANUARY... KEEP IT DRY!!! by ©LeDomduVin 2019



So, for those of you who probably won't be able to do the DRY JANUARY and/or to resist to the temptation of drinking any alcohol for 1 month, I came up with a selection of beverages for you to keep this January DRY!!! 😉 

  • Dry Beer
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Triple Sec (meaning 3 x dry)
  • Whiskey & Dry
  • London Gin Dry
  • Dry Martini
  • Dry Sherry
  • Muscadet (super dry white wine - France)
  • Albariño (dry white wine - Spain)
  • Sauvignon Blanc (dry white wine - New Zealand or elsewhere as you prefer)
  • Grüner Veltliner (dry white wine from Austria)  


Of course, this list is non-exhaustive and other beverage (beers, sparklings, wines and spirits) could have been added, but this was just an example to show you what are your alternatives to keep this January DRY. 

Enjoy the whole rest of the month of January without drinking a drop of alcohol, if you can and if it is what you want. 

Personally, as a Sommelier and a Wine Lover, and as someone who made a career out of buying, selling, promoting, tasting and drinking wines (and spirits, and alcohol in general) for the last 28 years, I won't be able to do so, and I feel no shame about it.  

Life is too short! And if done with moderation, as Marie Lloyd used to sing it: a little (bit) of what you fancy does you good!     

Cheers! Santé!

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noel)



@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #dryjanuary #januarydry #januarydryalternatives #beverageselectionfor dryjanuary #beverageselections #lesphotosadom #lescollagesadom #lesmemesadom #lescreationsadom #vin #wine #vino #wein #noalcohol #noalcoholforonemonth #noalcoholmonth 


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy Wine Year 2020


Happy Wine Year 2020


In French, the number 20 (twentry) sounds like "vin", meaning "wine", so the French pronunciation of 2020 (twenty twenty) in French is "wine wine", so 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020

Let it be a good excuse to open more wine tonight and in the new year. 

Best wishes and all the best for the new year, 

Health, Happiness, Joy, and Success in all your projects! 


Here is a meme I did for you all!


Happy Wine Year 2020 ©ledomduvin 2019


Santé! Cheers!

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noel)

Friday, December 27, 2019

Potentially Fake Petrus 1961


Potentially Fake Petrus 1961



Petrus 1961 - Close up on labels ©LeDomduVin 2019
Petrus 1961 - Close up on labels ©LeDomduVin 2019


A few days ago, with my colleague, we cleaned up the wine cellar from all the empty bottles consumed within the company, over the last few weeks (as we do on a monthly basis). 

And, as usual, I put some empty bottles of the oldest vintages and most expensive wines aside, for 3 main reasons: 
  • First, because, even if empty, these old ladies deserve a second life as a trophy on a shelf in an office or in a cellar (or anywhere else), as, after all, they are pieces of history that have resisted the passage of time when they were corked, and will continue even without their content. 
  • Secondly, because there is always a sense of pride for a Sommelier (like me) to keep old vintages of top-tears bottles around, more especially when I have had the pleasure to open, prepare, taste, decant (if necessary) and serve them (even drunk a part of them in some occasions), for memory's sake.    
  • Thirdly, and more importantly, as it is very useful to keep them as they can contribute to constituting a library of references for genuine bottles, as well as for fake or counterfeit bottles. 
In fact, they can come very handy, for a Wine Quality Control Director (like me), when in doubt while doing an inspection or authentication of some bottles prior to purchase them or to receive them at the warehouse, to compare them and check/verify the authenticity of the bottles, labels, capsules, corks, etc...     


And while putting these empty bottles aside, I noticed two magnums of Petrus 1961 (in the picture above), and I had a sudden doubt about the authenticity of these 2 mags, more especially the magnum on the left-hand side on the picture. It presented too many obvious faults and defaults to my liking to be genuine (in my opinion). 

Which prompted me to make a video about it (and logically this post afterwards) to try to explain the reasons why I believe it is not a genuine magnum of Petrus 1961, by comparing it to other bottles of Petrus 1961 I also kept in the cellar for that purpose.   

Here is the video and the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAiEz_gfaxY (if interested) 




Did you like the video? 

I tried to keep simple and clear, but for those of you who did not get everything and may not want to watch it again to grasp some the points they still have questions about, I will recap the main points discussed in the video further below in this post.  


