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The idea was to ask the AI-assisted content producer to write the coronation wine story in the style of our staff writers and see which wines it would end up recommending.
The chatbot’s answers ranged from vague — “maybe a light and fruity Pinot Noir from Oregon” — to a bit more specific when it suggested English sparkling wines, including those from Nyetimber, where Cherie Spriggs and her husband Brad Greatrix make traditional method bubbly from estate-grown grapes from minimal intervention managed vineyards; and Ridgeview, where a second generation family makes classic-method sparkling wines in East Sussex. In the end, the human Wine-Searcher writers concluded:
Whatever its shortcomings, Chat GPT has perfectly absorbed the sort of ultra-generic, fence-sitting vacuity that pervades a lot of the wine writing you find online.
This newsletter wrote about some of the opportunities and limitations of artificial intelligence in the wine industry in WineGPT.
Charles’ Coronation Wine Picks. In Wine Spectator’s How Best to Toast the King’s Health? How About Bubbly from the Future? Emily Dendinger wrote about the wines served at the coronation.
Charles served the Ilok Cellars (Iločki podrumi) Traminac (Gewürztraminer) Hrvatsko Podunavlje Premium 2019, from the far-eastern Croatian town of Ilok. It’s the same wine (but not the same vintage) that Mum served at her coronation 70 years prior.
Ilok Cellars is located on the right bank of the Danube in Croatia where wine has been produced since Roman and Medieval times. Dendinger also wrote about the official bubbly of the crowning, Royal Collection Coronation 2023 English Sparkling Wine, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, though she wondered about the timing of this very new vintage (the year in which the grapes were harvested):
How have they released a 2023 vintage sparkling wine in May? His Majesty’s officials have yet to confirm or deny that they are in possession of a time-traveling mechanical harvester, presumably fully gilded.
Is Drinking Experiencing a Hangover? In Town & Country's The Queen Mum Defense: Could Alcohol Really Make You Live Longer? journalist Jeff Gordinier wrote about the growing #NeverDrink contingent. Gordinier shares a story of being at New York’s Le Rock where sommelier and natural wine advocate Jorge Riera offers him a drink, and he explains that at that time he was taking a break from alcohol. Gordinier was surprised to learn that Riera also takes breaks throughout the year.
When even the somms are reevaluating (or at least carefully calibrating) their relationship to wine, you know something’s afoot. Drinking itself seems to be going through a monster hangover these days.
While Gordinier touched on the different degrees of the low-to-no alcohol movement — referencing Julia Bainbridge’s book Good Drinks, an alcohol-free recipe book, and Listen Bar, an alcohol-free pop-up bar in NY — he also wrote about the “lyrical flux” of real life, living life to enjoy it, and the types of people who live long lives and also happen to enjoy a ceremonial social tipple: “And let’s not forget the Queen Mum, Elizabeth II’s mother, whose daily regimen of Dubonnet, wine, port, champagne, and icy martinis did nothing to impede her royal endurance. She lived to the age of 101.”
Wine Alternatives. In Forbes' What Non-Alcoholic Wines and Spirits Have Staying Power? Bartenders Weigh In, Kate Dingwall asked bartenders and sommeliers which non-alcoholic drinks stand out the most. For the wine-like category, Chris Gaither, Beverage Director at Ungrafted SF recommends Leitz Eins Zwei Zero Sparkling Riesling, made in the Rheingau region of Germany from Riesling grapes that are fermented into wine then vacuum-distilled to remove the alcohol. Owen Huzar, Sommelier at Adorn Restaurant recommends TÖST, an alcohol-free, dry, sparkling refresher, combining white tea, cranberry, and ginger. And Tia Barrett, beverage director at Esmé recommends Proxies, a wine alternative that blends fruit, teas, spices, and bitters.