Patz and Hall 2017 Sonoma Coast

Patz and Hall bottle Patz and Hall 2017 Sonoma Coast

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We drank this for Thanksgiving.  The Patz and Hall 2017 Sonoma Coast pinot noir ($48) is excellent.  We’re usually reluctant to recommend a blend from an AVA.  But Sonoma Coast is home to some of our favorites.  After tasting this wine, we rate it a bargain.

The wine opens with aromas of red cherries, licorice, and rose petals.  On the palate the wine is lighter than, say, Russian River Valley or Santa Lucia Highlands pinots.  The flavors feature black cherries, a hint of forest floor. Immediately after opening, tannins are a bit intense.  Solve this problem either by curbing your impatience or decanting.  We were in no hurry, and it was worth the wait.  Silky tannins add a hint of spice and pave the way to a long, complex finish.

James Hall and Donald Patz met in the 1980s when both were at Flora Springs Winery and Vineyard.  James was the assistant winemaker and Donald was national sales manager.  Here’s Anne Moses’s description.

Moses pull quote Patz and Hall 2017 Sonoma Coast

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Patz and Hall wines were served in the Bush administration.  Meet the four founders.

James Hall, Anne Moses, Heather Patz, and Donald Patz Patz and Hall 2017 Sonoma Coast

James Hall, Anne Moses, Heather Patz, and Donald Patz (click for larger image)

Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

A story in the New York Post had this screaming headline:[1]

NY Post headline Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

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The story was based on a statement from (deep breath) Director General Pau Roca of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).[2] I urge everyone to read the details of his statement. My purpose here is twofold:

  1. Answer the question, “Will there be a wine shortage?”
  2. Put together a summary table based on numbers included in M. Roca’s statement.

Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

No. Next question.

Seriously, economists have a definition of shortage that is very precise. A shortage exists if quantity demanded exceeds quantity supplied at the current price. If the price is free to adjust, a shortage will be temporary. The market price will rise. This has two effects. First, as the price increases, quantity demanded will fall. Second, quantity supplied will rise. The price will stop rising when quantity demanded equals quantity supplied. The market is then in equilibrium and there is no shortage. Here’s a two-minute video that shows how a market where price is free to adjust solves the shortage problem automatically.

M. Roca gave wine production figures for 24 countries. Sixteen are in the European Union, four (including the U.S. and Switzerland) are “Non-EU Northern Hemisphere” and the remaining six are “Non-EU Southern Hemisphere.[3]

There are more than 24 countries on the planet that have wine industries. I suspect M. Roca has included only countries that are members of his organization. Georgia (the country) produced 16.3 million gallons of wine in 2014 but is not included in the OIV dataset. Wikipedia lists 73 countries that produced wine commercially in 2014. A complete list is at the end of this article.

Regional Analysis: the EU, the Non-EU North, and the South

Here’s the breakdown of 2020 and 2021 wine production in the three major regions using OIV designations.[4]

Regional comparison Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

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The decrease in output from the EU is greater than the increases in the other two regions. Global production in OIV countries is forecast to decrease by 4.6%, 292.8 million gallons.

Based on 2014 data, OIV includes 99.88% of EU production, 97.71% of the southern hemisphere, and 52.64% of the northern hemisphere. Northern hemisphere coverage is misleading because China did not submit data to the OIV for 2021. Therefore, they are omitted from the OIV totals, but should be included in northern hemisphere output as defined by Wikipedia. China’s 2014 output was 255 million gallons, fifth largest in the world. Adding China’s output to the OIV total moves northern hemisphere coverage to 70.78%.

Adding it all up, we can say that OIV coverage is excellent for the EU, very good for the southern hemisphere, and OK for the non-EU northern hemisphere.

Intra-Regional Comparisons: 2021 and 2020

European Union


EU production Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

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A late spring frost damaged the winegrape crop in Italy, Spain, France. Output from those three countries alone in 2021 is forecast to be 600.9 million gallons less than 2020. To give this some perspective total U.S. production for 2020 was 600.6 million gallons. In effect, the lost production in three European countries is comparable to the U.S. producing no wine at all. This is a big hit to global wine output.

Those three countries make up 82% of total EU output. Production is forecast to increase in seven countries. Germany, the fourth largest producer, is projected to have output increase by 4%. Sadly, that’s only 8.9 million gallons.