However, prior to going into the details and reasons why I believe this is a fake magnum of Petrus 1961, let me tell you a little more about what I do and what are my roles and duties as a Wine Quality Control Director. A position that I have been occupying for the past 8 years now. 



What is a Wine Quality Control Director (QC)? 

To make it short, let's say that at my current job, as a Wine Quality Control Director (for the Wine Division of a large corporate company), I'm in charge of the followings:
  • Quality Control, 
  • Standard Operating Procedures (implementation and maintenance), 
  • Market Prices Analyses, 
  • Market Trend, 
  • Stock Valuation, 
  • Provenance, 
  • Authentication, 
  • Wine inspection prior to purchasing and at goods receiving, 
  • Supervising containers unloading, 
  • Stock accuracy: inventory, stocktaking, cycle-counting
  • Wine warehouses and cellars QC operations (conditions, environments control and security), 
  • Prevention, 
  • Staff training, 
  • ERP System, 
  • Quality Management System, 
  • Compliance, 
  • Audits, 
  • etc...
(And even: Wine Classes, Wine Events and Wine Promotion, as well as French tutoring, French Classes among other things).

I know, it seems like a lot, but once managed as a daily routine, it is not that bad. 



Standard Operating Procedures

So, parts of my duties consist to create and implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) within the various departments related to the wine division (Purchase and Sales, Cellars and Logistics, and Quality Control, etc...), in order to clearly define, step by step, the official or usual way that people are expected to do particular things within the respective departments of the wine division (or, to some extent, even within the company or organization). 

Once created and implemented, and adjusted/amended/corrected if necessary, depending on the evolution of the business model as well as the evolution and changes of the department's daily operations, I need to make sure that they are compliant. Meaning that they are conforming to the rules (such as specification, policy, standard or even law). 

Within the wine division, these procedures are put in place to manage and control both the people and  the goods, as well as the environments, conditions and security, and clearly describe: 
  • How daily operations are conducted and done, and by who?  
    • who does what, when and how (and even why)
  • How things are to be done (and in which order) to prevent from 
    • a mistake, accident, incident to happen
    • security to be breached 
    • and/or even theft to occur 
  • And what needs to be done and how if any of the above occurs

These SOPs are created and implemented for all the following respective daily main operations at the office(s) and at the various points of storage (warehouses/cellars):
  • Purchase Order / Wine Receiving 
  • Wine Inspection / Authentication
  • Wine Receipt in ERP System
  • Put Away
  • Wine Transfer
  • Sales Order
  • Wine Withdrawal
  • Wine Delivery  
  • Wine Pickup
  • Others (too many to list them all)


Once the daily operations system and related SOPs are done and implemented, and the staff has been trained, I can move on to focus on the product itself: the wine.



Wine Provenance, Inspection and Authentication

My role as Wine QC Director consists predominantly in

  • verifying and/or counterchecking 
    • the reliability and integrity of the wine merchants we are buying from
    • the origin, provenance, conditions of the wines (historic of the bottles, previous storage conditions, etc...)
    • the cost prices compared to the market 
  • doing the bottle's inspection and authentication (if needed) prior to buying the bottles, if possible, otherwise at good receiving in order to prevent fake or counterfeit bottles of wine to enter our warehouses and cellars. 

For example, when our Purchasing manager wants to purchase wines, a specific SOP is telling us that the following main steps (SOP are generally more detailed, this just an example) have to be done prior to being able to purchase the wine: 





Wine Purchase Simplified Process ©LeDomduVin 2019
Wine Purchase Simplified Process ©LeDomduVin 2019



A. Wine Purchasing
  • The Purchasing Manager (PM) 
    • receives an offer or receives a specific request from a client (or from the boss) 
    • sources the wine from Négociants or trusted/reliable wine merchants, 
    • negotiates a reasonable price to generate a minimum of profit based on the current market price and availability
    • asks for a quotation

  • The Wine Quality Control Director (QC) (based on the quotation)
    • verifies the reliability and integrity of the negociant or wine merchant: 
      • reliable? trustable? 
      • did we work with them in past? 
      • how is our relationship with them?
      • are they in possession of the stocks or not?
      • if not, where are the stocks? and what are the current conditions of storage?
      • are they buying the wines directly at the property? or via a negociant or official agent? or via a third party?  
      • are they able to guarantee the conditions and provenance of the wine?
    • verifies the integrity of the source: 
      • honest about the conditions and provenance of the wines? 
      • practising fair prices?
      • flexible with the payment terms as well as the shipping/delivery terms? 
    • does a Market Analysis to: 
      • establish the fairness of the quoted prices compared to the current market 
      • and to verify the potential Gross Profit Margin (GPM) compared with the average market prices   
    • asks if possible to inspect the wines prior to buying it? if possible and if locally sourced;
    • if not, asks for high-res quality pictures (if possible, and/or documents/proofs of origin if available) of the wines (cases or even bottles if available) to determine:
      • the quality
      • the conditions
      • the authenticity    
      • the provenance
    • inform PM if reliable or not, or too expensive, etc...   

  • The Cellars and Logistics Manager 
    • Liaises with shipping companies and gets quotations to compare and estimate 
      • the cost of shipping (door to door, reefer container, plane or boat, etc...)
      • the time of the shipping (when, how long, etc...)
    • Choose the shipping company based on cost/efficiency/security/service/quality (the cheapest are not always the worst, and the more expensive are not always the best either)
    • Liaises with the negotiant or wine merchant to arrange for shipping/logistics details
    • Arrange for the ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) with both the negotiant or wine merchant and the shipping company
    • Inform and keep the warehouse team updated 







B. Wine Purchase Order Receiving

In most case scenarios, unless you buy directly at the property or from a Négociant or an official agent or a trusted wine merchant, it is going to be very difficult for you to get high-res pictures and/or documents/proofs of origin of the wines prior buying it. Let's say nearly impossible.

Same regarding the provenance and/or current (or even previous) storage's conditions, there again, unless you buy directly at the property or from a Négociant or an official agent or a trusted wine merchant, you will never know if what they are telling you is the truth or not.

Yet, that is true that it may also happen with the Négociants, official agents or "supposedly" trusted wine merchants. They may tell you that the wine comes from directly from the property, while they may have bought it back from one of their clients or from a third party seller. You'll never really know in fact. You can only trust your guts, unfortunately.   

That's why it is very important to work with trusted wine merchants who can give some guarantee about the provenance, or, if not, are willing to let you inspect the wines  (if sourced locally), and/or send you some high-res pictures of the wines for you to check them prior to buying them.

But because it is not always possible to check them prior to buying them (either physically or on pictures), even with the merchants you know and trust, that's where the role and job of Wine Quality Control is crucial, as he or she will have to inspect and/or even authenticate the wines at good receiving at the warehouse (or at the store or wherever they have been ship/deliver to) prior storing the wines, in order to immediately inform the vendor and sent the wines back, if not satisfied and/or if the conditions are not as described on the email, the catalogue, the pictures or any other documents provided prior buying them.

And the SOPs states that at good receiving:
  • The Cellars and Logistics Team
    • Arrange for delivery time at the warehouse
    • Unload the truck or container, weigh the pallets/cases and mark them
    • Count the pallets, cases (and eventual loose bottles) based on the shipping documents and the purchase order delivery note 
    • Bring the wines to the inspections zone (usually an area prior to or within the storage area dedicated to inspecting the wines prior to being put away into the storage area)
  • The QC team 
    • Supervise/help with the unloading of the truck or container
    • Take pictures during the unloading to have proof of how the pallets/cases were when they were delivered and unloaded
    • Make sure that none of the wines have been put away in the storage area without being inspected first
    • Proceeds to the inspection prior to the Cellar and Logistics team put the wines away



Wine Inspection - Authentication basic tools by ©LeDomduVin 2018
Wine Inspection - Authentication basic tools by ©LeDomduVin 2018