Non-EU Northern Hemisphere

The elephant missing from this room is China. For reasons known only to Beijing, that country’s data was not available to the OIV. As noted earlier, in 2014 China was the fifth largest wine producer in the world. This is a serious dent in OIV data. But it’s China. There is not much anyone can do to extract data from them. And, even if there were figures, the source is China’s government bureaucracy. At this point, no data is better than misleading figures.

Here’s the comparison of the non-EU northern hemisphere countries.


Non-EU northern hemisphere Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

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The U.S. is expected to increase production by 6%, about 36 million gallons. Moldova supplies an entertaining reminder that we should not rely solely on percentage changes.l Output in that country increased by 20% — from 24.2 to 29.1 million gallons. Large percentage change, small absolute quantity. Similarly, Switzerland’s production is forecast to fall by 10% — all of 2.3 million gallons.

Non-EU Southern Hemisphere

This is an interesting group. Take a look at the list of countries.

 Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

Three continents represented by six countries (depending on how you count Australia and New Zealand).

Output for this region increased output by 238.2 million gallons, about 19%. Four of the six increased output by double-digit percentages. New Zealand, rocked by COVID-19, is predicted to see output fall by 19%. Unbelievably (at least to those of us who consume a good deal of NZ wine), total output for 2021 is forecast to 71.3 million gallons.

Impact on Price

Economists rely on the price elasticity of demand to determine how changes in quantity supplied impacts the equilibrium price. The price elasticity of demand is equal to the percentage change in quantity demanded divided by the percentage change in price.

Can we really come up with a believable number for the global price elasticity of demand? Well, I wouldn’t try. Thankfully, a brave wine economist, James Fogarty, has done this.[5] I’ve taken the liberty of roughly averaging Prof. Fogarty’s estimates. My guesstimate is that the global price elasticity of demand for wine is -0.7.[6] Among the OIV countries, wine production is forecast to change by -4.6% in 2021. We can do a little arithmetic.

Will There Be a Wine Shortage in 2021?

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It looks like the average price of wine will increase by 6.5%. Assuming, of course, that the OIV estimates reflect what’s happening in the rest of the world.

The Global Market

As promised earlier, here are the 74 countries that produced wine in 2014.  They are sorted by 2014 production volume.

World wine production 2014 col 1

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World wine production 2014 col 2

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World wine production 2014 col 3

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Economists work with data. We are a bunch of number-crunchers. Some, like James Fogarty, use sophisticated statistical methods. Others use math and Excel. No matter. The era when an economist could publish a paper that’s pure mathematics with no data supporting it is over. Access to many unusual and interesting datasets has opened up a world of exploration.

My favorite example is an article by Rebecca Diamond, Tim McQuade, and Franklin Qian.[7] They exploited an odd change in rent control laws in San Francisco in 1994. They looked at data before and after this change using comparable rent controlled and non-rent controlled units. The data describes address-level migration information as well as detailed housing characteristics of each household. They found that[8]

rent control limits renters’ mobility by 20 percent and lowers displacement from San Francisco. Landlords treated by rent control reduce rental housing supplies by 15 percent by selling to owner-occupants and redeveloping buildings. Thus, while rent control prevents displacement of incumbent renters in the short run, the lost rental housing supply likely drove up market rents in the long run, ultimately undermining the goals of the law.

Good stuff. Interesting and very useful.

  1. Sparks, Hannah (2021). “Wine shortage ahead as experts expect ‘extremely low’ production in 2021.” New York Post November 5, 2021. Available at https://nypost.com/2021/11/05/wine-shortage-ahead-as-experts-expect-extremely-low-production/. Accessed November 7, 2021.
  3. That last designation makes me wonder if the EU has expansion plans. Seems unlikely, but after the last ten years, who knows.
  4. The 2020 production numbers were calculated because M. Roca gave the 2021 forecast and the percentage change from 2020. Another calculation was converting million hectoliters to million gallons. For those that are interested, one hectoliter equals 26.4172 gallons.
  5. Fogarty, James (2008). “THE DEMAND FOR BEER, WINE AND SPIRITS: INSIGHTS FROM A META ANALYSIS APPROACH.” Working Paper 31, American Association of Wine Economists, November, 2008. Available at https://wine-economics.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/AAWE_WP31.pdf but may be paywalled. Contact me if you’d like a copy.
  6. Fogarty, Table 4, p.34
  7. Diamond, Rebecca, Tim McQuade, and Franklin Qian (2019). “The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco.” American Economic Review 109(9), 6635-3394. Available through Prof. Diamond’s website at https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/aer.20181289.
  8. Diamond, p.3365.