C. Wine Inspection

  • The QC team proceeds to the inspection case by case
    • A case of wine is put on the inspection table or bench
    • If the case is an unopened Original Wooden Case (OWC) or Orignal Carton Box (OCB):
      • the case/box is not opened
      • it is inspected carefully to check of any signs/traces of opening attempts 
        • If pristine, a sticker or security tape is put on it
        • If not pristine (meaning there are signs/traces of a previous opening), the case has to be opened  
      • the case is weighed to check if it has a correct weight
        • If correct, a sticker with the case weight is printing and put on the case
        • Then the case/box is banded with a band featuring the company logo for security reason
        • If not correct, the case has to be opened to check its content 
    • If the case has been previously opened, then tape resealed or nail closed (no matter if OWC, OCB or not) and or if the case/box has not been opened, but it is not an OWC/OCB and/or does not present any markings of any kind to indicate what is in the case/box, then it has to be opened to do do the quantitative/qualitative inspection in order to check the quantity and quality (conditions) of its content.
    • QC staff should always come prepared for an inspection and have their tools at the ready for inspection (here is a list with the most essential items to have for a wine inspection)
      • A portable led flashlight (or light torch, however you call it) if it does blacklight even better 
      • A magnifier
      • A ruler
      • A cutter
      • Transparent tape
      • Tissue paper or wet tissue
      • A rollerball pen or a permanent marker
      • Small size Post It paper
      • A camera or smartphone to take pictures
    • During the inspection/authentication process, QC checks and take pictures of the followings (taking into consideration the vintage and origin of the wine, of course):
      • Overall bottle conditions
      • Label (pristine or damaged)
      • Capsule (pristine or damaged)
      • Level (correct, too high or too low)
      • Cork (depressed or protruding, check the vintage if possible for old and expensive bottles, and only if previously agreed with the vendor)
      • Color (correct, too young, too old) 
      • Sediments (present or not)
      • Bottle marks 
    • If all the bottles of wine of the same case pass the inspection: 
      • The bottles are carefully put back into the case/box, 
      • The case/box is turn resealed/closed
      • A piece of security tape or sticker is affixed on the case/box,
      • And/or the case/box is banded
      • The case/box can now be given back to the Cellar and Logistics team to be put away in the storage area
    • If some of the bottles of wine of the same case do not pass the inspection: 
      • The full case is put aside (either in the inspection area if secure or right behind the door at the entrance of the storage area, not to be put away yet and not to be mixed with other cases either).  
      • An email including details of the discrepancies/defaults + pictures is sent immediately to the vendor
      • Negotiations begin on getting something for the unsatisfactory bottles, either: 
        • a replacement
        • and/or a discount 
        • and/or sent back the bottles and get partial or full reimbursement  
      • Depending on the negotiation's result, 
        • Bottles are replaced
        • A new invoice showing a discount is sent
        • The bottles are sent back and reimbursed



Although it might be interesting for of you, I will stop here regarding the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), otherwise, you are going to be bored to the core, reading all these details. (if interested on the inspection's details, read one my previous post on the subject here)


However, the reason I wanted to share with you (parts of) these SOP's details, is to show you that we have an elaborate system in place to prevent from fake and counterfeit wine bottles to infiltrate our warehouses and cellars in our various storage locations, and that theoretically we should not have any suspicious bottles in our stocks (either fake or counterfeit or just in bad conditions) like this magnum of Petrus 1961.




Petrus 1961 - Close up on the suspicious label ©LeDomduVin 2019
Petrus 1961 - Close up on the suspicious label ©LeDomduVin 2019





Yet, it is not the case, the proof is that suspicious magnum of Petrus 1961 (in the picture above) managed to get into our stock.     






💥Work in Progress - to be finished soon 💥















Cheers! Santé!

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noel)


NB: Over the last few years, I wrote quite a few posts on or including fake and counterfeit wines (if interested read the 2 most detailed ones here and here)



Monday, December 23, 2019

Happy New Year 2020 & Bonne Année Vin Vin


Happy New Year 2020 

& Bonne Année Vin Vin



Happy New Year 2020 & Bonne Année Vin Vin  by ©LeDomduVin 2019
Happy New Year 2020 & Bonne Année Vin Vin
by ©LeDomduVin 2019



I wish you all a Happy New Year & Bonne Année and best wishes for this coming year 2020. 

I just hope 2020 will be much better than 2019. This past year has been weird, violent, controversial and unprecedented at so many levels and in so many countries around the world. I do not want to enter any debates and spoil the end of the year spirit and festivities, so I will just say that I'm just hoping things will change for the better and people will come back to their senses to make this world a better place for everyone and the coming generations.     

Be nice to each other and take good care of each other. We can work this out if we are all willing to make a change and change our habits and behaviors. 