Chipotle Kung Pao Chicken

chipotle kung pao chicken


I developed this fusion recipe quite a few years ago.  Lots of work, but worth it.  You will need actual chipotles, not just chipotles in adobo.  Enjoy my chipotle kung pao chicken!


New Mexico Green Chile Stew

Yeah, off-topic.  This is one of my favorite all-time recipes.  Once upon a time it was hard to find genuine New Mexico green chiles.  Today you can find them canned, occasionally frozen.  This works best if you use the real thing.  We sometimes substitute black-eyed peas for half the white beans.  Crunchier.  Plus a Texas tradition says eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day brings good luck.  Enjoy!




Joel Gott California Sauvignon Blanc 2020


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The Joel Gott California Sauvignon Blanc 2020 has become our hot-weather white wine of choice. Widely available for about $10. We get ours from Total Wine’s Mountain View store.

Aromas of honeydew melon, pineapple, and juicy pear with citrus notes. The palate opens with ripe, tropical fruit flavors followed by crisp acidity on the mid-palate and notes of red grapefruit on the long, balanced finish. All of this is very subtle, so clear your taste buds first.

The website calls this “Santa Barbara” designated region. That’s not on the label. But who cares? Buy some and enjoy!


Wine and Cheese Pairings

Draeger’s is a popular, but small, chain of supermarkets on the San Francisco peninsula.  They recently sent out a guide to wine and cheese pairings.  We understand that there are large variations even within a single varietal.  Please take this as a rough guide and a bit of fun.  Feedback welcome.

Wine and Cheese Pairings

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Another Bargain From Sean Minor


Last night we uncorked Sean Minor’s 2018 Sonoma Coast pinot noir ($22), This is another bargain from Sean Minor.  At this price, refill your Eurocave™.

The wine opens with aromas of spice and red cherries.  On the palate more cherries, strawberries, vanilla, and a hint of toast.  Terrific lush mouth feel. You will not go wrong with this beauty.

Siduri Chardonnay 2019

Yes, you read that correctly.  Siduri has released a chardonnay.  Grapes are from Willamette Valley.  It’s pretty good and, as we expect from these folks, interesting.

White flowers, orange blossom, and a hint of mango on the nose.  The palate is lemon backed by pineapple with hints of banana and vanilla, with a long, succulent finish. $35 from the winery, $28 to club members.  Unique and easily worth a try to see if it appeals to you.

We are of two minds about Siduri’s chardonnay history.  One of us remembers a chardonnay being served at a Siduri dinner in the distant past.  The other, older, reviewer does not remember this.

Oklahoma Wine Buying Guide

Thanks to Oklahoma City channel 9 (CBS affiliate) for this handy Oklahoma wine buying guide. We advise treating this as an example that can be easily applied to other areas.  And to think — our site is still free!

Oklahoma wine buying guide

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(Thanks to @GretchenInOK for the image.)

Two Post Holiday Sales Worth Your Time and Money

Siduri and the Loring Wine Company both make superb pinot noirs.  And now they are running two post holiday sales worth your time and money.

Siduri routinely has a post-holiday warehouse clearance sale.  This is a rare opportunity to acquire some older vintages.


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But the real find is Loring Wine Company.  They were one of our three newcomers of the year in 2014.  We first encountered them at the 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands Gala. Our review was detailed and very favorable.

Loring has reduced their prices and is now offering 30 percent off.  Here’s the official announcement.


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Siduri’s sale ends in a few days.  They are already running out of some wines.  As far as we know, Loring hasn’t put a time limit on their sale.  But I have little doubt that they, too, are seeing their inventory depleted.

Something Every Wine Lover Can Use

We all have bottles of wine that are not quite up to our standards, but still quaffable. Cartoonist Sandy Boynton (@SandyBoynton) has created something every wine lover can use.  Download the image, print it, trim, and apply as necessary.  (Published here with Ms. Boynton’s permission.  Thanks, Sandy!)