I wish you all a happy end of the year, hoping you will be surrounded by friends and/or family to celebrate it. I'm also thinking about all the people that will be alone these days, hoping they will be ok. I wish 2020 will be a better year bringing you health, love and happiness to you, your family and friends. 

In French, 2020 is written "Vingt Vingt" and pronounced "Deux Mille Vingt" (Two thousand twenty) but could also be read and pronounced "Vin Vin" (Wine Wine), hence this little illustration I made for this very special year. 

As for the Christmas card and post, I posted previously, I decided to write "Happy New Year" (ou "Bonne Année" in French) in various languages on the illustration as wine is universal and is the only product with food, which bring people from all horizons together to share a moment, share their cultures, their traditions, their opinions and talk about everything and anything seating around a table,  drinking and eating together, despite their colors, religions or political views or even social ranks.  

And I like this optimistic, utopian idea of having people together, united, reunited, in peace with each other, sharing moments with each other rather than argue or fight with each other. I respect all races, colors, religions and opinions, yet I'm one of those atheists who believe that the world would be a better place without money, religions and politics.   

I let you meditate on this, and once again, Happy New Year and best wishes to your family and friends. 

As this post may reach many different people in many different countries with many different languages, here are the various ways of saying "Happy New Year" written on the illustrations. I choose some of the most common languages spoken on our little earth. 

Sorry, no offence if you cannot find yours, I couldn't put all the translations, too many and not enough space on the illustration. Moreover, and no offence once again, I choose some of these languages for the uniqueness of their written characters, rather than personal preferences.      


English: Happy New Year

French: Bonne Année

Spanish: Feliz Año Nuevo

Italian: Felice Anno Nuovo

Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo

German: Frohes Neues Jahr

Chinese (Mandarin): 新年好 (xin nian hao)

Chinese (Cantonese): 新年快樂 (xin nian kuai le)

Japanese: あけまして おめでとう ございます (akemashite omedetô gozaimasu)

Korean: 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (seh heh bok mani bat uh seyo)

Russian: С Новым Годом (S novim godom)

Arabic: عام سعيد (aam saiid)

Hebrew: שנה טובה (shana tova)

Hindi: नव वर्ष की सुभकामना (nav varsh ki shubhkamnaye)

Greek: Καλή Χρονιά (kali chronia / kali xronia)

Polish: szczęśliwego nowego roku

Serbian: Срећна Нова година (Srećna Nova godina)

Thailand: สวัสดีปีใหม่ (sawatdii pimaï)


Voilà! Et encore une très belle année 2020 et tous mes voeux de bonheur, joie et de santé pour cette année a venir. 


Cheers! Santé! 

LeDomduVin (a.k.a. Dominique Noël)

#happynewyear #bonneannee #vinvin #twentytwenty #ledomduvin @ledomduvin #lesillustartionsadom #lesdessinsadom #lescreationsadom #bestwishes #meilleursvoeux #vin #wine #vino #wein #newyearcard #cartedebonneannee 

    
  

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël


Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël


Merry Christmas card with different languages by ©LeDomduVin 2019
Merry Christmas card with different languages by ©LeDomduVin 2019


Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël to you all as well as your family and friends. And remember that Christmas is about sharing with others, having sympathy, empathy, compassion and consideration for others. So, be nice to each other and I wish you a lot of happiness and love for this end of the year holidays season. Take good care of each other.  

And as this blog reaches a lot of different people in many different countries speaking different languages, here is how you can wish "Merry Christmas" to someone in the most common languages spoken on our little earth. 


French: Joyeux Noël

Spanish: ¡Feliz Navidad

German: Frohe Weihnachten

Italian: Buon Natale

Portuguese: Feliz Natal

Chinese: 圣诞节快乐 (Shèngdàn jié kuàilè)

Japanese: メリークリスマス (Merīkurisumasu)

Korean: 메리 크리스마스 (meli keuliseumaseu)

Russian: С Рождеством (S-RazhdestvOm)

Arabic: عيد ميلاد مجيد (Aiyeed milad sayeed)



Cheers! Santé! 

LeDomduVin (a.k.a Dominique Noel) 



@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesillustrationsadom #lescreationsadom #lesdessinsadom #christmas #noel #joyeuxnoel #merrychristmas #chrismastwishes #christmascard #cartedenoel