Sandy Boynton wint label something every wine lover can use

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Lynmar 2013 Quail Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir Magnum

A few years ago we were pleasantly surprised to receive a magnum of this wine. The Lynmar 2013 Quail Hill Vineyard pinot noir magnum was a special gift to long-time members of their Advocates club.  We have extolled the virtues of wine clubs in the past, but Lynn and Anisya Fritz regularly exceed our very high expectations.  (We recently received another magnum of the 2018.  We will try to be patient.) We cracked open this bottle for our recent anniversary.

Lynn and Anisya Fritz

Lynn and Anisya Fritz

The wine might develop over the next few years, but it is delicious today.  Aromas of dark chocolate and forest floor.  The palate is black cherries with more dark chocolate and damp bark.  The finish is amazing.  Tannins are fully integrated and linger on the tongue.


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Thank you Lynmar for your delicious wine for our anniversary!

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While there may be a few bottles of this stashed in the Lynmar library, you can’t buy this through the winery website.  The moral is clear. When you find a winery you like, join their wine club on the spot.

The Perfect Quarantine Furniture Does Not Exi … Oh Wait

The Perfect Quarantine Furniture Does Not Exi … Oh, Wait, Yes It Does!

Winebag chair

A Wine Glass For Troubled Times

No idea who did this.

Wine glass for troubled times

Dinner at the Siduri Warehouse


Music, mood and mirth with plenty of wine at Siduri’s warehouse winery again! This year CaliforniaWineFan.com staff imbibed a Lemoravo single-vineyard pinot noir that was new to us. It’s been around for a couple of years, but with a couple score of wines in the Siduri line-up, it can be hard to keep up. Lemoravo 2017 – from the Santa Lucia highland area – is full-bodied and smooth with the recognizable characteristic flavors of pinots from the region. We took some home from the event to Silicon Valley and plan on acquiring more. This year the new winemaker – Matt Revelette – hosted the proceedings. Founder Adam Lee is now the “pinot noir ambassador” for the Jackson Family Collection global wineries.

Before getting into the details, here’s an overview video for your enjoyment.

The Event

Lemoravo Dinner at the Siduri Warehouse

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On December 14, 2019 we made the trek to Santa Rosa for the annual Siduri holiday dinner. Great food, friendly crowd, terrific wine and – bonus – an excellent duo creating music. We’ll review this event in more or less chronological order. Tasting notes will be interspersed with a description of the goings-on.

The first wine was the 2016 Van der Kamp Sonoma Mountain. Aromas of bright bing cherries with a hint of red raspberry. The palate is somewhat astringent with nice acid balance. Hold on to this one for another year. (Confession: in March we bought out the last of the 2015 vintage. Absolutely terrific.)

Moving right along, the 2016 Soberanes Santa Lucia Highlands is the real deal. Aromas of spice, cranberries, and not-quite-ripe strawberries lead to sage and dark fruit on the palate. The finish is extraordinary with flavors of baking spices and oak.

An Elf Pays a Visit

The tasting was delightfully interrupted by one of Santa’s elves. Nora Linville does a bit of everything at Siduri. Kathy and Mark Williams helped with the lively ensuing conversation. Nora was (and likely is) a real character!

 Dinner at the Siduri Warehouse

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The previously mentioned 2016 Lemoravo Santa Lucia Highlands opens with earthy, leathery, complex aromas. On the palate bing cherries with cranberry undertones. This one is great with steak.

Conversations From Wildfires to Kentucky Bourbon

We ran into some local residents and spent quite a bit of time talking about the wildfires that have plagued Sonoma and Napa counties for the past few years. We agreed that the situation needs to be improved, hopefully with the help of the U.S. Forest Service and various California agencies. As things stand now there have been decades of virtually no forest management. That means dead trees and lots of dry brush, creating a tinderbox. (If you’re not familiar with California there is virtually no rain from April through October. Late in the dry season moisture levels in the vegetation are very low. Which is why September through November is fire season.)

One surprising topic of agreement was Williamson Wines. We all agreed that the Williamson business model was terrific. Don’t bother with retail, just use a wine club and create a terrific tasting room experience.

The Sierra del Mar 2016 was earthier with aromas of dark fruit. More dark fruit on the palate with a nice spice overlay.

At dinner we were fortunate to be seated next to Sherrie, the wine club coordinator. She and her husband Chris are immigrants from Georgia (the state, not the country). Their daughter Sara attended the University of Kentucky on a full scholarship. When she graduated, the family did the full bourbon trail. “Oh my God we had so much fun.”

Which seems an apt summary of our evening at Siduri.